Aaron Timbrell's own bit of the magazine.
Editors Rant of the month
Those with a long memory may recall a previous rant where I was trying to get car insurance for my Shogun. One of my comments was that one insurer only managed to quote me "bloody miserable". Well they have been at it again. Let me explain.
For some years I have insured various vehicles with an insurer called Hill House Hammond. They are very useful as they insure all sorts of vehicles that normal insurers won't touch, classic cars, off road vehicles, kit cards, specials etc. However a few months ago they were suddenly taken over by Norwich Union Direct with little warning. Policy holders got nice letters saying that normal service would continue and that when renewals cam through they would be handled in the same way, but by Norwich Union.
Last year my little Lotus kit car was insured with Hill House Hammond, the fully comprehensive premium came to £160.73. Why so cheap? Well the vehicle is a second car, it's garaged, it only goes out in the dry and is limited to 3000 miles a year. Those of you that run classic vehicles should know how little they cost to insure. One of the main reasons is that these sort of "specialist" vehicles are very rarely involved in any accidents. If you care about the vehicle you don't drive it like you would a two year old Vectra.
Anyway, this year an insurance renewal came through from Norwich Union. The cost? An eye watering £636.85. Yes that's right, the premium had increased by 400%. As you can imagine I was not chuffed, in fact I was severely dischuffed. So I got straight on the phone, and got a recorded introduction to Norwich Union, including yet another "let us quote you happy" advert. I finally got through to a human being (the top tip here is when the phone system tells you to press star or something else do nothing, you usually get transferred to an operator), who had no idea what was going on apart from "Oh, we don't insure kitcars...". As you can imagine I got a bit annoyed and explained the situation. Firstly there was an argument over last years premium, she didn't believe I paid only £160, but does she have the premium on screen? No. Do I have the renewal notice from last year in my hand? Yes. Eventually she said that they would have to go away and "re-calculate" the premium and send it to me again. Lets see what turns up in the post...
So what's the moral of the story. Well if some big company comes along and tries to squash a small company, and shaft the small company's customers in the process, then don't be surprised if the customers complain. Also don't be surprised if the customers decide to simply walk off and go somewhere else.
I wrote the above about two weeks ago. In this morning's post I got an apology letter, apparently the increased premium was an "error". Instead the premium would only go up by about 60 quid. OK, but what happens when the insurance is due on the other vehicles later in the year...
Printing RISC World
The new look of RISC World means that you will no longer get the yellow background when printing articles from RISCWorld. However you will still get the blue border on the left unless you turn off the printing of background images. The example below shows the print dialogue box from Fresco.
As you can see the option "No Background" is ticked. If you want to print out any of the RISCWorld pages and don't want to waste ink on a blue border then make sure you have clicked a similar option in your browser.