Couple left stranded in car recovery ordeal

A couple aged in their 60s with underlying health problems were left stranded by the AA due to delays in coming to their rescue and then a refusal by the recovery driver to transport their two dogs in his vehicle.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 5:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 5:32 pm
Trevor and Gill Riley, who are very unhappy about the service they received from the AA when their car broke down as they prepared to return home to Melton after a holiday EMN-210408-111753001

Trevor and Gill Riley, who live near Melton, were on holiday in a cottage at Ely, in Cambridgeshire, but had problems with their car when they prepared to leave for home on Friday.

The Rileys described the experience as ‘absolutely horrendous’ after returning home more than nine hours later following ‘a whole catalogue of disasters’.

It all started when they phoned the AA for a recovery vehicle to take them and their dogs to the Toyota garage in Loughborough for the car to be fixed and for them to also pick up a hire car from Enterprise in the town.

The recovery driver arrived 90 minutes later than expected and he then ran out of legal driving hours en route and dumped the couple and their pets at Leicester North Services at 3.45pm, telling the couple that another vehicle would be sent to take them to Loughborough.

There were then further delays with the replacement recovery vehicle, with the likely arrival being two hours after they had been left there.

It was then agreed a taxi would be called to take Gill and the dogs home while Trevor waited for the AA vehicle to pick up the car and him.

Yet another problem then materialised when Gill got a call from the cabbie telling her he had gone to the wrong service station in Leicester and that he would not take her dogs in his vehicle in any case.

With all the delays, it became clear that the Rileys would have no chance of getting to the garage or car hire office before they closed so they made yet another call to the AA to take them home and they would sort the repairs out the following day.

They were then transported home with their dogs at 7.15pm after leaving their holiday cottage at 10am, just 66 miles away.

Gill told the Melton Times: “I cannot believe that the AA could leave two people in their sixties, both with serious underlying health issues, and our two dogs, in a service station car park for three hours.

“It seems to me that they have shown absolutely no duty of care to us at all.

“I really feel that the AA should be made accountable for their lack of care and for the absolutely horrendous situation we were put in through no fault of our own.”

The couple say they have since been offered £100 in compensation by the AA.

But they say they will decline to accept the money as it will not make up for the inconvenience they suffered.

The Melton Times has sought comment from the AA on the issues raised by Mr and Mrs Riley but we have not yet received a response.