Horror stories about alleged Youi scams and frauds have flooded in after Fairfax revealed allegations of wide scale illegal conduct at the major insurer.
Since the story was published on Sunday, August 28, Fairfax has been contacted by more than 140 Youi customers claiming the company took their money without authorisation, or signed them up for fraudulent policies.
Many people only discovered the alleged frauds when they checked their bank accounts and insurance policies after reading of Fairfax’s investigation.
The company meanwhile maintains the allegations are wrong. On Sunday night it released a statement rejecting the assertions.
“We vehemently deny that management condoned any such behaviours. We reject the assertion that ‘potentially thousands of people [who] have had money taken from their accounts by insurance giant Youi without authorisation or notice’. We also confirm that where we have enough information about the customers whose complaints are noted in the article, we have ensured that they are resolved.”
The worst Youi stories from Fairfax readers
1. I did not want a policy, Youi signed me up for three – Mary*
Mary called for a house insurance quote. Youi billed her for the house and both her cars – and put conditions on one car that it couldn’t be driven for work or study. When she called to demand a refund, Youi told her she could get one by cancelling her car insurance policies with her other insurer.
2. Youi rewrote my policy to charge me more – Dan*
Dan had two cars insured with Youi. He noticed Youi had steeply increased his premiums for a year, without telling him. When he asked why, he discovered Youi had changed him from a personal to a business customer, increasing his premiums.
3. Youi made up all my policy details – Shaun*
After reading Fairfax’s article, Shaun discovered his Youi policy was incorrect. He’s listed as a voluntary worker who drives to work five times a week, does not ride a bike, and has all his cars locked up at home. “I never said any of this,” he says. After putting this to Youi, the company is trying to charge him a cancellation fee.
4. Youi told me they would not insure me, then billed me anyway – Ned*
Youi told Ned they would not insure his property because he was in a flood zone. When he checked his statement he discovered they had taken $868 out anyway. Youi told him they would pay it back – but only refunded him $595.
5. I’m insured with Youi! – Annette*
Annette called for a quote in August 2014. “I looked back through my emails today and now realise they also sent me a policy on the same day, even though I had decided not to go ahead with anything. At the time I must have assumed the ‘policy’ was again just part of the quote. I never rang the company again – meaning the policy should never have been activated – because I decided not to go ahead with them. And I just forgot about it all.
“And yet I now discover – looking back through my credit card statements today – that not only was my credit card billed on September 17, 2014, but somehow they ‘renewed’ the policy a year later and [I] was billed again last year.”
6. That’s not my car – Jason*
Jason checked his policy after reading Fairfax’s story. “What do you know, one of my cars was listed as white when it is not. I’m 100 per cent sure I would not have given white as the colour, since it’s actually a deep purple / grey colour.”
7. Youi would not let me cancel – Nathan*
Nathan cancelled his Youi policy. They kept billing him. When he queried it, they asked him to prove he was insured with someone else by sending in his policy. He’s still out of pocket $400. “They have never given back my money.”
8. I did not have a car, but I had insurance – Don*
Don sold his car, and called Youi to cancel his insurance. They billed him anyway. He complained, and they said it was to maintain his no-claim bonus. He ended up getting only 60 per cent back.
9. We never even bought the car we were insured for – Jasmine*
Jasmine’s partner called to get a quote for insurance on a car he was thinking about purchasing. He did not go through with the sale, but his insurance somehow did. Youi refused to give him a refund.
10. Had to threaten legal action to stop cold calls – Craig*
Craig asked for a quote. It was too high, and he said so. He got 19 cold calls from Youi trying to pressure-sell him into it. He had to threaten legal action to get them to stop.
11. The original salesman calls again – Lyn*
Lyn asked for a quote, and instead got billed for a policy she did not want. She cancelled it. The original salesman called her, asking what had gone wrong and offering her a big discount.
12. A year later, Youi still have not refunded me – Doreen
Doreen cancelled her Youi policy. She says she received many harassing phone calls trying to make her sign back up. She refused, so Youi billed her anyway. After pursuing the company further, she finally received a refund. After checking her statements on reading Fairfax’s story, she discovered they still hadn’t refunded her the full amount.
13. Sales representative told me to lie – Andrew
Andrew asked for a quote, but the premium was too high. The sales representative told him to change details about his car and how often he drives it. “When I pointed out that’s not true and would make the policy based on a misleading statement and potentially void … he wasn’t phased and said it doesn’t matter”
14. Youi made me provide my AAMI details before they refunded me – Shen*
Shen got signed up for car insurance after he asked for a quote. Youi demanded to see his AAMI policy before they would give him a refund.
15. Youi made me prove I had a new car before they refunded me – Rob*
Rob traded in his car, and so needed new insurance. But Youi billed him thousands, and then would not cancel until he provided proof the car had been traded.
16. Youi lied about my policy – Anon
Anonymous did not read his Youi policy for a few months after he’d signed up. He later found it covered none of the things he’d been assured it did by his sales representative. Youi refused to refund him because he was outside the cooling off period.
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*Names have been changed
Source: Source Sydney Morning Herald 30.08.2016