Auto Aid – the best breakdown cover

Auto Aid – the best breakdown cover

The big names like RAC and AA take all the limelight for breakdown cover.

Without a doubt, they are good – but they’re also very expensive.  Even if you think you’re getting a good deal having cover free from your bank etc, the chances are you don’t actually have the cover you want or need.

A basic policy can be had for £60 that doesn’t include (what should be) essentials such as home start, and, more importantly, most of these will cover only a specific car, or you as a driver, until you start paying £200-£300 per year for a service you may never even use!

But even then, what  if you own cars and bikes, and want them both to be covered when you’re riding?

It still amazes me that so few people have even heard of Auto Aid.

You pay £40 per year, and that covers YOU as a driver or passenger in any vehicle.  And you get home start, forward travel, and pretty much everything you need.

So what’s the catch?

Well, assuming you are unlucky, and actually have to use the service you’re paying £40 per year for, you have to pay for any roadside repair or recovery out of your own pocket – but don’t panic!  All you do then is send Auto Aid your invoice, and they will reimburse you the full amount in about a week.

I was a little dubious about this aspect, but assuming you have a credit card, it won’t be a problem.

Having held a policy for years, I actually had to use it for the first time a few months ago – and I had to test exactly the dodgy stuff that you’d be worried they would refuse to reimburse you for.

Basically, the brand new Honda VTR1000 that I bought minutes before broke it’s drive chain on my way home with the bike.  So on all the DVLA systems I was not even owner of this bike, although I had taken out insurance (not that they ever asked – as the policy covers me as a person!).

I rang up at around 10pm, and they got a local contractor (exactly the same as some of the more expensive companies) to come out to me within about 40 minutes.

With no hassle at all, they loaded up my bike and took me and the bike home, as all the garages were closed at that time of night.

I paid their flat fee of £50 for a journey of about 20 miles by card over the telephone.

Now for the dodgy part – I had to get the bike from my house to a garage the following evening (again outside of working hours), and the person on the telephone had advised me to just call them again, and they would send someone out to collect the bike and take me there.

Again, no hassles – I paid by phone another £50, and they took me where I wanted.

Still nervous, I posted the invoices and receipts (keeping a copy just in case) back to Auto Aid with their simple claim form, and exactly as promised, they refunded the entire amount to me!

I’m not making anything from this, I’m just doing my good deed of the day by letting you know of a brilliant and much cheaper alternative.

You’d be crazy to sign up to anything else!

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NHS Complaint to Bromsgrove MIU

NHS Complaint to Bromsgrove MIU

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The online feedback form I left on the NHS website should pretty much explain this one.

My answer to the question before, “What could be done to improve your visit for next time?” was: Get the nurse to wind her neck in.

“How likely would you be to recommend our service to friends and family?”

Very unlikely.

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“Please tell us why you gave that answer?”

Oh, ok then… *takes a deep breath*

I was told to go to x-ray and MIU by my GP with a suspected wrist/scaphoid injury following a racing car crash a week ago, where my open wheeled car had collided with another car, torquing my hands around with the steering wheel (and launching me 3ft in the air before another heavy landing, if you want all the exciting details).

The x-rays thankfully showed no fractures, and I dutifully booked in to MIU as advised. I do not like hospitals or doctors, hence me having waited a week in considerable pain from my injuries, but was extremely pleasant to all staff, especially after the x-ray as I was happy that nothing was broken. I am aware this pleasantness and cheery attitude may have been interpreted to mean I was not in pain – when in fact I would have rated my pain on this visit at a 7/10.

The student nurse who saw me very quickly advised as it was a soft tissue injury there was likely nothing more that they could do as the preferred method is not to strap up such injuries. This was absolutely fine with me, as was the quite long subsequent wait as she went to seek advice from a nurse. The wait was also fine, as I was by no means a priority case and fully understood others needed staff attention.

A blue uniformed nurse then returned to me pushing a trolley load of attitude before her, making her impatience with me extremely clear as she asked me – yes ME – why I was there. Somewhat confused by this, I told her the GP had told me I should go to MIU after my x-ray. She snapped on about x-ray being the ones who would refer me to MIU – which may well be the case, but I don’t see how I’d become the naughty schoolboy?

After answering “I don’t know?” when she asked what they were supposed to do, she then dug her thumbs into what I believe is known as the ‘snuff box’ area of my wrist.

I’m not sure how she then managed not to notice my hissed intake of breath through bared teeth, but declared instantly that I wasn’t in any pain (Really?? I’d have rated that a good strong 9, thank you very much!!!) before stroppily lecturing me that I would need a serious bone deficiency to have any chance of a scaphoid injury in that type of incident.

If I wasn’t so shocked by this whole damning onslaught, I would have corrected her that it is, in fact, one of the most common injuries of open wheel racing drivers in exactly this type of incident, but still trying to hold onto my relief I thanked her (not even sarcastically, because I’m apparently too polite a person for such hateful interactions!), and left.

Having been very worried when my GP advised scaphoid injuries could cause major complications such as necrosis, I realised I should have been more willing to seek medical advice sooner – but after meeting Blue Nurse from MIU, I’m back to thinking I’d be better off with a staple gun, duct tape, and staying away from corrosive moody people to solve my medical needs.

I am actually sorry for wasting your time, as if I’d known there was no after care I’d have just gone back to work sooner. But I don’t know that – and I feel that it’s the job of Blue Nurse and her ilk to advise me. Nicely.

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