Aviva Insurance Renewal - free number on envelope, Premium Number inside
Aviva sent me a home insurance renewal this morning. I wanted to phone and ask why the quote had gone up 15% from last year, for exactly the same cover (I know, it's insurance inertia, they hope you won't check. They don't even tell you what you paid last year).
Apart from getting the premium reduced to the same price as last year, I also saved some extra pennies on the phone call.
The renewal letter suggests I call 0844 891 3962 to discuss the quote. This costs 3p a minute from a BT land line, and much more than that from a mobile.
Flip over the envelope which contained the quote, and Aviva helpfully display all the freephone numbers for the different types of insurance. Simples, as one insurance comparison site says, just phone the free number.
My call to Aviva lasted around 20 minutes (including the time on hold waiting. Don't pay to hold!) The saving for phoning free rather than at 3p a minute = 60p.
I never phone an 0870, 0845 or 0844 number without looking for an alternative. My bible for this is the brilliant website www.saynoto0870.com
The rules for Premium Rate phone numbers are simple
1. Never call a premium rate number (0870, 0845, 0844) from a mobile phone. It will cost up to 30p a minute
2. Never call a free phone (0800) number from a mobile phone. It will cost up to 30p a minute.
2. If you have a calling plan with inclusive minutes always try and find a geographical number first (01, 02, 03) these numbers are included in your free minutes.
3. If you have a BT land line then free phone numbers (0800) are just that, free to call, so if you find an 0800 alternative - as I did with Aviva - use that.
4. If you have a BT calling plan which allows inclusive calls at evenings and weekends (or even all day) then 0870 and 0845 calls are included. 0844 calls are never free.
Confusing I know, and if you make a mistake it can cost dear.
My BT calling plan only allows free evening and weekend calls, but my mobile phone calling plan has unlimited free minutes to landlines. So I always check the website Saynoto0870.com for a geographical (01,02,03) and use that.
Yesterday I made 3 calls which were all displayed as 0870 or 0845 but managed to find alternative numbers for all of them (West Bromwich Building Society, Standard Life, HSBC) using the site. In the process I saved at least £2 which will contribute nicely to the monthly mobile phone bill (which is a fixed cost).
As for Aviva, just as with their inflated renewal quote they rely on dialling inertia to make themselves a few extra quid at our expense. The paid for number is displayed next to the quote, the free number is on the envelope, which has probably been discarded by the time you get round to phoning.
I don't much like doing business with Aviva - and their business is certainly having a rough time in this recession - but I couldn't beat the renewal quote on any comparison site, so I'm stuck with them for another year.