Andrew Strong, Chief Executive of the AA
I have looked around online for your email address and contact details. Many websites state they have your contact details, but on visiting them, they do not.
Andrew Strong wrote to me via an automated letter, so here is my reply.
"When a breakdown occurs, they can be inconvenient and expensive, especially when parts need replacing. Fortunately, because you have breakdown repair cover as part of your AA membership, you saved Â£74.99 when your car broke down in July 2010.
We hope you were satisfied with the service you received and that it met the standards you expect from the AA."
Actually Andrew, I am not happy with the service given since taking out my membership, here's why;
Breakdown repair cover enables me to claim up to five times per year for repairs, when I bought it with my AA membership, I was told it would "cover all non wearable parts."
This is not the case!
Breakdown number one - My vehicle would not move forwards, I called out the AA, they found that the brake cylinders had leaked, jamming the brakes on in the process.
Unfortunately, as the mechanic was attempting to free the brakes up, he inadvertantly knocked off my immobiliser. I was then towed to my local garage to have the brakes fixed.
Unfortunately, for more than two months, the garage could not repair the brakes as the immobiliser was now broken and they could not drive the vehicle into the garage to fix the fault.
I could not find any garage nearby that could repair the immobiliser, even dealers in the make of vehicle would not repair it.
Finally after around 10 weeks and four visits by various auto electricians, I found a garage that could repair the immobiliser.
On contacting the AA, I was offered a tow from where the vehicle was, to the garage that could repair the immobiliser, as a "goodwill gesture" - which I later found out was not a goodwill gesture at all, but used up one of my five call outs (resulting in any future call outs costing me Â£99 each!)
The garage fixed my immobiliser at a personal cost to myself of 10 weeks without a vehicle and Â£110.
The work on the seized brakes was more than expected, as the wheel cylinders had leaked into the brake drums and contaminated the brake shoes, which must be replaced as well.
I contacted the AA and was told that they cannot cover the cost of any brake work (which is advertised with the letter I am replying to here) as brake shoes are wearable parts, add to this the labour charges for taking the drum off and cleaning it of brake fluid, also not covered by my AA breakdown repair policy (even though the brake shoes have to be removed to fit the new wheel cylinders which the AA were paying for anyway!)
The total bill for repairing the brake cylinders and cables, plus replacing contaminated brake shoes, came to Â£320 - of which the AA would onlyÂ pay out Â£185 (Â£210 minus the Â£25 excess) leaving me another Â£135 out of pocket.
Breakdown number two - I nipped out to get some petrol and returned home. Not 15 minutes later I had to nip out again, but when I went to start the vehicle, nothing, it was dead.
Out came the AA, they checked various things and concluded it was a battery fault. The battery was tested and said to "be fine"
Booster cables were attached and the engine was started, I was told to take it for a run to get some power into the battery, which I did.
Breakdown number three - Just two weeks later, the same problem occured, wouldn't start. Out came the AA and the battery was tested, completely dead, cells had gone, a new battery was required. The words of the AA man were, "I don't know why they didn't change your battery last time we came out, it's obviously faulty as it's not putting out enough amps as some of the cells have packed in!"
I paid the Â£25 excess for a new battery, which I was told was Â£125 to buy new (I know they are only Â£80-Â£90 new) which is not the true price, as Andrew's letter confirms that they are Â£100.
I received a letter some weeks later warning myself that I only had one call out left and all call outs after this would incur a hefty charge.
I called the AA, after being passed around four departments over 30 minutes on the phone, I finally got through to the right person.
Call out number two, was not a call out, it was "a goodwill gesture" in the respect that the AA had broken my immobiliser during call out number one.
Call out number four would not have been required, if on call out number three, the AA had done their job correctly and replaced the faulty part, which your patrol man completely missed.
So the reply to Andrew Strong, chief executive of the AA, is no I am not satisfied with the service. What are you going to do about it?
AA contact details found so far;
The automobile association - AA
(Unchecked, please let me know if it is inaccurate)
Complaints addresses and procedures:
As yet, I am still unable to find an email for Andrew Strong.
About the usual standard of service from AA, I finished my car and house Ins and went elsewhere.
Wouldn’t touch AA with a barge pole, am just going to contact their chief ex.
I am giving notification of my request to cancel motor insurance. Policy number [deleted] due to much more competetive price much lower than AA quote from yourselves.
We have been with the AA many years house,car breakdown etc.Paid for breakdown cover europe.Came home to find that we had not been covered because we had used a different credit card.The card had been accepted by them before we went.So payment on any card is payment..Absolutely deplorable behaviour,somewhat quite a devious and well calculated ploy on their part..Also cannot contact Andrew Strong so therefore it would appear that the top people do not get to know of problems or do not want to know,probably too busy playing croquet.
I am not part of the AA and not endorsing them at all.
I have deleted your policy number to protect your identity.
Denying cover on the grounds of a change of credit card that had erstwhile been used to receive payment requires some explanation. I must say, I am struggling to come up with one reason that would support the AA’s position. I would love to lose my ignorance on this matter. If the AA did that to me, I would be outraged.
I have been experiencing problems with AA insurances. I have all my insurances with them and after I had a small bump in February I had a real chore trying to get sorted out not only with the ins co. they had opted as best for me but also with their so called approved garages. Then my passenger window got smashed on Good Friday and the AA arranged for Auto Windshields to sort it out I am still experiencing difficulties with them over a cheque they have tried to cash twice resulting in charges and which was not even owed to them and they had assured me the cheque had been destroyed. They didn’t even come out on Good Friday to clear up the glass. I am still trying to find an email address for Andrew Strong. Really dissapointed.
Sorry to hear that, I wouldn’t consider the AA to be anything more than an insurance broker or comparison site.
Having discovered this webpage by accident I would like to share my comments with you regarding the catalogue of events which has altered my view completely regarding the Automobile Association
I am a severely disabled driver who on joining the A.A notified them of my limitations and also to ensure the quick response breakdown service which was offered should an emergency arise.
In March 2011 my vehicle, a 4x4 suffered a total engine seizure. I telephoned the breakdown number and notified the call centre that because I was disabled, it would be necessary to send a transporter recovery vehicle that could take my vehicle back home. At the time, I was told by the call centre that my disability details were not on the system and must have ’slipped through the net’ however, now they were aware they would update the system and a recovery vehicle was on it’s way.
In the event, a small breakdown van, far smaller than the vehicle I was driving arrived to tow both me and the 4x4 home.
I again telephoned the call centre was was told that this was the initial procedure but despite my disability and showing the recovery agent my disabled badge my vehicle was connected to, and virtually dragged home on a bar.
I had literally no control over my own vehicle as without engine power, I had neither effective steering which I could turn or even an effective operational braking system and as the journey of three miles home was mostly down one of the steepest hills in the district I was absolutely petrified!
Naturally I put in the strongest complaint to the AA, and having received an inadequate explanation telephoned again. They said they would escalate the matter. Further telephone calls revealed that they had done absolutely nothing and had very conveniently closed the case.
Five months on, and the AA still refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of this matter that a disabled driver should feel that his life had been put at risk.
Neither will they refund my subscription. As I was told this morning by the spokeswoman for the chief executives office “We have thousands of members who never need our services and we don’t refund their money” but we shall try to look at your complaint in a fresh light with a view to a possible discount for your next renewal.
As I told them, there will not be a next renewal - not now, not in the future.
Their actions are absolutely deplorable while their chief executive hides behind various inept departments who’s job it seems to be are to pass their customers from pillar to post while masking their own negligence and the true dissatisfaction of many of it’s customers.
For those who would like to contact him directly with a view to taking legal action I recommend the following website.
This site on paying a small fee will give all the necessary contact details for the Chief Executive.
It appears that not investigating complaints or referring them on is a common occurance with the AA?
look what they do to their own staff, enough said I think.
I can only speak from my own experiences, but as a disabled person I would neither want to trust in, or use their services ever again.
As for being told that ‘many people pay but never need our service’ I question now what I really did get for my money.
After all, the service really has been paired right back to the bone, and ‘cost effectiveness’ as opposed to good customer service now appear to be the priority of the company.
I had to telephone on several occasions even for my membership cards, and despite notifying the AA of my disabilities, and also having signed up for ‘disabled membership’ one might have assumed that
somewhere along the line, someone might have got it right?
Even able bodied people such as commercial vehicle owners and van drivers aren’t going to want their vehicle dragged home on a bar without engine power to assist with either the steering or braking when they have PAID for ‘recovery’ and not a tow so why, even after making thing abundantly clear to the AA at the first call of breakdown do they still consider it to be the ‘first option’ to send a regular van to assist with a total engine seizure?
Again in my opinion I feel that this company has become too big to invest in the necessary vehicles to deal adequately with it’s ever growing member database but apparently it seems not to care as long as it’s members continue to pay.
If one knew of a manager who was unapproachable and didn’t want to know about the complaints of his staff these days we would consider him to be a ‘poor’ manager….but here we have a MD who is equally unapproachable to his customers to the point that even his email address is hidden away?
Surely any MD who is on the ball would want to hear about the failures of his company as well as the good so if anything, he can Improve on the service his company offers?
Not so with the AA it seems.
The AA care so little about customer service and dealing with genuine complaints in a fair manner it is amazing they are large as they are.
I broke down on the 27th August at Jcn 18 on the M6 and called the AA at 14.55 for advice. I was informed by thier salesman that they could have a rescue service with me by 15.40 and on this basis I joined the AA. Thats when it all started to go wrong and i wrote them the following letter.
Shortly after you took payment you then sent me a message to inform me that it would actually be by 16.40 that you would have someone with me. Subsequent complaint calls to your agents at 15.42 and 17.49 informed me that you are trained to provide an estimated time, however I would ask that you listen to the call with your salesman who DID NOT inform me that the time was an estimate and had he done so then I would not have joined the AA. Your service was misrepresented by your salesman and not as advertised.
When your rescue arrived it was believed that my water pump had failed and I would need recovery to a local garage. I asked for recovery home and was informed that I would need to pay extra for recovery home. Again this was not made clear by your salesman and I was subjected to extortion at the roadside by a so called professional organisation.
I was then towed to the Knutsford services to await the arrival of a recovery vehicle to transport me home. I was left at the Knutsford services and told that the recovery vehicle would be there by 17.25. As 17.25 passed I called the AA to be informed that it would in fact be 18.25. Again you did not meet your promise!! There are a number of calls that I expect you to listen to which register my complaints. I was called by your recovery driver to ask where I was as he was at the Lymm services as that was where he had been told I was!! I informed him that he was at the wrong services and that I was waiting for him at Knutsford. I called your agents to complain and they informed me that they had it on record that the recovery driver was told to go to Knutsford?? When the driver eventually arrived he showed me proof that he was sent to Lymm?? It was very clear to me that this was just the latest in a string of evidence that the AA was not the professional service advertised and in fact incompetent and dishonest in getting you to buy its products that it canâ€™t deliver as promised.
I eventually arrived home at 20.00..5 HOURS after purchasing your so called professional services. Had your salesman been honest and informed me that the time he quoted for rescue was only an estimate then I would not have purchased your services. Had you informed me that I would be left sitting at the Knutsford services for one and a half hours rather than the half hour I was promised then I would not have purchased your recovery service. I paid Â£230 for what I expected would be a first class service from the AA and what I got was disgraceful and it took you 5 hours!! from start to finish. Consistently your agents informed me that it was bank holiday weekend and that you were struggling to cope with the number of breakdowns. Again if your salesman had informed me that it was bank holiday weekend and that you were not professional enough to plan for the normal uplift in breakdowns you are asked to attend then I would not have joined the AA.
All you were interested in was getting my money and providing a dreadful service and then unacceptable excuses that you could not cope with providing the service you should be professional enough to plan for at a busy bank holiday weekend.
I have no confidence in your ability to provide the service you promised and feel completely duped! I do not want membership with your business and ask that you cancel the roadside products that you sold me.
The response i got 2 weeks later was it seems typical of the comments above. They simply apologised in a standard letter and refused to answer directly the specific points i raised. No way was i getting any refund or compensation.
Its a remarkable strategy the employ of short term gain of your money when clearly i will not continue with them as a member. Just a fair level of compenstaion from them would give me confidence in thier attitude and care of customers and lead to a long term win by having me as a satisfied customer. Shabby AA very very Shabby….my advice is to stay well clear of them!!
Hello, its 10/10/2011. Out of interest I emailed the AA top man using their standard email format as email@example.com. It had no content but it has not been returned as undeliverable. Watch out for breakdown repair cover. Read the small print and make sure you have service records before you part with money. If you joined in 2006-9 by telephone and pay by direct debit, ask if they have a recording of your contract. If not they have little option other than to offer refunds. I have had two offers but it hasn’t worked yet. I have no recall of wanting Breakdown Repair Cover, all there is on record is a call to me with no information. I am waiting for two transcipts of calls. Will comment again. Thanks for being there. Don’t forget Data Protection Act 1998. Just takes a letter or email (save a stamp)to the company secretary as per template letter on their (DPA) website. It does not cost a thing but it sure wakes up Member care a treat. It gives you the upper hand. I sent the email at about 9am and got a call from Member Care at 5pm having waited a fortnight. AA charge about Â£10.00 for two transcripts. Don’t forget FSA, Serious Fraud Office, just keep the pressure up. I don’t suppose you want to work with the AA? No? But do go to the AA website, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on Jobs. There should be 3 little boxes, click on the left I think and find meet our people. There you will find my friend Jason, responsible for the toolkit used against a Member who has the audacity to leave the AA. Read Culture and History and the rest if you can bear it. Somewhere about is the phrase ‘in the rare event of a complaint’. This is my first use of such a site. Mine is basically fraud but smoothed over by the Direct Debit Guarantee. But it does take time to get the details in order and think of one against the other. Good luck everyone.
We recently had a switch of car and with the new car came a rescue package. When we told The so called 4th emergency service that they were no longer providing us a service and therefore we needed a refund they refused. Hopefully someone can get hold of contact details for the CEO so I can tell him what he can do with his policy.
I have experienced similar problems with the AA who not only failed to pay for a legitimate claim under their Roadside Recovery policy but their so called technical dept advised me that I could safely drive my vehicle with a MOT failure fault which I believe is illegal.So much for the premier motoring organisation.
We really do need the CEO’s contact details.
I also need to contact Andrew Strong. It seems this companies lack of concern for their customers go straight to the top.
If anyone is thinking of taking out car insurance with them I would definitely recommend against it.
My husband has been with the AA for nearly 40 years. We have 3 vehicles and have the all-singing/all-dancing recovery service and were talked into the repair insurance. We claimed once last year - it was for a wheel bearing and they agreed to pay the Â£400+ I was told it would cost to replace. My ABS light came up and shortly after the noise coming from the back of my car sounded like a jet engine. I called out the AA. Their mechanic said that he would recommend not driving the vehicle anywhere except a garage. The garage confirmed that the ABS had a problem and one of the rear wheel bearings needed replacing and the other rear wheel bearing was showing signs of needing a replacement. They were going to charge Â£160 to replace both. The AA argued over the ABS but eventually agreed to its being fixed and they flatly refused to cover the cost of the wheel bearings - they said they would need to collapse before they would do this. So, after talking to them and pointing out that should they collapse when I was travelling along, the damage this would cause would be far in excess of the Â£160 they refused to cover the cost. When pointed out that he was a long standing member and we paid repair insurance for 3 vehicles and they stood to lose all of this PLUS their ‘reputation’ and also the fact that every unhappy customer tells at least 30 people they still said it was our choice to cancel our membership/insurance etc. How much does it cost to get a new member? Andrew Strong should face up to his responsibilities as CEO and make his details available - or maybe he is aware of the deluge of complaints he will receive? Am in the process of contacting various consumer groups/media - suggest all other unhappy AA customers does the same and perhaps they’ll realise that they aren’t the fourth emergency service!!!!
Looking for examples of members being joined up to breakdown repair cover without their knowledge, around 2009. Details of policy letters also required by FSA
It is a legal requirement now for websites to carry the registered address of the company whose website it is. It is sometimes buried but it was there. Try the small claims court…
The AA. Registered office: Fanum House, Basing View, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 4EA. Registered in England with company number 1878835. VAT registration number: 844 2884 04. The AA is part of the Acromas Group of companies.
Automobile Association Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). You can check on the FSA’s register by visiting the FSA’s website www.fsa.gov.uk or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234.
AA does not mean AUTOMOBILE or ASSOCIATION it means ARROGANCE and ALIENATIONâ€¦. what has happened to the human factor with companies that grow and grow and grow away from all traces of being a service or an association? Last weekend we had the most absurd experience with this company - true!
We have been members, on and off - but mostly on, for probably 40 years with varying levels of ‘cover’, as for most people, max or min cover dependant on the state of the domestic economy. As the pensions will only stretch so far, at the moment it is ‘Roadside’ which we thought entitled us to one breakdown with transit to a ‘local’ garage if the vehicle could not be repaired roadsideâ€¦â€¦
2 o’clock on Sunday, on the A11 Newmarket bypass, the fan-belt disintegrates and the warning lights for temperature and battery come up on the dash of our Merc A-Class. We pull in to an emergency station lay-by no. A3232, exit the vehicle and move away from the roadside, report our position to the AA and wait (they say about 40mins). An hour later we call to ask whats happening. They say they don’t have a patrolman anywhere near us so they’ll contract a garage. We suggest the Garage is informed that we need an A-class fan-belt. Eventually a burly guy arrives, doesn’t even know how to open the car bonnet, grunts a couple of times and says he hasn’t a fan-belt and can’t raise the car by the roadside - puts his boss on the phone to tell us there’s no flat truck available and no one at the garage to repair the fan-belt. Burly man leaves. So I phone the AA back and ask to be taken off the motorway, preferably with our vehicle - they say they’ll get back to me with another optionâ€¦.it’s 3-30pm - 36 degrees in the sun with little shade and no water and the constant howl of traffic travelling at 70+ mph. an hour later they phone to apologise - they can’t get us off unless we pay an upgrade from ‘Roadside’ to ‘Relay’ + Â£80 odd for a truck + Â£50 fuel costs - total Â£260-ish in advance. I argued that this was blackmail - ‘Roadside’ gives us the promise of taking us and our vehicle off the motorway to an ‘appropriate’ garage to effect repairs. We understood this would give us one trip a year, with our vehicle to an appropriate garage in Norfolk so it could be left there overnight for repairs the next day - we could walk home. I told them this had happened a few years ago - They checked their system and denied the event had taken place! The AA refused any intermediate assistance - only insisted we pay them first. I rang off. Another half-hour passed by so I rang to speak to a supervisor who sounded helpful - said he would ensure we were taken off the motorway within 30 minutes - further apologiesâ€¦..we waited but nothing - then we had a call to say it would be another 90minutes!! Later it changed again to 40 minutes but they said we would be taken to a closed garage in Newmarket (this is was what they termed as ‘appropriate’ and the term ‘local in their contract means ‘local’ to the breakdown) but they couldn’t get us there anyway. I continued to argue about the imposition of being stranded for hours etc. etc., - the operator said “the longer you argue with me, the longer it’ll be for you to be picked up.” I rang off - That was the straw that â€¦. I contacted a garage, they charged Â£120 to pick us up and take us home with the carâ€¦.we left the motorway at 5-40 and arrived home in Norfolk an hour later. They did not require payment until we had been dropped off with our vehicle. I’m gonna cancel my AA membership for good - I’m selling my vintage AA badges on ebay and arranging road-cover with our insurance company, if that doesn’t work, I’ll stay independent and in the event of a breakdown, talk to the garage direct and avoid all that arrogance and alienation with the AA.
21st Century Blues.
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