Having being coerced into purchasing the AA Van Warranty cover by Auto Capital, a van dealership in Park Royal, who told me that unless I took it out the finance terms would be 6% higher, I was given the impression that if I had any problems with the van I would be covered.
I could not have been further from the truth. When the timing belt went after 3 months and 2 days (out of the Auto Capital warranty - who didn't service it as they promised) caused by a viscous coupling the AA claimed it was wear and tear. And never having even seen the coupling, refused to pay.
What a rip-off. An £800 policy (per annum) and customer services who basically told me it was my own fault for not reading the small print. An absolute disgrace.
I always seem to be stuck in traffic jams and was always late wherever i was going but this has improved a lot recently by checking out the AA's road travel section of their website. The route finder is also boss and can save a lot of time in the long run.
I obtained an on-line quote from the AA earlier today for buildings insurance to cover my house. Superficially it was a fairly average quote but on checking the details of cover more closely it turned out to be not particularly competitive and I decided not to proceed. However within half an hour, the AA were on the phone wanting to "make sure they had all the correct information in order to give me the best quote".
Now I had gone the on-line route as I didn't want to talk to sales people until I had made a choice as to which company I wished to use, however I decided to carry on with the call to see where it went. The salesman basically went over all the details I had entered on the on-line enquiry form. There were a couple of points I didn't feel were relevant to the validity of the insurance, but I let them go. I was then asked if my wife did any voluntary work to which I replied that she did. I was then asked what she did and I replied that this wasn't relevant to the insurance. The reply I got was that the question had to be answered as it had to be risk assessed. I countered by saying that none of the voluntary work was undertaken in the house and so was irrelevant to any risk assessment. In reply I was told that any voluntary work whether carried out in the home or away from the home was a potential risk and therefore had to be assessed.
At this point I terminated the conversation and told the rep I would go elsewhere for my buildings insurance. As with so much that the AA does, this was pure data mining and had nothing to do with the accurate provision of a buildings insurance policy quote.
So beware, you may think that by obtaining your insurance quote on-line, you are avoiding having to speak with a pushy rep, but on this showing, the AA will be on the phone to you anyway if you didn't make the purchase at the end of the on-line enquiry.
Found my rear windscreen smashed and car wide open to the elements when i got back to the car. When i got home, I fixed it with some plastic sheeting and duck tape. Called the AA as windscreen replacement is part of the policy. They took my details and said that they would call back. 7 hours later received their callback. The replacement could be fitted 3.5 days later between 12 & 4. I was then informed that this delay was because of our remote location - we are less than 1.5hrs away by car from Manchester Airport and only 10 miles from the main euro route to Ireland. I made a complaint (which seems to have gone nowhere). So, without a car for four days. Then the day itself. Of course nobody turned up between 12 & 4! We received a phone call at 15:45 saying that they were an hour late. The "technician" when he arrived seemed to be upset that the vehicle did not have GPS built in to the rear windscreen (we had been asked this and confirmed in the initial phone call that it did not have GPS) He then tried to quiz me as to how the windscreen break had occurred. I told him how i.e. returned to the car after work (on a very stormy day) to find the rear windscreen smashed and debris on the pavement..indicating that the wind had blown something off a nearby building. He then asked about the demister!? The implication being that a slightly grey wire (not broken or cut) had caused the blowout. I refused to be drawn into this conversation and said that if that was the case, for him not to reconnect the demister.. great, Now i have no radio. To make matters worse and in spite of the engineer being told on at least three occasions that the car was needed that evening for an essential journey he waited till after payment had been made until stating clearly that the car could not be used for at least 1.5hrs preferably 2. This information was withheld intentionally until this point. Useless service, meaningless promises on the AA website "pick a time and location convenient to you".. An organisation that only has the interests of its shareholders at heart, customers and staff are clearly not important.
So, if you are looking for patronising call centre staff, 4 day waits and a grumbling fitter who arrives well after the agreed time and that doesn't tell you that the car cannot be driven until after payment has been taken.. Choose the AA!
UPDATE - It gets even better! Just discovered on closing a rear car door that the window is coming loose. Wish me luck as i have to call them again.
I've been with the AA for years on my breakdown cover but when it recently came to renewal my price hit the roof. Telephoned them and managed to get the price back down, received three different quotes in the post after that. Having spoken to a number of advisor's as a result of these quotes coming through the post I was assured my lower price would be charged. Surprise surprise when they took nearly double what they had quoted me. I have now cancelled my breakdown cover.
Wouldn't touch their insurance with a barge pole, I've had a quote every year that I've been driving and theirs is always one of the most expensive quotes I get.
I am not a member of the AA nor do I find thier site particularly interesting. However I do use their site for one purpose only. The AA route planner. There are lots of route planners available, but I find the AA route planner the best. It links up with google maps to show a good detailed map between your intended points. As well as the UK you can also get routes for Ireland and Europe.