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Waited for 3 hrs after accident for 'emergency' recovery

(50 Posts)
Worried345 Sun 14-Apr-13 08:42:52

AIBU to feel furious that my DCs and I had to wait, after a traumatic car accident, standing up for 3 hrs in the cold, suffering from shock, with whiplash injuries - for the so-called 'emergency' recovery service I pay for just such times as this to come and help?

As this is my first car accident, I don't know if this is totally normal practice by recovery services to keep you waiting so long?

I'm extremely thankful that we're not badly injured but we're all traumatised and it's been made much worse by the three hour wait, with nowhere to sit down and getting colder and colder, for the car and us to be 'recovered'.

The emergency recovery service kept telling me 'he'll only be 10 more minutes' but when the man finally arrived, he told me he'd only been called out 1 hr before, not 2 hrs before, when I'd actually phoned for help. By then, the police and paramedics had gone and we were all shocked and freezing cold, couldn't get back into our car, cos it was unsafe, had nowhere to sit but were told to stay by the car. DCs were really shaken and white and ice cold and one was desperate for a wee.

Passersby and drivers stared constantly, as you'd expect but the DCs were really really upset by this too.

The final straw was that once we finally reached home and I could telephone my insurance company and the insurance company of the man who caused the accident (he admitted full blame at the scene), both were closed for the weekend! So you're not 'allowed' to have an accident at the weekend!

So now I have no transport. Neither my emergency recovery service nor the insurance company - where there was an admin. person only - could promise I can claim back for taxi fares. I can't start the insurance claim till Monday and it could be days before I get a car and the children are back at school - so will have to get taxi for school run - and I'm back at work then too (single mum, no family or ex for support).

AIBU to think that this is not good enough for the services I paid for - emergency recovery and car insurance - or is this what you should expect and I should count us lucky not to have been left waiting for even longer?

The irony was that the garage and car dealers I'd bought the car from and who'd recommended their emergency recover service company and insurance company, were 5 mins walk away from the scene of the accident but I wasn't 'allowed' to call on them for help/ a car/ start car repairs (if it's not written off) because the companies they recommend are miles and miles away and completely unrelated - I only now discover - to the car dealer!

Sirzy Sun 14-Apr-13 08:50:02

I can understand you being annoyed. I am a bit confused though as to why you needed to do it that way, whenever I have been in an accident (never as driver!) the police have arranged for the car to be picked up and taken somewhere where the insurance company then pick it up from.

poorbuthappy Sun 14-Apr-13 08:52:36

Ummmm who are you insured with?
I was under the impression claim lines are 24 hours?

Worried345 Sun 14-Apr-13 08:53:36

The emergency recovery company told me to stay with the car and the police told me that as it wasn't in the way of the public and they'd cleared the glass off the road, we should wait for the recovery service.

The police didn't mentionany possibility of arranging to take the car away. They did ask if there was someoen who could pick up the DCs and look after them whilst i stayed with the car but there isn't anyone like that to call on. So we just had to stay there together.

Finola1step Sun 14-Apr-13 08:55:40

Hi worried. What a horrible experience, you poor thing. It's natural to be angry, frustrated and in shock about what happened.

On a practical front. There is little you can do until Monday. Get the kids into school, even if it means booking a taxi. Can you take a day off work? Take a sick day, tell them you had a car accident and need to go to the GP, whatever you think is best. Use the day to get the ball rolling with the insurance companies. And take some time for yourself. You have to look after yourself so that you can look after your children.

That said, today is the day to look at your children and cuddle them a bit more. You had an accident in which you all walked away from. You are very lucky. Take care.

Worried345 Sun 14-Apr-13 08:59:04

Poorbuthappy, I'm insured with what I thought was VW car insurance but turns out to be Allianze. They apparently close at 1pm on Saturdays, which was 15 mins after the emergency recover company finally got us home - too late! They don't open again till 8am Mondays.

The van driver (who drove into us) was from Yodel and he was under the impression that his company insurance would immediately come on scene to help us - and him (although he and his van were fine). Instead, he couldn't get through to them on his phone.

I called the number he'd given me when I got home and it turned out not to be an insurance company at all - but an accident management company - who also close at 1pm on Saturdays for the weekend. The promise of a courtesy car from them for the victims - came to nothing and nor could the sub company (I got through to) promise that Yodel's insurance will cover me for taxi fares till I get a car.

So I'm stuck - but will have to pay out of my pocket anyway for taxi today as we need to do a supermarket shop.

Worried345 Sun 14-Apr-13 09:01:05

Finola, all I want to do right now is cuddle the DCs and never let go. They came off worse as the van hit the back of the car where they both were and the back windscreen shattered all over them, so they had bits of glass in their clothes and hair. I really wanted to get them home and warmed up and fed but we just had to stand there for 3 hrs.

DuttyWine Sun 14-Apr-13 09:02:23

I'm really surprised if you had whiplash injuries the ambulance didnt take you all up to the hospital especially as you had children with you, as you obviously couldn't make your own way there.

I have no experience of this kind of thing but I would have thought they would have wanted to get you all checked out properly?

Hope you and your dcs are all ok.

McNewPants2013 Sun 14-Apr-13 09:02:34

Make sure you get receipts from the taxi driver.

It seems like there is nothing you can do till Monday, could you ask for emergency hoilday from work or phone in sick.

McNewPants2013 Sun 14-Apr-13 09:04:12

Could you leave the supermarket shop till tomorrow

poorbuthappy Sun 14-Apr-13 09:04:30

Just checked their website and it says the VW car insurance number
0844 893 9544 claims line is 24 hour.
Is this the number you rang?

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 14-Apr-13 09:06:41

You can claim for every expense you incur as a result of this accident so keep receipts for everything you have to pay out. It can be hit or miss on how long it takes to get a recovery truck out but if you have been lied to by whoever dealt with your calls chasing the recovery truck then get a complaint in when you speak to your insurer on Monday. You should have been considered a priority and the fact you were alone with children yet no one actually phoned through the recovery when you 1st called is appalling.

ChocHobNob Sun 14-Apr-13 09:07:59

Was going to say the same as poorbuthappy. The insurance customer service may be closed but claims lines are normally 24 hours.

I found the same number.

Try ringing them.

dozily Sun 14-Apr-13 09:08:10

I've only had one accident. The police were there but told me to phone my insurance company who were pretty quick coming to get me and the car - certainly less than an hour. That was Admiral who I would definitely recommend.

3 hours is tough sad

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 14-Apr-13 09:12:48

What a horrible experience for you all. I was on a long drive yesterday and saw so many people broken down and waiting along the motorway, around a dozen in three hours.
I've had to call out rescue a couple of times, I'm with Direct Line, costs me just under £100 a year.
They've always given me good service within the hour, and I got priority if I had a young child with me. They also managed unsociable hours.
So there are much better deals out there. I'd rather have excellent service when I need it than a cheaper deal with so many problems.
I hope they all leap at the chance to do a good job for you, having cocked-up so spectacularly. Read your policy document carefully and see what you should have been entitled to.

Euphemia Sun 14-Apr-13 09:13:01

We had similar from the RAC - not an emergency, but it might have been.

DH's car wouldn't start at 6.30am one day so he phoned the RAC. The bloke finally turned up at 9am! He said he doesn't come on until 8am and he's based in Stirling, an hour away from where we live.

No-one mentioned any of this to DH when he phoned at 6.30am. DH asked what would have happened if it had been me broken down at the side of the road en route to work, and the RAC man said "Just the same."

Shocking service!

noblegiraffe Sun 14-Apr-13 09:13:34

Keep receipts for taxis etc, you can claim this back.
If you have whiplash injuries, get all of you to the docs. Whiplash can take a few days to develop.

Worried345 Sun 14-Apr-13 09:31:10

Thanks. The telephone number on my VW insurance is 0800 9806 923. There isn't that other number mentioned by Poorbuthappy!

Going to look into this shortly but off to supermarket now as DCs are hungry. Will keep taxi receipts.

The paramedics checked us over on the scene, by feeling down our necks and spines. they said it looks OK but you may not feel any effects of whiplash for 24 hrs and if so, take painkillers and we may want to get checked out at the doctors too.

DCs really really didn't want to go to A & E for a 5 hr wait and the last time we went to the out of hrs doctors service when I was delirious with flu and pneumonia, we had to wait for about 4 hrs in the ice cold car as there was nowhere to sit and I was in and out of fainting (that was another AIBU thread a while ago i think). So DCs are against trying there today and we'd have to get taxis too.

However, I'm aching all down my neck and spine, though DCs say they're OK - so I'll see how I am on Monday, once I've sorted out the insurance claim.

The insurance company are apparently completely different to the breakdown company - I only found out yesterday. The VW breakdown turns out to be RAC apparently! The VW insurance is Allianze and the Yodel/FMG cover (that's the van driver's cover) turns out to be Zurich!

I'd far rather pay more for better service but had no idea this was what to expect. If my insurance paperwork is also misleading and the man I spoke to at admin yesterday too and there IS a 24 hr line, then I'm even more furious!

Worried345 Sun 14-Apr-13 09:35:11

Poorbuthappy, just checked the VW insurance website. The number you quoted is on there and says it's open on Saturday till 5pm - which i wish I'd known yesterday as the only number on my paperwork was the one further down on that website that closes at 1pm sat. But there's nothing open 24/7 as far as i can see?

What part of the website does it say 24/7?

fuckwittery Sun 14-Apr-13 09:39:09

Can I recommend Autoaid breakdown insurance. It is recommended by moneysavingexpert. link
They will arrange a breakdown company to come out to you, you pay the company when they arrive, or you can call one yourself and reclaim the costs. This means you can call around for the quickest response time. I've used it a few times and never had to wait more than 45 minutes.
In contrast when I was with RAC I waited for 2 hours with the car in a v dangerous place - police informed me they would tow it away but charge me for this as it couldn't be left where it was.
You have to be able to pay what might be a couple of hundred quid upfront, but the reclaims come through v quickly.

YoniTrix Sun 14-Apr-13 09:42:51

I'd be very surprised if an insurance company don't have a 24 hour accident line.

Sadly the 3 hour wait for recovery is pretty standard (classic car owner).

IvanaCake Sun 14-Apr-13 09:53:34

Every insurance company I have had dealings with has a 24 hour claim line. I would give that number up thread a call.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 14-Apr-13 10:07:37

We were in a similar accident, I had whiplash, back of car was bashed in..Police and ambulance men hammered it back into place and sent us off home with DH driving.

shesariver Sun 14-Apr-13 10:11:35

Saw this on the website

0844 893 9606

Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Lueji Sun 14-Apr-13 10:19:56

Your insurance and recovery services are actually brokers for larger companies.
This happens a lot.

Too late now, obviously, but next time check that their services really are 24h before taking out insurance.
And never go with "recommended" by the dealer.

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