My letter to Royal Sun Alliance

Here is my letter to Royal Sun Alliance with the breakdown of what has happened over the last year regarding my stolen car. I have since spoken to them and cannot believe the outcome of that conversation.

I truly can’t.

That will be added as a podcast this Friday. Stay tuned for that, it’s an absolute classic!

Royal Sun Alliance
FAO: Pippa Watson
Customer Relations
West Gate
Colston Avenue
Bristol
BS1 4SY

RE: BMW Z3 Reg P192 PLR
Ref: **********

Dear Pippa Watson

It is with regret that I must complain to you now officially concerning your awful service with regards to the theft of my car from your client The Hillcroft Garage in Langston back in July 2006.

It has now been 11 months since my car was stolen and you still have not satisfactorily completed the repairs that your client was liable for. My car, one BMW Z3 (registration P192PLR) was recovered just a few weeks after its theft and returned to the same garage without my ever having seen it, and the garage refused my attempts to view the car.

Your client made no effort to contact me and would not return my calls.

Your engineer, Kevin Morris from Bridgend (07710 882 7160), examined the car after much pushing from my part through the insurance broker ‘Churchgate Insurance’ (01633 252 352) and the liaison there Don Robinson. Kevin explained that the car required a replacement engine as it had been in the garage for a new radiator and had been stolen before repairs had commenced, so the current engine was damaged beyond repair.

Kevin suggested that a reconditioned engine would be preferable to a new engine as a new engine would, for some reason, result in me having to contribute to cost of the repairs. I agreed to this and the Hillcroft garage completed the repairs and returned the car to me. It was only then that I was allowed to view the car, where I noticed that several items were missing and extra damage that I had not been informed of was present. This included a quote from BMW for a replacement arial and a new lock set as the thieves who stole the car still have a key when they drove off with the car from the Hillcroft Garage.

This included:

  • Cocoon Sleeping bag 15 GBP
  • Tom Tom Sat Nav Holder 15 GBP
  • MP3 player Tape Adapter 15 GBP
  • 1 leather glove 10 GBP
  • Ariel ripped off 16.94 GBP + VAT quote from BMW
  • New lock set 285 GBP + VAT quote from BMW
  • Fitting of the locks 300 GBP + VAT quote from BMW

Also after viewing the car in the light it became clear the rear bumper was damaged also, as though the car had been driven backwards through a fence. Kevin Morris had mentioned damage to the back of the car when he first spoke to me but I assumed it was the paint chip on the rear passenger side where someone had hit the car in a car park. No, this damage is right across the rear bumper, and was as a result of the car being stolen.

I faxed through the information to Don Robinson at Churchgate to give to you on 17th November 2006, but later found that he did not forward it to you. Neither Don Robinson nor David Cheetham of Churchgate were returning my calls or performing their job. Instead I had to contact RSA in January this year myself to secure the return of my documents and to ask about the extra work that needed to be done.

I also raised my concern that the ‘reconditioned’ engine I was told by Kevin Morris would be fitted to the car was different from the ‘brand new’ engine that BMW Rydale in Newport said they supplied for the car. The engine in the car does not look brand new, so either Kevin Morris was mistaken when he said a reconditioned engine would be fitted, BMW are mistaken when they told me they supplied a brand new engine or someone has paid for a brand new engine, only to fit a reconditioned one.

I would have thought RSA would be interested in the potential fraud of paying for a new engine only for a reconditioned engine to be supplied. Apparently not!

Did RSA pay for a brand new engine? Did BMW supply a brand new engine? Did the Hillcroft garage fit a brand new engine or a reconditioned one? Someone has made a big mistake there. I personally don’t care either way; I just want my car fixed.

I did receive my documents from RSA after a week, but was never contacted again.

I chased RSA once again on May 8th and May 10th speaking to Neil Godfrey. He assured me I would receive a call as a matter of top priority in relation to this matter. Naturally I did not.

I telephoned again on June 14th and spoke to Neil once more. He was surprised I had not been called back and assured me again that I would receive a call back during my lunch break. I did not, but did get a message after that time from Sarah Bryant apologising for not returning my call.

I tried calling again Monday morning on the 18th June, again speaking to Neil Godfrey and again I was assured that Sarah Bryant would call back before 2:00pm. She did not.

Finally after having another message on my phone from Sarah where she stated that she didn’t know how she could help me I tried Neil again. He put me on hold and left it there. I hung up as I think I have been more than reasonable in my efforts to contact RSA; making countless phone calls and faxes only to be still without the repairs to my car, 11 months after it had been stolen.

I’ve had enough of this, my car has been off the road since July 2006 and it is now June 2007. RSA are responsible for the repairs and I expect them to do what they are supposed to do. If I do not receive a satisfactory resolution to this matter within 8 weeks of this letter, which is Tuesday August 14th 2007 I shall forward the details to the financial ombudsman for them to proceed with the case.

What I require is the following:

  • The repairs as outlined above to be made immediately
  • The items stolen to be paid for
  • A written apology from Royal Sun Alliance

I trust that this matter can be dealt with without the need to involve the financial ombudsman.

Regards

Darren Jamieson

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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