My poor warhorse of a car finally (but still inconveniently) sputtered to a halt and died by the roadside two days ago. As these things go, it was in the middle of nowhere, a side-road off a tertiary road, a narrow lane wide enough only for a single car and perhaps a passing rural rabbit.
I have been with AVIVA (even before they were Aviva) for about 17 years now and have never ever had a claim (or incident) of any kind. As a last resort, I decided to call the Roadside Assistance number that is apparently included in my policy and see if they could help me.
They were SUPER! I was so impressed. First, there is a recorded message saying that if you have broken down and are in danger on the side of a busy road, to exit the car on the passenger side away from the traffic. Then, a friendly, polite voice answered who was so professional and nice, that I could have hugged her.
I was expecting 20 questions about tax, NCT etc but all that was asked was my registration [had to hop out and run to the bumper to check][Actually, does anyone really know their registration number offhand?]and a brief description of where I was and who was with me [some young children]. She then said to sit tight, keep the mobile at hand and someone would be with me shortly.
Not ten minutes later, I had a call from a local breakdown service man who rang me to get specific directions to where I was. I explained as best I could and was delighted to hear that he knew the exact location and was only about 40 minutes away. Brilliant.
We had broken down outside a house with yapping dogs, friendly farmers and interesting horses in a field nearby – the sunshine was warm on our backs as we walked the foxglove and fuchsia-lined lane and petted the horses at the gate. My phone rang and I was so impressed to hear that it was AVIVA ringing to ask if everything was OK. I said we were fine and their man had rung for directions and was on the way. She was so friendly she sounded like an age-old friend ringing for a chat or to organise a play-date for the kids.
When the man arrived, he was thorough in his inspection of the car- we joked that it was certainly not a case of running out of diesel as I had just been the garage prior to breaking down. He asked if I had put in diesel and for a moment my heart skipped a wild beat thinking I had messed up and put in petrol – but that wasn’t the case [phew] – turns out that he could not get the car sorted at the side of the road as he believes its my fuel pump that has gone so I would have to be towed to a garage of my choice! My poor car! Poor us! [How on earth can a person survive rural West Cork without transport?] I must say, the towing is also included in my policy! double yay!
So, here we are, two days later, housebound – ish, and waiting for the garage’s verdict! But, this post is really just a three cheers to Aviva who really do have a fabulous blueprint for customer service and who I can [honestly] recommend very highly!
To see what is included in the Aviva Roadside policy, follow this link http://www.aviva.ie/online/driving/breakdown-cover/data-protection/rhs/Breakdow_Rescue_polic_%20PD_Resc_01_09_10.pdf