Shopping Discussion

Warning for Auto-renew CAA Members

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 13th, 2019 11:09 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 7, 2013
176 posts
278 upvotes

Warning for Auto-renew CAA Members

Even if you cancel your automatic membership renewal, they will still charge you when your membership year ends. You need to cancel your membership as well.

This happened to me. I went online to cancel my auto-renew in plenty of time for them to process it. They even called me 2 wks before my membership renewal date to say if I wanted to continue CAA benefits, I had to phone them back to renew. I no longer need their service so thought that if I let my membership renewal date come and go, my membership would just lapse. There are many examples of this, like Costco membership: if you do not pay for the next year's membership fee, you are no longer a member.

With CAA, they just go back to the credit card number (which by cancelling my auto-renew meant they were no longer authorized to use it) and processed the next year's payment. My cc was due so I scanned the charges when I spotted erroneous $129.95 CAA fee. When I phoned CAA to ask for a refund for this oversight, they acknowledged and have record that I cancelled my auto-renew but their position was I did not cancel my membership. Obviously, I think this is ludicrous, and of course I did not use any CAA benefits since. Good thing I used my Cap 1 mc for the renewal - I had to phone them for a chargeback.

I was very disappointed with CAA's position on this because I generally regard them as having a good reputation. Glad that my fee-free Home Trust cc covers roadside service so I can avoid CAA forever.

Just want to give a heads-up for other RFDers so they can save spending 45mins on the phone disputing it.

cheers,
:)
11 replies
Deal Fanatic
Feb 7, 2017
9048 posts
6384 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
I get your point.

You cancelled Auto Renew Payment ... so they should not have Charged anything on your Credit Card
(Ie you removed the Authorization for them to process a payment)

But ... that’s not the same as Cancelling Membership entirely

Ya need to be aware of this for future situations.

Where a company could still continue to Bill you ... notorious gym memberships come to mind
But there are certainly others

You cannot ASSUME by taking one action, it will cover the one action you actually wanted to happen

Many times a Cancellation of Membership ENTIRELY requires something in writing
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
748 posts
385 upvotes
I had the same thing happen years ago.
I cancelled my membership by phone thinking I would not get a bill.
I got a bill.
When I called she did not say I had to give written cancellation but my spouse was not cancelled even though I was the primary person on the account.

I also was not pleased with the way it was handled.
Newbie
User avatar
Oct 2, 2018
68 posts
37 upvotes
Toronto
Good thing to be aware of, you try and deal with reputable companies and when they do things like this it is really disappointing.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 6, 2006
4706 posts
505 upvotes
Toronto
I have to say when I have dealt with them I have been pleased.

We were CAA customers for many years. A few years ago we had renewed for another year. A couple of months later some crazy driver smashed into our car, totaling the car and the need for CAA coverage. We waited several months to buy a new car. In the mean time we called CAA to see if they could cancel the balance of our year as we would not be needing it. Our other vehicle was covered from when it was purchased so we did not need any CAA coverage at that point. They not only agreed to cancel our membership but refunded the fee for the entire year even though we were only hoping for the time we had left.

We purchased a new vehicle which had coverage included but when our other vehicle's coverage ended we signed up with CAA again, not only because we had been members for many years before but because of the great service we received when we had the issue with our totaled car. That gesture made us come back without thinking twice.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 28, 2005
5109 posts
752 upvotes
Ontario / Quebec
I would think that it's obvious that one needs to cancel the membership, not just revoke auto renewal.

How is CAA supposed to know that the OP no longer wants CAA membership otherwise?
I switch which credit card I use for certain payments occasionally, cancelling auto-renewal doesn't necessarily mean I no longer want service from that company.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
4938 posts
4852 upvotes
Vancouver
krs wrote:
Jul 12th, 2019 6:29 pm
I would think that it's obvious that one needs to cancel the membership, not just revoke auto renewal.

How is CAA supposed to know that the OP no longer wants CAA membership otherwise?
The canceled auto renewal. He was still auto renewed anyway. CAA should have sent him a bill instead, and then cancelled his membership for him if he didn't pay the bill. Instances like this are why I prefer to use prepaid cards to pay for these kinds of things. Then they won't get any of my money if they try to take more of it without my authorization.
18% = GTA residents as a proportion of Canada's total population
97% = chance that an RFDer lives in the GTA when he posts something location specific, without giving a location

Were you hit with surprise customs/import fees on an Amazon.ca purchase?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 7, 2013
176 posts
278 upvotes
krs wrote:
Jul 12th, 2019 6:29 pm
How is CAA supposed to know that the OP no longer wants CAA membership otherwise?
Because they phoned me 2 weeks prior to my membership anniversary and said if I wanted to continue to enjoy CAA benefits, I had to return their call to pay the membership dues as I was not on auto-renewal.

Also, if they wanted to continue to charge me, they should have at least sent me a bill either via e-mail or snail mail so I would know of the upcoming transaction.

It is "obvious" to you because you are smart, but I am a dummy so I posted my experience to help out other RFDers who might also not know it was "obvious".

cheers,
:)
Member
User avatar
Aug 5, 2005
237 posts
144 upvotes
There many places that do that, this is why what I do I just report my CC as lost and get a new card with a new number, this way I don't have to keep a track of all the places that actually do auto renew. I usually report it within a year time
If they thumb you down I will up it just because
Deal Fanatic
Feb 7, 2017
9048 posts
6384 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
$n00ker wrote:
Jul 13th, 2019 9:59 am
There many places that do that, this is why what I do I just report my CC as lost and get a new card with a new number, this way I don't have to keep a track of all the places that actually do auto renew. I usually report it within a year time
Seems a bit excessive to me.
Claiming a CC was lost ... when it wasnot
Just for the sake of getting a new card
Just cuz you cannot keep track of what’s authorized on it
:rolleyes:

I don’t have any auto renews or auto withdrawals against my CCs

In this way I have total control on what I am billed for / expected to pay

I want to cancel something ... I do so the regular way (by phone, email etc) ahead of time
On occasion when the message seems to be not received, in that I still get a bill
I return that bill, with a letter stating whatever action I took to cancel with them (quoting phone call or email details)
This gets sent out by REGISTERED MAIL ... as there is no misunderstanding. Things are crystal clear

In my 40+ years of Bill paying
I can count the instances on one hand
Where I have had to go that extra step
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 28, 2005
5109 posts
752 upvotes
Ontario / Quebec
Kiraly wrote:
Jul 12th, 2019 7:05 pm
The canceled auto renewal. He was still auto renewed anyway.
I agree, CAA should not have charged the CC after auto-renewal was cancelled.
But that is a problem with a lot of companies, not unique to CAA.
They are keen to set up automatic billing but then, when one wants to cancel it, one often needs several tries to make that happen.

At least getting the money returned should not be a problem if it's a reputable company.

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