Archive for March, 2008

Influx Relaunched!

Earlier this week we relaunched Influx.co.uk – the online, more for your eyes, digital version of our twice-yearly magazine publication. Both myself and David exulted a considerable amount of effort into the new-look, feature-packed website to compliment Issue 5, which was sent out to our readers last week.

The website’s bursting with plenty of pictures, videos and extended articles that we simply couldn’t fit in the magazine! Like this one – a homemade supercar in the making! Why not read the article about the Farbio GTS?


And what’s more, if you’ve just joined us or missed the first few issues, you can catch up online by reading our digital editions!

Eggstra….. eggstra…. read all about it

Once again on our customer service department we felt the need to challenge the creative juices of the staff and give them a little fun and games over the Easter period. And as usual, they didn’t disappoint with their weird and wonderful creations!

So…. off they went over the weekend with their challenge….. design an egg. There were no rules or regulations, all we wanted was some eggs – blown, paper mached, chcocloate – anything at all. Of course as ever on the service floor Bruce reared his horned head… and the creator of his egg took home the overall prize. So if you ever speak to Megan on the phone you can tell her how impressed you are with her creative skills (see below)!

If you’ve yet to experience the legend that is Bruce, and are a fan of facebook, I’m sure he’d be pleased to make your accquaintance (under Bruce Thebull)
Here are some other inspired entries.

Happy Easter!

I’m now off to eat them all……….

Pimp My Paddy Wagon

Clearly Brunstrom’s crew at the North Wales police have decided that if you can’t beat them, you may as well join them, and have kitted out a police van with thousands of pounds worth of plod mods.

They reckon if they turn up at cruise events in their modified Ford Transit (resplendent in classic Martini race colours and recently retired from camera duty) they can talk to the participants about road safety. Presumably once the laughter has died down.

Predictably, many people are mocking the police for this, but I think they deserve some credit.

OK, so it’s about as cool as your dad coming out clubbing with you, but at least they’re making an effort to engage with a culture that most police forces don’t even try to understand, much less care about.

The bottom line is, that if a single life is saved, the effort will have been worth it, and by running a modified motor themselves, they might even learn a thing or two.

If any plumbers out there feel inspired enough to kit out their transit van, you know where to come for modified van insurance.

Don’t try this. Ever.

According to an Australian study male drivers are more easily distracted than women whilst driving, and their attention wanders from the road when they change CDs, or read maps. Billboards are also a problem.

Even so the chap in this clip must have a very complicated CD system to have missed the red lights so spectacularly. Either that or the Eva Herzigova Wonderbra ad has made a comeback.

"A Direct Line to your wallet"

That was the headline in the Guardian on Saturday, where Direct Line were lambasted for charging some fellow a much higher rate for his insurance renewal than they were quoting if he had been a new customer.

On the face of it, it looks quite bad by Direct Line. They quoted him a price of £551 when a new customer would have been offered £173. There’s no getting away from the fact that Mr Robert King, 55, is paying too much for his home insurance.

But looking more closely at the story, I can’t help but feel that Mr King is at least partly responsible for his own misfortune here. He’s been with the company for 10 years and in all that time has never compared his home insurance renewal quotes until now. Says he, “I know the advice is to shop around for the best quote,” and so he should, being an accountant.

Funnily enough, on the way in this morning I saw a large billboard from Direct Line promising their renewal premiums for car insurance would not rise in year two. There is a rather vague disclaimer stating that ANY change to your details or your policy will invalidate the guarantee. So 3 speeding points, and a claim (both specifically mentioned) but remember that your guarantee is also worthless if you change cars, jobs, annual mileage, named drivers, postcode – anything really – and it doesn’t matter if the risk goes up or down. I wonder what the percentage of drivers is where no details at all change year on year.

At least they’ve got happy customers supporting them all the way and making supportive videos. Oh, no wait a minute…

Apparently, Mr Daz feels a bit aggrieved with the way Direct Line have treated him.

Bye Bye Norwich Union?

It looks like Norwich Union’s days are numbered.

Parent company Aviva have decided that in the interest of maintaining the same brand across the world, the Norwich Union brand has to go. They had previously said they would retain it.

Cue a massive marketing spend on the rebrand, and higher premiums to pay for it, no doubt. I can’t imagine the reasoning behind replacing a brand as strong as Norwich Union, which is almost synonymous with insurance with an unknown quantity like Aviva. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

Norwich Union: the Last Days of the Raj?

Norwich Union’s parent company, Aviva, may be about to pull out of its Indian call centre operations, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.

Whether this marks the end of home insurance claims staff with no idea what an immersion heater is, or if Aviva are finally getting the message that UK customers don’t like being put through to Chennai whenever they have a question that needs answering.

Looking back on my post a little over a year ago, its fascinating how things have changed. Back then Norwich Union were sending another 1,000 jobs out to the subcontinent. Now they’re bringing them back.

And I mentioned that we had 300 employees – we’re well past 400 now and another new crop are starting this week. All based in the UK, of course, and if you do have trouble understanding them, all you need to do is larn yarself Norfolk, bor.