McCarron Coates promotes ‘Take No Interest’ message
Bus and coach insurance specialist, McCarron Coates, is taking its ‘Wish You Could Hear’ campaign to the next stage, as it directs a ‘Take No Interest’ message towards Britain’s finance companies.
The insurance broking business is calling on coach-sector finance companies, and the Government if they will not act voluntarily, to do the right thing and pause the levying of sizeable and distressing interest payments on coaches laid up due to Covid-19. The move is in acknowledgement that despite school services having resumed, many coaches, particularly those operating in the tourism sector, are still off the road but attracting interest payments. With UK hotels and the majority of the tourism sector served by the coach trade unable to reopen until 17 May at the earliest under the government’s roadmap, coaches still face another two months off the road, or potentially even longer.
McCarron Coates’ ‘Wish You Could Hear’ campaign, launched in support of Britain’s coach tourism sector last autumn, has already generated widespread awareness for the plight of the country’s forgotten coach operators, excluded from Government support packages and not classed as leisure operators, despite being at the heart of the domestic tourism industry.
‘Wish You Could Hear’ was specifically mentioned in the Parliamentary debate, ‘Future of the Coach Industry’, of December 10, in which some MPs discussed the hardships faced by many operators.
The campaign has also engaged Jane Cole, the new President of the CPT, and Andrea Jenkyns, the MP for Morley and Outwood. Thousands of postcards have been distributed to help coach operators lobby their own MPs with the ‘Wish You Could Hear’ message, while an electronic postcard has been created, to make it even easier.
At the meeting with their MP, McCarron Coates directors, Ian McCarron and Paul Coates, raised the issue of finance and the stress operators were enduring. They are now focusing on the ‘Take No Interest’ message, to both underline the way in which the coach sector has been neglected and to call for action.
“Surely the finance companies can show some humanity and see that their demands are ruining lives” – Ian McCarron
Ian McCarron says: “We live in times when we are all supposed to be caring for each other’s mental health and yet are seeing coach operators having to find five and six figure sums, every month, to pay interest on finance agreements, taken out on coaches that have been off the road since March 2020, in many cases.
“Surely the finance companies can show some humanity and see that their demands are ruining lives. 80% of coach firms are family run. These interest payments are literally destroying the futures and wellbeing of thousands of families. Many coaches cannot operate until at least May and business is unlikely to be available for coach parties, until around September, as the season is drawing to a close. Many operators will not have regular coach holiday business until 2022. It is hard to comprehend that this finance payment situation is being allowed by the Government, when it has failed to support the coach sector in any way whatsoever.”
The insurance brokers say they are not asking the finance firms to do anything they have not done themselves. Paul Coates says: “As soon as the pandemic started, we ensured our clients received refunds on their insurance and we returned our commission, to help them with their survival strategies. The finance companies are simply building up a legacy of bad feeling and damaging their brands, due to their inability to listen to their coach sector customers and show them any form of empathy or support.
“We appeal to both them and the Government to pause payments immediately and show some humanity. Our message is now two-fold – ‘Wish You Could Hear’ and “Take No Interest.’ We hope the irony of the latter is not lost on them.”
To support the message, coach operators can use the #TakeNoInterest hashtag on social media and continue to use the Wish You Could Hear postcards, to target their finance companies, MPs and ministers. The cards specifically mention finance payments. An electronic version of the card can be accessed by emailing [email protected]