British motoring association the AA has drawn criticism for suggesting that it does not prioritise who to help based solely on someone’s sex or gender.
Twitter user Helen Mott complained to the AA that she had broken down but was not given priority, despite feeling she was in a vulnerable position.
She wrote: “I am a lone woman whose car has broken down at night in the dark. Your call handler has told me you treat lone women and lone men as exactly the same priority in such circumstances because ‘that’s equality’.”
The AA wrongly confirmed that this was the case and responded to her saying it prioritises call-outs based on location and not gender.
They said: “Hi Helen, you’ve been advised correctly. We don’t prioritise based on gender, we do consider the location so as an example we would prioritise someone on a motorway over someone in a supermarket carpark.”
The response, which drew criticism from angry customers and campaign groups, was further complicated when AA president Edmund King intervened on Twitter and said the group does prioritise vulnerable customers after all.
So what is the AA’s policy on vulnerable customers?
Does the AA prioritise responses based on if they are a man or a woman?
It turns out that the AA’s initial response was wrong and required further clarification.
A spokesperson told the Mirror: “We accept that the wording of our initial response wasn’t great and have apologised. In fact, we prioritise anyone at risk but more often than not it will be lone women.
“In breakdowns involving lone women where there is any concern raised by the customer, they receive the highest level of care and priority.”
On Twitter, King explained that the situation had arisen through a poor response to the initial question on the policy.
When asked if the motoring association makes no difference between a ‘stranded female driver and a stranded male’, King initially said: “Of course we do, and we use common sense and prioritise women but by the letter of the law we can’t say that.
He later clarified: “It [AA policy] hasn’t changed. The wording of our initial response not great and we apologised.
“We prioritise anyone at risk but more often than not it will be lone women. In breakdowns involving lone women where there is any concern raised they receive the highest level of care and priority.”
Why was there so much concern?
Campaign groups and customers were concerned that women were not being prioritised having broken down in vulnerable positions
As result, people were concerned that certain customers were not receiving help quick enough based on a supposed AA policy that chooses not to note any differences between sex.
Research from the Femicide Census calculated that across the UK, 1,425 women were killed by men in the 10 years to 2018. This is around one killing every three days.
The AA clarified that it does count lone women as vulnerable customers. King added: “We have not changed our policy. We do give priority to vulnerable customers and normally that is lone women.”
Source & Credit: mirror.co.uk