Having battled to get to Nordkapp (see post The Battle for #Nordkapp), we now battle to leave!
The following is an email I have just sent to the Insurance company regarding the current situation:
To whom it may concern at Carol Nash/AXA assistance,
As there have been many phone conversations, it seems prudent that I should in someway to clarify in writing what has been happening in the current situation regarding the recovery of my motorbike (LV03 BWJ).
On Sunday, my bike broke down on the E69 Nordkapp Road in Norway. Some 4 hours later someone arrived to recover us, however, it was not a motorbike mechanic and he could only take the bike as far as his garage in Honningsvag as that was as far as the recovery had thus far been approved and advised that the bike should be recovered to the BMW dealer in Tromso to be fixed.
You then advised that you needed a quote from your agents in Norway, and in the conversation is was made clear that I had to choose between accommodation or a hired car. As it is impossible to camp with out a vehicle as we would have done and did not know if it was possible at NordKapp at this time, despite the offer of a taxi to take us there, so we booked into a local hostel (80Euros)
I believe the phone call was about 10am Monday my time when I fully understood the conditions regarding accommodation and hire car and said that I would take the hired car but please deliver as soon as possible as we had to check out of accommodation at 12pm. When I called at approx. 5pm my time, you advised you still had not recieved a quote to approve from your agents in Norway for the hired car or for the transport of the bike.
After threatening to claim for expenses for the night, a car materialised an hour and a half later, 500m down the road from where I was located with the bike. Effectively it took a whole day to organise a hired car that was located down the road. Clearly someone had woken up as I was then advised that the cost of transport to Tromso had been quoted in the region of 3500Euros (I forget the specific figure) and that the policy only covered a sum of 2000 Euros – I then stated that then a more local mechanic will need to be found because the priority was the fix the bike and continue our journey as we were on a sponsored ride. I requested a solution by 9am the following morning or I would start taking the matter into my own hands regardless of the costs that might result for the insurance company.
That night we wild camped – as it was our expectation to do for this journey where ever possible.
I phoned approximately 10am my time on Tuesday morning to discover, once again that nothing had been done. So I then spent the morning and at the expense of using my mobile phone to phone Norwegian phones, to locate a more local mechanic. Once located, I relaid the information back to you, and you porceeded to find a new quote for transport.
The new quote to transport the bike a third of the distance than Tromso was 2053 Euros!
If the discrepancy is not immediately obvious to you, please advise and I will explain in much more detail to help you understand. However, futher to this, the quote is 53Euros over the limit. I am not prepared pay for a clearly fabricated quote, especially now that travel expenses are 300% up as a result of this situation. I then offered to source a van myself and drive it and quote you for the job, and you advised that you would be happy to recieve the quote.
I sent you a quote for approval around 3pm (Tuesday) detailing the cost of the van hire for one day, the estimated cost of fuel, and the cost of my time – the quote totalled 600Euros.
I picked up a message from Matt, who was dealing with the case, around 5.30pm saying that the van and fuel had been approved, but the compensation for my time had not and it had be forwarded to other departments – ‘but at least I can now move the bike’
I phoned him back and explained, that I would not be moving the bike until compensation for me to do so was approved. I am not fool to be used by the insurance company to do work for free that I pay them to pay for.
I recieved a call from you around 8pm asking if the motorbike had been delivered, and in response I made it abundantly clear that I would not do anything with out recieving compensation for it to which he explained that it was unlikely to happen. I have already sourced a mechanic would will look at the bike immediately (or at least he would when I spoke to him yesterday morning) and researched and provided a quote to do the job of transporting it myself. This is all work that other people are paid to do and are clearly not doing. I have now provided a quote that saves the insurance company 1400Euros and they now want me to rush the bike over to the mechanic so that they can then tell me they are not going to compensate me so they can reduced their costs further. The poor chap got an earfull from me! I was advised that the quote was with senior management.
We spent the night in the hostel (80 Euros) as the weather had turned bad and camping was no longer an option.
Approx 10am Wednesday morning, having still recieved no phone call, I call you to discover nothing had been done. I am called back some time later to be advised that the senior manager will not compensate me for my time, but I am welcome to transport the bike myself still.
I, understandably, am becoming very stressed and advise that you must now pay the 2053Euros as you have now refused a cheaper offer. Further to that, I was now in a situation as the weather was till bad and clearly nothing is being done for yet another day and I was forced to book yet another night (80Euros) at the hostel.
You are aware I am travelling with a child (11 yrs old) I have further made it clear in the last phone call that she is autistic that we are sponsored to do the journey to raise awareness for autism, that the costs are beyond us and that I will ensure that they all claimed back from the insurance company when we return because simply put – our plan was to come to Nordkapp, wild camp one night if it was possible, then leave and head south for a bike meet in Estonia. That we are now still here is entirely as a result of the insurance company regardless of my efforts to help move the situation forward anyway I can, and in so doing saving the insurance company money – something that the company has now rejected.
So the current situation is that we are still in Honningsvag, I have booked another night at the hostel (80Euros) the hired car will need to be returned in 12 days, the motorbike has not moved, and you the insurance company are not doing what you are contracted to do which is to provide recovery for the vehicle regardless of being given the options to do so.
My stress levels are high and increasing and I have not slept properly since this whole debacle has begun. My daughter’s travelling preference is to keep moving towards the end goal, and she is now becoming stressed as she can’t understand why we have not moved from Norkapp in the last 3 days. This is added stress for me as her carer for which there is no relief beyond being able to take out my increasing frustrations on the phone to your customer care agents that phone me intermitantly to tell me that nothing has been done or nothing will be done.
It is now 1.40pm Wednesday – almost exactly 3 days from my first call for recovery.
If I have miss-understood the events that have transpired these last 3 days please clarify, and like wise if you would like me to clarify further on any points I will be happy to do so.
Please note that this is an open email and is published on the internet as part of our (myself and my daughter’s) on going journey to travel from the UK to Nordkapp to Gibraltar and back to the UK with in 8 weeks.
If you enjoy following our travels, please make a donation – We are travelling approximately 8,000 miles – £5 will help us cover 50miles, £10 = 100miles
We don’t know the costs for fixing the bike yet but any help towards that will be GREATLY appreciated!
Donate here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?charityId=1005498