Renewal: The very mention of this word causes irritation and apprehension amongst motorists across the land. Insurers have come under a lot of flak recently for their ever rising premiums, with the OFT calling the UK insurance market “dysfunctional”.
So, with this in mind, and my breakdown cover due, I eye my renewal letter with intense suspicion:
As you have been a Member of the AA for the past year you will qualify for our new Silver Membership when you renew. With this you get more breakdown cover at no extra charge, plus free extra benefits.
How lovely of them! It’s always nice to be rewarded for loyal custom, and at no extra charge! Wait, there’s a bit further down the letter:
…your payment details are shown in the box overleaf.
So, lots of extra benefits, at no extra charge? Well, not exactly: The adage ‘always read the small print’ most definitely holds true with the AA.
The price you’ve paid in your first year is for new members only, which for me, was £9.95 per month. The renewal price quoted for me overleaf? £18.09 per month, nearly double the cost of my previous cover. This is pretty far from no extra charge…
At this point it’s fair to mention that on calling their renewal team, and after complaining, I got this back down to just over £10 (with exactly the same extra benefits).
I left this experience however feeling as if the AA were trying to pull a fast one: Yes, it was stated in the small print, and yes, you should always read the entire letter front and back, but it did seem pretty poor on their part not to make this clearer both on the letter and at least within proximity to the price I was originally quoted a year ago on their website. Poor show, AA.