I have a lease car via Motability. It’s a wonderful service and as a disabled driver I’m very fortunate to have such support. But, and it’s a big but, occasionally (actually, rarely) the car takes a knock and I need to call out on the insurance company. In this case it’s Royal Sun Alliance (RSA). It’s happened twice in the twelve years I’ve been using the service.
In my contract with RSA there is a section that goes to the trouble of telling me that in the event that I should require a courtesy car I am entitled to a ‘like for like’. That is to say that if my Ford Kuga should require maintenance then I would receive something similarly big enough to accommodate my fragile back, wheelchair and accessibility requirements.
During my phone calls with RSA they made it quite clear that I was being a twat for asking for this type of courtesy car. Not so much in words, more in their tone. “Oh I’m sorry, sir.” “We’ll have to see what we can do.” “There could be a waiting time.”
You see it’s all in the delivery and the tone. Having spoken to these call centre monkeys I felt awful. Awful for having had to disrupt their day and awful for being somebody who requires their service.
“No problem, sir. Let me arrange that for you.” Now that would have been a nicer thing to hear. Even if it is eventually followed up by: “We can do that sir but it would mean a wait of around six weeks.” Which is of course highly likely. I’m not asking for a Range Rover just something I can comfortably get in and out of.
These monkeys are paid peanuts to run through crib sheets while doing their best to maintain plastic enthusiasm and sympathy. I know because I’ve been there. It was a terrible job and I moved on as soon as I could. But this is the country that we are now. A country of ‘service’. We kill off proper jobs where you get to talk to real people – knowledgable people – and we replace them with monkeys. Monkeys who care not one jot for you or your circumstances. And why should they? They don’t know me and they don’t want to know me. They’ve not had to sit across a desk from me to conduct this conversation. If they had and we’d developed something like a ‘bond’ then maybe it would be different. It would be like the good old days of customer service.
As I look out of the window at the tiny courtesy car I have been presented with and the beautiful bright blue sky I can only seethe. Once again the big money companies who claim to have your best interests at heart have played their joker and left me the worthless bastard cripple with a substandard service. And for what? My healthy monthly subscription to their ‘what if’ service. Isn’t that what all insurance is? What if? Pay us a small fortune each year and we’ll make sure that your arse is fine in the event that you should have a problem. It’s a legal requirement. You can’t drive around without insurance. As much to protect everyone else on the road as anything else. So you’re tied to these damned companies. They know that it’s a legal requirement so they have free reign to ‘sell’ you any old tosh. And they do. They fill their small print with masterfully articulated legal speak and save the large print from the super duper fancy offers. Such as the mythical like-for-like courtesy car.
This used to be a beautiful country where you received an education of some sort and then either a) studied some more and gained justifiably well paid employment or b) you served your time as an apprentice / understudy and worked your way up through the ranks. Either way you became skilled.
Not any more. No sir.
Now you can waste your time and money on higher education and emerge into a world that cannot accommodate you. A world where you’re expected to be in debt and live in your own home and drive a German car and holiday twice a year and spend a fortune on weddings and Christmas and Chinese manufactured consumerist crap that you simply don’t need. We are all slaves to the system and unfortunately for me such slaves now not only populate call centres but they are running businesses based on deceit and lies.
You can easily cruise through life with no skills and still wind up in a position where you have a direct effect on people’s lives.
“Greed is good,” said one of Oliver Stone’s fictional idiots from the 1980’s.
But it’s not. It’s destroyed everything. I’m somebody who likes a quiet life. I don’t ruffle feathers easily. I just can’t be bothered. I’m too old for that shit. So the greedy, faceless liars take my money and deceive me and I let them get away with it.
The irony of typing this rant on an Apple Macbook into a Google web browser that will be dispatched to the internet using a Vodafone internet account over BT technology. If I could have squeezed Amazon and Facebook into that sentence somewhere you can be sure I would have done.