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to be hopping mad? RAC are a cowboy outfit who take backhanders

(26 Posts)
BoisJacques Sun 04-Sep-11 08:21:58

Last year (or year before) DH put the wrong petrol in (well, he put petrol in a diesel). I was heavily pregnant, the two boys were a baby and a toddler. It was the middle of the night in East London (we were there by mistake). It took hours for the RAC to come, and then, when they did they took us to this really dodgy garage.We were charged a 'recovery fee' which was given to the RAC guy, in cash. We just wanted home (by now early hours) so didn't say anything, just coughed up.

Anyway, fast forward and our car plays up the other week. "Oh it's the alternator" says the RAC guy. He won't take me to a garage I want to go to, not unless I paid him, this was near my DSs - one of whom breastfed. He took me to his choice of garage, and I paid £303 to get the darn thing changed + a fan belt. Hours later, it's done and I drive off. Garage has closed up, and the car plays up again. Took it back to garage who say the alternator is fine, but the problems persist! Ring RAC who check alternator - it IS fine, but they cannot tell me if it was OK before as guy no.1 took no readings! angry The garage is closed, I cannot get to work as the car now will not start and we have paid £303 for something that did not need doing at the RACs 'say so'.

The car cut out with DH - I travel on the M3 with the boys all the time - that could have been us on the motorway!

RedHelenB Sun 04-Sep-11 08:28:01

Love the RAC, never had any problems with them. My policy covers towing to a garage though.

DigOfTheStump Sun 04-Sep-11 08:43:46

that alternator does sound dodgy, however paying a recovery fee in cash may well be the policy you signed up for - you need to check what level of cover you booked.

Just like car insurance, the more extras you pay for the better the policy.

BoisJacques Sun 04-Sep-11 08:49:47

The fee was because I did not have my card (had not arrived)

I have to try and work out how to get it 15 miles now to the garage. DH did not pay the extra £9 for homestart (god knows why) and when he tried to upgrade hours later, it had lept to £87 more hmm

alistron1 Sun 04-Sep-11 08:54:53

If you haven't paid for homestart/recovery etc then they will charge. As for the alternator, did the garage fit a new one or rebuild the dodge one? We had an alternator replaced, left the garage and the died. When the rebuilt alternator was fitted some 'thing' got broken and the garage put in a new alternator FOC.

'Cos we have old cars we have the highest level of breakdown cover known to mankind grin We are with the AA and they are fab.

ZonkedOut Sun 04-Sep-11 08:56:08

When my husband put petrol in his diesel car, the RAC had a special van that just did those jobs. Although, if your DH drove like that, it could have caused damage that needed work. Payment in cash does sound dodgy though, but I don't know what kind of cover you have.

DaisySteiner Sun 04-Sep-11 08:59:50

I would really recommend AutoAid. It's about 40 quid a year (iirc) per driver for any car (as we have a car each, this works out very well for us) for full cover ie home start, recovery, emergency repairs, alternative travel, hotel accommodation etc. The catch is that you pay the recovery firm upfront (although AutoAid contacts them and gets them to your location) and then AutoAid reimburses you within 10 days. We have used it several times over the past few years for silly little things like a flat tyre, flat battery etc. We are sent a cheque promptly and it is all very easy. Would totally recommend them.

Foxy800 Sun 04-Sep-11 09:13:02

Im with the RAC and Ive never had any problems with them. They even gave me a ride home over 200 miles once as i was 6 months pregnant and dp had had a minor accident in the car and it needed to be towed.

I would definately check your policy as never had to had any money over to the recovery guy.

BoisJacques Sun 04-Sep-11 09:15:51

DH didn't drive the car. Cost us hundreds the time of the petrol incident. I had broken down in a different town the other week - it is now that (thankfully in a way) the car has now died at home. I have work in 45 mins - it's a creche that will have to close if I am not there sad I am off to try the car again sad

ginmakesitallok Sun 04-Sep-11 09:19:07

We've got full cover with RAC and when we've needed them they've been great. If the garage hasn't done the right work then it's the garage you should be complaining about - not the RAC

SnakeOnCrack Sun 04-Sep-11 09:21:59

I've never had to pay when the rac have come out to me.. odd. Swap to the aa if you're not happy?

Foxy800 Sun 04-Sep-11 09:22:23

Sorry BoisJaques, wasnt saying your dp had been driving just that in my case it was dp who was driving.

Hope you get the car started.

Nospringflower Sun 04-Sep-11 09:28:54

I've had problems with the RAC as well. They changed a tyre and then when I took it to the garage later because it was making a noise they told me the tyre hadnt been fitted properly and that it had damaged something which now needed fixed. In the end the RAC paid up most of it but it took a lot of fuss / phone calls etc. I am still with them though.

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Sun 04-Sep-11 10:11:51

Surely you can get a refund on the fee you had to pay because your card had not arrived?

SoupDragon Sun 04-Sep-11 11:52:03

I have to say that I've never had a problem with the RAC. You get what you pay for and I imagine you have paid only for Roadside rather than any form of recovery.

ilovesooty Sun 04-Sep-11 12:16:52

I was with the RAC for years until they recovered me one night and as they were dropping the car at the garage caused over £400 worth of damage to the undercarriage. Obviously I didn't spot it at the time as it was dark. They refused to accept any responsibility. I'm with Green Flag now and they've been ok, except for a disagreement when I changed my car and although I'd emailed them they hadn't changed their records and refused to come out - always get change of vehicle confirmed in writing.

BoisJacques Sun 04-Sep-11 12:39:03

THe thing is, the first guy took no readings - it was on his 'say so' about the alternator. The next guy said there was no readings taken so thinks the alternator wasn't faulty in the first place, as the readings are fine now but same problems with the car. Through RACs bad service, we are £300 lighter and have a broken down car, which would not be broken down had they not failed to take readings and not just guess the problem. Along with the bribes I have seen twice, I would not touch them with a barge pole again. Swapping to AA as soon as customer service get back to me about all of this, and I manage to get the darn thing back to the garage

MilkNoSugarPlease Sun 04-Sep-11 12:40:52

Both mum and friend were with RAC....Both found them utterly shit so Yanbu!

wildhairrunning Sun 04-Sep-11 12:49:51

I am going to look at autoaid! Thanks!

Glitterknickaz Sun 04-Sep-11 13:36:09

you shouldn't need your card.... just ID to confirm who you are, their system should be more than capable of identifying you as a customer, COMPLAIN!

That all sounds really weird. I've used them for 15 years and they have always been fantastic.

MadamDeathstare Sun 04-Sep-11 13:39:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Muckyhighchair Sun 04-Sep-11 13:49:51

I have rac as part of car insuance, been with them for about 10 years and I have had to call them out a lot! But no money ever handed over, towed to garage of my choice, they have even done the odd thing extra for free as well. And call out time has been no more then 2 hours even at 11.00 on Xmas eve!

Nothing but good things to say about them

ddubsgirl Sun 04-Sep-11 13:57:28

im with green flag,how much petrol did he put in?dh did this and caught it pretty quick all we had to do was fill up with desiel and it was fine.

SpamMarie Sun 04-Sep-11 17:38:56

I need to add my anti-RAC rant please!

We broke down in the middle of the night, nowhere near any facilities (but on a motorway so easy to access). It took them 3 hours to come to us. I can understand if they're busy, but they kept telling us it would be 10 minutes. We'd see a break down van whizz past, ring again and they'd say it'll be ten minutes. When somebody finally arrived, he moaned when we told him where home was. Admittedly it was about 200 miles away, but if I pay for nationwide coverage, that's what I expect to receive. He tried to convince us to go to a hotel (at our expense), even though the car was completely dead and we would have had no way of getting home from there. He also smoked in the van with us in it (that's illegal since the smoking at work ban, and pretty rude even before then), swore and made highly inappropriate remarks about me. My husband would have smacked him, but we were both desperate to get home. We filed a complaint and nothing was ever done. We are now with the AA.

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