Your consumer Q&A is so insightful that Fairfax Media should give you a pay rise (yes dear readers, I’ve been driven to write a letter to myself this week). You remember taking that quick ski trip to America 1.5 years ago to celebrate our husband’s 40th -the one where he already had a respiratory infection then fell, fractured a rib or two, and was compelled to see a US doctor? It was nothing major – he may say otherwise – but we’ve never felt more grateful for Medicare. The GP visit, a puffer and a nasal spray cost some $US500 -and we’ve been trying to claim the comparatively tiny amount on the automatic credit card policy ever since. Beyond the (always involved) initial form, there have been eight subsequent emails and at least four conversations -roughly one a month. Regardless, over and over the insurer sends an identical (automated?) email requesting a $693 invoice for an n hotel stay seven months prior to that holiday. Which you and I have provided, though it’s irrelevant. Help!
Nicole, Sunshine Coast
Hi Nicole, what a great letter! In all seriousness, it’s only that this has gone on so long and become so ludicrous that I’ve been prompted to play the I’m-a-consumer-advocate-in-the-paper card??? after all, I sort with relative ease such issues for readers every week. I also feel ethically obliged to report that action – and the outcome – to you.
Probably unsurprisingly, the insurer has apologised profusely, approved my small claim, waived the excess and apparently tracked the problem to one initial employee error.
Of course, I’m relieved. But for one – input- mistake to cause that much obstruction for a consumer is curious.
Months ago a phone consultant assured me I could ignore the invoice inquisition as it had been erroneously earmarked as my eligibility for the policy. This particular, popular, policy requires you to put $500 per person of flights, accommodation or other holiday expenses on your credit card to automatically qualify for some pretty decent insurance. (As an aside, ixnay on the apres: a big potential trap of such insurance is that it rarely covers you if you’ve been drinking; paid insurance carries much more lenient “intoxicated” exclusions).
Anyway, I’ve repeatedly cited the reference number for that call. I have also asked twice for the claim to be escalated to a superviser receiving in return the word-for-word same demand for the same invoice.
I can’t help but wonder if this really was an innocent system stuff-up or a cynical ploy to get people who are less financially, well, obstinate to give up.
If you’ve had a similarly bonkers experience claiming on automatic credit card insurance, I’d love to hear it. And I’m especially interested in learning which insurer.
Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a money educator and consumer advocate: themoneymentorway成都夜总会招聘. You can write to her for help solving your money problem, or with a consumer question, at [email protected]成都夜总会招聘.au.