AA driver dumps couple and broken-down car at motorway service station because his shift was over


AA driver dumps couple, their dogs and broken-down car at motorway service station because his shift was over, resulting in a nightmarish NINE HOUR journey to get home from holiday (when it should have taken less than three)

  • Gillian and Trevor Riley had car trouble returning from Cambridgeshire holiday
  • AA driver towed them to service station before saying his shift was finishing
  • Couple were then forced to wait hours for another recovery vehicle to turn up
  • AA investigated and later apologised for the ‘unacceptable delay for service’

An AA driver dumped a couple, their dogs and broken down car at a service station because he was due to finish his shift – which meant it took them more than nine hours to get home.

Gillian and Trevor Riley, of Old Dalby near Melton, had problems with their car while they were staying at their holiday home in Ely, Cambridgeshire and needed to be towed home.

But it ended up taking them more than eight hours to complete the two-and-a-half hour journey after the AA driver bringing them home pulled into the A6 service station near Birstall and began unloading their car.

Gillian, 63, said: ‘My husband quickly got out and asked him why he had stopped, and he explained that his working hours were up and that we would have to get a second recovery vehicle sent out to us.’

Gillian and Trevor Riley were left stranded for hours at a service station on the A6 after an AA driver towing their car home to Old Dalby near Melton, Leics dropped them off because his shift was ending

The AA then sent a taxi to take Gillian and the dogs home, while Trevor, 67, waited with the car for another recovery driver to turn up.

However, the AA sent the taxi to Leicester Forest East service station on the M1 instead of the service station on the A6.

And when they finally spoke to the taxi driver, it turned out he would not take their dogs in his car, which meant they all had to wait for the second recovery vehicle to turn up.

And three hours later, when the recovery van finally arrived, the AA driver would not take their dogs in his cab either and said they’d have to go in the couple’s car while it was being towed.

Gillian, 63, said: 'My husband quickly got out and asked him why he had stopped, and he explained that his working hours were up and that we would have to get a second recovery vehicle sent out to us'

Gillian, 63, said: ‘My husband quickly got out and asked him why he had stopped, and he explained that his working hours were up and that we would have to get a second recovery vehicle sent out to us’

Huge setbacks including waiting for two hours for a recovery vehicle before setting off and being left stranded at a service station for over three hours meant it took Gillian and Trevor nine hours to make it home

Huge setbacks including waiting for two hours for a recovery vehicle before setting off and being left stranded at a service station for over three hours meant it took Gillian and Trevor nine hours to make it home

Gillian said: ‘I told the driver we didn’t feel comfortable with the dogs in the car. It’s not safe for people to be in a vehicle while it’s being towed, so why would it be okay for dogs? Surely that would just be incredibly stressful to them?

‘But the recovery driver eventually changed his mind, and we could finally get home.’

Gillian and Trevor arrived back at their home at 7.15pm, eight hours after they were supposed to be collected by the AA, and nine hours after leaving their holiday cottage. The journey in took longer than a transatlantic flight.

Gillian said: ‘It was a disaster from start to finish. I can’t believe they’ve let us down so badly. I’ve been a member since 1995 and I’ve never experienced anything like it.

A spokesperson for the AA said: 'We have investigated the incident and were sorry to find that the customer experienced an unacceptable delay for service, which fell below our usual standards.' Pictured: The A6 services

A spokesperson for the AA said: ‘We have investigated the incident and were sorry to find that the customer experienced an unacceptable delay for service, which fell below our usual standards.’ Pictured: The A6 services

‘My yearly subscription is meant to be renewed this month, with fees increasing by £50, and I’ve just asked them “where is the incentive for me to carry on?” We’ve been completely let down by them and they refuse to take responsibility.’ 

A spokesperson for the AA said: ‘We have investigated the incident and were sorry to find that the customer experienced an unacceptable delay for service, which fell below our usual standards.

‘The member was first advised their car required garage work and we arranged for recovery with a third party agent. Unfortunately, the recovery agent arrived late and had to terminate the journey early due to government working hour rules.

‘We offered solutions throughout the breakdown to ease the member’s distress, however at the time they declined financial compensation and alternative travel arrangements to get home sooner. 

‘We have been in touch with the member directly following the initial complaint and would like to extend our apologies once again. We will be contacting them further to help restore their faith in the AA.’

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