New cars and 1st world problems

I was sitting on the wall outside Cogans Toyota dealership in Carrigaline in glorious sunshine on this Friday afternoon.

Dee was inside going through the paperwork before she collected her brand new car and I was trying to do the necessary to change over the insurance.

I took the contact number from the insurance disk and began the process….”we are experiencing a high volume of calls“.

I was now on hold and at the beginning of another frustrating loop of waiting while listening to auto messages on the AXA Insurance “customer line”.

Our lines are busy and you will be waiting for 10 minutes. If you prefer click 1 and we will send you a link

I did that and the damn link didn’t work and I found myself back at the beginning of the queue.

It looked for my e-mail address and the nine digit policy number – what was on the disk was more than nine numbers.

After hearing the “10 minute” message over and over for at least 10 minutes it eventually changed to a “5 minute” message.

This repeated over and over for at least 10 minutes and my frustration was building and building: “your call will be answered in under 5 minutes”, over and over.

A thought struck me ….what a silly 1st world problem

It’s a gorgeous Friday

You are about to collect a new car

….Life is pretty good

I imagined a Ukrainian woman sitting on a wall somewhere with her two children, hungry and scared.

Her partner is fighting in a brutal war, her home has been destroyed by Russian bombs, they have left all of their belongings behind, she is in a strange country and is totally at the mercy of others to provide food and shelter to her and her children.

What is she thinking?

Where will we be sent, will we have our own room, will my husband survive, do we start all over again – what’s going to happen to us?

I quickly went from her nightmare to my situation when a voice came on the phone.

How can I help you?

I started to first explain about the long wait, the link to the website and the 9 digit policy number.

He wasn’t listening “what can I do for you?

I explained that we were collecting a new car and I wanted to change over the insurance.

Can you call out your 9 digit policy number please?

Which 9 numbers do you want?” And I called out what I did have.

That’s an AIB policy that we underwrite, you need to call them directly” he said

Hold on… this is the phone number listed on my disk, which brought me to you and you are telling me I have to repeat this whole process again with some other call centre?” – I wasn’t happy ..

Do you want the AIB number or not?” He was getting short with me now.

Why print the AXA number on the insurance disk that you issue to AIB customers if it is wrong?” I was getting just as cranky.

He hung up the phone….he was too busy for this frustrated Cork boy!

Jill in Cogan’s garage had the AIB insurance “hotline” number and literally in under two minutes the job was done.

We drove away in Dee’s beautiful new car.

We work our socks off for it but ….we are pretty damn lucky!


Greg is a partner at Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

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