Category Archives: Royal & SunAlliance

Time to replace my car?

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, or if you’re unlucky enough to know me, you’ll be familiar with the fiasco concerning my car. I won’t go into detail (because it’s all on this website in various blogs over the years) but in short I bought my car in 2004 and, in that time, it has broken down a few times, been crashed by me a few more times, had its roof slashed, been crashed into, been stolen, been falsely claimed on the insurance by someone else and has been the subject of a dispute between me and not just one, but two insurance companies (use the category tags below for details).

Anyhow, as I mentioned I bought this convertible back in 2004 and, as has become apparent over the years, it’s not the best car for the UK (or for me, really). The pictures below will show just one of the many problems associated with this very low down, two seater, real wheel drive convertible with low profile tyres.

The last few years have seen some pretty heavy snowfall in the UK over Christmas (probably something to do with polar bears and ice caps) and it’s made my car practically unusable for the duration. I’d have been better off with something like a 4×4 (such as the Toyota Landcruiser I once had) or even a small quad bike or ATV snow plough, which I have been looking at online!

Quad bikes aside (because they would be somewhat chilly) I have been looking at a new car in all seriousness. My BMW is about to tick over the 100,000 miles and, having owned it for 7 years, it’s probably due to be replaced. Of course, it may have 100,000 miles on the clock but the engine has actually only done about 45,000, because it was replaced after some idiot stole it while it was in for repairs and completely knackered it, so it has a new engine. Also, I may have owned it for 7 years, but for 18 months the car was in hiding because Direct Line insurance wanted to repossess it.

For the sake of argument though, it’s a 100,000 mile car that I’ve had for 7 years and it’s nearly time to swap it. So what should I get next? Something practical? Something economical? Something that just makes sense?

What do you reckon?

What a morning!

Wow, this has been some morning.

Firstly, Direct Line phoned up and apologised for paying out the wrong person when my car was stolen in 2006 and said they’d compensate me for it being off the road for a year as a direct result of their actions. Incredible.

Then, the Child Support Agency phoned and said they’d made a mistake and realised that actually, yes, I had been paying for my ex-wife’s house between January 07 – January 08, therefore I wasn’t actually in arrears. They’re going to refund all of the money they’ve incorrectly taken from me.

Then, and this too good to be true, BT phoned…. and the person was ENGLISH! He said that they were sorry for debiting me twice in August, and for quoting me £33 for broadband, only to then charge me £68.

But wait, there’s more. Royal & SunAlliance then phoned and said they were sorry for delaying repairing my car for a year and would be sending me a full written apology.

I need to go and have a lay down. This has all been too much this morning.

Cast your vote, will Direct Line Insurance compensate me?

After what happened with Royal & SunAlliance, where they shirked their responsibilities for over a year and then eventually caved in when they saw the bad press they were getting both here and in the SERPs, do you think Direct Line Insurance will also see sense and compensate me before it gets too messy for them?

They’re the imbeciles who paid out the wrong person when my car was stolen, recovered and then fraudulently claimed on by my ex-wife. They then placed a stolen marker on the car saying they wanted me to hand it over to them, and refused to speak to me on the matter. Over a year later they admitted via letter and taped phone call that they were in the wrong and should have done more to discover the true owner of the car earlier, but insisted that they were not responsible for my car being frozen in limbo during that time.

Obviously they were responsible, they’re the idiots who paid out the wrong person and refused to speak to me. They have ADMITTED their error in writing, yet they still say they won’t compensate me.

Well, now I’ve beaten RSA so convincingly, I’m turning my attentions to Direct Line Insurance. They either compensate me to the tune of what I have demanded, or this thing escalates to the likes of which they couldn’t possibly imagine.

Do you think they’ll buckle? Do you think they’ll stand firm? Cast your vote now.

Will Direct Line Insurance give in to my demands and compensate me?

  • No (60%, 9 Votes)
  • Yes (40%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Incidentally this website now ranks on page 3 of Google for Direct Line Insurance, and page 1 for Direct Line Insurance Claims Department. The stats for this site read like a veritable list if car insurance related terms and companies. Talk about bad press!

RSA still have work to do

Today I sold my Celica, which was a big leap of faith because it means I’m having to use the Z3 which hasn’t been fully fixed. For some reason when BMW repaired the bodywork they neglected to fix the door. Why? Guess they missed it.

I’ve told RSA and they said to get it quoted on and they’d pay for it. Fine.

However today, after selling the Celica, I tried to drive the BMW. Not a frickin’ jot from it. Flat, dead, lifeless.

I called the AA and they looked at the car, performed a test on the battery and found it was leaking power. Seems the battery was completely useless and needed replacing. Also, the connections were loose which showed it had been jump started recently. By BMW perhaps to get it on the flatbed?

So I’ve just spent a further £80 on a new battery with the AA, which of course had this car been fixed in July 2006 when it was RSA’s responsibility to do so I wouldn’t have needed to. Being sat idle for 17 months takes its toll.

Guess I need to phone RSA again on Monday and get them to pay for this as well.

I hope this is the last of it, I really do.

My car has been fixed!

I arrived home today at 6:05pm to be greeted with the sight I never thought I’d see. My BMW Z3 sat on a flat bed outside my house. It has now, after 17 months, been fixed.

I’m in too much shock to post up a full review of my emotions and feelings towards all of this, and how it has affected me over the last year and a half. I’ll give a detailed summary tomorrow.

But for now, my car, my pride and joy, has been returned to me.

I need a drink.

Pay to get my BMW radio Keycode? Not bloody likely!

I had a message left on my phone this morning from Dan at BMW Bluebell. He said they’d managed to get the locks to recognise my car at last, but if I want the radio to be unlocked I have to pay £10.


Naturally I left a message with RSA immediately stating that I’d had a call from BMW and they seem to be under the misguided impression that I’m going to pay the £10 to get my radio keycode sorted, and for RSA to have a word with them.

Incredibly they did, very quickly. Seems RSA can move fast when they want to. The fact they’re paying for a courtesy car and time is very much money could have something to do with it!

As it stands now my car is ready to be quality checked and road tested so I might get it back this week. I will of course keep everyone posted on this epic saga.

BMW engineers stumped by my car

It’s December, which means the saga of my stolen car has rolled over into its SEVENTEENTH MONTH. That’s One-Seven, 17.


Beat that! I’ve just heard from Royal & SunAlliance who have spoken to the BMW service centre. It appears that they’re having trouble getting the new lockset to recognise my car. They’ve been trying since last week with no luck. Surely it’s a BMW Z3? It can’t be hard to recognise it.

Well, I have a courtesy car now from the folks at Enterprise. They’ve given me a Ford Focus, hardly a replacement for a convertible Beamer, but better than nothing. It’s a good job for RSA that they didn’t give me this car when I first asked about one in July 2006. It would have cost them an absolute fortune.

In fact, it makes me wonder why didn’t they give me a courtesy car in July 2006, when they have now forked out for one? I wouldn’t have had to spend my own money on a replacement car if they were liable, which they evidently were as they’ve now admitted that. What’s changed? Maybe the power of the Internet and the bad press they’ve been receiving on this blog, but it’s a question I will be asking when all this over… if all of this is ever over.

BMW say my engine is fine, I guess standards have slipped?

I’ve just had a call from RSA again about my car. Apparently BMW can’t find anything wrong with the engine and they’ve estimated to have the work finished on my locks and the bodywork next Friday. That pushes the whole thing dangerously close to December and the dreaded 17 month mark.

Obviously there is something wrong with the engine as the front left side of the car sounds like it’s grinding metal when you turn right, so if the car is delivered back to me without the work being completed I’ll just drive it straight back. I’ve a feeling this could continue.

I’ll call BMW myself later today and let you know how I get on.