The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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4:08pm on Friday, 29th January, 2010:
We got our yearly bill for the house insurance earlier this week from the Halifax. It came to just over £500.
It's a character of the English that they are very tolerant and accommodating, and they will allow you to push them quite a long way without much more than a grumble. However, if you push them one iota too far then they react with immediate, vicious, violent, controlled anger. This facet was exhibited by my wife, for whom "WHAT?! £500 A YEAR?!" was an example of such a trigger point. She spent most of this afternoon checking how much the alternatives were (answer: all of them were less than £500 a year for the same or better coverage — including from the Halifax itself). Enraged that she was being taken for granted and ripped off, she chose an offer from Churchill that came in at just under £200 and went with that.
Then, she phoned the Halifax to tell them what jerks they were. She could have called them before and got the "we can reduce the amount you pay because you've been a good customer" line, but no: if they could reduce it, they should have done so beforehand. Consequently, she called them only after having already bought the replacement insurance just so she could listen to them make the offer then twist the knife in their squirming, "this call may be recorded for training purposes" body.
Never, ever push the English too far...
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