What’s up with those shrinking eggs?


READERS’ FORUM: Have your say

Conrad Jones sent in an e-mail with a quick question: “Is it only me or has anyone else noticed that Cadbury’s Creme Eggs are smaller in size and weight than when they were originally launched (hatched)?

“And why is the pricing so varied and what is the recommended retail price? I’ve seen them in stores from 50c to €1 each and everything in between. How about an “egg-watch’ — find the best value identical Easter product for cash-strapped bunnies?

“I know that the much-fanfared Catch bars were certainly smaller in girth than their predecessors, so is it me or is Cadbury no longer the friendly Uncle Wonka we knew it to be in the 1970s or 1980s? Hope you’ve time to read this as I look forward to whatever response you can offer.” We contacted the company to find out more. A spokeswoman assured us that the eggs are not any smaller and she also said that the RRP of the Easter treat was 72 cent but added that it was only recommended and retailers could charge whatever they wanted.

Pensioners in search of travel insurance?

Ineke Maher contacted us in connection with the piece we had on travel insurance last week. She and her partner are pensioners who frequently travel abroad, mostly in Europe. “We have good health insurance and until early this year had multi-trip travel insurance with VHI. However since we changed over to Aviva this travel insurance became null and void,” she writes. “This is where the fun started. It is almost impossible to get multi-trip travel insurance for people over 70,” she continues.

She was eventually able to get it through Bank of Ireland “but this will only cover us until we reach 70-years-old. I suppose I’ll eventually have to take out single cover every time we travel, which would be fairly costly. In all our years of travel we only claimed once for a small amount for a stolen wallet.

“You wonder why health insurance and the European Health Insurance card companies are so reluctant to give out multi-trip insurances to us “golden oldies!”

It is not just on that score older people are being discriminated against when it comes to travel insurance. People can see their travel insurance premiums increase by more than 100 per cent when they turn 66, according to a study published by the Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) late last year.

The study also indicated that there were huge discrepancies from provider to provider in the cost of travel insurance. Quotes were sought for a single man aged between 60 and 100 for an annual multi-trip policy with a variety of providers and the applicant was assumed to have had no private health insurance. A multi-trip annual worldwide policy with broker 123.ie costs €135 for a 65-year-old. However, when the consumer turns 66, the cost of the same policy jumped to €237 – an increase of more than €100. Similarly, a multi-trip annual worldwide policy with Insureme.ie costs €66 for a 65-year-old, but more than doubles to €151 for a 66-year-old.

Speedy door-to-door service with a smile

Brian Cusack is a reader who says he has “no trouble in complaining about bad service” but contacted us last week with quite the opposite intention. “I feel it only right and proper when I get excellent service I should note this too,” he writes. We agree. Not long ago he requested a service on his motor scooter from Delaney’s on Harold’s Cross Road, Dublin. “They offered to drop me home, which I gladly accepted. Imagine my amazement when, two hours later, they advised ‘job done’ and offered to collect me,” he writes. “Again surprised and delighted, I accepted. I duly returned and thanked them profusely. Some service in these recessionary times.”