I had this post written in the back of my mind for days, so when The NRMA approached me to sponsor a post I immediately said yes.
Now posts about car loans – which was the topic they asked me to mention – aren’t something which might usually fit into my Big Family Little Income blog, even if most families need them from time to time. But bear with me, I think I can make this work.
Rather wonderfully we stayed in an NRMA holiday park for twelve days recently. We got a great price plus it was on a beach, super clean and had loads of activities for the kids – all of which you’d noticed I mentioned a couple of times in posts I wrote while we were there.
What I didn’t write was about an incident which occurred early on the first Sunday evening and got me seeing red and stomping around the vans baying for blood.
“What’s wrong?” I asked Miss13 when she arrived back from the jumping pillows clutching at her shoulder blades.
“My shoulder,” she cried. “It just…exploded with pain.”
“What were you doing?”
“Nothing. Not even jumping when it happened.”
I took a look. There was a red welt starting up.
“Show me where you were standing and what happened,” I said, leading her off to the pillow.
Walking past a garden of big white stones into the enclosure I bent down and picked up several identical rocks which were sitting on top of the sand at the base of the pillow. Holding it in – because there was a group of older boys having some fun bouncing around now – Miss13 explained how things played out. I’m no Sherlock, but as she was facing the park it seemed to fit someone was on the beach side of the road pegging stones they’d grabbed out of the garden on the other side.
Ask me if I was fuming at this point. A rock the size of a Kinder Surprise was thrown at my kids and actually hit my daughter. What if it had hit a head? What if it had hit one of their bloody eyes!?
Trying not to sound accusatory, I asked the guys who were mucking about if they’d seen anything. They hadn’t. Using a torch I peered into the vegetation between the park and the beach but nothing seemed out of place. I don’t know what I would have done if I saw someone in the bushes. I’m a lover, not a fighter. I do have a great set of lungs, though, so the potential is there I might have done some real damage to a set of young ear drums.
This is the first incident we’ve had in six months of travelling the highways and bi-ways. It wasn’t fun, but I acknowledge it could have been much worse, so I’m thankful for that.
It also could have been handled much differently by the staff in the office.
You might be wondering what any of this has to do with car loans? Obviously, bugger all. But the connection I wanted to draw has to do with how things played out from this point.
After I convinced myself it was probably better all around if I didn’t confront people myself I settled down and Miss13 and I went to the office to let them know about the incident. It wasn’t a complaint we were making, it was more so if something else happened they would know it wasn’t an isolated event.
They were brilliant: both horrified and sympathetic, with just the right amount of ‘not on my watch’ attitude. First aid was offered and security cameras were checked. They even gave all our kids free rides on the park’s pedal cars.
The next day they kept an eye on the area and approached a couple of young boys who were looking suspicious in the play equipment next to the pillow. And as I suspected it might, that night another incident occurred. This time a cabin across the road was rocked with about twenty large stones. No glass was broken, but you’ve got to think that’s probably more good luck than good aim.
Now here’s the thing: there’s only so much the park can do to stop something happening. One thing they can’t predict is which people to keep out prior to being given a reason to do so.
Even now, the evidence pointing to the boys was totally circumstantial. Such as an arsenal of stones were found piled up where the boys had been skulking about in the fort. You can’t turn a family out based on that, but you can talk to the kids’ parents and hope it’s enough to make the young ones think twice, which is what the park did.
So, like I said, when I was approached with the idea of The NRMA sponsoring a post I immediately said yes. I wanted to praise these guys anyway and this seemed like a great opportunity to do so, because it’s super nice to be able to give positive feedback on an organisation for how they handled a situation, even if it’s a different branch or department.
The NRMA’s loan website is, like the office at the holiday park, helpful and goes beyond what you expect.
If you’re interested in making an offer on a vehicle you can order its history, which will tell you if it’s registered, been reported stolen, under finance, ever been written off or if the odometer reading might have been tampered with. Any one of these things undetected could spell disaster for your new car purchase sense of euphoria. You can organise to have the vehicle inspected so you aren’t buying a lemon and if all that works out you can check out your likely repayments using their calculator.
Fact is, The NRMA have been around for years and I didn’t even realise they offered special car loan rates for members.
You may or may not be looking at buying car at the moment, but chances are you know someone who is. Send them this post link, or any of the links below which you think might help them, and let NRMA impress as much as they’ve impressed me.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
Thank you to The NRMA for supporting our family and sponsoring this post.