Teresa Garratty: Face-palm. How a simple insurance phone call turned into a complex drama

Posted on February 25, 2014

Last month I wrote an article about new years resolutions and one of those resolutions was to try to use the phone a bit more.

This had generally been going quite well…up until last week.

You see phones are somewhat of an arch nemesis for me.

1I can hear enough over the phone to know that someone’s talking but not enough to know what they’re talking about. A recent example would be when my Nan’s friend Maureen called and I thought it was a gardening client called Marion.

2Now, there are rare occasions when everything goes very smoothly and the person at the other end of the phone probably has no idea that I’m Deaf.


But last week, something terrible happened…I had to renew my van insurance.

“No problem!” I thought, “I can do this all online!”. So there I was, happily typing and clicking away….and then….THE HORROR!


It was of course, the van insurance company I was looking at online. Suddenly random words came tumbling out of the telephone.

At first I tried to struggle through the conversation but before long, I admitted defeat.


But their verbal onslaught continued at a slightly increased volume.

I tried to remain calm as panic at times like this only make things worse. After a few deep breaths I just about managed to make out his last sentence.


My card details?! Who was this man who wanted my money? Who did he work for? And would I still get my free meerkat?

All of these questions buzzed around my head as the man’s voice became more confounding. I tried to reason with him yet again.


The voice continued, unwavering and so I did what any sane 28 year old woman would do. I cried for my dad.


According to my father, the man on the phone was saying it would cost less to purchase insurance over the phone than it would online….despite quoting me the exact same price.

Now, call me paranoid but I still didn’t want to give this guy my card details over the phone and so I purchased the insurance online, where I could see all the information laid out in front of me. All done and dusted….or was it?


I went straight to dad this time and sure enough, it was the same man. Apparently there was a mistake in my policy that needed to be fixed and would cost me an extra £60.

My rage began to boil.


My father tried to explain that any mistakes due to miscommunication were not my fault and I should not be penalised for one small amendment. The man’s overall response was “OK, but your policy might be void if you ever need it.”

Did I just pay hundreds of pounds for a void, useless policy?!

I was not a happy bunny.


One last phone call had to be made…by dad again.


This time we got through to a female employee and explained the situation. She replied with a pleasant and somewhat frustrating; “That’s no problem, a tiny amendment like that wont cost a thing. It doesn’t really effect the policy anyway.”

And that, was that.

Drama over.

The van is finally insured and all that’s left to do is cancel the old insurance renewal…which apparently can only be done over the phone for security reasons….


Give me strength.

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy Teresa’s Top 10 misheard song lyrics

Teresa is a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.

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