I cycle to work; and since my old clapped out bike is on its last legs (or wheels) it’s time to go and get a new one. As I work in Shepherds Bush where bike security isn’t the best, I tend to buy the cheapest I can. My journey is short and simple, so a cheap functional bike and acceptance that it may be nicked seems to be the best option.
Yet thinking about this reminds me of my worst ever experience of having my bike nicked, which shows up the benefit of purchase protection insurance. However, it happened about five or six years ago, so I’m doing it from memory.
The Credit Cycle
Two months after I’d bought a new bike it was stolen from outside my front door. They’d somehow detached it from the steel brace it was locked to. So I took a trip to my local bike shop and got myself kitted out all over again. Thankfully I’d bought the bike on a credit card which had ‘Purchase Protection’; a free policy some cards give which means if things are stolen or broken within 90 days of buying them you can get your money back.
This meant having got this bike, I could now cycle to the police station to report the theft, get a crime number, and get the money back using the purchase protection policy.
They nicked my bike from the police station as I reported a bike theft!
I cycled to the police station, locked the bike and went in to report the theft. As I came out, my new bike, which I’d D-locked to the police station lamp post was gone, in just five minutes. So I shot back in and told the Duty Officer my bike’d been nicked.
The police were furious with them for such audacidity and put out a bulletin; leaving a number of bikes stopped within fifteen minutes. Yet none were mine. Then I had to fill out a second crime form; the only difference being that on this one, when asked “have you been a victim of crime in the last year?” I answered yes!
The one bright spark though was that about three weeks later they recoved my new bike having made a major effort to get it back. Sadly by then I’d already bought another one.