If you want to ride with the AA, you can never get out

Bitterwallet - The AAAs if you needed a further reason to avoid the AA's chuggers at your local supermarket, here it is; once you sign up to their breakdown cover, you've more chance of laying an egg than you have of cancelling your policy.

Radio 4's Money Box highlighted the AA's practice of offering the largest discounts to customers who pay by credit card and tick the box for automatic annual renewal. The problem is that once signed up with a credit card, only the company receiving the payments can cancel the automatic payments, and the AA haven't been too hot on doing so.

One customer attempted to cancel his membership during December, but bad weather meant he couldn't get through due to high call volumes. Despite the fact his credit card had been cancelled for several months, the credit card company paid the AA regardless. Another customer claims to have cancelled his annual AA policy and then received a welcome letter several months later, at which point AA using his credit card details to charge him for a further years' cover.

If you've had a policy with the AA in the past, it may be worth checking your bank statements; a spokesperson for the AA said that any customers who had been charged after they had cancelled a policy would be refunded. That's good of them.



  • Kev
    Isn't that the point of chargebacks? If the AA tried that stunt with me I would contact my Credit Card company and tell them money was taken (stolen) without my authorisation. The bank would send me a nice form to fill in, I fill it in with details of how and when I contacted the AA to cancel and get my money back. I do wonder if these people actually tried to cancel their policy or only tried once?. I mean, if the phone lines are busy send a letter and insist on a written reply confirming it has been cancelled. Make it clear they are no longer authorised to take any money from your credit card. And keep a copy of it. !
  • dvdj
    I was a member via direct debit and couldn't cancel easily so just cancelled the direct debit, not heard anything so far!
  • Milky
    I thought they said RAC not AA, unless they're both involved, in which case this is clearly as lopsided as a monster truck with 2 flats down one side. Radio 4 eh? You'll be shopping at waitrose next! See you in the fair trade dolphin friendly friendly houmus aisle.
  • Andrew
    I got caught out with this. I only noticed when my Credit Card had been charged for the full 12 month rate, not the rate I had previously paid. When I contacted them they claimed they had sent an automatic renewal to my previous address, which had not been forwarded, but, unlike all their marketing emails, not to my email address. I complained to the AA and spoke to several people with my complaint having been escalated through the customer service tree. Eventually the offer they would honour was to cancel my membership for a £20 charge. I decided to choose this route and informed them to cancel me from all AA group marketing emails and mailing as would not consider purchasing any of their products in future as a result of the manner in which they handled my membership. The interesting thing is that the AA payment system wouldn't actually allow to pay online by Credit Card unless you selected Automatic Renewal, I complained to them about this clearly disreputable practice.
  • Joe
    "Continuous credit authority", heres a BBC article from 2002 about it. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/moneybox/2099270.stm Many insurance cos do this now, but the barely mention what it is, selling it as a service to help make your life easier. Never sign up to one, ever.
  • Ten B.
    [...] If you want to ride with the AA, you can never get out [...]
  • James
    Just read the Polices sent to you properly, it says cancel within 30 days :)

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