Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Refusal may offend

I love language, with all its nuances, subtleties, and hidden meanings. And I love how some people will do their damnedest not to call a spade a spade, even to the last.

Let's take Crystal (most assuredly not her real name), who is currently the subject of an investigation regarding some irregularities around an insurance claim.

Now, the paragon of discretion that I am, I'm not going to go into the details of her case - but let's just say that I was contracted to make some enquiries regarding the claim and speak with Crystal in order to obtain from her a statement.

Pretty routine stuff.

Now, pretty much the moment after I contact Crystal with the intent to make an appointment that is mutually convenient, I am informed that Crystal contacted the insurer to withdraw her claim.

Well, that's odd. Particularly since the claim is for a not-inconsequential amount.

The insurer, however, instructs me to continue with the investigation as there are still some concerns that need to be addressed, chiefly whether Crystal's original claim may have in fact been fraudulent.

That being the case, I informed Crystal that I was still tasked with obtaining a statement from her irrespective of her withdrawal of the claim and would appreciate her co-operation. Crystal does not respond to calls, messages, or emails. That's fine, I have other enquiries to make regarding the incident so proceed with those. While in the neighbourhood, I stop in to see Crystal who now tells me that she is not prepared to speak to me without first consulting her solicitor.

Fair enough, I say.

I ask that she let me know ASAP and we'll move on from there. Of course she doesn't and then again will not answer the phone or respond to messages. Finally, after sending another email, I get a terse reply stating that she's withdrawn the claim.

I knew that already!

My reply stated that I would pass on her refusal to provide a statement to her insurer. 

Well, that got a reaction! Next morning I have an email from her solicitor stating that Crystal has not 'refused' to provide a statement, just sees no need to provide one since she's withdrawn her claim and asks that I correct the record with the insurer to that effect.

My response?

I thanked the solicitor for clarifying that Crystal has not actually refused to provide a statement, even though she has not co-operated in any way with the requests of her insurer and, arguably, has instead gone to some lengths to avoid refusal by not returning calls or responding to messages.

Refusal in action if not in words.

I await the outcome but wonder if my impertinent reply may yet get me in hot water (although it's not like I said anything untrue...)


  1. The Solicitor is merely going on a technicality, but likely knows that any Court would recognise her de facto refusal to cooperate by making herself permanently unavailable.

    Chances are the Solicitor is calling your, and the Insurance company's bluff, but she will eventually provide a statement.

  2. Well, in any case, this probably won't be working out all that well for Crystal and she may have further use for her lawyer.