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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

107 replies

YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 22:48


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.

OP posts:

mummydarkling · 18/06/2013 22:52



cansu · 18/06/2013 22:53

That's terrible. I have always had v good experience though I must admit have never been stuck at night. I did complain once about the person I spoke to when trying to upgrade for home start and was given an apology and a free upgrade.


LindyHemming · 18/06/2013 22:55

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MalcolmTuckersMum · 18/06/2013 22:58

Funnily enough I used to subscribe to them through Club Toyota (very attractive price) and then suddenly CT switched to the AA. Something's obviously going very wrong at the RAC which is a shame as they used to be superb.


YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 23:01

I have heard from the bloke/contractor who rescued our car that we would have been better off staying on the motorway. They rescue you quicker on the motorway

OP posts:

moonbells · 18/06/2013 23:02

Ouch. Sorry for you...

I switched to the RAC when the AA did something similar to me... I had to sit and watch two AA vans rescue people in cars which broke down after me, an hour before a non-AA truck turned up, misdiagnosed the fault and charged me £150 for a wholly unnecessary tow.

They refused to refund the tow fee and grudgingly upgraded me to one step higher policy. I told them to stuff it! So I think this sort of thing is sadly all too common and not restricted to one or the other breakdown firm.


pigsDOfly · 18/06/2013 23:04

Green Flag here through my insurance.

Had to call them out on a few occasions. Have always turned up very quickly. Came in about 15 minutes once because I was on my own in a car park at 5.15 in the evening.


cece · 18/06/2013 23:04

I had similar treatment from the AA so moved to RAC a few years ago. I have never had to wait more than 30 mins for someone to come, often less. I think they are wonderful but what you described is bad. Sorry for you. Sad


YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 23:04

Can anyone find me an email for a senior at RAC, or tweet them this thread?

OP posts:

moonbells · 18/06/2013 23:05

Oh and I was on the motorway, in a roadworks jam, at 8pm. Alone. They took four flipping hours to get the incompetent towtruck out. So no, they don't necessarily rescue you faster.


GibberTheMonkey · 18/06/2013 23:06

A friend and I broke down with 3 preschoolers in the car.
We were told that we weren't priority as our local pickup truck had to make breakdowns on the motorway priority.
Except we live in norfolk and there are no motorways and the nearest would be far beyond the reach of anyone based in our region unless they only have about 10 trucks.
Might explain why it took them over 3 hours in December.
Lucky for us we managed to breakdown near a very good pub.


YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 23:07

To be fair- when I have just needed an RAC man to turn up in his van (cos I was stupid and flattened the battery by leaving the lights on), they were quick and nice. It seems to be with recovery that the re is a problem.

The last time I needed recovery - about 8 years ago - it took so long (over 3 hours) that I got a taxi home and got them to come out the next day.

OP posts:

YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 23:11

Are they all shit?

From what I hear Green Flag could be the future

OP posts:

LalyRawr · 18/06/2013 23:12

Try [email protected] to mail your complaint.


YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 23:13

Thanks Laly Grin

OP posts:

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman · 18/06/2013 23:15

Chris Woodhouse.

CEOemail is a very useful website.


LalyRawr · 18/06/2013 23:16

CEO email is [email protected]


OldernotWiser47 · 18/06/2013 23:16

Similar to my experience- called for a breakdown truck, as engine was making noise, and garage haf advised me to stop and under no circumstances turn engine on again. Guy came 3 HRS later, no truck. Turns on engine, revs hard and blows up engine block, then calls for truck. Truck arrived another 2 hrs later.

Had to take them to small claims court as they denied causing damage to engine block.

Been with Green Flag since.
Never never use RAC!


YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 23:18

Ohhhh CEO email coming on.

Older - that is truely shite

OP posts:

Snowballed · 18/06/2013 23:21

Green Flag are brilliant - less than half an hour. Really nice too.


ChipsNEggs · 18/06/2013 23:23

But companies like the RAC/AA have to prioritise due to need, its not first come first served. I broke down a couple of months ago lone female at night and not at home/safe place, i'd only be prioritised higher if I had a child with me. Its fucking inconvenient and annoying but should your DH not being able to leave his home on time be seen before a lone parent with a young baby at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere just because he phoned sooner?

Ideally they'd be able to get to everyone quickly but a paid for service would be very expensive if they needed to ensure they could get to everyone quickly at all times. That does not mean you need to accept bad service just that the bad service may be a one off because others were in greater need at the time.

FWIW I was once involved in a major multi vehicle pile up, there was an AA van just behind who provided emergency medical care to the most seriously injured and continued to help and support us all as the police and ambulances struggled to get through the jam. It was him who helped a paramedic get me into an ambulance about 40 minutes later (my injuries were not life threatening). He was probably on the way to a call when our accident happened and there was probably someone bristling with anger on being forced to wait to have a flat battery sorted.


YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 23:24

So - Green flag - are they good on rescue, not just on getting out to fix if they can?

Our problems have always been when we need an actual rescue - as in put my car on the back of something and take me home in your truck (this is not a euphemism)

OP posts:

pingulingo · 18/06/2013 23:25

I used to work for the RAC. Green flag are good at getting there quick but their repair rate isn't as good. But sometimes you just want to get home asap. To be honest all the breakdown companies are pretty equal and they all fuck up.

PM me if you want any further details on complaints etc, I can probably get you an email address. All the calls will be recorded so list all the wrong ETAs you were given

What's happened is you should have had a patrol to attend (evn though its usually pointless with overheating). Jobs have stacked up and eventually the dispatcher has been allowed to send it over to a contractor for probably a direct recovery. It's annoying but most jobs have to go to a patrol first these days even in jobs when its unlikely to be fixable

Contractor was right, 30 min response time if you are on a motorway hard shoulder - but that's because they are so dangerous. Wouldn't recommend stopping there if you can ever help it. What contractor was it out of interest?


YoniMatopoeia · 18/06/2013 23:29

Chips - are you saying that they should have left us there saying 1 hour, and not even started the process of getting us rescued until an our and a quarter afterwards. We were at the side of the road with children.

I have to say that this is on top of the incident I had some years ago, when they could get nobody out to me at all for 3 hours, so I got a taxi home. The next day, when the recovery guy came out, he had no calls all night. The RAC had not even tried to get me home

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HoHoHoNoYouDont · 18/06/2013 23:33

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.

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