Fleet News

AA slammed by union over customer service

AA Business Services has doubled the number of its telephone staff working from home in the past three years, amid criticism of its parent company’s customer service handling.

The group claims the move has resulted in a better service to members as productivity has increased and a better work-life balance for AA employees.

The system, piloted by the AA in 1997, uses broadband technology to connect staff to a main system which links to customers.

Kevin Horgan, head of call handling road operations at the AA, said: “Managing your own time and work hours is very appealing for many people. It has paid dividends to AA members in terms of increased productivity and to the AA in terms of less absenteeism and greater staff loyalty.”

The £6.15 billion merger between the AA and Saga last week received a stinging response from the GMB union, which has been in a long-running battle with the breakdown firm over workers’ pay and conditions.

Paul Maloney, national secretary for GMB, said: “The AA’s chief executive, Tim Parker, we reckon will get £80m out of this. This shows the extent to which we have entered into a casino economy. This money was made on the back of 3,500 sacked workers, pay cuts for call centre staff, longer working hours for patrols and a decline in the service to the customers.”

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