Last September 2009, I bought a small scooter to pootle around town. I insured it with AA Insurance Services, the insurance arm of the mighty Automobile Association. This is the first transaction of any kind I have done with the AA since the late seventies.
Well after a few months I decided the scooter wasn't suitable for me so I sold it and obviously cancelled the redundant insurance policy with the AA. They accepted the cancellation and levied a cancellation fee, a grand sum of £3.89. I paid this by cheque and returned the Certificate of Insurance as requested. The cheque cleared my bank account and I thought I could put the transaction to bed.
Oh no! Weeks after cashing my cheque the AA sent me a 'legal' letter -
"FINAL NOTICE BEFORE ISSUE OF COUNTY COURT PROCEEDINGS.
Further to our previous requests for settlement we regret to note that your account has still not been settled. Please be advised that Legal and Debt Recovery proceedings will be issued without further notice unless we receive full payment of the outstanding balance of £0.00 within the next ten days.
NO FURTHER REMINDERS WILL BE ISSUED.
Yes, you read it correctly, your eyes are not playing tricks, the balance of my account is £0.00.
I should have let the issue unravel and let the AA take me to the County Court but hey I'm not that kind of guy. Instead I phoned the AA Insurance Services and spoke to a chap called Dave. (No relation to Cameron.)
After the usual name, rank and number security check he asked how he could help. (I so hoped they would record this conversation.)
"May I speak to Andrew Strong, please?" (A bit tongue in cheek)
"I don't think he works here," replied Dave.
"Well, he's your CEO!" I replied.
"Err, right but I don't think he'll talk to you."
"OK, Dave, could you refer to the recent threatening letter Andrew Strong has sent me."
"Yes, but it will take several minutes to print it off......"
"No problem, I can wait."
After listening to five minutes of dreary AA music back came an apologetic Dave.
"I am very sorry about this situation, it shouldn't have happened."
That seemed to be it. I was not too happy.
"Dave, I am a pensioner in my seventies and I am being treated for a heart condition so I don't need legal threats from mighty corporations CEO to pile on unnecessary stress."
Well that didn't have too much effect but I am to expect a letter of apology. Whoopee!
On reflection, I can now see why this is my first dealing with the AA for thirty odd years and it will certainly be last for the next thirty years!
2 years ago