or am i naive to think that the RAC are a bunch of fuckers who are going to struggle to explain this

(70 Posts)
YoniMatopoeia Tue 18-Jun-13 22:48:06


This year has been shit. My in laws are calling it the year of death. The weekend was hard - trying to clear out my dead uncles house.

Sunday. We set off home, and should have been home by 9.30 ish. 20 minutes away the water tank on the car split, so it overheated and we had to stop.

9.30 - We called the RAC, told them that we are by the side of the road with a 13 year old and a 6 year old.

RAC say someone should be with us in about an hour, and they will call us before then.

10.30 we call back - the RAC say that someone will be in touch shortly

10.48 - we call the RAC again. While on the phone to the RAC the rescue truck firm call, and say that they should have someone with us within 60 minutes. DH asks them when they got the instruction from RAC to come collect us, they say 3 minutes ago

11.25 - rescue arrives

11.40 - car is on rescue truck

12:15 - dropped off at home (my children are even more grumpy and tired than initially anticipated)

So the fuckers at the RAC, apparently, did not bother to do anything about us for an hour and a quarter, on a Sunday night, with 2 kids, on the side of the road.

DH has called them today to complain, they say that somebody will call us back within 5 days. I can't wait to see what they say. Though given their track record so far, the reply will probably take 15 days.

We are cancelling, and we have been members for 15 years.

This is NOT the first time that we have been let down by them.

TimeofChange Sat 22-Jun-13 17:55:09

Green Flag.
They are cheaper too.

edwardsmum11 Sat 22-Jun-13 17:52:37

Took an hour and a half to get through to them a few weeks ago. On side of road with 21mth old. Still annoyed tbh.

VirgoGrr Sat 22-Jun-13 17:49:56

It is quite telling as well that when I've mentioned poor service on threads in the past, I've had a PM about it from the company. I bet no-one has had any contact from RAC, have you? I haven't. You couldn't pay me to take out cover with them again now, and I'd been a member for more than 10 years solidly.

Slavetothechild Thu 20-Jun-13 10:50:47

I have disabled membership with the RAC bloodly awful service ! The last time i was stuck in a rugby club car park at night in a wheelchair they said it was not a priority as i was in a car park .....well yes but this was at the end of a game and quite soon it would have been deserted !! Luckily for me some of my sons friends bump started the car as it had a faulty battery i later discovered . Hurray for rugby palyers smile sod the RAC

YoniMatopoeia Thu 20-Jun-13 05:33:44

Still no call back regarding our complaint.

NomenOmen Wed 19-Jun-13 23:59:00

Aviva sold the RAC to a US private equity group in 2011. If you've witnessed a deterioration in service, it is probably because the RAC is being asset-stripped and will shortly go under with levels of unsustainable debt.


GiveItYourBestShot Wed 19-Jun-13 23:33:16

AA made me push my motorbike half a mile down the road to the recovery truck because he'd parked in the wrong street and couldn't be persuaded to move. Won't be renewing with them come October!

CalamityJ Wed 19-Jun-13 23:26:14

Can't believe how much some of you are paying! Start rescue is £36 and the one time I called them I got text updates, the chap came within the hour, was courteous, got my keys out of my locked car and sent me on my way all in under 2 hours. £36! An auto locksmith in an emergency would probably charge over £100. Shop around OP. There's loads who use local garages which are closer.

We're with AA, who are expensive but have been every time I've needed them, apart from one day when we broke down three times in one journey, which sent their computers into a tailspin!!

This thread has made me think though - if I broke down on a motorway how the fuck would I get and keep two toddlers safe on my own?!

loubielou31 Wed 19-Jun-13 22:56:56

I don't know if this is the same for all recovery companies but RAC will charge you for recovery if it's because of an accident rather than a break down!! (I guess they would say you claim for it as part of the insurance claim)

We had to get VW assist out last week, (free for a year with the new car but we'll be taking it out for our other car too now) Their service was really good, they told us the name of the guy who would be coming how long he would be and he called to say he was on his way and a better approximation of his arrival time. (We were at home so how long he took didn't matter to us but I did think if I was stuck on my own on the road somewhere, actually knowing the name of the repair man would be quite reassuring if only to check it was a real repair man when he arrived.)

34DD Wed 19-Jun-13 22:19:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CatelynStark Wed 19-Jun-13 13:50:32

Another vote for Green Flag here - they've been brilliant on several occasions.

I used to be with the AA but it just got way too expensive sad

TheCutOfYourJib Wed 19-Jun-13 13:45:15

Auto aid are fantastic, only £36 for the year as someone has already said.
I've used them loads and they're always quick.

ilovepowerhoop Wed 19-Jun-13 13:17:49

I have cover with Greenflag through my bank account and have had to call them out twice - both times they were here within the hour (same guy both times! - they must contract out as it was 911 recovery that he works for). The first time he recharged my car battery as it had run down for no apparent reason and the second time (2 days ago) I had an engine malfunction and he took it away to a garage of my choice where it is still waiting for a part to fix the fuel injection system.

Due to a malfunction with our car, DS, then 22 months, got locked in at a motorway services. I was also 7 months pregnant. Greenflag took over 2 hours to get to us then. YANBU.

PunkHedgehog Wed 19-Jun-13 11:30:32

I'm with the ETA and have always had great service. They don't have their own vans, they contract out to a network of local places so you don't have someone sent from stupidly long distances away. Fast response (I've never waited more than 40 minutes), they tell you who is coming and an expected time, and if that time changes they ring you with an update instead of leaving you to chase them for info. They also do cycle rescue.

My one dealing with the RAC was through my insurance company after an idiot driving on the wrong side of the road ran into my car.

7.30 pm, unlit country road, middle of nowhere, -2 outside, on my own, phone battery low, far side of some gates that needed a code to get through. They said an hour and they'd give the gate details to the driver. I had to call them repeatedly to find out where they were, and sprint half a mile to the gate when I finally saw orange flashing lights at close to 11pm. Driver was just turning round to leave because he didn't have the gate code or my number. And he'd come from almost 2 counties away.

plainjaney Wed 19-Jun-13 11:08:23

I actually can't fault the RAC for us.

DH broke down on his way home from work earlier this year, it was 5pm, rush hour and snowing like buggery. Roads were atrocious and there were a lot of issues that night. He managed to get off the motorway and called them. They were with him by 6pm and decided to tow him home (gearbox had gone).
By the time they got to the bottom of our street it was heavy snow. Tow truck could have made it to the top but the driver offered to take our car back to their yard and say the street was impassable, this meant that on Monday morning they could deliver the car to our usual mechanic, otherwise we'd have had to have it towed from our drive to the mechanic privately.

He did us a huge favour that night. Not only was DH home on one of the worst nights of snow we've had for ages he saved us about £80 in further transfer fees which when paying £2k for a gearbox meant a lot.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 19-Jun-13 10:53:11

They are useless I broke down on the way to our holiday destination we broke down I was with my DM and 3 DC all under 11 I called the RAC who told me that my cover runs out tomorrow I said tomorrows not today! We waited an age a policeman on a motorbike turned up and had to call them to make them come I would never go with them again

Sokmonsta Wed 19-Jun-13 10:47:26

Green flag were shit for me. I broke down, on a blind bend with 4 dc in the car. 150 miles from home at 3:30pm. Van eventually turned up at 5:30pm and despite me telling them I'd got two rear facing car seats, I still had to call my husband out when they spent 3 hours faffing about working out what they could do to get me home once they'd established my car couldn't be repaired by the roadside, and telling me I didn't need to call anyone to fetch me, they could take me to a train station! We got home eventually at 1:30am.

I took out aa cover the very next day. They have been wonderful and always with me within the hour, even when I had to call them out for a Homestart for my mums car, which I was borrowing.

Owllady Wed 19-Jun-13 10:39:23

The RAC cover motobility, i am not sure whether that makes a difference to how they prioritise. I have them through motobility and they have always been excellent but it's a matter of life and death leaving a severely autistic child at the side of a busy road/motorway

DeWe Wed 19-Jun-13 10:33:28

Green flag was excellent with us. There within 20 minutes, dropped us home and car at garage (even though I directed them to the wrong garage blush the body works one rather than repairs). And ds had a ride in a pick up truck. At 2yo this was very exciting, he still remembers it!

My favourite story was from a friend who had to call the AA out her maximum (3 I think) number of times in a year over totally unrelated (and easily fixed) issues. They sent her a formal letter:
"Dear mrs. X, Just to let you know that you have reached the maximum number of callouts you are entitled to in a 12 month period. If you wish to upgrade to our premimum package then please contact ups on 012345879.
Yours sincerely
AA man"
At at the bottom, handwritten, was an extra note:
"Ps. Have you thought about buying a new car?"

YoniMatopoeia Wed 19-Jun-13 10:29:46

Family lives over 100 miles away. We did try friends. The only friend we could get hold of (who would have been able to come out) only has a 2 seater. The local taxi firm only has 1 car, I don't carry their number or know their name, as I rarely if ever use them (because they charge an absolute fortune). Anyway, I thought the RAC were coming.

LL12 Wed 19-Jun-13 10:11:00

Have you looked at AutoAid?
We have been with them about 3 or 4 years now, have used them once when my clutch went, I was very impressed.
It is the same level of cover as AA & RAC top cover, but you pay about £36 a year for yourself and spouse and then if you breakdown you call them they send someone to you who you pay by credit card.
You then send the receipt and claim form back and get your sent money refunded to you within 7 days.

Osmiornica Wed 19-Jun-13 09:53:55

They left us once overnight despite ringing several times miles and miles from home - the eventual excuse was that they thought we didn't renew our membership - we had but they messed up. They still should have sent someone or at least have told us that so we could sort something else out.

The issue is lack of communication. If they ring back and say, sorry, we're very busy and we can't get out to you for another couple of hours you could perhaps do something but if you think they're going to be there any minute it's trickier.

miemohrs Wed 19-Jun-13 09:39:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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