Archive for October, 2006

Norwich Union PR Blunder… again!

Norwich Union have recently announced thousands of job losses, as we blogged previously. Their call centre in Perth was particularly badly affected by the swingeing cuts and is set to lose over 200 personnel.

So you can imagine there were a few ructions when staff there got a circular telling them they could win £250 if they put forward a friend for some new jobs.

Car Park – “F*** Off we’re full!”

rude car parkDrivers in the busy town of Crawley had a probably dropped their early morning bacon sandwiches yesterday as they drove into town looking for a parking spot. As reported in the Register and local rag the West Sussex Argus, hackers managed to gain access to the computer system controlling the electronic display of free parking spaces and changed the displayed text to a message telling people to F*** off! Having been to Crawley, I can tell you that, on the whole that’s pretty good advice.

Anyway, despite the fact the rude message was up for two hours, apparently only two people complained about the unorthodox information, so it’s safe to assume that nobody pays much attention to this kind of board, even if it were displaying useful info.

Weird Sense of Schum-our

The folks at Car Magazine have posted some videos done by Shell onto YouTube.

Unfortunately not all the links from the Car site are working correctly, so I’ve posted the correct links so you can watch below.

Basically the premise is what will Michael Schumacher do now that he’s retired from Formula 1

King’s Lynn’s finest

Mini job fair
Opportunities in West Norfolk, is a jobs fair aimed at showing kids in their last year at school what prospects there are for them in the local area.

PDA and Wayne went on behalf of Flux, and they took along the Mental Mini, which you can still win.

Because Flux had the only stand with a £20k pimped ride (most of the others just had leaflets) a large crowd formed around the luminous orange glow. But it wasn’t just PDA’s permatan attracting attention, as the kids were trying to watch DVD’s through the tinted windows of the Mini too.

The nice picture went into the Lynn News, which also featured this week the greatest reader’s letter I have ever seen!

Bikesure Blog and SMIDSY

BikesureBlogBikeSure, the specialist motorcycle insurance division of Adrian Flux has launched its own blog. You can find it a

think bikeOn the theme of bikes, the South Gloucestershire constabulary have been running a campaign emphasising the importance of keeping an eye out for bikes.

Bikers can read their tips for motorcyclists at the BikesureBlog, but here are there top tips for car drivers, which will help you avoid hitting a biker and saying (as has been said to me) “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you.” or SMIDSY as the police have christened this type of accident.

Of course, most of this applies to keeping an eye out for cyclists as well.

  • At Junctions:
    • When coming out from a side road, be careful if there are parked cars or large vehicles obstructing your view of a motorcyclist.
    • Before turning left, make sure a motorcyclist isn’t on your inside, and before turning right, make sure a motorcyclist isn’t on your outside.
    • Give motorcyclists room at roundabouts.
    • Don’t squeeze motorcyclists’ space at traffic lights. It can make them accelerate faster to get a lane.
  • When Overtaking:
    • Give motorcyclists as much room as you would a car. They might need it to avoid – a pothole, a manhole cover, a loose surface.
    • Don’t overtake when you can’t give enough room – for example, where the road narrows.
    • Don’t overtake when approaching a junction.
    • Dont overtake and fill the motorcyclists braking distance gap.
  • When Parked:
    • After parking, check for motorcyclists before opening your door, and get passengers behind you to do the same.
    • Ensure Mirrors and windows are cleaned before moving off, particularly in bad weather.
    • When pulling away from the kerb, look out for motorbikes. They have a narrower profile than other vehicles, which can make them harder to see.
  • General Driving Tips:
    • Do not use your mobile telephone – even hands free detracts from your concentration.
    • Remember that whilst motorcycles are very manoevrable, on a wet road it is difficult to safely swerve or brake hard to avoid a car suddenly pulling out.
    • Do not park close to junctions, even for a short period because you restrict the view of riders and drivers trying to emerge.
    • We are all road users in one way or another, be patient, be courteous and enjoy your driving.

The Belt’s Gone…

and in more ways than one!

Kwik Fit Kok Up

kwik fit thickiesIn news you may have missed, Kwik Fit Insurance are in a pickle after a major balls up by their admin system let over 800 drivers get insurance policies they should never have been entitled to.

Rather than bearing the cost of their own mistake, they decided to cancel all of the affected policies with just 7 days notice and a measly £25 goodwill payment. Then they offered to reinstate the policies at up to 3 times the price. Understandably that kind of behaviour is a short cut to a lot of annoyed customers.

It looks like several disgruntled policy holders will be taking their complaints to the Financial Services Authority and Financial Ombudsman Service. The ABI (Association of British Insurers) also made a comment that “Unilaterally ending a policy in this way could be a breach of contract.”

It does seem a very shoddy way for the boilersuit brigade to treat their (former) customers for an underwriting mistake of Kwik Fit’s own making. Perhaps they should stick to changing exhausts.

The Hottest Hatch

the hottest hatch - mazda 3 mpsThere’s a new hatchback destined for the UK market and it’s an absolute scorcher. Unbelievably this superheated pocket rocket is not a new VW, Citroen, Peugeot or Renault. It’s not even a Nissan. No, come February, the hottest hatch available to UK drivers will be a Mazda.

The Mazda 3 MPS will have very little in common with Mazda’s standard “3” (aka Axela), which many would place firmly in the “boring” category. The car will share the same 2.3 litre turbocharged engine as the Mazda 6 MPS, which in it’s new home will generate an unbelievable 265 horsepower capable of doing 0-60 in just 6.1 seconds.

The MPS styling will be much in evidence as well, with 18 inch alloys, Bose sound system and wheel mounted controls. More technical stuff.

The car’s not out until February, so no rates yet, but when it does come out, our Sterling department, who specialise in hot hatches as well as younger drivers should be your first port of call for insurance. (As a vaguely comparable example, a 41 year old male with maximum no claims bonus would pay just £350 for fully comprehensive insurance on a 150hp Volkswagen Golf GTi)

This driver has had the car a year, keeps it in a garage and is a subscribing member of Performance VW and lives in TQ11 postcode

Flux Fancy Dress

Well, it took a long time for the team of judges to whittle down all the entrants to the final four and come to a decision.

The results are as follows:

1st Place – “The Cross Dressing Queen” – Adam Terry

2nd Place – “Teenage Binge Drinking Ninja Turtle” – Rachel Dennis

3rd Place – Wee Vicky “Bumble Bee” Burt

It was almost impossible for the judging panel to separate the contestants and although Judge Jemma was insistent in that three was the magic number, a last minute interjection from Paul “Grand Overlord” Twite meant that we had a joint 3rd Place Winner – The Wobbly Womble of South Wootton Common“Super” Sonya Hall.

Well done to everyone!

Fancy Dress Winners

Early favourite for the competition, Paul Adams, was eliminated when it was discovered that he had not in fact come as the vibrantly orange ghost of Bob Monkhouse, but was merely looking a bit wrinkly, having recently turned 40.

Gerry Bucke was also disqualified, as although he initially appeared to be wearing a clown outfit, closer inspection revealed it to be one of the ‘exotic’ shirts he can be seen in most days.

More photos of the winners at our Flickr site,

French Car Show are blogging

You can read all the latest on preparations for the 2007 French Car Show.

Here at Flux headquarters the staff are excitedly preparing for tomorrow’s Jeans for Genes day. The enthusiastic support from the Flux staff has extended beyond bunging a quid in the pot to wear jeans, though.

The guys and gals of Flux will be coming into work in full fancy dress. The inevitable hilarious pics will be posted to our new Flickr site early next week.

Tragically I have a meeting down in Bishops Stortford with our colleagues at HIC, so I’m going to miss all the fun.