Aviva Car Insurance / Premium charges after policy cancellation

United Kingdom
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I had a car insurance policy with Aviva which ended in October 2010. Coming up to renewal time they advised they would auto-debit my credit card at renewal time even though I definitely had NOT agreed to this (as a matter of principle I never agree to auto-renewals). I shopped around and found much better deals on offer so a few weeks BEFORE the renewal date I phoned them to advise I would not be renewing the policy (no option to cancel on the website of course) and wanted to cancel with effect from the renewal date. The operator (sounded like offshore callcentre) assured me that the policy would not be renewed and I would not be charged. I followed up with an email on their website confirming what had been discussed and agreed, and returned by post the Insurance Certificate they had sent me with the renewal notice and also confirmed that I was not renewing as per the phone and email. So I had cancelled by phone, email & in writing. In spite of this they sent me ANOTHER insurance certificate and charged me £599 renewal premium! When I complained they claimed my call had been cut off before the policy was cancelled (false, pure lie) and ignored the fact that I had confirmed the call by email and post. Nevertheless they sent me a refund cheque and agreed to make sure the policy was cancelled. Then (get this) they charged me again (£538.12) 2 weeks later. When I complained again all they could say was that it was a mistake (no further explanation). I have now opened a formal dispute with them through Royal Bank of Scotland Visa credit card though they are now taking forever to reverse the charge (1 month and counting)! Let this be a warning to anyone trying to leave Aviva car insurance - they will fraudulently charge your credit card after you have cancelled and then lie about it. Watch your card charges very carefully, make sure you follow up any phone calls in writing otherwise you will not have any proof without getting their recording of the phone call.

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