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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Tony
    • By MSE Tony 14th May 15, 12:20 PM
    • 61Posts
    • 13Thanks
    MSE Tony
    RAC Car Breakdown Discussion
    • #1
    • 14th May 15, 12:20 PM
    RAC Car Breakdown Discussion 14th May 15 at 12:20 PM
    Hi,

    This is a feedback thread on car breakdown provider:

    RAC


    Please share your experience with other MoneySavers. Click reply to take part:

    • Have you experienced problems?
    • Did you haggle and succeed?

    The feedback comes as part of the Cheap Breakdown Cover guide.

    Thank you,

    MSE Tony
    Last edited by MSE Tony; 14-05-2015 at 1:04 PM.
Page 1
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 14th May 15, 8:07 PM
    • 25,094 Posts
    • 9,959 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #2
    • 14th May 15, 8:07 PM
    • #2
    • 14th May 15, 8:07 PM
    Only used them twice in the past 10 years or more.

    One was a clutch cylinder failed the guy was brilliant too me to the local dealer to get a slave and he replaced the slave cylinder to get us going.
    Spent several hours on the car.

    Another call out was just a water hose down the back of the engine had popped off. He put it back and topped up with water and a reminder to add antifreeze.

    As i have the top package and linked to the the Camping and Caravan Club its much dearer than the basic cover you can get elsewhere.

    Each year i haggle approx £50 off the website price though.

    Not called them out for a fair few years though so that does help when haggling.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
  • drmw
    • #3
    • 15th May 15, 5:08 PM
    The RAC has its very own, very poor and quite unique definition of "repair"
    • #3
    • 15th May 15, 5:08 PM
    Been a member for many many years, rarely used.

    My wife called to say the car wouldn't unlock. I met with her with the spare key - turns out the battery is totally flat. Called the RAC, someone arrived, joined up the jump leads & it turns out there is a dead short in the cabin so the fan is running at lunatic speed even with key removed.

    The "engineer" asked where the handbook was - as it's the size of a volume of Encyclopaedia Brittanica, it's at home. He started the car & put everything away again. I asked if he could remove the fuse, I got a patronising lecture on why I should always have the handbook with me but that was it, he wouldn't even try to locate the fuse & he left.

    So my wife had to drive the car with an electrical dead short which would flatten the battery within an hour of switching off - that's if it didn't spontaneously combust before she got to her destination.

    Complained to the RAC - they politely didn't want to know - they claim they performed to the contract. I pointed out that what little was done was not in any way a "repair" as cited in all their paperwork and T&Cs - a waste of my time.

    To quote: "we do not offer a service whereby we would necessarily look to provide a permanent repair at the roadside". That's not what I had asked, rather take 5 minutes via their technology to find the location of the fuse.

    That's the end of literally 30 years' of membership.

    Disgusting - hope the AA et al are better
  • rbmurphy21
    • #4
    • 26th May 15, 12:34 PM
    RAC what a total disgrace!!!
    • #4
    • 26th May 15, 12:34 PM
    Please avoid RAC at all costs, they are dishonest and their level of service is appalling.

    I have Garage Parts and Labour cover with them which is supposed to cover the cost of repairs at a garage when the vehicle is recovered. I recently had a breakdown and the car was recovered, during the initial call to the operator I was specifically asked where the vehicle should be taken so I inoccently suggested the local garage as that made the most sense. Unfortunately by doing so I had been tricked into inadvertently invalidating my policy as when I came to claim for the cost of repairs I was told that the claim was not covered as the work was not carried out at an RAC approved garage!

    The whole process was deliberate and I dare say they use this tactic on all customers with the parts and labour product, had I been advised by the operator that the car needed to go to a specific garage I would happily have obliged as it made no difference to me.

    As if this isn't bad enough it took them nearly 5 hours to get to me following the initial call! Following the breakdown the process of dealing with them regarding the policy and trying to resolve the dispute has been a nightmare, Ive never experienced such a poor level of customer service and total disregard for the customer!!

    They really are a sham organisation and I would never think about using them again. If you really feel you must use them be prepared for a terrible experience and most importantly beware of their underhand tactics and be carefull how you answer their questions on the phone!!!!!
    • EdwardB
    • By EdwardB 1st Jun 15, 3:05 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 321 Thanks
    EdwardB
    • #5
    • 1st Jun 15, 3:05 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Jun 15, 3:05 PM
    I was an RAC member for years with no claims, the one time I needed them (on way to airport for a flight) they were 2 hours late despite me explaining it was urgent as I had a plane to catch.

    As a result I missed flight and whole holiday ruined.

    I did not renew and now that they only cover cars under 10 years old I will never deal with them.

    I think all insurance should be blanket for all as it keeps costs down, we are seeing so many exclusions that all insurance is a con.
    Please be nice to all MoneySavers. That’s the forum motto. Remember, the prime aim is to help provide info and resources. If you don’t like someone, their situation, their question or feel they’re intruding on ‘your board’ then please bite the bullet and think of the bigger issue.
    • Shirine
    • By Shirine 22nd Jul 15, 3:14 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Shirine
    • #6
    • 22nd Jul 15, 3:14 PM
    Haggling success £174.05 down to £89 in one short call
    • #6
    • 22nd Jul 15, 3:14 PM
    I received a renewal quote of £174.05 plus £2.25 credit card fee for my RAC breakdown cover - roadside, recovery, at home rescue and onward travel for myself and my husband.

    After reading about others peoples' success at haggling I decided to give it a whirl.

    I called and spoke to a lovely chap in the renewals team. I was upfront and honest and told him I was calling to cancel the renewal as I was no longer working and therefore had less need for the cover as no longer commuting to work and also it was too expensive to consider keeping. I explained how I'd shopped around and found an alternative which would suit our needs better now and came in at approx £72 before 10% cashback.

    He admitted he'd not be able to get the price that low but he would try and get it as close as possible for me. After a minute he came back with a suggestion.....switch to covering our two cars (instead of myself and my husband in any car) and if I thought I was unlikely to need the onward travel (I agreed) he could offer cover at £89.

    49% discount :-)
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 22nd Jul 15, 5:26 PM
    • 25,094 Posts
    • 9,959 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #7
    • 22nd Jul 15, 5:26 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Jul 15, 5:26 PM
    But if you breakdown away from home is the only option to be taken to the nearest garage?

    That is one thing i would not have removed from the cover.

    My renewal is cheaper than yours and it covers my caravan also which yours wont, but its still £40 more than i paid last year.

    Need to get on the phone to them again and haggle the price down. Are there any companies that give you the best price and not try overcharge you hoping that you just pay it?

    Imagine a supermarket with no prices on the shelves and you had to haggle on the price of the shopping at the till.
    Last edited by forgotmyname; 22-07-2015 at 5:29 PM.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • bouncydog1
    • By bouncydog1 23rd Jul 15, 7:12 AM
    • 2,591 Posts
    • 2,054 Thanks
    bouncydog1
    • #8
    • 23rd Jul 15, 7:12 AM
    • #8
    • 23rd Jul 15, 7:12 AM
    Well they were brilliant when called out when my DD's car broke down en route to the ferry home. Came out very quickly when we explained and fixed car. Mechanic then insisted on following her for 20 miles in case it stopped again.

    When renewal came through we rang and asked if there was anything they could do about the increase, as she was a student and they immediately reduced it back to the same rate as the previous year including student and new joiner discount.

    Now cancelled as included within car insurance - and before anyone says anything about paying for the add in, there is no separate premium for the breakdown and the quote is cheaper for the package than anywhere else!
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 23rd Jul 15, 4:55 PM
    • 25,094 Posts
    • 9,959 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #9
    • 23rd Jul 15, 4:55 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Jul 15, 4:55 PM
    Beware the free insurance offered maybe less cover than she had before, it maybe taken to the nearest garage or a short distance if it cannot be repaired and not taken home or to your destination.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
  • BrianJ
    when I went to renew automatically my premium went up by 30%, I contacted them saying i had been a member for 5 years and asked them about the price hike, they said they look at each customer individually, i asked what they meant, they replied it depends on length of membership, how you pay, number of callouts and change of cover, I said that I pay by D/D have made no call outs in three years & made no change in cover, they then said it was because of fuel cost increases and inflation, I pointed out fuel costs had fallen considerably and inflation was less than 1%, they offered me a 5% reduction in my renewal, I declined their offer.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 5th Aug 15, 4:00 PM
    • 25,094 Posts
    • 9,959 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    I got 25% off mine. They came back with 20%, I said i can still get the same cover for slightly less. They knocked another 5% off.

    I have been a member for quite a few years also.

    I am getting fed up of having to do it every year though, but i know every
    other company will be the same.
    Last edited by forgotmyname; 05-08-2015 at 4:02 PM.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • Najwaa
    • By Najwaa 2nd Jun 16, 1:54 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Najwaa
    Just tried to get to ther RAC website
    Hi all

    Just waisted my time trying to get to RAC website to register and the site can not be found.

    Also tried getting there via a cash back website and still didn't work.

    Not good
    • Picasso7
    • By Picasso7 25th Jul 16, 3:43 PM
    • 3,217 Posts
    • 30,911 Thanks
    Picasso7
    I've just cancelled AA and taken out RAC. Martin's article isn't entirely accurate as the cashback website you get to from TopCashBack does not give the onward travel free. I didn't have time to use their live chat to argue as it was a good deal with the cashback anyway and I didn't think I'd get anywhere. But the cashback tracked immediately.

    I just hope I don't come back here with a horror story like the ones in this thread!
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 26th Jul 16, 1:10 AM
    • 25,094 Posts
    • 9,959 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    Hi all

    Just waisted my time trying to get to RAC website to register and the site can not be found.

    Also tried getting there via a cash back website and still didn't work.

    Not good
    Originally posted by Najwaa
    Try a new computer, the website works fine.


    Just waiting for my renewal, time to start haggling again...
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • rjsdavis
    • By rjsdavis 10th Nov 16, 4:20 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    rjsdavis
    Do not use the rac
    We have just experienced dire breakdown treatment from the RAC.

    I purchased the full, deluxe, Euro RAC (with full homestart/national recovery/onward travel etc etc) policy via our insurer's Lloyds Bank. They bolted it onto our car insurance policy.

    We took our car over to France for a holiday in the Dordogne, and our Land Rover turbo failed on the Autoroute approaching Rouen, some 200km or so into the journey. The turbo failing caused military grade smoke that engulfed the autoroute, stopping all traffic, and the Gendarmerie and Fire Service attended within a few minutes of the breakdown as other road users thought our car was on fire. We were recovered by the service that picks up all cars from the Autoroute and taken to their depot in Rouen. This was all fine. The agent spoke to the RAC, who covered this recovery fee, and then arranged a hire car for the onward travel. This was also all fine. The young lady that dealt with all of this (Seham) was professional and diligent.

    Then it started to go horribly wrong. The RAC took our Land Rover to a local garage (Garage ACM) in Rouen, that was a generalist garage. They charged E60 for "diagnosis", which was to confirm that the turbo had failed. They claimed that they had removed the turbo, stripped it and then replaced it. (Our UK LR specialist has confirmed that the turbo has never been removed from the engine - ever, since the day it left the production line).

    Long story short - Garage ACM, quoted E1800 to supply and fit a replacement turbo. Yes, you read that right, 1800 quid. Garage ACM refused to provide a diagnostic report, or any sort of written estimate for the work. I declined this quote, knowing that it would cost me circa £300-350 for the same work in the UK from our own LR mechanic.

    The RAC then confirmed, that as I had "declined to have it repaired (at any cost!), and that it could have been repaired by the time our holiday had ended, they would not repatriate our car to the UK". I could not believe my ears.

    Our car was effectively being ransomed - pay the garage bill, and any extortionate cost for the repair that they deem to charge you, or you can get your car home yourself....

    We were able to keep the hire car for the duration of the planned holiday, and drove it all the way back to Calais. The RAC left us to ourselves from Calais port onwards where we needed to get ourselves back across the channel with all of our luggage and children and so on (£150 for 5x foot passengers for a one way trip!!), then there was a hire car at Dover which we could use for 1x day to get us home (this bit was fine).

    I was in the fortunate position where a neighbour of ours was prepared to lend me their Defender so that I could hire a trailer and go back to Rouen the following week to collect our Disco myself. This is what I did.

    Another long story short - the RAC then provide me with incorrect collection details to collect my car! I was texted an address in "Bapaume". I fed this address into the sat nav, that brought up the town of Bapaume (which was about 70k from where I was near the Somme), or another that was some 400km+ away in the Alsace region. I rang the RAC to confirm that my car was in the Bapaume that was near where I was in the Somme valley. The agent confirmed that "she would have thought so, my car was in the NW region of France...." - stupidly, I accepted this and proceeded to the town of Bapaume.

    Long story short - my car was not in the town of Bapaume. My car was in Rouen, but in a surburb of Rouen called "Bapaume de Rouen" - there was no mention of Rouen in the address that the RAC had provided to me! I raced to Rouen as quick as poss to get there before the garage closed, but, despite the RAC ringing them regularly to notify them that I was en route, they were long gone when I got there. An overnight stay in Rouen waiting for the garage in the morning - I haven't been this angry in many years. In some fairness to the RAC, they covered the s***heap hostel that they put me up in overnight.

    I arrived at the garage first thing in the morning. Lie after lie was then told to me by the garage owner. Fortunately, I took the precaution of recording every single word of every single conversation that occurred that day, and every previous call to the RAC on my mobile, so a super-complaint will be heading their way soon. I found that my car had been damaged (front bumper cracked in the corner) and that Garage ACM then lied to the RAC about the conversation I had about this with them at the time - claiming that I agreed with them that it was "old damage" (they don't know yet that they've been recorded). The garage owners became shouty and highly abusive when I dared to ask questions about the breakdown of the repair quote and where the diagnostic report was.

    I am in the process of extracting all of these recordings from my mobile phone, and will be uploading them all to soundcloud. I will post links to them when they're ready. You can hear for yourself how we were treated. This French garage, and the RAC, seem to think that it is "fair and reasonable" to charge 5-6 times as much for a repair as it would cost in the UK, and then to withdraw repatriation services if you decide that you're not being treated fairly or honestly.

    As an aside, we had another serious service failure a couple of months earlier, where I had a clutch slave fail on my Saab, meaning that the clutch pedal simply pressed into the floor and wouldn't return rendering the car immobile.

    Long story short, the mechanic that came out to attempt a roadside repair by bleeding the system through the bleeding nipple on the side of the engine, threaded the bleeding cap (which is an integral part of the slave and is all one unit) which broke it. The system could not be bled again, as hydraulic pressure could not be restored to the system once the air had been pushed out of the system. This led to having to have the master (which had been the fault), as well as the slave (which was fine and didn't need to be replaced until the RAC patrol damaged it) having to be replaced and adding massive cost to the end repair as the entire gearbox needed to come out to facilitate the slave replacement.

    Added to that, after the RAC patrol damaged the slave and subsequently left claiming that "there was nothing he could do for us", we then waited six hours (in North East London) for a recovery truck to come and get us. I was there with my young sister and her newborn baby - the RAC couldn't have given less of a toss about a newborn baby being stranded for this length of time. 8 hours was the total wait before we were actually recovered - and we weren't exactly in the Highlands!

    Added to this, when the recovery truck finally arrived, he struck a parked vehicle (He thought I didn't seem him do this), and simply drove away planning on not getting caught for damaging a parked vehicle!

    Extraordinary. Needless to say, I won't be renewing with the RAC. I've just purchased an AutoAid membership this afternoon, and we'll give them a go.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 10th Nov 16, 6:45 PM
    • 25,094 Posts
    • 9,959 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    Are there any that will recover your vehicle after a garage has said yes they can fix it? You cannot fit a new turbo for £300 - £350.

    You dont need to remove the turbo to inspect it, removing the pipes etc. is all thats required and €60 isnt totally ripoff for that. £1500 is not out of order for a decent turbo replacement.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • rjsdavis
    • By rjsdavis 10th Nov 16, 11:31 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    rjsdavis
    I'm sorry that you chose to reply, when ignorant of the facts of Land Rover servicing.

    Our Land Rover is back in the UK, and will have a genuine, brand new Garrett turbo fitted for £340. Fact.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 11th Nov 16, 1:18 AM
    • 25,094 Posts
    • 9,959 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    Is this under the original warranty or an extended warranty?

    If so why didnt you claim on that instead of the RAC?
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • rjsdavis
    • By rjsdavis 11th Nov 16, 2:33 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    rjsdavis
    What are you talking about?

    Clearly, this is being paid for out of my own pocket! I knew how much it would be to repair the car in the UK, which is why the "offer" of a repair in France of 1,800 Euro's was immediately declined. Fortunately, I know Land Rover's extremely well having owned them for years.

    The key point here, is that most people will not know their marques anywhere near as well, and may well not know if they are being ripped off by a scumbag garage in France, supported by the French RAC, or at least the company "Opteven" that the RAC subcontract to in France.
    • Smartsaver7
    • By Smartsaver7 11th Nov 16, 8:04 AM
    • 201 Posts
    • 179 Thanks
    Smartsaver7
    The only problem I have had with the RAC is that at night they outsource their rescue to contractors , so your breakdown is passed to a nearby garage , if the contractor is a small outfit and their truck is on a job then you have a long wait, I have been left waiting for 4hrs with the RAC call centre operator lying about how long the rescue would take , on my last occasion the garage didn't even get passed the job until 2hrs after my call.
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