Tag Archives: medical insurance

A Catalogue of Disasters

The original title for this post was going to be “Named and Shamed.” The conversation in the car went something like this:

“You can’t do that.”  That would be himself speaking of course.

“Why not?”

“It’s libelous.”

“How can it be libelous if it’s the truth?”

“It just is.”

“I’ll stick to the facts. Just say exactly what happened. What’s wrong with that?”

“A large corporation can come after you and sue you to protect their name. It doesn’t matter if you’re telling the truth.”

“Well I won’t bother writing about it if I can’t name them. What’s the point of rambling on about some nameless company?”

This sorry tale then went into the trash bin in my head. It’s an increasingly large space.

But the stories nagged at me, occupied that space in my head when I should have left room for happy thoughts and gave me toothache from clenching my jaw in anger and frustration.

They say moving house is in the top three of stress-inducing life events. I think a bereavement and marriage are the other two. (Doesn’t say much for getting married.) If moving house is so stressful, let me tell you an international move is off the scale. We should have had nervous breakdowns. I nearly did.

Shortly after that conversation I read The Jaded Apothecary’s blog referring back to a post she had written in April referred to cryptically as TirecDV. After lots of bad words and humorous jibes, she’s still around writing and posting in July.

So . . . gulp . . . himself phoned our satellite TV company before our move to inform them we were leaving the country. They assured him they would cancel our contract on the agreed date and send a post paid box to return the receiver. Needless to say the box never arrived. Two weeks before our departure himself phoned again and was told the post paid box would take 36 days to arrive.

This might seem a minor complication but in amongst packing up goods (which for the suitcase and which for the packing box?), throwing out long-held useless treasures, making friends with the guy at Goodwill, seeing our truck off for an ocean cruise, arranging for furniture shipment, arguing with credit card companies, insurance companies, and the motor vehicle division, saying goodbye to friends, family and neighbors, it was nearly the proverbial straw.

The digi box was still streaming programs through to our TV the day after the agreed cancellation date so himself disconnected it, wrapped it up, put it on the doorstep and I wrote a snotty email to the company telling them it was there for collection. I told them not to bother replying to the email. They didn’t.

More than one company insisted that our U.S. credit cards could be used in Europe.

“Where are you moving to?”

“England.”

‘You can use our card there.”

“I don’t want to. I have UK credit cards.”

“You can pay your bill online.”

“I know that. I already do. But I won’t have any funds in the U.S.”

“We’ll give you a good exchange rate.”

“I’ve been changing pounds to dollars and dollars to pounds for probably more years than you have been on this planet.” (This was meant literally. I don’t know how the insistent don’t-cancel-your-card representative took it) “I know that no financial institution will give me a good rate.”

They began to cave at that point.

I came to enjoy the patter once I was expecting it so was wholly disappointed when I cancelled my J C Penney store card by pressing a few phone buttons and not speaking to anyone!

The real laugh, if you think this is funny (I don’t but I can’t help what you are thinking) is that many U.S. credit cards cannot be used in Europe as they don’t use the electronic chip and pin system in place over here.

The motor vehicle division of the particular state where our truck was registered insisted we renew the license OR ELSE! was the gist of the email. This was after himself had phoned twice and written to them twice to inform them Mr. Chevy was emigrating to Europe.

Chevrolet Silverado

The medical insurance organization for old gits with which some of you may be familiar politely requested payment for July when we’d informed them of our departure in June. In writing. Twice. Or was it three times. I forget.

I thought all the tricksters, scammers and snake oil salesmen resided in the United States until I tried to buy a car in the UK.

Here’s where I’m on really dodgy ground as the dealer is not five minutes away from where I sit. They could swoop in, serve a writ and leave me bereft of worldly goods.

I so wanted that car. It was the right size, almost the right price, economical and most importantly, the right color. The only thing missing was its history. As it sat amongst six other identical cars with similar registration number plates, similar mileages and of a similar age, himself quite rightly asked the question:

“Is this an ex-rental car?”

“Not to my knowledge,” was the answer. My radar went up. That wasn’t a yes or a no.

“Can I see the log book (registration documentation)?”

“We don’t have that here.” Why not?

“I won’t buy a car unless I see the log book first.”

“I can get it faxed from head office.” Why didn’t she offer to do that when himself first asked to see it?

When the blurry fax was put in our hands it showed that it had been owned by ERAC Ltd.

“So it was a company car, not a rental,” I said.

She nodded a little bit.

Himself, the old cynic, was not convinced so looked up ERAC Ltd. when we got home.

Guess what ERAC stands for?

Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

I did not buy that car.

I was trying to turn this into a humorous tale but feel I’ve failed. So if you’ve read this far, I thank you for your attention and possibly your commiseration. If it has amused you at my expense that’s okay too!