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Hi all,

 

I had the shock of a lifetime today when I was looking through my bank statement and noticed the AA had taken £211.50 for this year's membership! I had added a home start package to my policy last year, but I had no idea my renewal would be anything like this much. I got straight on the phone to them but was told that I had missed the 14 day trial period (starting 29th July) by a couple of days and could not be refunded. I explained that as a student living at university I could not check my mail and so never really entered the 14 day "trial" period, but this didn't get me anywhere.

 

I have managed to get an address for their head office and will be writing to them, but will only do so if it will get me somewhere. Is this a reasonable ground for me to get a full refund, or don't I have a leg to stand on?

 

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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I get all that plus for £109 from Green Flag. That is an absolute ripp off. Recall the DD immediately and then let them fight you for the money. As you will have your money back you will be in a stronger position.

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Unfortunately they took the whole lot in one go!

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My AA membership came through after 1 year and it doubled - I called and asked why, they said due to the number of call outs - to which I replied one, which was a flat battery in the snow (which I paid for!) and the guy told me they have recently errored in membership renewals and I would get full renewal at the same price as last year.

 

I would write to their head office, but it's worth speaking to the bank - however, if you did choose the "automatical renewal" option, then you may have to rely on their goodwill...


Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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Haha, AA.. goodwill?

 

I think this is going to be a total dead end to be honest so I've hatched a plan. Seeing as I have their roadside relay and stay mobile services I might do a trip of the UK by driving to remote places but "breaking down" on the way. They then have to supply me with a courtesy car and overnight accommodation. If I do that a few times I should have got my money's worth from them.

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It does not matter if they took it in one go. If it was a direct debit set up on your account, you can still recall it, but you will need to do that as soon as possible. Once you have done that, then argue with them about the price of renewal.

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Not so - the AA send a letter advising that the renewal is due and what it is. fully complying with the DD 'guarantee'. It will have come 3-4 weeks before the renewal date. The RAC work in exactly thew same way. If you don't want them to do this, you must NEVER pay by card or DD, which is auto-renewed until YOU cancel. You need to pay by cheque to retain in control, but this is never made easy for you.

 

As for the auto-retribution scheme - it doesn't work that way. After a small number of call-outs, caveats kick in in that you're not covered for the same fault. and accommodatin is rarely provided as they could get you going at 2am so no need for a stay.

Edited by buzby

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I agree get shot of the DD on your account. If it was a recurring debit on your card then you can't do anything except write to the AA and ask them to cancel it with immediate effect. Ask for confirmation inwriting that this has happened.

The bank does not know whether you received notification of the amount to be deducted so do a recall on the DD. You have nothing to lose.

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With regard to that point, (whether you received notification in advance) they're not silly. Both firms DO send out reminders and the fact yours may never have arrived is immaterial (it is coveredf by the Interpretations Act), so depending on whether they want to stick their heels in or roll over. depending on how desperate they are. If CC/card debit, then even this isn't possible. DDs are NEVER a good idea for consumers.

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I had exactly the same happened to me, The renewal letter did not arrive, I was not even aware that they had kept my bank details until like the Op they took my money. This auto renewal is wrong, why should anyone have to ask a company not to remove money from their own account??

 

When renewing they seem to forget to mention that a continuous payment will applied, As Buzby says they make it very difficult if not immpossible to pay by cheque.

 

Now when my AA membershp comes up for renewal, I cancel it and then join again online. It is half the price and you get an extra discount!

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The rules state that customers need to be aware that their payment method is being used on a 'continuous authority' basis. This originally meant a ticky box to opt in, then the same box, to opt out - then no box at all, just a line in miniscule print, worded in such a way that if you DONT'T want your payment to be taken automatically, you need to WRITE to their 'data compliance manager'. Nonsensical, but a measure of how much consumers are being manipulated.

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Thanks for the replies, I think it's just going to be a lesson learned for me. I'll still write to them but I'm not holding much hope of them ever returning my money.

 

Handily, one of my cars has a programmable aftermarket ECU, so I can create whatever fault I like whether it be a blank fuel or ignition map, or something a bit more imaginative. All they'll be able to suss out is that the engine isn't getting fuel or spark, or won't run properly. I can change the fault each time if they get shirty about it. :)

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I just found this thread and have to say the AA really are quite a bunch of sharks these days.

 

Our membership is due to auto renew on the 25th of jan. I've noted this down and called to cancel a week or so ago, it's now the 24th of Jan.

 

Anyway when i called i mentioned we'd had no renewal letter, they said they were having problems with their mail. LOL

 

Guess what - today a renewal letter with the new cards turns up - yes today on the 24th of Jan. The letter was dated the 9th of Jan. What a coincidence hey - sure enough the price has almost doubled.

 

TheAA need looking into over this - i wonder how many people they catch out using this tactic? This should be illegal and hopefully someone or some group will take legal action and get them fined pretty soon.

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Hello

 

Strange coincidence this one, my AA renewal arrived this morning (Jan 24th 2011) it was dated 9th Jan 2011, my renewal date is 31st Jan 2011. Auto renewal for a family membership....... £198.88.

Cancel and join again online.............. £151.06:???:

 

The choices on joining online are (when Paying)

 

 

Pay Annually from your bank

 

Annually by Card

 

Monthly payments

 

Think I will be heeding surfer01's advice I will give Green Flag or someone else a try this time.

 

Having money extracted from your bank account by default is one thing, but then charging you more than if you join as a new member is quite another in my book.

 

NN

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Hello

 

Strange coincidence this one, my AA renewal arrived this morning (Jan 24th 2011) it was dated 9th Jan 2011, my renewal date is 31st Jan 2011. Auto renewal for a family membership....... £198.88.

Cancel and join again online.............. £151.06:???:

 

The choices on joining online are (when Paying)

 

 

Pay Annually from your bank

 

Annually by Card

 

Monthly payments

 

Think I will be heeding surfer01's advice I will give Green Flag or someone else a try this time.

 

Having money extracted from your bank account by default is one thing, but then charging you more than if you join as a new member is quite another in my book.

 

NN

 

They must like you - since you have 6 days to cancel :) we got around 12 hours notice. I think they are all trying it on with this kind of tactic. If enough of us were to complain to the right people i think they would soon send those auto renewal letters out on time.

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Hello AASuck

 

Update on my AA saga. I went on the website and applied online for then identical package I already have (remember the renewal fee £198.88) The price on line for a new member application was £151.17.

 

I called them this morning and said I had got some quotes from some of their competitors and the average of said quotes was £150. I said if you can do it for that price i will stay with AA, if not, I am going to jump ship. Hold on says he!! came back with £139.88.8-)

 

Jobarama:lol:

 

NN

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just when you thought it was safe to go back to the AA. You'll love this one. As above I renewed over the phone for the quote of £139.88.

 

Checked my bank statement this morning AA have taken £198.88:mad2: So I ring them up and complain.. The fellow I spoke to said sorry there was a mistake and he would credit my account with the difference. Great , then he says

 

ok it will be refunded in the next 21 days:!::!: i guess you can imagine the rest of the conversation.

 

The AA are????

NN

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Exactly - you need to watch out for these sharks. There needs to be something done about them and others that use these tactics. Elephant insurance tried it on me once too. They did almost exactly the same kind of thing. I hate the fact you tell your bank not to let them take any money from your account and the bank says they can't stop them even before the actually event happen. Recurring billing have to be something you select to do, not something you have to try your hardest to get out of/watch out for when signing up for anything. Imagine this MISTAKE

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MISTAKE by the AA had caused other things to bounce or the account to go into the red and charges were applied by the bank.

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OMG - guess what now. The aa have just gone ahead and rebilled us even though we'd cancelled. This company is run by crooks - it's now official. Avoid like the plague.

 

The best plan if you use is to join and then cancel the very next day, your policy will end after 1 year but you can atleast have an entire year to demand confirmation of the cancellation.

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You can cancel it the next day, but it won't stop them auto renewing if they have a mind to do so, or if you happen not to receive a renewal letter, or if the letter mysteriously arrives the day of renewal or even days after renewal.

 

I am currently awaiting a reply from their customer services regarding them taking my money for up to 21 days. Nice little earner for them that one. Imagine holding a million customers at £59.99 for 21 days, bit of a result I would say.

 

Stay safe with the AA,,,,, yeah! Right!

 

NN

Edited by MARTIN3030

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If you would like to discuss this with the AA, we would welcome your comments. Please call our Member Relations team on 0845 607 6727.

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Hello AA rep

I am still awaitng a reply to the letter i wrote to customer services on 3rd Feb. Looks like a long wait.

 

Whilst i was awating said reply, as I had little better to do with my time, I chanced a call to see why my money has still not appeared after almost a month, the friendly operative kindly informed me that he could not understand why my refund had not been actioned. He promised that it would be refunded,,,,,,,, with the added attraction of me having to .......... yes ....... you guessed it ... wait up to another 21 days.

 

If I actually thought that it might do some good, i would risk wasting some more of my worthless time chasing the repayment of my money taken without my consent from my bank account. However i do not feel that i should have to expend more than one phone call to correct a wrong that was caused by the AA and not myself.

 

I can only hope that should I have to avail myself of the the breakdown service that it proves to be far superior than the administrative side of AA.

 

Yours

NN

Edited by MARTIN3030

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Hello there, I hope you have now managed to resolve this and I apologise for the time it has taken.

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Hello AA rep

 

After the AA stealing my money for almost two months they finally repaid it. Unfortunately the only apology I have received is the one you have made.

 

Pehaps it is just me, but i really did think that such a serious situation deserved better than the curt " we have refunded you rmoney" letter I received.

 

I was expecting at least an apology and some form of compensation. After all it could have started a downward spiral with my banking facilities.

 

I wonder if the RAC force customers to agree to sign up to a continuous payment scheme for their service. I fancy I will be finding out when my renewal date rolls around.

 

 

well miffed

NN

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