You have probably picked up some haggling tips from money saving expert Martin Lewis who wrote the foreword to my book Breaking Law. I had to engage in a bit of haggling with Tesco Bank only yesterday after I had received a renewal building and contents insurance quote for 55% more than the premium charged to me for the past year. As I hadn't made a claim since I was in short trousers, I reckoned this was outrageous even allowing for the fact that insurance is now costing more.
I telephoned and selected the option applicable for anyone thinking of taking their business elsewhere.
" I think you have made a terrible mistake or are having a laugh."
"We haven't made a mistake but let's see if we can get it down."
After the usual script was read out about my loyalty to Tesco and what a nice person I was and an unsuccessful attempt by Tesco to find out precisely what I had been quoted elsewhere, the quote came down by £31.42 at which point I announced I would be going elsewhere and that automatic renewal instructions should be cancelled. This appears to have been a crucial trigger point for a whole new Tesco approach. They could start me up on a new policy and see the best deal they could offer. It transpires that there were no radical differences between the current cover and the cover available under the new policy. The quote offered was £31.89 up on the current premium but £102.06 less than had been originally offered. I accepted.
The experience suggests that you may not get the best that might be available until you have actually told Tesco - and perhaps any other insurer - that you are off, thank you very much.
Incidentally and talking of best, a warning on fruit stock control at the M&S store in Richmond, Surrey, You may recall that I was recently alarmed by the state of some displayed nectarines there (see http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/nonsense). Today 15 October 2015, punnets of strawberries on display were labelled as best before 15 October 2017. That means they were not best today. After a short debate, a pleasant member of staff agreed and asked whether I would be interested in purchasing at a reduced price. I was not. M&S: you must do better.