Oh dear, MORE TH>N, I’m afraid you’re much more than a disappointment these days

Of all the financial services brands I’ve had a hand in launching, none engaged me more than MORE TH>N.  It was partly because we had an inspirational client, the legendary Mike Tildesley.  It was partly because we had the biggest, most exciting and at the time most important of the agency remits available, brand advertising (remember Lucky the dog?).  But it was also because, within the mainstream of the general insurance market, I did actually believe that MORE TH>N intended to be a bit special, a bit different, a bit better.

How stupid.  For all the About Us rubbish on the website (for example, “It takes thousands of dedicated and talented employees around the UK to deliver the excellence of service and products our customers demand and expect”. – there’s loads more at www.morethan.com/aboutus) these days it’s just another grotty general insurance business, delivering rubbish service with the one hand and ripping off its loyal customers with extortionate premium increases with the other.

I had to speak to them on the phone to renew my travel insurance recently.  I wrote about this a few blogs back:  it took four calls and a total waiting time of nearly 100 minutes before I actually got to speak to someone. (I only had to give them a new credit card number and ask for a couple of minor policy changes – why the hell I can’t do this online I have no idea.)

After my 100-minute wait, I wasn’t very pleased to hear that with the minor changes, my premium would be going up from £302 to £684.   I did a bit of shopping around (the new business lines almost always answer nice and quickly) and found AVIVA quoting me a great deal less than MORE TH>N – £320, to be exact.  Not a difficult decision, really.

Out of touching and clearly misplaced loyalty to what was then a client, I also had my motor, building and contents insurance with MORE TH>N too.  Motor went a long time ago, for exactly the same reasons – shocking call waiting times and extortionate premium increases.  The buildings and contents I still have, but only till the next renewal – I know I’m being ripped off, and I don’t like it.

In all of this, I don’t suppose MORE TH>N is more than averagely useless and untrustworthy – I have no great faith in AVIVA, for example, beyond the point that over the coming 12 months they’ll save me £360 on my travel cover.

It’s just that my expectations were that little bit higher – partly because of my personal experience with the business in the early days, but also a little bit, I mist admit, because of that rubbish on the website.

Here’s another sample:  “The MORE TH>N brand is grounded in the values of modernity, individuality, perspective, purposefulness, clarity and integrity. It’s underpinned by the desire to go the extra mile for the customer, deliver more than words and treat customers as individuals.”  Absolute bollocks, every word of it.  Unless you have personal experience to confirm it, you still can’t believe anything that any financial services provider says to you.

4 thoughts on “Oh dear, MORE TH>N, I’m afraid you’re much more than a disappointment these days

  1. Lucky the dog? Lucky the dog that stars in tv ads and draws in the “aw” brigade. There is an ancient Chinese takeway in Vauxhall, the Lucky Fish Bar. I don’t think the fish served there are particularly lucky. Maybe if you consume them, you will get lucky, as the song goes. It’s a dog eat dog world, after all. Cannibals expect to gain much more than just dinner from their victims – their souls, their luck, you name it.


    I am fond of the betting shop pens chucked out in the street. The best ones are severely chewed at the end as the punter’s luck runs out. The pens are magic, however – they contain the luck that the unlucky punter has chucked away.

    If you hacksaw that chewed bit off, you are left with a biro that writes the most exquisite poetry. Rich princesses fall in love with you and pester their dads to marry you. “I must have that mad, dishevelled, street troubador bloke, daddy.”

    Until things pick up, all this makes as much sense as anything.

  2. I have checked the Lucky Fish Bar’s menu (above) and can find no mistakes, unfortunately. These mistakes are often funny. I once based a whole marketing campaign on them for a spread-betting company called Right Choice or something, urging folks not to make the wrong choice from a menu, like “Giant Fresh Crap”. I laughed till tears rolled down my face. But my boss said angrily, “I can’t show the client THAT.”

    There are some oddly named dishes at Lucky, though, which makes me think they might be coded tips on illegal share dealing:

    Butterfly King Prawns
    Crispy Duck Spring Rolls
    Salt and Chili Squid (dry)
    Capital Spare Ribs
    Prawn Crackers

    For some reason, I misread “Special Fried Rice” as “Pike”. That would be a hapless pike to fetch up in the Lucky Fish Bar in Vauxhall in what would seem to be a specially extended silly season.

  3. Reading your two replies here on my return from this year’s stint in the International Office, I must say that I reckon the first is your very best one ever – an absolutely gorgeous piece of writing. It’s the hope of seeing something as good as that from time to time that keeps me churning out the bloody thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.