Farty's Fortunes

Friday, 25 February 2011

And That's Why I Never Insure With Domestic & General

Earlier this month, I received a letter from Domestic & General Insurance.

"Dear Sir," it began, quoting a reference number, "Further to your recent communication regarding the above agreement."

I thought this was a mite odd, considering that I make a point of not using their services, ever, and certainly hadn't communicated with them recently.

The letter went on to explain why the agreement I don't have with them had been cancelled.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Then I checked the Direct Debit mandate which they had helpfully attached, and all became clear.

Clear as mud, to be honest.

The signature didn't even remotely resemble mine.

Come to think of it, neither did the name, address, bank, sort-code or account number.

Although, on closer inspection, the quoted reference number was only one digit different from the one in the letter.


At that point I picked up the phone and called their customer support number, which only took a couple of button-presses to put me through to their complaints department, where a very articulate young chap answered immediately, listened attentively to my explanation of why I felt his company was in breach of the Data Protection Act, interjected only to say that my reference number was for a make of appliance I haven't even owned in ten years, then apologised profusely and politely suggested that I score through the letter, write "return to sender" across it, attach a note explaining what I'd just told him, pop it in the enclosed envelope and stick it in the post, which I promptly did.

And I thought that was the end of it.


This week, I received another letter from Domestic & General.

Oh, how nice, I thought. They've taken the time to send me a written apology. Yay.

As it turned out, not so much.

"Dear Sir," it began, quoting a reference number, "Further to your recent communication regarding the above agreement."

My heart sank.

It was the same letter.

Had it fallen through a wormhole in the space-time continuum?

Well, no, because it was stapled to my letter to them, their original, scored-through letter to me and the same Direct Debit mandate.


I quite enjoy a game of ping-pong, so I'm sending the entire set of correspondence back to D&G. Only this time I'm sending a copy to the person named on the Direct Debit mandate so that they know why their appliance isn't insured.

And another copy to the Data Protection Registrar.

Because that's how I roll.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Every Time I Sit Down To Write A New Blog Post, I Get Distracted By The Bloggess

Not that this post is about Jenny; it's actually about something I saw in the news today - and I've just remembered what it was.

The UK has a census coming up and in that census, there is precisely one question that's voluntary - "What's your religion"?

The last time around, 390,000 people put "Jedi".

This year, I'm joining them. *You must do the same.

It's not as much of a protest as sitting in Tahrir Square chanting, "Mubarak must go", but it's a start.

What are they going to do - blow up a planet to bring us into line?

Or perhaps they'll offer us a choice between death and something else.

* Old Jedi mind trick.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Do As We Say, Not As We Do, Urges UK Government

So the House of Commons has just voted to flout the law as laid down by the European Court of Human Rights. The vote was 234 to 22 in favour - a 99% majority according to innumerate Tory MP David Davis.

With such fine, upstanding citizens as these telling us that it's ok to pick and choose which laws we can ignore, is it any wonder there are so many prisoners behind bars in the first place?

Now excuse me, I'm just nipping off to burgle my MP's second home while he's down in London - assuming he's not simply fiddling his expenses. Again.