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    • Gavlar99
    • By Gavlar99 10th Jun 17, 5:05 PM
    • 2Posts
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    Gavlar99
    The AA
    • #1
    • 10th Jun 17, 5:05 PM
    The AA 10th Jun 17 at 5:05 PM
    The AA I always considered an institution until now. My mother in law (in her 70's) has been a member for 11 years - she did not realise she was on ever increasing auto renewals. Upon checking she pays £380 per year for her breakdown cover - that's a whopping £223 more than the current top package. She cannot read and is Spanish and did not realise the costs had been going up and up. Yes she must have had letters but I have today asked the AA to pay some money back as a gesture of goodwill - I am not expecting a good result. Is it fair for me to ask for proof that she originally signed up for auto renewal? They have said they do not keep records for more than 7 years?! But she must have a contract? Auto renewal sucks especially for the elderly is there anyone who knows if anything can be done??
Page 1
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Jun 17, 5:58 PM
    • 9,481 Posts
    • 7,484 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #2
    • 10th Jun 17, 5:58 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jun 17, 5:58 PM
    The AA is a business, it has to make money.

    Insurance companies, breakdown service providers and many others have done auto-renewal for several years. It is usual to send a letter giving the cost of the coming year's premium.

    If MIL cannot read, I presume a family member filled in the AA joining form and her driving licence application, when she became 70. Plenty of 70 and 80 year olds can deal with auto renewal, but as she can't read one would have hoped she would pass correspondence on to someone who could explain. Has anyone checked her car insurance renewals?
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 10-06-2017 at 6:14 PM.
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 10th Jun 17, 6:15 PM
    • 238 Posts
    • 181 Thanks
    SouthUKMan
    • #3
    • 10th Jun 17, 6:15 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jun 17, 6:15 PM
    Sadly 'auto renewal' is a very common practice now. Companies tend to use weaselly phrases like "to ensure you're always covered" or "for your convenience" etc for justifying the alleged benefits of auto renewal. Yeah whatever. Basic human nature dictates that if insurance cover is already in place and payment sorted then as consumers we're far more likely to simply take the easy way out and not bother shopping around for better or alternative deals. While it is worth searching through your mother in laws contract letter with the AA and small print just in case the company got it wrong, I suspect that somewhere along the line she agreed.

    Until two years ago I had been with the AA for about six years and I cancelled my subscription partly for this very reason. I was aware that I was on auto renewal and percentage wise the annual cost of subscription went up year on year by way, way over the rate of inflation or a reasonable amount. It simply got to the point where I thought the company was simply taking the mickey. Another reason why I cancelled my AA subscription was their never ending obsession with wanting to get hold of me by phone, text and post wanting me to rate their performance as a ruse to engage me to then try and sell me something else.

    Given your situation, if your mother in law wishes to remain with the AA then I would be inclined to put in writing that you wish her to be removed from auto renewal - and then at renewal time, to phone them and ask for a better deal. I switched to Green Flag and got a much cheaper deal for a similar (although not exactly the same) level of cover. While their prices have also increased a little, their rise is not as harsh as the AA and thank goodness they haven't bothered contacting me relentlessly to sell me other services.
    Last edited by SouthUKMan; 10-06-2017 at 6:24 PM.
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 10th Jun 17, 6:55 PM
    • 3,051 Posts
    • 5,292 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    • #4
    • 10th Jun 17, 6:55 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jun 17, 6:55 PM
    And if she is in her 70s now she was only in her 60s when she signed up, that's hardly taking advantage of the elderly. My Mum in her 60s and Dad in his 70s would be pretty peeved if I treated them as frail old people who don't understand things at their age.

    Even with a language barrier surely she knows what breakdown cover is and how it works as surely they also have similar in Spain (considering top U.K. Policies also cover travel in Europe there must be recovery services to carry that out)
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 10th Jun 17, 6:55 PM
    • 18,142 Posts
    • 13,846 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #5
    • 10th Jun 17, 6:55 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jun 17, 6:55 PM
    If your mother-in-law has been here for at least 11 years, why can't she read English?

    Shameful.
    Originally posted by usefulmale
    I read it as she can't read at all, not that she can't read English. And while that may be shameful, it's more likely to be an indictement of the Spanish education system than the fault of the individual.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 10th Jun 17, 7:57 PM
    • 15,095 Posts
    • 20,504 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    • #6
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:57 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:57 PM
    The AA I always considered an institution until now. My mother in law (in her 70's) has been a member for 11 years - she did not realise she was on ever increasing auto renewals. Upon checking she pays £380 per year for her breakdown cover - that's a whopping £223 more than the current top package. She cannot read and is Spanish and did not realise the costs had been going up and up. Yes she must have had letters but I have today asked the AA to pay some money back as a gesture of goodwill - I am not expecting a good result. Is it fair for me to ask for proof that she originally signed up for auto renewal? They have said they do not keep records for more than 7 years?! But she must have a contract? Auto renewal sucks especially for the elderly is there anyone who knows if anything can be done??
    Originally posted by Gavlar99
    If she cannot read, then she should have been asking someone to read her mail and go through her financial affairs on a regular basis.

    Ignorance is not an excuse I'm afraid.

    My grandparents are in their 90s and perfectly capable of cancelling auto renewals. 70s is not old!!!

    Just accept the mistake, cancel it, and get her a better deal.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • bris
    • By bris 10th Jun 17, 9:38 PM
    • 6,710 Posts
    • 5,751 Thanks
    bris
    • #7
    • 10th Jun 17, 9:38 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jun 17, 9:38 PM
    I read it as she can't read at all, not that she can't read English. And while that may be shameful, it's more likely to be an indictement of the Spanish education system than the fault of the individual.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    And you really believe that British kids don't leave school not being able to read or right?
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 10th Jun 17, 9:40 PM
    • 11,144 Posts
    • 8,397 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #8
    • 10th Jun 17, 9:40 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jun 17, 9:40 PM
    And you really believe that British kids don't leave school not being able to read or right?
    Originally posted by bris
    Apparently they do
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Sicard
    • By Sicard 11th Jun 17, 9:09 AM
    • 631 Posts
    • 538 Thanks
    Sicard
    • #9
    • 11th Jun 17, 9:09 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Jun 17, 9:09 AM
    I recall the days when the AA man stood at the side of the road and saluted any driver passing displaying their yellow badge.

    Forward fast to the 80s when my Audi Coupe GT decided to conk out in Cannon Street in London. I phoned from a call box at 5pm and in the next four hours of waiting I saw the rush hour from start to finish and as Cannon Street is two lanes my car, too heavy to push, blocked one lane causing absolute chaos.

    Forward fast to today and now the once proud flagship motoring organisation is robbing money from little old ladies. Shame on them.

    OP I thought the companies were obliged to put in writing some time before renewal that the auto renewal was taking place. If they haven't done this then there may be better grounds for a refund.
    A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
    Baltasar Gracian
    • custardy
    • By custardy 11th Jun 17, 9:16 AM
    • 32,316 Posts
    • 27,076 Thanks
    custardy
    If she cant read,who was driving the car the cover was on?
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 11th Jun 17, 9:31 AM
    • 910 Posts
    • 515 Thanks
    angryparcel
    I recall the days when the AA man stood at the side of the road and saluted any driver passing displaying their yellow badge.

    Forward fast to the 80s when my Audi Coupe GT decided to conk out in Cannon Street in London. I phoned from a call box at 5pm and in the next four hours of waiting I saw the rush hour from start to finish and as Cannon Street is two lanes my car, too heavy to push, blocked one lane causing absolute chaos.

    Forward fast to today and now the once proud flagship motoring organisation is robbing money from little old ladies. Shame on them.

    OP I thought the companies were obliged to put in writing some time before renewal that the auto renewal was taking place. If they haven't done this then there may be better grounds for a refund.
    Originally posted by Sicard
    Yes because at one time the AA, RAC, Greenflag were organisations in their own rights, but now they are all owned by multi national insurance companies that don't care about customers
    • vikingaero
    • By vikingaero 11th Jun 17, 9:37 AM
    • 10,291 Posts
    • 12,983 Thanks
    vikingaero
    Never forget that the AA is no longer an Institution. It is now an Insurance Company first and foremost whose priority is for their shareholders.

    Be realistic. Breakdown companies don't like giving refunds. For instance if you buy a new car with 3 years free AA Cover they will "park" your current policy rather than give a refund.

    Firstly ring them up with your mother in law by your side to give authority to cancel auto renewal. Be polite - it is not the agents fault. You may get a sales spiel to try and convince you the benefits of auto-renewal and that she is a Gold member with blah blah benefits. Be insistent and say that you have politely asked once, and now you are asking a second time to cancel auto renewal. Say that if you have to ask a 3rd time you will make a formal complaint. Again be mindful that the agent is only following their job script.

    If your mother in law must have some form of breakdown cover and she only drives locally then consider AutoAid. If she needs the bells and whistle cover then at renewal join the RAC using Quidco or TopCashback. This will give a 45% discount on policies over £241. The next year join the AA again using a cashback website.

    Remember that loyalty nowadays counts for nothing. That's why marketing budgets are driven at new customers rather than renewing customers.
    The man without a signature.
    • mije1983
    • By mije1983 11th Jun 17, 12:28 PM
    • 2,523 Posts
    • 18,287 Thanks
    mije1983
    OP I thought the companies were obliged to put in writing some time before renewal that the auto renewal was taking place. If they haven't done this then there may be better grounds for a refund.
    Originally posted by Sicard
    The probably did (and the OP admits this). The fact the mother-in-law cannot read means the AA could have sent a million letters and it would have made no difference.


    robbing money from little old ladies
    Originally posted by Sicard
    How do you know she is a little old lady? Both my parents are in their 70s. They regularly change providers to get better deals, use cashback sites, buy and sell on eBay etc. My mum would not be impressed if I called her a little old lady! My point is that just because someomne is in their 70s does not automatically made them vulnerable and frail and ripe to be taken advantage of.

    The main issue here is that fact the OPs mother-in-law cannot read. It would worry me about what else she has missed due to this.


    If she cant read,who was driving the car the cover was on?
    Originally posted by custardy
    I think it's more about being able to recognise the signs. If you have difficulties reading you can get help on the theory test so I don't know if being able to read is actually a requirement to drive!
    Last edited by mije1983; 11-06-2017 at 12:30 PM.

    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 11th Jun 17, 12:33 PM
    • 18,142 Posts
    • 13,846 Thanks
    agrinnall
    And you really believe that British kids don't leave school not being able to read or right?
    Originally posted by bris
    Where did I make any such suggestion? The person in question is described as Spanish and it seems reasonable therefore to assume that they were educated in Spain. The British education system has no bearing on it (although clearly you missed a lesson ).
    • Gavlar99
    • By Gavlar99 11th Jun 17, 4:54 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Gavlar99
    She is very dyslexic, and English not first language. She has a full uk driving licence.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 11th Jun 17, 5:09 PM
    • 32,316 Posts
    • 27,076 Thanks
    custardy
    She is very dyslexic, and English not first language. She has a full uk driving licence.
    Originally posted by Gavlar99
    So how does she read road signs?
    • bagpuss38
    • By bagpuss38 11th Jun 17, 5:14 PM
    • 598 Posts
    • 3,490 Thanks
    bagpuss38
    We received a letter from the AA informing us of a renewal.
    However they had decided to upgrade us to a silver membership which consisted of free benefits but costs twice as much a month.
    Shall be calling them tomorrow to decline.
    SIMPLY BE-££577.11
    Very BNPL - £353.00
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