An annual telling off

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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