Breakdown Orginisations

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.

davidjpowell

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
4,925
Location
Doncaster
Car
E350 w212 and Ford Ranger
Can you count on them as you could do? I can remember a time when if you were in trouble with a car they would sort it out. Now they seem to head for terms and conditions...

Breakdown firm refused to pick up car in floods | This is Bristol

Bristol Evening Post said:
A NURSE left stranded in floodwater says she is angry that the RAC would not send help to rescue her.

Sarah Tosh, who has been a customer of the road rescue organisation for 22 years, says it was "unbelievable" that the company would not come out.


Sarah Tosh with her car at Toyota World in Patchway

Ms Tosh, from Charfield, was stuck in inundated Stidcote Lane, near Tytherington in South Gloucestershire, when her Toyota stopped late on Monday evening.

After reaching dry land she called the RAC only to be told her breakdown cover did not apply to the incident.

She was told she could pay for a patrol to come and help her but would have to do so in advance – and could not as her credit card was inside the flooded car.

Ms Tosh, who is in her early 40s, first got into trouble as she followed a Land Rover down a cut through from Yate to Thornbury.

Her car cut out in the deepest part of the flooded road, leaving her trapped as the car in front sped off unaware.

After being told she could not be helped by her breakdown company, Ms Tosh flagged down a fellow driver in a 4x4 who helped tow her out of the water. She spent yesterday morning taking it to the garage to be fixed.

Ms Tosh said: "When I first called the RAC they told me that I had to pay if I wanted help. I thought it was unreasonable but I understood that I wasn't covered so I accepted. Then they told me if I didn't have my card details they couldn't send someone out, despite being on their record for the last 22 years.

"They take regular payments out of my account so they must have all my details on record. It just seems so unfair that they couldn't come out and wait until the car was recovered before I paid. It is no way to treat loyal customers.

"It makes me so angry to think the RAC would not just make a small compromise for me stuck in the middle of nowhere in the darkness. I have been with them since 1990 and I expected a little more sympathy from the company.

"I know they were busy but they outright refused to come and save me unless I paid in advance.

"I explained to them how I had left my credit car behind when I abandoned the car. I was scared and tired and needed help. It is unbelievable. and I hope it never happens to anyone else."

Ms Tosh said that if it weren't for the assistance from the passing drivers she would have been wading back down to her car through the cold water in the dark.

She said: "The spirit of Britishness is clearly not lost. They stopped for me and chipped in and got me out despite the horrendous conditions."

An RAC spokesman said that incidents involving stranded vehicles in flood water are not covered by breakdown cover and therefore must be paid for.

He said: "As defined by the terms of Miss Tosh's membership, this was not an unforeseen mechanical problem. As a result, any assistance provided is chargeable to the customer and has to be paid in full prior to an operator being sent. Even then RAC will only attempt to recover a stranded vehicle from water if it is safe for the operator to do so, otherwise recovery will have to wait until the water subsides."
 
A car stuck in floods isn't a breakdown issue, it's an insurance claim.
 
More to the point, what was she doing driving into obviously deep water in a low slung Toyota? There was a car in front of her so she must have seen how deep it was...

I side with the RAC here, they did offer to help outside of their terms (even if it required a payment), in what are very dubious circumstances.
 
Sounds like she followed a Land Rover into a flood. What did she expect to happen? Should they have sent a lifeboat or helicopter?
 
a few years ago I reckon they would have recovered her though. AA has similar policies - It's now the 4th Emergency Service, subject to terms and conditions....
 
a few years ago I reckon they would have recovered her though. AA has similar policies - It's now the 4th Emergency Service, subject to terms and conditions....

They didn't seem like the Fourth Emergency Service when they left me stuck on the M40 for 6 hours one cold night. They didn't seem like any sort of service at all once I'd spoken to the stroppy, aggressive youngster in the call centre (contracted out, I suspect) and had some bloke from a local garage drive right past me in the recovery truck (definitely contracted out).

They gave me a £20 cheque which made everything OK. Too bad I'd already joined the RAC by the time it arrived.
 
Dieselman said:
A car stuck in floods isn't a breakdown issue, it's an insurance claim.

The way I read it, the grievance was not the fact that the recovery was not covered by the breakdown cover - the driver was willing to pay. it was that the recovery company, despite being in the business of dealing with people in crisis, were unwilling to take on the credit risk of an established customer in trouble, no matter the goodwill it might cost them. I would agree there were grounds to feel aggrieved at the lack of flexibility and humanity shown in this instance.
 
If the driver in question had contacted her insurance company they would have had the car recovered.
 
BigSilverEstate said:
The way I read it, the grievance was not the fact that the recovery was not covered by the breakdown cover - the driver was willing to pay. it was that the recovery company, despite being in the business of dealing with people in crisis, were unwilling to take on the credit risk of an established customer in trouble, no matter the goodwill it might cost them. I would agree there were grounds to feel aggrieved at the lack of flexibility and humanity shown in this instance.

My thoughts precisely.
 
If the driver in question had contacted her insurance company they would have had the car recovered.
I agree.

This is 100% an insurance issue.

She called the wrong emergency service.
 
That is interesting and useful to know, I would have assumed they would just consider a claim for financial compensation for damage to the car after the fact.

If it is as straightforward as that I wonder why the RAC did not suggest it and save on aggro.

Sounds in fact as though her best course of action would have been to post her predicament on this forum!
 
Right about now , there will be a pro- active salesman from Toyota trying to sell her a Land Cruiser , while her car is in their workshop .
 
I suspect they are stricter on callouts now.

The RAC pulled my car out of a caravan storage compound some years ago after it got stuck there (no charge). They also arranged a recovery wagon for my caravan when that got hit by a truck ... obviously I had to pay for the recovery, but they weren't really obliged to help at all.

I imagine the difference then was that you were actually speaking to someone who worked for the RAC, rather than a person at an outsourced call centre.
 
I know the RAC was at fault here - but the AA have the same terms and conditions.

AA - the fourth Emergency Service, subject to terms and conditions...
 
S'ppose I'm qualified to comment on the other side of this discussion as I've worked under contract for most of the companies- the one I remember is an AA job-a woman with a toddler in a little Fiat Uno on the A9 way up near Brora. 9PM,Howling gale and horizontal rain. The wiper motor packed up, but I was told as the car hadn't actually broken down, I wasn't authorised to move it. I did anyway and my boss covered the cost.

I've pulled a few cars out of floods for Green Flag- last one was a few months ago- An MG ZR, which has a really low air intake (as do Alfa's) Pulled it out, removed the plugs, got it going again and headed home. About 5 miles from home got another call... he'd decided to turn around and go home, and did the same again. Same again and got it going. Lucky guy!

Always found the green company to be more helpful than yellow or orange, but a lot does depend on the driver, and how you word things on the phone.
 
S'ppose I'm qualified to comment on the other side of this discussion as I've worked under contract for most of the companies- the one I remember is an AA job-a woman with a toddler in a little Fiat Uno on the A9 way up near Brora. 9PM,Howling gale and horizontal rain. The wiper motor packed up, but I was told as the car hadn't actually broken down, I wasn't authorised to move it. I did anyway and my boss covered the cost.

I've pulled a few cars out of floods for Green Flag- last one was a few months ago- An MG ZR, which has a really low air intake (as do Alfa's) Pulled it out, removed the plugs, got it going again and headed home. About 5 miles from home got another call... he'd decided to turn around and go home, and did the same again. Same again and got it going. Lucky guy!

Always found the green company to be more helpful than yellow or orange, but a lot does depend on the driver, and how you word things on the phone.

Agreed. I did not mention it on a previous post as it was too easy to track down at that stage, but when the new car broke down on the way home from picking it up, that at least one of these firms exclude cover far vehicles being picked up from an auction (including ebay). They guy that sorted me out, advised that he should not be aware of where the car had come from...

No problem with the individual's - just with organisations that are out to make people believe that they can be relied upon, then rely on small print.
 
Had a good experience with AA recently, coils gone on my car.
He went and got the parts, fitted for free and no loading on the parts price. See the guy around sometimes and we have a quick chat.
He was telling me that he takes pride in his work and also works hard to be top in his team - could just be a good bloke but must have been working within AA procedures as well.
 
RAC boss apologises after rescue refused
Saturday, September 29, 2012The Bristol PostFollow
A NURSE who was refused roadside assistance by the RAC because she had left her credit card in her submerged car has received an apology from the company's chief executive.

RAC boss Chris Woodhouse phoned Sarah Tosh about the incident which left her stranded in the South Gloucestershire countryside during Monday's floods and rewarded her with a year's free membership.


Sarah Tosh with her car after the incident

Ms Tosh, who is in her early 40s, became stranded on her way back from a 10-hour nursing shift when her Toyota cut out in the inundated Stidcote Lane, late on Monday night.

But after wading to safety, Ms Tosh was refused assistance from the RAC without prior payment due to the nature of the breakdown.

Unfortunately, Ms Tosh, from Charfield, had left her credit card in the flooded car. To her disbelief the RAC would not make a compromise despite her 22 years of membership. She was eventually saved by a passing 4x4 which pulled her car to dry land.

Her outrage, first reported in the Post, led to an apology from company head Mr Woodhouse, who called her late on Wednesday evening.

Ms Tosh told the Post: "To be honest, it was really good of him to call. I wasn't expecting it, but it was fair to apologise. I said to him he needs to discuss the way his personnel talk to people stuck out on the road – especially loyal members.

She added: "Looking back, I was just so cross and I couldn't work out why they were being so unreasonable at the time.

"But I think the company realises it made a mistake now."

RAC chief executive Mr Woodhouse said: "I rang Ms Tosh personally to apologise and express my disappointment at the way this situation was handled.

"This was an unusual and unfortunate incident and not how we seek to serve our members.

"The adverse weather of the last few days obviously put our call centre team under a lot of pressure but this was no excuse for not looking to help a long-term member who really needed our help.

"RAC prides itself on the quality of service it gives to members which is why 98 per cent of our members say they would recommend us to their friends and family."

A spokesperson for the RAC added: "Looking into this case in more detail, we feel we should have shown Ms Tosh some flexibility in how she could pay our call-out fee, particularly as she has been a loyal RAC member for 22 years.

"As a result our chief executive has apologised to Ms Tosh personally and offered her a year's free membership as compensation for the way she was treated."

RAC boss apologises after rescue refused | This is Bristol
 
i had a dealing with RAC and it took them 12hrs to get me home, the contracted recovery guy that took me most of the way home said he was surpised i had been waiting soo long and in his experiance RAC are the best, told me to contact his boss and tell him what happened

then couple days later got a call from RAC who apologised and gave me 3 months free membership

at the end of the day they did what they had to and got me and the car home 250miles and gave me the courtesy car for 3 days as per their policy recovery and onward travel so all in all **** happens but i was still happy with their service
 
he'd decided to turn around and go home, and did the same again./QUOTE]

Priceless :thumb:
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom