Now and Then Magazine

An Independant regional magazine that is circulated into 78,000 selected homes

Latest Edition: December 2018

Included in this magazine...

- Shutting up shop

- Hotel closure

- They’re off

- Did you know …

- Academia

- Digest

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Peter Cook

PETER COOK
the editor

IT happened on a quiet country lane in county Durham. The white van approaching wasn’t going all that fast, yet in its wake a stone flew up and hit my windscreen. The impact created a small star burst no bigger than my little finger nail near the base and the centre of the screen. I was covered for this type of accident so later I contacted my insurer and electronically I was transferred to an online windscreen repair company. Helpfully their website provided three diagrammatic examples of typical sizes. I selected the lowest ‘no bigger than a sixpenny’ piece.
This brought forth an instant excess cost of £10, which I didn’t quite understand, having assumed this was all part and parcel of my car insurance policy.
But what the heck, I wasn’t going to get into a fight over a tenner, so a date was fixed for them to come out and repair the screen.
Four days later the big highly decorated van, its paintwork proclaiming the company was the very best in getting you back on the road, duly arrived.
The young man who got out quickly started to examine the slight damage. His brow was furrowed, and returning to his vehicle he brought out a plastic ruler. Now he began measuring the damage, with meticulous concentration, measuring to the last millimetre the extremities of the now hardly discernable chip He measured it twice, then after a third attempt, declared that the wound was too big to repair and I needed a new windscreen. I enquired by how much was it too big, and he informed me it was a couple of millimetres outside the limits laid down by his company.
He made a couple of calculations before announcing that my excess for this would now be £90 plus VAT.
for a repair I had assumed was fully covered by my policy. He didn’t actually say – read the small print dummy, he didn’t have to; his eyes did the talking.
For the sake of a couple of millimetres I had to fork out over £100. There was no appeal, take it or leave it. There was also the problem of it being on my record when it came to renewing my insurance. So with heavy heart I had to accept a new windscreen. Three days later, the highly decorated van arrived with it. This time the technician was a man in his sixties, and after examining the screen, his brow was furrowed, he was perplexed. “Do you want me to repair this?” he asked. I told him I had been informed that it was outside the guidelines. He looked knowingly over the top of his spectacles and winked “Let’s put that down to the inexperience of youth.” Within twenty minutes my screen was as good as new and the original £10 quote that I had already paid, was honoured.

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Peter Cook – Editor-in-Chief

Email: editornowandthen@gmail.com