RAC Autorenewal £25 cancellation fee - cooling off period?

MD1970
MD1970 Posts: 8
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Hi all

My RAC breakdown cover just autorenewed but I had found much cheaper cover elsewhere. I was unaware that it was set to autorenew (I took it out at the roadside last year when my engine blew up and have not needed them since) and assumed it would simply expire at the end of the 12 month policy.
I received an email on 21/04 which said it was coming up for renewal but did not give the due date and did not state it would autorenew. They say a letter was sent by mail but I did not receive it. Yesterday I got a text telling me my policy had renewed. I called today to cancel and believe I should get a full refund under the 14 day cooling off period but they have kept a £35 cancellation fee.
I have raised a complaint with them asking for the £25 back but would like to ask are they legally entitled to do this?

Many thanks.
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Comments

  • mksysb
    mksysb Posts: 353
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    No, the 14 day cooling off period only is only at the start, auto renewals are not covered as you are deemed to have accepted the conditions, since day one and you are just carrying on the contract.

  • MrFrugalFever
    MrFrugalFever Posts: 1,228
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    Unfortunately the ‘cooling off period’ does not apply here. I am sick to my back teeth of companies thinking they can get away with silly unjustified charges like this. Having a similar argument with Hastings Direct and have exhausted all complaints avenues with their internal teams so have now escalated to the FOS and demanded my money back. It’s all about principle for me, good luck with your complaint I hope you get your refund!
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  • Grey_Critic
    Grey_Critic Posts: 1,327
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    Some years ago I was told that banks did not approve of companies keeping records of someones credit/debit card for security reasons.
    I specifically state I do not auto renew. I have an unresolved argument with Hastings when they auto renewed when I had a written acknowledgment of that instruction.
  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628
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    Cooling off periods give you the right to cancel, it doesn't mean its fee free to cancel. In theory after the cooling off period they dont have to give you any rights to cancel however most insurers do. 
  • reg091
    reg091 Posts: 178
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    Oddly enough I have a very similar situation with the RAC. I got a free 12-month policy with a second hand car. I knew it was coming to an end on 17 May so I checked online, and whilst it was set to auto-renew (and couldn't be changed) it showed no payment card details (I don't remember providing one anyway, the free cover was provided by a code I had to input.) I was confident it could not possibly renew as there was no way of them taking a payment.

    Not so, they took payment from a credit card. I complained and they say I either added it when I took up the cover, or the car dealer set it up using the payment card I bought the car with.

    They will not refund the payment and say I have to take it up with the dealer if I didn't add the card.

    Not happy, as the fact that My Account on the RAC website doesn't show any payment card (there is no section for it to do so) gave me confidence it couldn't renew.
  • MrFrugalFever
    MrFrugalFever Posts: 1,228
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    That’s disgusting. I find it weird that your credit card details could have been passed onto RAC without your knowledge or permission, that almost surmounts to fraud?!
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  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202
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    Some years ago I was told that banks did not approve of companies keeping records of someones credit/debit card for security reasons.
    I specifically state I do not auto renew. I have an unresolved argument with Hastings when they auto renewed when I had a written acknowledgment of that instruction.
    It happens quite often with many companies I've dealt with and most recently LV.

    I always insist no auto-renewal but I have to take action still to stop it.

    Thre should be a law on auto-renewals and a tick box on the policy stating if you opted in or out.


  • reg091
    reg091 Posts: 178
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    When I complained to the RAC about the situation I also pointed out that I couldn't change the Auto-renew setting to off. They say you can't do that within 30 days of the renewal date.

    I say that is disgusting; I should be able to cancel my auto-renewal simply by switching off auto renew up to the day before the renewal date. If they have commenced taking payment then they can reverse it.
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Posts: 8,137
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    That’s disgusting. I find it weird that your credit card details could have been passed onto RAC without your knowledge or permission, that almost surmounts to fraud?!
    Not even remotely.
    However, it may have breached the DP regs.
  • fuzzything
    fuzzything Posts: 116
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    The issue does not appear to be about a lack off cooling off period. In online chat they have said that there is a cooling off period for auto renewed cover.



    In their cancellation terms they state cancellation fees apply. It looks like that’s why they charged you.
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