November is the time that I renew my AA membership, something I've done for around 10 years.
And every year I've noted approximately when they would take the money out of my account and put the rest of the paperwork in the bin.
But for some unknown reason, this year I read a little more of the literature that they sent me, including all the new deals they were offering and some of the new "freebies" that they were treating us to.
And while I was reading I noticed to my astonishment that some of the "freebies" (which of curse are not free at all but covered in the cost of the membership) are only available within the confines of the M25, London, England's orbital motorway.
So effectively members of the AA outside the M25's warm embrace are subsidising members within.
"So", I thought to myself, "I'm paying out more so that drivers in London can get a better service? I don't think so. At least, not any more I'm not. I'm leaving. I'll find other cover which isn't London-centric, and which will probably be cheaper anyway".
So I phoned them to tell them of my decision, and instruct them not to take any money out of my account. Well of course you can't just do that, after you have negotiated the "choices" they put there to "help them to direct you to the right department" you have to explain why you are leaving.
I could, of course, have said "mind your own business", but I'm not that kind of guy, and the lad was only doing his job. So, although I don't know what made me do it, I lied. I think that I didn't want to sound like a grumbling Scot, although on reflection I was wrong to hide that. I should have grumbled. Anyway, when I was asked for a reason for leaving I told them I could no longer afford the cost, that times were hard and that everyone was having to make cuts... blah blah, blah...
You could have knocked me down with a feather when he said, "Well Sir, you've been with us 10 years, I could offer you a 10% discount". "Ah you could, could you", I thought. "I wonder that you didn't think to offer me that when you wrote!" But, I'd made my mind up; I wasn't going to subsidise London members. So I said no.
"Well sir", he said, "I could offer you your membership and half the price", he continued.
WHAT? HALF PRICE?
It seems that at least some big organisations are prepared to give a discount rather that lose your custom.
So, if you have AA membership, and you have had it for a while, when your renewal date comes up, you might want to try them out for a discount.
Furthermore, other contracts from now on will not be renewed without some negotiations.
I just thought I'd pass it on to you guys!