Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Not impressed with AA

My wife stuck waiting for 6 hours. Madness.

What is worse is they kept changing the time estimate of when a recovery truck would arrive. I am sure if she had known it was going to be 6 hours she could have done things differently, but no.

It's the first time in, well, probably decades, that we have had to call them out to actually recover the vehicle. Now it is so late the garage will be shut. It should be a quick thing for them to fix, but will now have to be a return visit tomorrow.

I thought they gave priority to women on their own? And they were told she is diabetic with no medication on her or anything - and after this delay is not feeling that well now.

I suspect Green Flag next.

Not impressed.


  1. Not impressed with AA? But you *are* AA!

  2. Good luck with Green Flag - they contract out their recovery to local garages on a franchise basis... I'll leave it to you to guess how well that works.

  3. I gave up on the AA when I was nearly hit by an AA van in a hurry (he only just managed to swerve round me, as he had not expected to come round a blind bend in a residential area and find himself behind someone travelling at 30mph in a 30mph limit). When I, as a then AA member, phoned the AA with the details of the incident, the customer services people had the gall to tell me that I should expect to be endangered by AA drivers from time to time, "because we're the fourth emergency service".

    It sounds like they've not improved since. I've had a lot more luck with the RAC - their initial time estimates for getting someone out to me are higher (often much higher - for things where the AA estimate 20 minutes, the RAC often estimates 75 minutes), but they do actually make it in the estimated time, and the driver phones you as they're leaving the job before you, so that you've got some idea of when to expect help.

    As for "priority to lone women"; I believe that ended some time ago, after people started gaming the system ("lone" women having their husbands suddenly reappear on the side of the motorway as the recovery service arrive). C'est la vie!

  4. I've had good experiences with the RAC (unfortunately - I'd rather not have needed them!). They prioritised me because I'm diabetic, even though I didn't ask for that, and they gave me an initial time estimate and called back when it changed (earlier!).

    Also the operative phoned when he left his previous job to get detailed directions ("I'm in the motorway roadworks maintenance area 200 yards before the the M25 J20 roundabout" !) and to give the final ETA. He fixed the problem, getting covered in Diesel in the process, and I was back on the road 2 hours after I broke down. They're not cheap, but when you need them they do the job.


  5. Another RAC user here. They have been great and communicative about estimates. The only problem was one which couldn't be fixed at the roadside and they had to call out their outsourced recovery truck.. That took several hours to arrive with no communication at all.

  6. My top tip is to find out where the local depots are for your favoured recovery company and select the one closest to the areas you expect to travel in.

    Round my way, everyone sub-contracts Pangbourne Garage (even the AA) so it's a straight pitch on price.

    Where I grew up, there was a local AA depot. One of my family broke down 400 yds from it. When the AA mechanic arrived he was missing the vital spare part so he walked back to the depot to get it.