Beware premium bank accounts

31 January 2008

I don't even know what they're called but these are the accounts you pay for and in return receive a package of benefits. I have a smilemore account, which I pay £10 a month for. It's OK in terms of value. The two big benefits for me are Worldwide travel insurance for the whole family and motor breakdown insurance. So no whinges there. They're probably worth it without all the other gubbins.

But in trying to upgrade my breakdown insurance (so that I'm covered in Europe) I found that neither Green Flag or Smile wanted to know me. To be precise, Smile knew me, but couldn't do anything for me. And Green Flag didn't know me. The usual call-centre ping pong followed. I went through nine 'phone numbers and an hour later found someone who solved my problem with a touch of a button.

By that time I was prepared to give up, revert to a standard bank account and arrange my own insurance. Then I realised I had the magic 'phone number! Let's hope they don't change it.

It seems to me that when your bank and insurance company get together to make like easier for you, it just doubles the chance they'll cock it up!

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