Meaning Of Loaf

       Taking the easy road through life

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bad Luck Magnet

After the fiasco of British Airways and the iPods, which incidentally is still ongoing, I've now given up on BA, and on Katie's advice, am now pursuing the TSA. But if that wasn't enough bad luck, I've now had further bad luck...

As some may know, I recently became the proud owner of an Alfa Romeo 147, taken over from a friend who was leaving the country, and despite the extra running costs, has been a pleasure to drive.

Here in the UK, we've been getting a lot of frost at night, and is joined on occasion by frost's best drinking buddy; black ice, which I had the pleasure of meeting last night. On route back from a friends house just before midnight I was happily driving some of the scenic back routes until I started to go round one particular corner and noticed the back of my car attempting to overtake the front. Sensing something was not quite right, I started what seemed like a pretty elegant bit of figure skating across the road until a tree was kind enough to come to my aid and help me come to a complete stop.

Thankfully, no damage to me, and most of the damage to the car seems to have been taken by the bumper, but my little Alfa is not looking as pretty as she once did:

Clearly it's the time of year for such activities, as the garage won't be able to get my car in until the end of the week or Christmas Eve, and work won't be finished until the new year because of holidays, but fingers crossed I'll be getting a courtesy car, so I won't be stranded over Christmas. I'm also glad that it's the first time I've bothered with no claims protection, which makes me not feel so bad about handing a £1,500 bill to my insurance company.

So, here's hoping that this run of bad luck ends with 2007!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cautionary Tales

Most readers of this blog will know that I try to avoid the rants too much, and nearly always avoid the cursing, but today I'm making an exception because I feel it justifies it.

As many will know, I made a short trip over to Chicago a few weeks ago, and had a great time. While over there, I was also asked to buy a couple of iPod nanos from the Apple stores for friends as gifts, making the most of the favorable exchange rate we've got at the moment.

The problem started at the airport on the return flight; when checking in my luggage I was told by the staff that I had to remove the lock from my suitcase when leaving it with them for the security inspection, which seemed reasonable enough, as it should be safe, being with security.

When I got home, I found that the two iPod nanos had been removed from my suitcase, and so contacted British Airways who suggested I write to them and they'd look into the matter for me. That seemed reasonable, and I was optimistic that they'd be reimbursing my for the stolen items.

Today, I received a letter from BA, informing me with the usual grating "we're sorry for your inconvenience" and "we appreciate how you feel", that they are not responsible for the loss and will not reimburse me. Now I have to ask, what the fuck?! They were in BA's possession from the moment I dropped them off to the moment I picked them up, so how the hell is it not their responsibility??

So I thought fine, I've got travel insurance, I'll just reclaim it with them. After a call to the claims line, they were only too happy to help until I said that it was two iPod nanos that were stolen. Apparently electronic equipment is not covered. So what damn use is that?! Reading the small print on my 24 page terms and conditions, I also found the following section of exclusions:

antiques, any property held or used for any business or professional purposes, bicycles, binoculars, bonds, coupons, documents of any kind, money, securities, stamps, or travellers cheques, camcorders, cassettes and cassette players, cellular or mobile phones, compact discs and compact disc players, computer and telecommunication equipment of any kind, computer games, contact or corneal lenses, diving equipment, furs, musical instruments, radios, spectacles, sunglasses, tape recorders, television sets, video equipment, video games.

So after that, what's left that's really worth covering?? So thank you Go Travel, for providing me with a travel insurance that is effectively useless for loss or theft.

In a last ditch attempt, I remembered that anything bought on my credit card is covered by an insurance against loss or theft, and so quickly called up Tesco Finance. After navigating the maze of phone options, many of which resulted in me being cut off, I finally reached the assistant who said yes, all items over £25 purchased on the card are covered and can be compensated. Oh, but I bought them outside the UK. That's not covered. Assholes.

So here I am, £200 out of pocket, and thoroughly pissed off with British Airways, Go Travel and Tesco Finance. There is another letter on it's way to BA in one last attempt to get them to change their mind, but I'm not holding my breath. Still, you never know, it's almost Christmas, the season of miracles, so perhaps there will be a happy ending yet...