Having accepted a month’s free PetPlan cover for our two new kittens, I received a call on my mobile number one Saturday morning from an Indian lady calling from the PetPlan Sales call centre. She told me the name of one kitten and that the policy had been set up by my wife, and asked if she was available. I asked about the other kitten by name and she said she was included too. Then I asked how much it would cost to continue the insurance policy for both kittens and so began a long tedious loop of policy idiocy.

First, there was the overly long privacy & confidentiality statement, including the statement about recording calls for “training and quality purposes”. Then she asked if my wife was available to identify herself, to which I replied that she wasn’t. “It’s not a problem, we can set it up in your name sir” she insisted. “But you can’t talk to me if it’s in my wife’s name unless you speak to her first?” I asked, exasperated at the idiocy of this situation. “Yes, that’s right, but we can set it up in your name” said the caller. “So, what happens when she calls and it’s set up under my name? Are we going to go through this idiotic dance every time?” I questioned. “No sir, we can ensure you’re both authorised on the account” she replied. My wife had of course given both our names when it was set up, and we’re a married couple.

“So, why do you need my wife to identify herself to you before talking to me about it?” I asked. “Because it concerns highly sensitive information about a pet” she replied. “But you could put the policy into my name for exactly the same pets” I pointed out. At this point, having rarely heard anything quite so ridiculous, I told her that she had called me, on a number supplied by my wife when she set up the trial, that I’d supplied sufficient identification information thus far, and if anyone should identify themselves it should be her. I told her we’ll go elsewhere for our pet insurance and that she could record this as a complaint. “Oh no, we don’t have any facility like that sir” she responded. “You have a policy and a procedure for everything except complaints?” I asked rhetorically, “Makes sense I suppose.”, before ending the call.

I’m sure PetPlan is a fine and wonderful business to deal with once you’re a customer. But with such unfriendly, brain-dead policies and procedures in the sales process, it’s a wonder anyone ever becomes a customer. No, scratch that… it’s no wonder… this is Britain, where everyone just goes along with policies and procedures, no matter how stupid and pointless they are.