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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.

FairfaxAikman Thu 01-Jun-17 11:15:54

I can assure you that they don't necessarily come any quicker if you are on the motorway - I was three and a half hours on a hard shoulder following a blow out though.

That said, though the contractor might only have been called three minutes before, its possible that dispatch had spent the previous hour trying to get one of their own vans to you. This is what had happened in my case (family member works for them and had found out for me). All it takes is for a job to go from a roadside fix to a full tow and suddenly that van can't take you as the next job. It gets assigned to another van and the same thing happens and then they might need to get a contractor in.

tapdancingmum Thu 01-Jun-17 11:06:33

We are with Gem who cover all 3 cars plus my DH's 3 scooters for less than £100 a year. They do contract out and you have to pay but they reimburse you before the credit card bill comes.

We used to be with the AA and when I broke down with 4 month old DD they were with me within 45 minutes. Mind you this was in a car park in town so there may have been more patrols around. We only left them as the price was getting ridiculous.

MsMarvel Thu 01-Jun-17 10:51:30

I wouldnt have though reporting would do anything?

I guess there's no reason why people cant comment really old threads, if they werent meant to, the threads would be locked.

I do agree that they should be locked after a certain time of inactivity, but until that happens , theres nothing MN would be able to do.

gleam Thu 01-Jun-17 10:35:08

Reported as a zombue.

Groupie123 Thu 01-Jun-17 10:29:07

When I'm alone the RAC has never taken more than 30mins. When I'm with babies it's been even faster (15mins once, 10mins another time). My friends experiences have been similar. Appreciate you're pissed off but your experience of the RAC doesn't tie up to mine at all. Not saying you're making it up, but I won't be cancelling my RAC membership over it.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 01-Jun-17 09:46:32


And not only a zombie but its a revived zombie of a zombie!!!!

Welshmaenad Thu 01-Jun-17 09:36:11

I had hideous service from green flag years ago, left me waiting hours for rescue with a small child and heavily pregnant. RAC on the other hand have always been brilliant with us but maybe it's because we have a Motability car now? Got off the ferry in the dark in Dover 2 years ago to realise a headlight had blown and called them because we had to drive in the dark to Wales. They were there in 20 minutes with the right bulb.

Vigbymumparis Thu 01-Jun-17 09:27:50

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.

This. It's like with all services: most of us know that spanners can get in wheels but if you're told so - preferably BEFORE you're expecting the service to happen - at least you're not also dealing with oh, have they forgotten me, oh, do they not actually give a shit, and all that other stressful stuff. I'm shock at some of the stories on this thread from that point of view - how services can leave people hanging four or five hours with no info is beyond me.

pdjimjams Thu 01-Jun-17 08:13:21

Had the RAC out a few times over the years. They always came within the hour. Not spectacularly quickly but no dramas.

(Which reminds me I have no cover now!)

whynomoresmileyfaces Thu 01-Jun-17 07:53:32

Between DH and I we have used the AA 4 times in 5 years and everytime they have been brilliant. But like most things it probably comes down to service levels in each area. Perhaps the RAC in your area isn't as good so switching to the AA or Green Flag might be better.

cdtaylornats Thu 01-Jun-17 07:53:17

It was a Sunday chances are the call centre was not overstaffed and the contractor was probably called out from home.

Why do you believe having children with you is a route to making your call a priority?

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 01-Jun-17 07:35:26

Perhaps they are still waiting... a bunch of bones wistfully wishing they could head for home.

BigGreenOlives Thu 01-Jun-17 07:29:24

Zombie thread

helensburgh Thu 01-Jun-17 07:25:10

I think it may be the case that the sub contractor gets a higher fee for after midnight working.

Agerbilatemycardigan Thu 01-Jun-17 07:22:26

Just realised that this is a zombie thread. Wonder if they're still waiting at the side of the road? grin

Agerbilatemycardigan Thu 01-Jun-17 07:19:58

AA did this to me. Lone woman 11.00pm at night on a secluded dark and rainy road. Operator said they couldn't come out unless I could provide a landmark - I was in the middle of nowhere. I asked them if they could track me using my phone and she said they couldn't do that. They knew exactly which road I was on but she was really unhelpful - told me to flag down a passing motorist confused

Change providers OP.

Sparklingbrook Thu 01-Jun-17 07:05:49

It's like Groundhog Day around here Euphemia. grin

Euphemia Thu 01-Jun-17 06:50:09

Damn zombie threads! I started reading it, thought "Ooh we had a bad experience with the RAC!", and there were the details of that very experience which I'd typed in three years ago!!!!!


ItsAYesFromMe Thu 01-Jun-17 06:48:53

I used to work for a breakdown company and we had to prioritise Green Flag call outs over RAC and AA, our drivers had to respond within an hour for GF. There was another company as well that had an hour response time but I can't remember who it was now!

ItsNotRocketScienceThough Thu 01-Jun-17 06:41:28

Yeah - they told me once that they would come but would charge me horrendously huge amounts of money(£100s) because they were so busy after heavy rain had caused localised flooding. I was in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain on a blind bend with kids in the car. They actually refused to come unless I gave them the money (about £400) up front (and yes I am a member) I was not impressed!!!

Sparklingbrook Thu 01-Jun-17 06:30:36

I wish MNHQ would sort the zombie threads out. They are everywhere now.

MsMarvel Thu 01-Jun-17 06:14:52

*Zombie thread* (for the second time apparently...)

londonrach Thu 01-Jun-17 06:08:54


londonrach Thu 01-Jun-17 06:06:41

Aa did the same to me a lone female country road, in the winter so dark around 6pm. Taken me 10 years to trust them again (cheapest quote). The only one whos been amazing is green flag

Boblow Thu 01-Jun-17 03:05:46

This morning at 11.30 I heard voices outside my house I live in the country and other than when postman or someone's form of delivery or someone visiting me that's odd.. looking out the window I see a car being pushed off the road into end of my driveway by a young mother , with who turned out to be her 12 year old daughter..
I popped outside to offer a hand getting car off the road or anything else I could do .. all appeared fine other than the car .. lady was member of the RAC daughter had friends nearby and to save boredom setting in for the child phone call was made to collect the girl to go around a friend's house to watch DVDs etc..
Then RAC was called the report was something like this . Car engine lost power cut out freewheeled to a stop, car just off the road no emediate crash risk, one car occupant female aged @ 30 ( if I've guessed incorrect and you are reading this I'm sorry ) . Anyhow this call placed 11.45 am . Estermated response time @ 50 to 90 minutes. It was a hot day offered the lady a drink whilst awaiting mechanic. 12.30 RAC call back new estermated time @50 to 90 minutes ( sounded a tad familiar to me ) 1.20 RAC call again coming up with yet another updated estermated ... Yes you guessed it still the same 50 to 90 minutes .. when asked why it still same estermated time basically operator just said they had a lot of breakdowns in the area.. lady asks if they sending a recovery vehicle to collect car .. No RAC reply it will be a van they will diagnose and fix if they can if not call for a recovery vehicle.. After that call ended I suggested I look at car myself incase it a easy fix to save possible time .. Within but minutes I found that the cambelt had snapped hence not a side of the road fix.. Lady phones RAC back tells the operator .. Operator got a little confused but finally took message and said recovery truck should have there in @50 minutes .. Well that seemed a little better at least . It crossed my mind to break out the champagne ( luckily I had none so more iced orange squash was drunk) .. then out of the blue at 3.00pm RAC calls again to say recovery vehicle has been located and should be here by 5.00 pm ..( They were lucky this young lady had much better control of her temper than I have it seems I'd have flipped out several hours earlier ) But she did ask why they now saying found recovery vehicle be with us in 2 hours when basically 1 hour earlier one was on way and should be here in under a hour . Also basically what the RAC class as a important priority breakdown single defenceless young lady in secluded part of the country .. ( really not a great advert for the company is it ) .... Oddly enough as I said this call took place at 3 pm and they said ETA was now 2 hours so 5pm .. I suggested basically if she liked we could watch a DVD .. just made a fresh drink sat down comfy to watch as we now had theoretical set time ... Phone rings recovery truck 2 miles away and arrived in 5 minutes

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