/ RAC Breakdown cover.
Fun and games last night. My 70 year old mum managed to lock her keys in the car and phoned the RAC at 1540. She then rang me at 2100 to say no one has been despite her being a woman alone, 70 and overdue for her heart medication.
I grabbed her spare house key, shot there and got her pills then went to meet her in the Liddle carpark where she was stuck.
I rang the RAC and apparently they had been out twice but couldn't find her, when I checked they had the correct address, they also say they tried to ring the store managers mobile (manager gave mum the number, Liddle were great) but there was nothing in her call log.
It was 2130 when I rang them for the first time and they told me the driver was 8 minutes away. Apparently 8 minutes in RAC world is closer to 50 because it was 2215 when he arrived and once he heard what had happened with the keys he said there was nothing he could do because the car was deadlocked. I told him I had explained that to the call center and that my mum had told them that in the initial call at 1540 but apparently the call center didn't pass it on to the patrol.
He did manage to get in be easing the window and pulling the boot release with a hooked rod though.
The final problem was with my phone number, when I rand at 2130 I got the number on file changed to mine as I was waiting with the car but on the job the guy had they only gave him the last 5 digits of my number.
On top of this my van is covered by Citroen assist, I have called the recovery twice in 3 weeks for an intermittent problem with it (that is now fixed), the RAC now cover citroen assist and both times I rang I was told it would be at least 4 hours because they were unusually busy. Isn't it amazing that everywhere you ring these days is unusually busy.
I was bloody fuming last night. Various complaints have been raised today.
I personally have always used green flag and they have been great.
Just to balance things out.......
Last year I lent my son my car for a week in a cottage in Hawkshead. When the bottom hose split the RAC man spent three hours in the drive of the house repairing it with a piece of pipe and a couple of jubilee clips ( apparently removing and replacing the substantial underbody tray took up quite a lot of the time). The job was a sound one and in retrospect I should have left it on rather than fork out £70 + for a five piece kit where I only needed one of the parts ( dealer only product too so not available cheaper).
Anyway by all accounts it was one of the hottest days of the year and the bloke seemed to lose a couple of pounds in sweat. I would have loved to shake his hand but had to make do with sending a letter of commendation.
The guys are great from what I have seen. It's the muppets in the control room directing them where it falls down
Green flag aren't prefect.
Great service at the roadside, but again a total lack of communication between the call centre passing into onto the guy on the road.
> Great service at the roadside
Sometimes. Even most of the time, possibly. Thing is everything they do is sub-contracted out. (AA and RAC also use subcontractors some of the time but do at least have a fleet of their own.)
Quality control is a bit more hit & miss than with an 'in house' fleet, inevitably. And communication between the call centre and the guy on the road invariably goes through an extra layer too, as they are two different companies. There's also a tiny (hopefully) minority of their sub-contractors who are outright crooks, same as it is with little back-street garages.
I've been with the RAC for a long time now and have called them out a fair few times. Experiences range from reasonably good to absolutely outstanding. (The last time I called them my alternator had conked out - the guy turned up, diagnosed the fault, tried a few local places who might have been able to fix it on the day and when that didn't work out confessed he'd suspected that might be the case and as he was passing the depot on the way to me had already picked up a replacement part. Fitted it himself in a service station car park, job done, guarantee issued, and as the charge was for the part only it cost me less than it would have at the little independent garage who do my servicing.)
The other call centre though, the 'sales' part of the RAC - absolute shysters. I realised at renewal time this year I'd taken my eye off the ball pretty badly and let them put my premiums up well over the odds for several years on the trot as insurance companies tend to do. Rang them up to call them out on it, and to point out the price they were offering for the same cover if I just cancelled my policy, waited a few days and re-joined as a new customer, and got the right result in the end - but oh my gosh what a tedious conversation as the person I was talking to, who seemed perfectly reasonable and intelligent, worked his way through all the scripts he was apparently not allowed to deviate from.
The longest I've waited for a breakdown service has been three days...but that was River Canal Rescue on a canal. Nothing happens quickly on a canal
The AA, every time I've had to call them out, have been brilliant.
I had something similar. Keys locked in my (ex-RAC, amusingly enough) VW camper, as a friend opened the door, put them in the seat and shut it. Called at 8:20PM from the Bosigran car park. They told me they’d be 3-4 hours. They arrived at 3:30AM after quite a few phone calls. The guy who arrived sorted it out in 5 minutes flat and told me that people have had to wait for 9-10 hours that day!
I can understand high demand but I cannot understand how a control centre cannot get the ETA’s down to anything remotely useful. When I called at three and four hours, no driver had been assigned to the job yet.
They refused to help when our alternator went down on the other side of the country from home on a dark winter night. We got home the next day with the help of strangers charging our battery every time it ran down.
With Green Flag now
> I can understand high demand but I cannot understand how a control centre cannot get the ETA’s down to anything remotely useful. When I called at three and four hours, no driver had been assigned to the job yet.
Have you noticed that every time you ring something like this they are always dealing with an unprecedented level of demand and will answer your call as soon as possible. Breakdown, insurance, bank, phone it doesn't matter. Maybe I'm just unlucky and always manage to ring at the busiest time of the day.
> He did manage to get in be easing the window and pulling the boot release with a hooked rod though.
Perhaps you could explain this process with details then everyone knows how to brake into a deadlocked car
> Perhaps you could explain this process with details then everyone knows how to brake into a deadlocked car
Not so easy because car engines are cramped. But if you can link the battery to the starter motor with a lead, you've bypassed the ignition. Rocking the car violently or hitting it where the movement sensor is makes it think it's been involved in a crash and pops the central locking. It does require some prior knowledge of locations. But I've seen an AA guy do it on an Astra.
Note. The car won't ever start etc as the key isn't turned in the ignition deactivating electronic immobilisers.
> The longest I've waited for a breakdown service has been three days...but that was River Canal Rescue on a canal. Nothing happens quickly on a canal
> The AA, every time I've had to call them out, have been brilliant.
yep I would agree, I was with the rac for years and the one an only time I tried to call them out they gave me an eta of 4 hours, this was in the central belt mid day with no adverse weather. as soon as my renewal was up I changed to the AA. used them once and they were onsite within 15 mins.
> The AA, every time I've had to call them out, have been brilliant.
I'm glad you said that. I'm just changing my insurance to the AA and taking up their half price introductory recovery offer.
Green Flag can be very variable because they use local recovery firms (which as you'll know as a small business owner are only as good as the local business owner's management skills).
In essence GF are just an insurance company whereas RAC operate it themselves.
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