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

(108 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.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 18-Jun-13 23:33:03

I was with Greenflag for many years and they were first class. Although they tell you they'll be with you within the hour, the companies they contract out to have an agreement with Greenflag that they'll reach their customers within 45 mins. Not sure if this is still the case but it used to be.

I'm with the RAC now and to be honest they've been good so far. They can be a bit grumpy but wouldn't you be if it was freezing cold and pissing down and your head was stuck under a bonnet!

My ex worked for the RAC and to be honest the guys are under so much pressure. He used to tell me some rum tales.

Footface Tue 18-Jun-13 23:34:01

Rac are shit shit shit bags, four hours with a newborn and two year old. Lucky for me I walked home, but they didn't know that and didn't care on iota.

squeakytoy Tue 18-Jun-13 23:43:37

Maybe they had been ringing round various towing companies... and the one that came to you was the first available to get to you.

ChipsNEggs Tue 18-Jun-13 23:45:51

No Yoni ideally they should have been their much quicker and in my limited experience they normally are. Just that depending on what else was going on at the time you may have been down the list and you were being bumped down repeatedly. You run the same risk whoever your breakdown cover provider is. I switch regularly to get the best price deals as as far as I can see they all operate in the same manner. You can't base your view of an entire operation on one incident. If you'd been left in a very vulnerable position that is different but given that you had your DH there and the ages of the children it is fucking annoying but you were not in a highly vulnerable or dangerous situation.

pingulingo Tue 18-Jun-13 23:50:53

Squeakytoy - no they have a contract with one contractor per area. If they pass the job to that contractor and they can't do it within a required timeframe then that contractor is responsible for sub contracting it out. But that rarely happens unless you are somewhere extremely rural or have had an accident that needs specialist equipment.

Sunday evening in the summer is an awful time to need a recovery - not that it's the OPs fault. But it's really unpredictable and used to either be totally dead or manic.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 18-Jun-13 23:51:09

How bizarre, a Greenflag advert came on the tv whilst I'm reading this thread. Have the advertisers got into our heads now. It's like those adverts at the side of the page, always stuff you've just been browsing on tinternet.

pingulingo Tue 18-Jun-13 23:55:02

Chips - you are totally right regarding the vulnerability and response time. A call handler will note the priority of an incoming call and the note "has children please prioritise" goes on a lot - but the dispatcher still has the same number of patrols / resources to send out and not everyone can get an immediate response.

DollyTwat Tue 18-Jun-13 23:57:45

Green flag have always got to me within 30 mins, even on a campsite on a Sunday when I'd run my battery down
Best recovery co I've ever used

VirgoGrr Tue 18-Jun-13 23:59:05

My RAC membership got cancelled last year after they left me 3 hours from 11pm to 2am on my own and feeling very vulnerable. Sub zero temperatures too. No apology, no nothing.

SpooMoo Tue 18-Jun-13 23:59:28

You get what you pay for. Are you on their basic cover?

LazyMonkeyButler Wed 19-Jun-13 00:07:12

Green Flag are amazing. We have two cars at any one time, and always have older cars (we don't do finance, so the cars cost whatever we have at the time). For the princely sum of £9.50 per month they will turn up promptly every time (IME at least) and recover your vehicle anywhere in the country if they can't get it started.

I often say that my £9.50 per month is the best money I ever spend. So much so, that I have free AA cover on my bank account but choose to pay for and use Green Flag every time.

I think it's clear who I would recommend grin.

WeAreEternal Wed 19-Jun-13 00:11:35

I was with AA for years but after two breakdowns where the misdiagnosed a simple fault (that could have been fixed at the roadside) and insisted on towing me home I decided to switch to the RAC.

The first time I broke down with them it was about 7pm in late November of 08, DS was one and asleep in the car.
The electrics had gone and I couldn't get the car to even turn on, so I had no heat or lights, and it was freezing, and dark, and I was alone on a quiet country road.
Because there was no street lights and it was getting really datk it was not safe to stay in the car without any lights on, but it was far too cold to wait outside the car with a one year old.

The RAC told me that someone would be with me ASAP, I had to call them a dozen times, each time being told someone was on their way and would be with me soon. When someone actually turned up. It was 11pm.

I was so angry, especially when the RAC man told me that he hadn't been told to come to me until 30 minutes before.

The RAC claimed it was a computer error, they never apologised or said anything else.

I canceled them and have been with green flag since. They are fab, I've had to call them out three times and each time they have made me a top priority if I have DS with me. They have also got to me in under an hour each time (I worked it out and it's clear that they set off to me as soon as I called)
I definitely recommend them.

DizzyPurple Wed 19-Jun-13 00:16:56

We broke down on the motorway last summer. 2 adults and a 2 year Old. Took them an hour and a half to come (RAC). Not impressed. Luckily it was a nice day so we sat high upon the bramble covered grass verge in safety but not exactly in comfort. Hardly the place with a 2 year old! Gave them very poor feedback in an email they sent requesting feedback but wish I'd complained properly really.

LindyHemming Wed 19-Jun-13 06:45:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Glittertwins Wed 19-Jun-13 07:05:26

We had AA cover until we found they didn't recover after an accident so we suspended it and used the company that was free with the new car.

We've had to use AA now twice in 4 years now on the current car. DH only had to wait 30 mins (no DCs in car) and I had someone within 5 mins of ending the conversation with call dispatcher (Christmas with 2DCs).
We live near the M25 & M1 so there could have been a motorway excuse but there wasn't.

LindyHemming Wed 19-Jun-13 07:08:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsGeologist Wed 19-Jun-13 07:17:39

I'm with Green flag and they have been excellent. Sorry you've had so much trouble with RAC. I'd fuck them off and switch.

YoniMatopoeia Wed 19-Jun-13 09:20:32

Yes we have the full cover too. Homestart, roadside, get you home. All of it.

If there had been other people who were higher priority (lone female, younger kids, dangerous location) then I could understand it. But the call was never even made to the towing company until we chased them. They made no attempt to even start the process of getting us recovered.

And if they have said an hour, and we get bumped because of something more urgent, then ring us up and tell us. Don't leave us there with no idea when we are going to get the kids home and to bed.

YoniMatopoeia Wed 19-Jun-13 09:21:08

Sounds like green flag will be getting our business!

Madamecastafiore Wed 19-Jun-13 09:26:46

The service is appalling but I think you could have rung a friend or relative or a taxi to collect you and your children and take you home leaving DH with the car if the safety of your children was an issue.

I'm all for complaining and think you should but you could have been more proactive.

I originally thought you were going to say you were 200 mile from home not the short distance that you were!

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

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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.

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.

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.

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?"

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