The tendency to grumble is a sign of growing old. Have you ever noticed how some elderly folk seem to take a fiendish delight in complaining? Get three or four together and it’s like a tennis match, albeit played at the speed of dead slow and stop, as each trumps the others’ moans. I’ve mixed my metaphors there – another indication of an ageing brain – but I’m sure you take the point.
Now I know I am no longer in the first flush of youth – or even the second, third, or fourth – and I don’t normally whinge but the other day I was increasingly irritated by advisors or salespeople or whatever is the correct nomenclature for someone asking questions of a person seeking information on motor insurance.
My car’s insurance renewal is due in April and the quote we had from our customary insurers at Direct Line was very high so we started to investigate other companies. We started with SAGA – insurance of all sorts for those aged 50 and over. Their quote was half Direct Line's offer but we needed to compare prices.
We consulted Which? the Consumers’ Association publication. We phoned their ‘best buy’ company, which shall remain nameless, and were answering questions for about 45 minutes. The advisor was charming, loquacious because her script required her to be so and when we reached the meaty bit of the exchange – the quote – we were shocked to learn that it was £200 more than our original quote. We were exasperated at the length of time it had taken to reach this point and were now almost convinced that SAGA was the company to change to.
We needed another comparison so phoned 50plus – yes, it’s actually called that! - off-putting to say the least – and that’s when my hackles started to rise. I’m sure the fellow on the end was only following his given text and he was very cheerful and upbeat if rather too familiar. Asked our ages he repeated them with harrumphety years YOUNG. I cannot stand that condescending expression. Presumably if someone is 97 years YOUNG they won’t be born until next century!!
When Barry phoned Direct Line to inform them that we wouldn’t be taking up their offer he was asked why. He duly told them and reminded them that my car is kept in a locked garage attached to our house and added that it does very little mileage annually. He thought that should make a difference – and it does. Unbelievably, the low annual mileage makes the insurance higher, not lower!
So we ranted to each other for a couple of minutes and then changed the subject. We are growing old(er) and we’re fighting it every step of the way but it is satisfying to have a really good grouse now and again;-)