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AA Breakdown Nightmare

tired mommy x

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Apologies if I am in the wrong thread but I am unable to see one relating to my 'problem'.


My husband has full cover with the AA with me as a named person.  The cover is for us both in any car we drive and has 'home start' and 'relay'. 


On 25th September, while on holiday in Cornwall, we broke down around 3.30pm.  We phoned the AA who sent out a diagnostic mechanic who advised us the turbo had gone on our car and we needed relay.  He said he would sort it with the AA. 


The next gentleman that arrived (in a transit van) asked us to 'pop the bonnet so he could have a look'.  We advised we had already been diagnosed and were waiting for a relay truck.  He said he had been sent to diagnose it.  We told him we had already told the control centre what was wrong, advised them we were in a layby in the middle of nowhere, had no heat, no clean water, no toilet facility, it was getting cold and the mist was dropping quickly. 


They advised a tow truck was on the way to take us to a place of safety.  He got onto the office, apologised for the mix up and said he would tow us to a place of safety.  Due to Covid he wasn't allowed to have us in the cab.  Attached his towing pole to the vehicle and towed us 18 miles to Bude where he left us a Morrisons at about 8.50pm.  We again rang the control centre as I didn't think Morrisons car park was a place of safety as they had no timescale for us being picked up and Morrisons closed at 10pm.


They then said they could possibly move us to a service area, relay us home - then they couldn't locate a truck.

said They  would get us a hire car - they couldn't find one open at that time of night.

said they would put us up in a hotel until morning and then hire us a car as long as we had a debit and credit card with us.  We refused that one.


At 10.15 they advised us our vehicle would go into storage.  We would be sent home in a taxi (Bude to Manchester) and our vehicle would follow later.

The taxi and the tow truck would be with us by 11.00pm so we could load the taxi and give the key for our vehicle to the recovery company.  Our vehicle would follow usually within 48 hours but could take up to a week.


Taxi arrived at 11pm - no sign of the tow truck.  Phoned the control centre who advised there had been a delay in collection and could we leave the key near the vehicle for them to collect.  Tired and fed up, we did, and headed home.  I had already spoken to the manager of Morrisons and told him our car may still be there in the morning.  Didn't want a fine for possibly parking overnight.  We arrived home 13 hours after breaking down.


We had a couple of phone calls to advise it had been picked up and was on the move.  Last call was  Monday 27th September.   


On the 1st October I rang and was told it was at Keele Services and was out for delivery that day and would be with me around 7pm.  I said I was going out and to post the keys.  This was agreed


On the 2nd October I rang and was told they had no idea why it hadn't arrived and they would call me back.  They did but still had no answers.


On the 3rd October I was told it was at Sandbach Services and would arrive between twelve and one.  I told them I would be going to the services it was parked up at and sit in it until they sent some one out.  He said it was not good and took an 'official complaint' from me.  They would look into it thoroughly and come back to me in a couple of days.  Even if nothing come of it, they could see where the communication fell down and ensure it didn't happen again to anyone else.


The car arrived back on the 3rd October - a full  NINE days after we broke down.  The driver rang just after 12.30 to say it was on the drive and he had posted the keys through the letter box.  I could of pushed it home quicker.


Sorry for the essay but I need to know if the AA would be subject to a S A R?  Would that give me any information as to what happened? Or why it took so long?


Is nine days acceptable when relay is supposed to get us and the vehicle home?


Is one week acceptable to wait for somebody to come back to me with their findings on my 'official complaint'.


Am I the only one who finds this mess unacceptable?


If they have to abide by an SAR, is it just a normal one I send off?  I just want some simple answers from them but I don't think its going to happen.


Thank you for reading my story and thank you in advance for any help you can give.




Edited by dx100uk
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Which is why the AA service is called “Relay”, as it can happen in a number of ‘legs’, each service working within a set area and dropping the vehicle off for another driver to pass it on on the next ‘leg’ of the ‘relay’……

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