I have AA breakdown cover. I’ve had it for around 15 years now.
Sadly, in this day and age, being a loyal customer does not have much reward.
Every year, I have to phone them up for 2 things:
- They consistently have my address set to my previous address. Regardless of where I am living, or when I moved, they always send my mail to my previous address.
- They consistently attempt to charge me almost double of what they charged me the previous year.
So, basic breakdown cover is advertised at £35 this year. They charged me £68.55. Their competition, the RAC, are charging £27.99 for basic cover. At this point, I probably should have just ditched and switched, but the AA have been good in the times I’ve needed to call them out, so I know at this point I’m happy with staying – for the right price.
Their reasoning for this price increase is, in my mind, somewhat spurious. A while back, they upgraded my membership to Gold “at no extra cost!”. Last year when I phoned, I had to point out to the guy on the phone that the perk of discounted Costa Coffee at service stations was not actually worth an additional £35 in my mind. Especially since I had never had any intention of actually using it. Or any of the other ‘benefits’ of Gold membership, for that matter.
This year, when I phoned, I simply stated what the RAC are advertising, and didn’t have the usual debate and 3 price decreases that are usually offered until I get them back down to the basic membership fee. Which was a refreshing change.
Really, at this point, they should have hefty notes on their records that I *will* phone up every year to get my subscription reduced back down to the basic membership price. They could save us both a lot of hassle if they’d just charge the basic membership I actually want every year. Especially given that I’ve looked after my car well enough recently that I haven’t had to call them out for going on 4 years now.
It would also be really nice if they could sort out their systems to actually retain my current address, to. I’ve been at my current address for 3 years now. Initially, they send any mail to the right address. Come renewal time though, my renewal letter that states the much increased price always goes to a previous address. More paranoid people at this point would be incredibly suspicious of this practice. Since I’m going to be phoning them up every year anyway though, it’s merely a mild inconvenience.
The only reason I haven’t switched to the RAC is that I know I’d have the same song and dance with them every year as well. It’s frustrating, and kind of insulting. I do not appreciate these companies attempting to take me for a mug. But since I know breakdown cover is an important thing to have, I’m just going to have to continue with the annual telling off. Regardless of who I have breakdown cover with.