AA ...not good

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AA ...not good

Post  mrfrance on Wed Jul 02 2014, 21:06

Thought I would share my experience with the AA for those who are thinking about taking out breakdown cover.

I have had a very good experience with the AA for cars, however they just aren't equipped to deal with bikes yet, to my frustration!

The low down

So Monday morning my Pan broke down (yes I can't believe it either) at approx. 9am on the A34 about 25 miles from Oxford (where I work), symptoms of a dead battery, although I suspected it was the reg/rectifier as it's the achillies heel on the old Honda's. I pulled onto the hard shoulder which was as wide as the bike! So for this reason I was put on the priority list. At 10:30 24/7 auto recovery (AA sub-contractor) turned up, loaded the bike and took me back towards Chievely Services as they said the AA would need to take me the rest of the way. I specified to go back to Southampton so I could sort the bike out.

Once unloaded at Chievely I was told the AA were on their way. 1pm an AA patrol van turns up! By this point I'd tested the bike and it ticked over, leading me to believe it was def the reg/rectifier which had overheated. The AA man asks me what I think is wrong, I explain and he says I know more than him so it will need be loaded and towed... as it's the reg I thought let's take it to the garage I got it from in Chichester as it's under warranty (or so I thought.. I'll get to that bit shortly). The AA man says he needs to get 24/7 Auto to pick me up which will be a couple of hours angry not happy! Why the bloody hell couldn't they have just taken me the whole way anyway?!

Soooo 3:30pm 24/7 auto turn up a load the bike, 4pm we're on route to the garage and arrive at 17:50 for which I then had 10 mins to get to enterprise to pick up a hire car (included in my AA package).. basically it took 9 hours to get fully recovered!!!!! Steam Ears

To make matters worse, the bike is under a 3 month warranty, however when I was asked by the garage if I'd experienced any symptoms prior to this since owning the bike, I said "no, I've done 4,000 miles (it's actually closer to 5k) in the month I've owned it..." Big mistake, the garage said "4k you say? Oh well you're out of warranty, it only covers you for 3k"  ....bugger  pale
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  prime on Wed Jul 02 2014, 21:19

Rac are no better mate, waited three hours once, I rang and rang, finally got told off the recovery driver he would be another 2 hours as hed been sent to another job. Shameful service off the aa though, thought they were better than that.
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  SteveCat on Wed Jul 02 2014, 22:41

Sorry to hear that Paul, I am shocked at the AA. They have dedicated motorbike vans, maybe they are only in London. Four of them have been at the Ride of Respect in the past, one year a guy on a kwak had starting issues, I saw the AA team dismantle the bike and rebuild the starter motor - that wasn't the problem though, his engine had seized.
Ouch about the warranty, the 3k in the small print?
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  Rosco on Thu Jul 03 2014, 13:30

I got recovery via my Carole Nash insurance and it was AA that came out.
They were fine although we did have to have a change at services on the M6/M74 as the driver would have overrun his time.

Sorry to hear of the woes on both fronts.
Hope it isn't too expensive to fix.

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Re: AA ...not good

Post  mrfrance on Fri Jul 04 2014, 12:57

Update - Got my bike back and it didn't cost me a penny!  green smile The guys down at P&P Motorcycles in Chichester certainly get my vote! They changed the rectifier as they happended to have another Pan in bits and all is now working Smile

On another front, I contacted the AA, they are sending me a cheque for £40 and have discounted my renewal by 40%... not too shabby! They said they will always get a patrol van out to inspect as it is cheaper for them to fix by the roadside rather than move around, that being said, it shouldn't have taken as long as it did, hence the compensation.

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Re: AA ...not good

Post  bobh on Sun Jul 06 2014, 00:08

Just ditched the AA as they wouldn't budge below £100 for renewal of roadside and recovery. Moved to GEM, for not much more than half that.

Not been impressed with the AA on the one occasion when I had experience of them for bike recovery (not me, a mate I was with). Yes, they do get to you within 45 minutes, or whatever they guarantee. But that's just the man in a van, who says "I can't do anything, got to send for a recovery truck", which then takes another 3 hours to arrive. OK, it was a sunny afternoon in summertime (apologies to R. Davis). Then the recovery man turns out to be a miserable sod who moans about wasting his time collecting bikes when he could be doing something useful like rescuing cars (er, excuse me, who's paying your wages here, mate?)

Would have been a lot quicker and easier if I'd just ridden home and got the car and trailer to fetch the stricken bike - like I did a few weeks ago on my ill-fated Cotswold run, as Weasley will attest.

So, Paul (Mr France, not Weasley), if you have any more probs on the A34 in Oxon/Berks, give me a call and I may be able to do a better job then the self-styled "4th emergency service".
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  mrfrance on Sun Jul 06 2014, 06:37

Thanks Bob, I'll bear that in mind! ...sounds like I'm not the only one who thinks very highly of the AA  Shocked 
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  0ldcat on Sun Jul 06 2014, 13:37

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:So, Paul (Mr France, not Weasley), if you have any more probs on the A34 in Oxon/Berks, give me a call and I may be able to do a better job then the self-styled "4th emergency service".
Ahh, but will you be stood by the side of the road, to fling up a salute when all's clear  salute or
Two penny pieces in pocket, if the prime minister is passing by needing to use a phone box to call the war office [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

 green smile Thumb 
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  bobh on Sun Jul 06 2014, 23:43

Ah, those were the days. Tasteful brown uniforms with peaked cap, jodhpurs and polished riding boots, sidevalve BSA's (or maybe Nortons?) lugging a sidecar full of tools. And the magic key to the roadside box with the emergency phone in it! I may still have my dad's old key somewhere.

But times change. In the unlikely event that the prime minister ever comes past here he'll definitely get a salute, though possibly not using a full complement of fingers.

And the local phone box only takes phone cards now (so the faded notice says - can you still get phone cards?) since some nice people nicked the coin box at dead of night a few years ago. It is grade II listed, though, and may still be operational, once you've hacked your way through the brambles.
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  BlueZed on Mon Jul 07 2014, 08:20

Just wanted to share our AA experience when we needed them... once...

Was at Welshpool 2 or 3 I think when Hilary came off her Thundercat and had to be taken to hospital for some stiching. AA then proceeded to "recover" the bike and charged us full price for it as they said it wasn't a "breakdown" but an accident and that's not covered!  angry 

Just something to bear in mind and to check in the small print! No idea if they still have that policy though...
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  0ldcat on Mon Jul 07 2014, 18:15

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:  In the unlikely event that the prime minister ever comes past here he'll definitely get a salute, though possibly not using a full complement of fingers.
Propper made me laugh that bob  rofl 

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Just wanted to share our AA experience when we needed them... once...

Was at Welshpool 2 or 3 I think when Hilary came off her Thundercat and had to be taken to hospital for some stiching. AA then proceeded to "recover" the bike and charged us full price for it as they said it wasn't a "breakdown" but an accident and that's not covered!  angry 

Just something to bear in mind and to check in the small print! No idea if they still have that policy though...
I remember that day well (as I'm sure both of you do), . . . .
And sadly, Yes, both AA and RAC have the "accident and not a breakdown" clause. You have to - pardon the pun - 'recover' the costs from your insurance claim !  fuming
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  bobh on Mon Jul 07 2014, 21:36

That was another reason I went to GEM - they will (I believe, though I've not yet studied their small print in fine detail) recover after an accident.
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  HEHORE on Tue Jul 08 2014, 02:16

I can only say I've had good experience with the aa 5 call out and not one problem, longest wait ft for the truck was an hour

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Re: AA ...not good

Post  Dirt Bike Dave on Tue Jul 08 2014, 07:15

After 6 years of owning Ducati's i've only ever had to use the AA once for bike recovery, and that was for my Thundercat!!!!
Is that a record??   sign-ducati 
Anyway they came within a couple of hours and recovered the bike home no problems..in fact the guy who recovered me was also a Thundercat owner...spooky or what!!
I get AA roadside and recovery with my Bank account along with a few other things thrown in as a package and had no bad experiences with them so far..
I used them 3 times in one year when i made the mistake (never to be repeated) of owning a Diesel Jag..
AA were 100% more reliable than that bloody car!!   fuming


P.S i did get my Fireblade recovered in Spain with a Tyre issue but we don't talk about that anymore  slap'ed 

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Re: AA ...not good

Post  0ldcat on Tue Jul 08 2014, 08:54

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:P.S i did get my Fireblade recovered in Spain with a Tyre issue but we don't talk about that anymore    slap'ed 
Not while you're listening anyway Dave  Laughing Wink 
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  Rosco on Tue Jul 08 2014, 12:13

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:P.S i did get my Fireblade recovered in Spain with a Tyre issue but we don't talk about that anymore    slap'ed 
Not while you're listening anyway Dave  Laughing Wink 

That joke is only part worn Dave. Still a few miles left in it I suspect.
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  terry lees on Wed Jul 09 2014, 19:58

Oh yes we do Dave, as often as possible.
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  terry lees on Mon Aug 11 2014, 13:13

I think I might have posted up somewhere else that I do a little bit of recovery work for my son, who is the manager of a local firm of recovery agents. We get complaints all the time from people who have been left stranded by the road for hours, almost always by the big two. I think what probably happens is they try and use their own staff and vehicles wherever possible, as obviously this is the cheaper option. However at particularly busy periods they get overrun and just cant cope, either with controllers or roadside staff, which is where we come in, and are offered the job. Unfortunately by this time the member will have been waiting for hours, not our fault of course just the inefficiency of the organisation. Back in the ninties both the AA and RAC were mutual's, that is they were owned by their members, and had their members best interests as a No. 1 priority. However in the early two thousands, the membership of both organisations sold out and became limited companies and of course as with any Ltd. Co. are answerable only to their shareholders, whose main priority is PROFIT. Both organisations are still benefitting from the reputations built up when they were still mutuals. In my experience both of these "clubs" just treat their clients despicably. For example, late Saturday afternoon I was asked to transport a lady along with her broken down car, to her local garage from a service station on the A1M, as we were travelling she told me her tale of woe. She had actually broken down on Friday night near Middlewich in Cheshire at 8.30 and called the AA who informed her that they wouldn't be able to attend for at least 2 hours. As she had a small child with her, she told them that she could spend the night with a friend, but could they attend in the morning. Yes we'll be there at 8.30 So she went back to her car in the morning and waited for them to turn up, at 9.30 she phoned to ask where they were, sorry we'll be there in 20 mins, then again at 10.30 sorry we'll be there in 20 mins. To cut a long story short they turned up at 2.00 pm. The patrol man offered sincere apologies and informed her that due to his shift shortly coming to an end shortly he wouldn't be able to take her all the way home but to the place on the motorway where I picked her up. Just to rub salt into a very sore wound they kept her waiting at this service station for another 2 hours. I eventually got her to her destination at 8.00 pm.
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Re: AA ...not good

Post  mrfrance on Tue Aug 12 2014, 16:11

Crikey that's appalling, I think you've hit it right on the head though Terry, it does seem to be all about the money now... although if they actually put the customer first they'd surely make more money as it costs them more to get someone else to tow  don\'t know 
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