I''ve been a member of the AA now for some years. It''s only this year that I''m disappointed with the service I have received. In January my car blew its intercooler pipe and they refused to pay for the repair stating it was due to a blockage. We are still currently arguing about this one. In fact I have made a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service and we are awaiting the response.
My car has since then broke down again. The day before the bank holiday (17th April) we left our home towing a caravan for a six day holiday to the forest of dean. We didn''t get very far. Just 45min down the road before the clutch went, or so we thought. When the service man came, he diagnosed the fault as a turbo issue. First we dropped off the caravan to our house and then the car to our local garage.
On the way to the garage I gave my mechanic a quick heads up we''re coming. He said that the turbo if ordered today wouldn''t get delivered until the following Tuesday / Wednesday and we were hoping to try and get away again that Wednesday. The campsite that we had booked with let us move our booking to that Wednesday. The mechanic said that we could drop off the old turbo and pick up a new one if we went our self to collect. So he removed the old turbo that night and then Friday morning I went and exchanged the turbo. I was curious, so while I was there I asked, ?Why it had failed?? The man said the fan thing inside the turbo had come loose. I dropped the new / exchanged turbo to the mechanic Friday morning and by the Tuesday we had our car back. Then on the Wednesday night we went Holiday.
It was that Tuesday when the problems started. I had just got the car back and so I got the receipts for the new turbo and mechanic bill. I rang my mechanic and gave him the telephone for claims and my details. The next second my mechanic rang me back saying that the AA wouldn''t take his word that the turbo is faulty and wanted to see it. Which was impossible as it was exchanged for a new one. And so when I rang them up they said they wouldn''t pay as they haven''t seen the turbo.
It seems to me that the AA are making anything as an excuse not to pay. The reason given for wanting to see the old turbo was they wanted to check for wear and tear.
My mechanic said "Everything is wear and tear". As soon as you drive a new car off the forecourt you will have some degree of wear and tear. What is the point of having insurance when every time I go to claim, the AA refuses to pay out? Anyone would think that they are trying to get me to cancel my insurance because my car is getting old. They are quite eager to take my money but very reluctant to pay out.
Am I right to be asking to cover this cost. What do you think?
I''ve always had breakdown cover, just in case, but recently I''ve had cause to use it for the first time. I am currently with the AA and cannot praise them highly enough for the response I received to my ''emergency'' call.
I had broken down on a busy motorway in rush hour. The person I spoke to on the phone was clear, helpful and efficient at getting all the information she needed from me. She was also very good at making sure I did everything possible to stay safe while waiting for the patrol to arrive.
I received two text messages while waiting, updating me of the estimated arrival time of the patrol, which were accurate. I had been warned on the phone that I could be waiting up to an hour but was very pleased to see the familiar yellow van pull up just 25 minutes after I called them out. No complaints at all about response time, especially as it was rush hour in a busy city. They must have a decent number of vehicles spread out on the roads to get to people this quickly.
The patrol person (what is their job title? I have no idea!) was reassuring, calm and didn''t make me feel stupid for knowing absolutely nothing about my car beyond its colour and the number of wheels it has. He was able to fix the problem very quickly at the roadside while I waited behind the safety barrier, but then followed me all the way home to complete the paperwork as I was nervous about the same thing happening again.
So, absolutely top notch service in the event of a breakdown. What about the price? Well, there are cheaper options available but I think you probably get what you pay for a bit. There are enough options for different levels of cover that you can tailor it to suit you and pay as much or as little as you want. The only issue is that the best cover is a bit prohibitively expensive for those of us on low incomes which could result in issues if you breakdown. For example, I''m only covered for a tow to the nearest garage to where the breakdown happens, and would have to figure out how to get myself and my car home after that. Even at its most basic though, you know you aren''t going to find yourself stuck on a busy hard shoulder with a car full of smoke and facing a big bill just to get yourself out of that situation.
Joining the AA is really easy online, and there are often introductory offers, free trials of other products, and cashback available through Quidco.
After a late night fishing trip my car would not start. A passing police car tried to help with a jump start which didn't work. By this time it was around 0045am (and in a dark remote part of Scotland!)
I phoned the AA, after some annoying automated menu's the phone rang, and rang, and rang - I waited 30 minutes and there was no answer other than automated drivel "..your call is important to us....we are experiencing a high volume of calls..." this was of course rubbish.
In the end a friend brought me out a replacement battery and I got home after 2.30 am.
I phoned the complaint helpline to be offered a discount on the renewal - I refused and cancelled my membership and direct debit.
I've been a member for a long time, never had the need to use them for years until last week and they let me down very badly. I have no confidence in the AA.
Don't trust the hype - 4'th Emergency Service stuff is rubbish.
AA agreed to refund and cancel my membership as my car was scrapped. 3 years later they decide they want that money back and passed my details to BPO scum collectors agency.Threats, bailiffs and court down my phone line.Don't do it! They also tried to sell me products that were expiring making them appear as "special offers".Don't do it They also found me the cheapest car battery around.... £20 more than the one I found from local company.... Don't do it
We have had the basic AA breakdown cover for about 5 years now. Our currently monthly bill is about £18.00, but this includes the basic breakdown coverage + home start and coverage for repair bills up to £500 as well.
In the last 5 years we have called the AA out 5 times, always for our old Daewoo car. Four out of five times they arrived within approximately 30 minutes. On the fifth occasion there was a considerable delay and they explained that this was due to higher then normal volume of calls. We were however stranded on the motorway on this occasion, with the two children so I was not too happy about the wait. After nearly 2 hours without being able to get a van to us, the AA phoned and paid for a private tow truck company to come. On this occasion, the car was take to the garage owned by this tow truck operator, and I was not overly happy with the garage. Still I was very fortunate to have the repair coverage as the bill came to £535 without the tow. AA of course paid for the tow and £475 towards the repairs as the limit is £500.
On one of the other occasions the cars transmission had gone out and the bill was £375 of which we paid £25, another instance a belt had snapped which the driver fixed at no charge, and the other two were for electrical faults. By this point we were fed up with the car, hence our purchase of a Ford Focus but I am very glad we had the coverage. It does seem dear, but it is a lot easier to come up with a monthly payment then over £500 all at once. It also gives us a lot of peace of mind.
On all occasions, I found them polite and helpful. We did call one other time as my husband had locked himself out of the car. They were going to send someone out to help him but a someone was able to get into the car.
Overall our experience with the AA has been quite good and I would not hesitate to recommend them.
We have also used their travel insurance - a whopping £7 odd paid for our domestic holiday. But as we did not make a claim I can say how good this insurance is, as insurance is only tested when you use it. It was easy to purchase, a few minutes online.
We have since used this service two more times, with slightly longer but reasonable call out times. The first time my husband broke down on the way into the mall. they told him to go ahead and do his shopping and they would ring the mobile when coming out. Total wait time 45 minutes.
Second occasion was also about 45 minutes but several roads were closed and he was ringing us, at one point even waving to us from down the street trying to get to the small road we were on. Again I have no complaints
The AA - been with them for ages! So how do they treat their long term customers- by charging them a huge premium on their annual renewal of their breakdown cover!!!!Be warned - DO NOT RENEW YOUR AA CAR BREAKDOWN COVER automatically by their letter. You will get a letter every year saying they will take £xx amount from your account automatically when the renewal becomes due. STOP - go on to the internet see the lower price then call them to match this! They have NO customer loyalty reward at all. I am really disappointed with the AA at least they should give you a better discount for staying with them year on - instead they charge more if you stay with them - worst company I know!!!!
I have been a member of the AA for many years and I think it is a must have if you own a car. The prices of AA cover vary depending on the type of assistance you want to be covered for - the most basic package can be bought online from their website for £28 a year! I think this is incredibly good value for money - plus if you go through a cashback site like quidco as I did you can often get £21+ cashback meaning you get the basic years cover for only £7!! Fantastically good value.
The basic cover (£28 per year) entitles you to call out the AA when you are outwith a 1/4 mile radius from your home. They will attempt to fix your car at the roadside and if they cannot then you will be towed to the nearest garage. You can choose to have cover for your car or you can choose to have personal cover which means you can call them out no matter what car you are travelling in. There are various other types of cover which offer services such as relay (where you choose the garage your car is towed to) or homestart (where you can call them out to your house if your car breaks down at home) at an additional premium (£69-100 per year for these).
I have personally had to call out the AA twice over the years and each time they have been excellent. The first time, I had broken down on my way home from work. I was on my own and it was quite late at night on a dark road. When I called up the breakdown line I was clearly quite frightened and distressed but the advisor helped to keep me calm and assured me that someone would be sent immediately. No more than 10mins later the big yellow van arrived with a friendly chap inside who was actually able to fix my car within around 20 mins. He was very professional, friendly and seemed like he genuinely wanted to help which was nice. I used them again a few years later when I had broken down on my way to work one afternoon. Again, the patrol van arrived within 10-15 mins max and as he wasn't able to repair my car he towed me to a garage and even dropped me off at work a few miles down the road after!
I have no bad things at all to comment on about their service. As long as I own a car I will always make sure I have AA cover as I think they are the best of the bunch and this type of breakdown cover is completely priceless when you think about what you would do in the event of a breakdown. As the advert says, for less than the price of a pair of jeans for an entire year! Money very well spent in my opinion.
Basically I went to college in the morning, parked my car in the local car park and when I got back in the afternoon the car did not start. So I phoned up AA, I didn't have breakdown cover. The customer service was great, BUT I had to pay £80 for the call out charge because I wasn't a member and I had to get £50 breakdown cover.
Note- If I were to get that same cover over the internet then its only £28 which is 44% discount online. And this cover is only if you don't breakdown at home and they will only take your car to the nearest approved AA garage. So don't worry if you've been in the same situation as me because you can cancel the breakdown cover within 14 days.
I've done a bit of research on the internet and found that instead of paying £50 you can pay roughly £37 and get more for this price. This £37 cover includes
1. Nationwide recovery weather it be at home or anywhere in the U.K
2. If they cannot repair the car the same day then they will pay up to £100 maximum for your transport OR a standard return rail ticket to get home and to return to receive your vehicle, once its fixed.
3. If they decide to get you overnight accommodation then they will pay £60 to you if your are alone OR £40 for each person up to a maximum of 6 people.
Also a couple of other minimalistic extras.
But I haven't used this service so I don't know how its like however will do so though. The company is called START RESCUE
I must say that the AA service was exceptional. They gave me a time of one hour but the fella arrived in 20 minutes.
I signed up with the AA a few months ago after I was having a few problems with the starter on my 2000 Volkswagen Golf. I have had to call them a few times since taking out my policy and have had a number of rather different experiences of their service which are discussed below.
Signing up for membership is very straight forward. Simply go to their website (www.aa.com) and choose the breakdown cover option. For breakdown cover there are several different elements of the service you need to be aware of and choose. These include:
- Roadside: The AA will come and fix your car if it breaks down on the roadside only if it is more than 1 mile from your home address.
- Homestart: The AA will come and get your car started if it is parked at or near home and wont start.
- Relay: If your car breaks down and cannot be fixed at the roadside, the AA will transport you and your passengers to where you need to get to.
- Parts and Labour: The cost of fixing your car at a garage is included in your policy.
I opted for the Roadside and Homestart option which cost me £90 for the year, however, I did get this through the topcashback website who were offering a special deal which meant I got £42 of that back so in essence it only cost me about £50. No sooner had I signed up, I needed to call them because my car wouldn't start. I called them from my mobile phone and after hearing a warning telling me to make sure I was in a safe place I was connected to an operator who asked for my name and address details. She then asked what was wrong with the car and asked me where I was. She informed me that there would be someone there to get the car started within 45 minutes and took my mobile number so that she could update me via text message of any delays.
45 minutes later, the AA van pulled up on my road and after inspecting the car, it was jump started my the AA van and the engineer told me I would need to get the battery replaced at a garage as it was something he could not do.
A few days later (as I had not got around to visiting the garage) the same thing happened again and I called the AA out once more, again they were at my doorstep within 45 minutes and after looking at the car, the engineer (a different person) told me that it was not the battery that was the problem. When I presented the sheet given to me by the other engineer telling me that the problem was the battery, the engineer quickly changed his mind and said that it was. This gave me the impression that one of the men didn't really know what he was talking about and a bit of confidence was lost in the AA. He explained to me that he could replace the battery for me but I would have to pay the cost of the parts. I said that was fine and asked him to do it, again I lost a bit of confidence as the previous engineer had told me that this was not something he could do which meant that I had to call the AA out a second time as the car wouldn't start a few days after he had looked at it.
Generally, since then I have had no problems with the car, and while the AA did get my car started on both occasions when I called them, I did find the conflicting information both about the problem and the services provided to be something of a worry. Be careful!
Unless your surname is Lucky, then if you drive a car anywhere away from home then you need breakdown cover. Like all worthwhile insurance, then it is really worth it for peace of mind. That's good for your health for a start.
Which provider to choose? I've been a member of the AA for nearly three decades, and have been very happy with their service. I joined the AA rather than the RAC as my father was an AA member, and I trusted his judgement.
What you pay for AA membership in 2010 depends on what you want to cover. Breakdown cover means if the AA can fix it at the roadside, they will. If they can't, they will arrange a local repair for you, but you would have to pay for this. However, from 2004, the AA AA launched a breakdown promise - 'to fix a member's car by the roadside or get them another one' - that gives personal members a courtesy car for 24 hours if their broken-down vehicle cannot be fixed there and then.
If you have a car under 10 years old, you can cover it for breakdowns for just £28 a year. Alternatively, you can cover the driver for £39.20, two people sharing the same address for £59.15, or up to four people living together for £100.87.
If you are on a budget, then this option at least gets a reassuring AA patrolman to you, which could be very reassuring in difficult circumstances such as darkness, remoteness or bad weather. On that point, the AA do operate a sensitive priority system for attending breakdowns, so that lone ladies are reached first.
If you want a bit more, the there is the famous Relay service, which takes you and the car to a destination of your choice on the United Kingdom mainland. This could be perfect if you were going on holiday - the car could be taken to a garage near to where you were staying, and mended while you hired a substitute vehicle. Prices for this , when added to basic breakdown cover, run between £69 and £122.03 for one to four people.
Rolls-Roycing this option is called Stay Mobile. If the AA can't fix your car, then they provide you with alternative transport. You choose between a replacement car for up to 72 hours, public transport costs or overnight accommodation. Prices go between £62.65 and £132.37 when added to basic breakdown cover.
The final bit you can add in is Home Start. The AA's standard breakdown cover doesn't apply if you are at or very near home. I'm not quite sure why, but this has always been the case. Perhaps it's to stop people cheating on the system and buying a heap of junk, towing it home, and then hoping that the AA will fix it. However, it can be desperate if your bona fide jalopy won't play ball in the morning and you have to get in to work, or away on holiday. With Home Start, you're covered at home as well as away from it. This costs £70.35 to £159 when added to the basic breakdown cover.
£138.60 - to £218.62 is what it costs for having all the options.
My own experience of calling the AA with a car not going has always been positive. When you telephone, the call is answered promptly. You describe where you are, which car you are in, and tell them the problem. The AA used to say that you would be attended within the hour, and I have never known them come later than that. More recently, they have said that they will be with me in 45 minutes, and still managed that. Most problems have been fixed there and then: the only one that wasn't was a clutch on a VW Beetle that died in Gloucester on the way to a B and B holiday in Wales. Luckily we had AA Relay and they took us to Cheshire by request, where we stayed for a few days with family while the Beetle was fixed, before heading for Wales.
About five years ago, we had a very nice letter from the AA which thanked us for our loyalty to them, rewarding us with Complimentary Home Start, which is worth about £33 for the two of us.
There are other breakdown services. The RAC is the historical competitor and offers very similar products at very similar prices. The RAC claims to have more patrol cars per member than the AA, so is probably an equally good bet. Green Flag have arrived on the scene more recently. They claim an average arrival time of 30 minutes, and to fix 86% of breakdowns at the roadside. Their website takes a bit longer to get prices, some of which are lower than the AA and the RAC. Unusually, they give you £10 back if they don't get to you within the hour. I wonder whether this would still apply in remote areas of Scotland! ASDA does a breakdown service too.
The AA have had to move with the times quite a bit. Before the days of mobile phones, they supplemented the number of call boxes in the country by adding special ones of their own, which could only be opened with a special AA key. Sadly, these are now redundant, as is the AA patrolman on his motorcycle, as is also the original ornate AA members' badge, examples of which can still be found on Ebay. AA shops have closed down. Fascinatingly, they all used to called Fanum House - fanum being the Latin for temple. The HQ in Basingstoke still bears the name.
The AA is itself a good organization, which has supported the needs of the motorist for over a century. The website is excellent, and the route planners, which date back to the days when these could be ordered through the post by members, are helpful and accurate, especially regarding journey time.
And that concludes my 100th Dooyoo review!
Anyone who drives and especially long distances knows that its best to have breakdwon cover. You seriously never know when you might need it as I discovered recently!
There are a few to choose from Green Flag, RAC and the AA. AA is the bets known with a good reputation.
The packages you can have with them vary and it depends what you want.
You have normal roadside cover which (as I should have done) only costs £28 for the year. The extras are "Relay" where they will tow the car to a destination of your choice, "Home Start" for breakdown at your own home, and "Stay Mobile" where they will pay travelling costs if you need to get anywhere in a hurry, including overnight accomodation and a replacement car.
All of these extras cost more money. Relay will cost around £50 extra, Home start £41, and Stay Mobile around £37. Take out the whole package and its £140 or so and this is less than i paid at the roadside.
I was gutted to find my head gasket blew in my engine recently while on a long journey. I coasted into the service station off the motorway just about. Better to be stopped there than on the side of he motorway or worse though eh! Anyway i realised, like the idiot i am, i didnt have breakdown cover. When the head gasket goes you're dead basically and i was totally stranded. i called the AA but i wasnt a member. I had to sign up and because i was already in a breakdwon situation they charged me an extra £99 to join. Ouch. Some people use cashback sites like Quidco to get some money back and had i planned to get the cover earlier, sat at home in front of my PC, i could have saved a packet by shopping around and using a cashback site.
I ended up paying £200 plus for breakdwon attendance where my car was towed more than 16 miles from the detsination (this is referred to as relay). Otherwise normal cover would tow the car to the nearest garage or destination of your choice as long as its less than 16 miles away.
Heed my warning: get breakdown cover now!
The AA breakdown Cover
I have been a member of AA for the past five years and throughout that time I have paid for their roadside assistance breakdown cover. Firstly I would say that the breakdown cover itself is actually pretty decent however I have become disillusioned with the AA and as a result I have decided not to renew my breakdown cover.
What is the AA?
The AA is the Automobile Association. They are involved in all aspects of motoring from roads, petrol, cars, bikes etc. In the UK and possibly Europe they offer a breakdown service for members at a premium.
How much does it cost?
For new member breakdown cover starts at £28 per year for roadside assistance. Optional extras such as home start etc can be added to your policy for additional cost.
I opted for the roadside assistance.
I had this service for the past five years and over that time I have called out the AA three times. It's a great reassurance to have someone to call when you break down. The first two times I broke down the AA where with me within 2 hours which wasn't really all that bad. Both times they managed to get my car going again with little delay. I found the driver to be friendly and helpful.
The third time the AA didn't come within two hours and I managed to get the car going again myself so cancelled the call.
Normally I would be recommending such a decent product however as I said at the beginning I have become disillusioned with the AA. I had opted for an automatic renewal membership for the AA. When my last bill came in they were looking for £56 for roadside assistance however when I checked online they quote the same level of cover for a new member as being £28 plus a new member could get £21 cash back through quidco.
I hadn't used the service in the last year and therefore couldn't understand why the fee had gone up so much. I tried to contact AA be phone but as all there operators where busy "answering emergency calls" I was unable to get through. I sent an email over 2 weeks ago and have failed to get a reply.
So far I have had no explanation regarding the difference in price between my renewal price and the price for a new member so I have decided to cancel my membership. I know many other people who have done the same and have switched to the RAC and I intend to the do the same.
Im not sure whether or not I can do it but i plan now to just switch breakdown cover each year to ensure that i get the lowest price possible which they seem to be only offering to new members.
I am with the AA via my 'enhanced' bank account. I've always had breakdown cover but never had to use it until recently when, in the space of 2 weeks, both mine and my husbands battery's went flat.
On both occasions I rang them my call was taken by a very polite, well spoken lady who was easy to understand and pleasant and the phone system was very easy to navigate (just one option and then I was talking to a 'human').
The first time they said they'd be with me within the hour and they were, the man was very friendly, checked the battery for me and gave me advice on it. The second time I called I had to make an appointment as they were busy and I was at home (therefore not urgent). The appointment was for between 10 and 11am and the man arrived at bang on 10. He was also very friendly, I explained that my car had recently been returned from the garage after someone had gone into the back of me. He checked the work they had done for me to make sure nothing had been forgotten without me even asking which I thought was above and beyond.
I have to say if my current account ever stopped offering the breakdown service I would definately check out the aa based on the service I've received so far.
I have been with the AA Breakdown Assistance for many years now and have had a real mixed-bag experience with them.
I drive a (quite old) Nissan Micra which is boringly reliable, - so over the last few years, I have had little need to call the AA out - but have still been paying my yearly direct debit payment of £45 (basic roadside). I have contacted them recently and attempted to cancel but ended up altering my contract to a vehicle only contract (£28) and staying with them. In retrospect it would have been good customer service for them to call me and check that they were meeting my needs - as when I first joined, a vehicle only contract was not an option.
I opted for the £28 vehicle only cover for conveniences sake. However,I would advise that anyone looking for AA cover should visit a cashback website that is linked with the AA and buy cover through that. This will make the payment only a few pounds. I wish I had stuck to my guns and cancelled. Yet another example of how loyalty is not rewarded.
For my 'vehicle only' cover I can get roadside assistance just for my own named car. I pay for this via a direct debit.
On the positve side, I did need to call out the AA last year when my passenger locked the car keys in the car. The AA was called and with us in about 20 minutes. Update texts were sent to my text concerning the proximity of the AA help - up to when it arrived. The AA guy was polite and respectful and gave me a lesson in how to break into a car (my own)! This is an interesting process of putting a wedge in the window and then using a coat hanger wire as a hook. We were on our way quite speedily - which was useful as my friend had to pick up her daughter from her childminder.
I did however, once have a terrible experience with the AA and it is useful to impart this as it is an experience that another person could easily have. It was probably around 13 years ago when I was driving (with my little girl). We were returning from a holiday and had been driving for hours. We turned off from the motorway and were only a few miles home when the cam-belt went and the car was suddenly going nowhere on the slip road. I called the AA and was initially towed to a safer road to have the damage inspected. The AA man told me that it was impossible to repair so I requested he tow me home. After asking for my post code, which was fed into a small computer in his van, he told me that it was too far away. I knew that this was incorrect so asked that he input it again. In short, his computer failed to recognise my valid postcode and kept bringing up an incorrect address. If this was not bad enough, the repair man did not know the area very well; if he had - he would have known that the distance to my home was within the 10 mile towing distance that roadside allows.
This experience was bad enough - but having a small, upset child to contend with made the ordeal very stressful. I had no option but to increase my assertiveness to significant levels - insisting that he check back with head office, look at maps etc. I should not have had to do this. Much time was wasted by this inexperienced mechanic and he made my daughter and myself feel wretched for well over an hour. Eventually, he conceded that I was right and drove us home. It was a disgusting way to be treated - and after a letter of complaint, I received an apology.
Most of my experience with the AA has been positive - but this one breakdown was terrible. I hope that, over the last few years, they have ironed out any postcode computer problems.
I was with the AA for a number of years for breakdown cover and I did find their breakdown assistance when I had to use it was very good. The engineers came quickly and were very friendly and helpful and got me back on the road with a good idea of what was wrong so I could take it to the garage if necessary.
Despite this I no longer have my breakdown cover with them and would be reluctant to go back. What I have an issue with is the way they handle renewals. When the year is up I get sent a letter with my renewal quote, not taking things on face value I go online to see if I can get it cheaper and generally find that I can get cheaper quotes from a number of companies including, wait for it ... the AA! Of course when I phone and tell them this they offer me the cover at the cheaper price but I really feel like they're trying to con me out of money hoping I won't have the time or inclination to do any checking.
I realise that the AA aren't the only company to employ this tactic and I'll probably fall out with them one at a time until I get back round to the AA again, but if I do find a company that actually offers me the best price in their renewal quote I think I'll stick with them.