Tag Archives: Tesco

Car Insurance Online

Car insurance has always been one of those things that as a young person I have always had to pay through the nose for but when I got my new car last year and my current insurers, Bartlett Davies Bicks quoted me £3000 to continue the policy I thought that there must be a cheaper way and so being a fan of the Internet I went surfing.

Of course, the ideal insurer is one of those things that really does vary from person to person; a company that is good for one individual can be useless to another based on that companies quotation criteria. You can pretty much guarantee however that you’ll be able to save money by checking out the Internet as there is usually no middle man and the overheads of an Internet based insurer are bound to be lower than a conventional high street insurer.

I’m currently insured with Elephant (www.elephant.co.uk) as they kindly converted my company car no claims discount into personal no claims discount which gave me an instant 3 years no claims head start compared with other insurers who refused to convert one to the other. I’m currently paying around £700 but as I’m now approaching renewal and my 4 years no claims entitlement I am once again shopping around which is what gave me the idea for this article.

Insurers that have so far looked kindly on me and my insurance group 9 motor include Tesco (www.tesco.co.uk), More Than (www.morethan.co.uk) and once again, Elephant (www.elephant.co.uk). Each policy has come in around the £500 mark which includes the ability to protect my no claims bonus which is extremely useful as I dread to think how much they would charge me if I had an accident and dropped back to stage one. Even if you read my articles every week but seldom visit the websites I mention then make sure you visit at least the three above as it really could save you a substantial amount of money when you come to renew your car insurance.

Other sites worth a mention include Confused (www.confused.com) which searches dozens of sites to find their best quote, Sainsburys (www.sainsburysbankcarins.co.uk) and Diamond (www.diamond.uk.com) which is for woman only.

Of course, there are other sites out there but I haven’t got enough room here to list them all. Personally, I’ve always found that Tesco has offered a good rate to myself, friends and family as well as More Than who can protect your maximum no claims bonus for life as long as you maintain your policy with them.

The Internet can save you money on so many products but truly insurance has to be one of the things that is best suited online. When you think of an insurance policy (home, car, pet or otherwise), you very rarely need to actually contact anybody; after all, you renew it every year and it’s only in the event of a claim that you need to actually speak to someone. Whether buying in person at a shop or over the phone you are just as well covered and you won’t notice any difference in the cover but you will in the price. When quoting over the Internet, you can easily see how changing certain variables such as voluntarily excess will change your policy and of course read the full terms and conditions before buying which would be tricky over the phone. If you do have any problems such as an accident then it’s all done over the phone; online insurers don’t expect you to make claims over the Internet.

Readers contribution – BT Internet kiosks

After last weeks article relating to Internet access whilst on the move, I saw it fit to publish a letter submitted by one of my readers, Ian MacMillan who discusses the new BT Internet kiosks and call boxes that are popping up around the country. They offer you full Internet and E-mail access in the high street with additional facilities such as text messaging and obviously the ability to use it as a standard payphone.

Last December I wrote to you about the new phone boxes that BT were introducing in Torbay, which could send e-mails and text messages as well as making ordinary phone calls.

Since then, there have been some new developments in this area as BT is in the process of rolling out new Internet kiosks, which offer full Internet access. At the time of writing there are eight of these that I know about within the Torbay area. The locations are as follows:

Torquay, bottom of Market Street

Torquay, Fleet Walk, opposite Burger King

Torquay, Harbourside, opposite Hoopers

Paignton, outside main Post Office

Paignton, outside Tesco

Paignton, opposite Apollo Cinema

Torquay, Lymington Road, opposite library.

Totnes, High Street.

The Internet kiosks contain a colour monitor, a QWERTY keyboard and a tracker ball instead of a mouse. The kiosks have an “Ask Jeeves” screen and an easy access screen for Hotmail, but a full World Wide Web address can be entered manually. The kiosks can also send text messages and make ordinary phone calls. Five minutes of surfing costs 50p and as well as accepting coins, the kiosks accept all standard credit cards. The kiosks were installed around August this year, so they have not been in place for long.

The Internet kiosks are part of a strategy to lure people back to phone boxes, as it is well known that business in BT’s phone box division has fallen considerably in the past two years due to the increase in mobile phone use.

The following link (http://www.payphones.bt.com/2001/news/releases/2001/nr1016.html) gives a picture of the unit inside the kiosks, and further details about future plans for these machines; apparently up to 28,000 of these are to be installed over the next five years. I had a go in one of these boxes and found it very easy to use, but it was slightly cramped inside due to the protrusion of the keyboard at the bottom of the unit.

For more information on this type of kiosk, it is possible to contact multimedia@bt.com. As I said in the previous letter, I am not in the business of doing free publicity for BT but it is interesting to know that these kiosks are now on line in Torbay.

Ian MacMillan, Paignton.

Many thanks, Ian for that positive contribution towards the column. I too have been inside one of these boxes and my main concern with BTs strategy is how well these boxes will be able to cope with the rapidly changing technology that’s used on the Internet as well as the possibility of vandalism. It isn’t an unusual site to see a smashed up phone box around Torbay and I personally am quite surprised that a unit of such value hasn’t yet also been vandalised by someone.

I would also like to see how these kiosks keep up when the technology in mobile phones matures such as when advances such as 3G (high speed mobile Internet) establish themselves. This technology should enable you eventually have easy and cheap access to the Internet and E-mail on your mobile phone; it would be a shame if these kiosks suffered the same demise as their now slightly obsolete predecessors.

Online Food Shopping

Online food shopping has been gradually growing in popularity for the last couple of years; something I have yet to fully understand for a number of reasons. In my opinion, if you were going to go shopping then personally I think it would be a better idea to actually drive to the shops, have a look around, get some fresh air and check out the special offers and quality of the produce before purchase. In addition, online shopping for food doesn’t take significantly less time than doing it in person, you have to wait around the house for the goods to arrive and you usually have to pay for delivery.

Obviously this theory is somewhat shattered if you don’t own a car or are disabled in a way which could prevent you from visiting your local store; in this case I can see that online food shopping could make a huge difference to your lifestyle. With these people in mind I will open my mind to the possibilities offered by these services and review the options available to us here in the Torbay area.

First off I had a look at Tescos (www.tesco.co.uk) who promised to be able to deliver to me based on my postcode in the Paignton area. The nearest branch offering the home delivery service is in Newton Abbot so I assume that Brixham and Torquay would also be covered by this service. The website seems pretty easy to navigate and delivery costs range between £3.99 and £6.49 depending on the order. A particularly nice touch is that you can also enter in your club card number and continue to collect points as you did before.

It is also worth noting that Tesco are able to deliver other goods such as Music CD’s, Clothes, Games and DVD’s straight from their warehouses.

Next I had a look at the Sainsburys’ (www.sainsburys.co.uk) website but unfortunately they currently do not deliver to anywhere in Torbay although their website promised this may soon be a possibility and you are then invited to leave your details so they can contact you when they do start to supply the area.

The only other remaining major supermarket in this area is currently Iceland (www.iceland.co.uk) who stated that this area was currently available for home delivery. Although the layout of the site was not as professional looking as the Tescos site, it did cover all the essential ground and even offers products such as Freezers, Microwaves, Cookers and Washing Machines that can be purchased online.

A very odd quirk with the Iceland site is that although delivery is free, you actually have to keep your order above £40 or else they won’t deliver at all. Perhaps it’s just me who considers £40 worth of frozen food a touch excessive; it would have probably been a better to apply a surcharge of, say £4 to orders below £40 to help those who are unable to reach one of their stores and who don’t require this much.

To summarize, I don’t think I’ll be taking advantage of Online Food Shopping just yet, although I found searching for and ordering products relatively easy. As stated before, it does have its definite uses, especially for those who are physically unable to make it to the supermarket. The Iceland site I can see as being of particular benefit to the majority of readers as all Iceland stores in the area are located in the centers of our three towns and many find the current parking and bag carrying a nuisance whereas in contrast, the main Tesco store is a out of town and so doesn’t pose this problem to the majority of us with cars.