Unfair Charge for change of car details

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
16 replies 880 views
mark1M_2mark1M_2 Forumite
3 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
Hi - this is my first post, so if anyone has seen this discussed elsewhere please point me in the right direction.

I have just been charged £25 by the AA car insurance after telling them that the registration number of my car has been changed. I find this excessive for what is the change of details on a database and one letter sent out to me.
Has anyone successfully argued and had this fee refunded. Is it legal to charge this?

Thanks.
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Replies

  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    here we go again ;)
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • InactiveInactive Forumite
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    Both legal and normal, it will be mentioned in your Insurance documents that you read when you received them.:rolleyes:
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    I find this excessive

    We've been through this many times, but you need to pay for

    paper, stamps, ink printers (and the person that orders these items and the storage for them).
    Wages, taxes, pensions, benefits, managers, training, sick time, compassionate leave, bank holidays.
    Lighting, heting, rent, insurance, maintenance.
    Hardware, software, phone systems, phone bills.
    Staff time taken not working e.g. having a pee.

    Please let us know why you think £25 is excessive and we'll give you opinions on whether your explanation is adequate to win a complaint.

    Personally I think you got off lightly for that little lot.

    Why didn't you buy a "pay as you go" policy if you didn't want an annual contract?
  • olly300olly300 Forumite
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    mark1M one of the most useful functions of this board is the "Search" facility. It's worth using it before posting to check a topic hasn't been covered.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic :p

    (If a link I give opens pop ups I won't know I don't use windows)
  • mark1M wrote: »
    Hi - this is my first post, so if anyone has seen this discussed elsewhere please point me in the right direction.

    I have just been charged £25 by the AA car insurance after telling them that the registration number of my car has been changed. I find this excessive for what is the change of details on a database and one letter sent out to me.
    Has anyone successfully argued and had this fee refunded. Is it legal to charge this?

    Thanks.

    Now, now forum members. I thought that forum etiquette was to be nice to other forum users. Yes this has been discussed before but if you read Mark's post carefully, you will see that he has only just joined and that he has very politely been asked to be pointed in the right direction.

    Mark - the search facility is very good. The Moneysavingexpert forum is very complex and has a considerable number of posts on a daily basis. If you type in the key words and highlight 'forum' as the area to search. It should throw out other threads on the same subject for you to read.

    Unfortunately, the insurers do charge for changes such as address, vehicle etc. to cover their overheads and it is quite legal, although the cost does vary, sometimes considerably between companies. You are not the first to be complaining about the AA, I think they are one of the higher chargers. My advice would be - that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. I read a very useful tip right here on Moneysavingexpert, which I actually found using the search facility. There is an Insurance Guide which can be viewed on-line, which lists all the charges by all of the insurers. You can view all this information on www.matthewsguide.co.uk. As a bonus, there is a special offer of a free legal protection at the moment. I have a feeling that the offer may have expired as at 31st Dec but it might be worth taking a look to see if it's still available.

    Good luck and I hope you find some useful articles here on Moneysavingexpert. Best wishes.
  • missilemissile Forumite
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    Some companies charge a lot more than others and it is worth checking out the T&Cs before you sign up.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • Badger_LadyBadger_Lady Forumite
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    Sometimes these do seem excessive, although legal... Adrian Flux reportedly charge £50 for a change of address!

    However, when I moved house I used www.iammoving.com (free to use), and my car insurance was changed without charge - I just received a letter in the post saying "it's been changed".

    I don't know if this is particularly because of using the website (because it cuts out admin time) and, if so, whether it's specific to this broker, but might be worth anyone reading this trying out..?

    Sorry I don't have any help for you, OP, but welcome to the board and I hope you get some good advice :-) And, despite what some people have said, there's never any harm in trying your luck - plenty of people have managed to save money by a quick word with customer services.
    Mortgage | £132,000
    Unsecured Debt | [strike]£7,000[/strike] £0
    Lodgers | |


  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    Sometimes these to seem excessive, although legal... Adrian Flux reportedly charge £50 for a change of address!
    £50 does sound excessive even given my long list above.

    One of the reason people win with complaints is that:
    a) it takes time to answer letters, the costs increase the more letters you write. This costs you nothing but will cost a business real money as they have to pay employees to answer them.
    b) If you go to the ombudsman it costs them £350.

    So simply in practical terms companies can just give in. Of course they will try to make it look like a grand gesture of goodwill rather than say "we can't be bothered to argue with you".

    My advice is to be as articulate as you are able to.
    I got a TV fixed not long ago because when I was talking about the "sales of Goods act 1975" I sounded like a solicitor.
    Demonstrating that you know your rights without sounding arrogant can mean a company might not want to take you on, so as other say, always worth asking.
    Another approach is to grovel a bit especially if staying with them. Say something like "As a loyal customer I was unusually dissapointed with your service on this occassion". They may well help because they want to keep an otherwise loyal and happy customer.

    Thse 2 approaches have worked for me many times, so always worth a go.
    Some you win, some you don't, but it's low risk to ask.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    b) If you go to the ombudsman it costs them £350.

    Its gone up. Currently it is first two at no charge with rest at £400. However, the FOS is being encouraged (pressured) to class more as frivolous (in which case the company isnt charged). Last I heard there was discussion on having a filter in place to remove frivolous or complaints before they got into the system. In effect throwing them out before they got lodged. This is due to the increase of opportunistic complaints which are costing companies a lot of money and creating a backlog at the FOS. I dont know how discussions proceeded or whether it is in force or was completely disregarded.

    Lisyloo is right though. Sometimes it is just cheaper and quicker to give in. Although dont always expect that to the be case. Once it becomes known they do that, the companies usually make a stand and reject them and take the hit on the FOS charge.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Thanks Catherine, I was beginning to wish I hadn't asked.
    I hope in the future I don't forget that I was new on here once.
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