Cold, wet and angry

(88 Posts)
Wyldfyre Sat 13-Aug-16 06:54:54

Stuck on the side of a busy motorway for three hours last night due to the RAC's definition of priority and their grasp of geography - I was originally told 40 minutes and the contractor they eventually sent came from a town over an hour and a half away. And they didn't send him until if been there a while and they sent him to a job before me as it was closer to the town he was coming from.
Having a rear wheel blow out at 70mph is scary enough, let alone when you have lorries thundering by.
To make things worse, it was raining and I didn't have a waterproof - having taken it out of the car (where I always keep it) on my day off so I could walk to the shops and forgetting to put it back. I also wasn't within walking distance of anywhere safe (about a mile from the nearest slip road but not in my opinion a safe route to walk).
Two police cars drove by, neither of which stopped to see in the lone and shivering woman was ok - so much for the motto "Keeping People Safe".
In the end, a guy who had been going NB when I first broke down stops to ask if I was ok when he passed SB two hours later and despite living miles away have me his phone number and said he'd come back and pick me up if the RAC failed to arrive. (So a little faith in humanity restored)

I broke down just after 6 and got off the motorway after 9pm.

WIBU to formally complain to the RAC?

DeathStare Sat 13-Aug-16 06:57:37

Poor you. Yes I'd complain. People on the side of a motorway should be their top priority as that's such a dangerous place to be.

apatheticfallacy Sat 13-Aug-16 07:02:50

The RAC left my 17 year old sister alone at night on a single track country road for two hours. She hadn't broken down in a passing place and was unable to push the car into one herself so was terrified someone would come around the bend at 60mph and hit the car/her. She left the lights on until the battery went flat.

Because of that I've been an AA member, I've only used them once and they arrived very quickly, I'm sure there'll be plenty of horror stories about them too.

I'd definitely put a complaint in.

StarlingMurmuration Sat 13-Aug-16 07:09:19

I remember breaking down at my boyfriend's house. When I rang the RAC, I made a point of telling them I had somewhere safe and warm to wait so that they could deprioritise me. No way should they have left a lone woman on her own for three hours, especially now it's getting dark a bit earlier.

While I appreciate that the guy who stopped was probably just being kind, I'd also have felt quite nervous about that too.

Wyldfyre Sat 13-Aug-16 07:30:34

Starling there was a couple of women in the car too, so not as creepy as it may sound. I wasn't to nervous as at least I was in full view of the road

Wyldfyre Sat 13-Aug-16 11:05:45

Just back from the garage.
The mechanic reckons I've been very lucky - and not just because I was in a dangerous spot for three hours.

The blow out was cause by a nail ripping through the side wall of the tyre.
Had it been my front wheel or had I not stopped as quickly as I did then it could have been a lot worse. In his words - "a wheel can be replaced, some other things can't".

BluePitchFork Sat 13-Aug-16 11:12:55

yes complain.
similar thing happenend to dh. took the roadside service didn't come. after 3 hours the police towed him away because they said it was too dangerous and roadside services should attend motorway incidents within an hour.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Sat 13-Aug-16 11:14:14

Play merry hell with RAC and switch to another provider. Make sure everyone you know knows to avoid them like the plague.

AnyFucker Sat 13-Aug-16 11:16:05

That is shit. Cancel your membership and tell them why.

Oysterbabe Sat 13-Aug-16 11:31:36

Similar story. Our car broke late at night, 70 miles from home with our 5 month old baby in the car. We obviously told them about the baby which should have made us priority. When the guy turned up 2 hours later he showed us his job sheet which said '3 adults, low priority'. He actually worked for Green Flag and told us that RAC never do motorway breakdowns and always farm them out, that they're basically incompetent. He transported us and car to the next services where another vehicle from a yet another company picked us up and took us home. It was after 1am when we got in. Luckily DD slept through most of it but being stuck on the hard shoulder with her was actually terrifying.
We complained and they sent us a £30 cheque.

MarklahMarklah Sat 13-Aug-16 11:37:27

Friend of mine and her child were stuck for three hours yesterday as an RAC "priority".

Complain and change breakdown cover provider?

TheCuriousOwl Sat 13-Aug-16 11:44:54

That is AWFUL.

I'm with Britannia Rescue and have been for 16 years (because my dad is a member and I got cheap cover with CSMA so just carried on with them).

They've always been brilliant. I've never had to wait more than an hour and they've always been so helpful.

thecatneuterer Sat 13-Aug-16 11:49:05

I also have a story about RAC's crapness.

I'm with a charity and a new member of staff took one of our vans out last week and mistakenly put petrol in it rather than diesel. When she broke down at 11 pm in a bus lane in Tottenham, on her own (apart from ten cats in the van) they told her they probably wouldn't be able to get to her until around 9 am! And there would be a charge as it was our fault (fair enough).

So we called out out a private specialist in sorting out the wrong fuel and cancelled the RAC.

Yesterday we received a bill from the RAC for £250 for something they didn't do!

We are of course going to complain (and not pay!!) You probably should too.

Gribbie Sat 13-Aug-16 12:13:11

Why didn't you change the wheel and be on your way in 10 mins?

Euphemia Sat 13-Aug-16 12:20:13

Change a wheel on the motorway? Really?!

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sat 13-Aug-16 12:25:08

totally not advised to do that on a motorway Gribble....see the highway code.

Also many modern cars do not even have spare tyres these days.

ExcuseMyEyebrows Sat 13-Aug-16 12:25:29

Don't talk nonsense Gribbie, OP pays for breakdown assistance and that's what she should get.

PrimalLass Sat 13-Aug-16 12:26:52

It is very, very difficult to untighten the nuts on a wheel when they've been tightened by machine, not to mention trying to do it on the motorway in the rain. It would be very stupid to do that.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Sat 13-Aug-16 12:30:34

Oh Gribbie, don't you have something better to do than show yourself up as being ignorant and rather silly?

MyKingdomForBrie Sat 13-Aug-16 12:30:56

Join the AA. They prioritise me LR breakdown and didn't even send a mechanic first, took my word for it that the clutch had gone and sent a tow truck out immediately who was there in half an hour, even though I said I was in a layby so relatively safe. I did mention I was 30 weeks pg and alone so that helped I think but they've always been great.

Gribbie Sat 13-Aug-16 12:33:49

Just saying it was an option (agreed probably not sensible on drivers side). Less dangerous than standing at the side of the road for 3 hours? Your choice. I've changed my wheels so I know it's not an easy task but doable (i'm middle aged, unfit and have a muscle myopathy).

Notthecarwashagain Sat 13-Aug-16 12:40:46

It's an option Gribbie, but definitely not a sensible one.

I went through the theory test practice with DD recently, and the question came up about flat tyre on motorway.
I said to her, use your common sense, think about the road you're on, what would you do?
Unsurprisingly the correct answer is not change it yourself hmm

Poor you Op, sounds horrible, I would definitely put in a complaint.

ThatsNotEvenAWord Sat 13-Aug-16 12:42:59

Just wanted to add another recommendation for the AA instead

Jizzomelette Sat 13-Aug-16 12:50:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImperialBlether Sat 13-Aug-16 12:53:21

I broke down on the motorway the other day and phoned Green Flag who were brilliant - the guy arrived in 8 minutes. I asked him about changing tyres on the hard shoulder and he said he would always tow off the motorway rather than change a tyre there.

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