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First Call Breakdown - complaints?
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# 1
ness w
Old 25-07-2010, 4:59 PM
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Default First Call Breakdown - complaints?

Has anyone any experience in complaining successfully to this company? I have just broken down and had to pay to be towed home because I did not want to put my family and car full of luggage on public transport from the middle of nowhere to my home which is also in the middle of nowhere and then use public transport again to go and collect my car from a garage about 70 miles away once fixed tomorrow. When agreeing to pay we stated that we considered this unreasonable and were doing so under duress, now we have discovered our policy document it seems they believe not towing us 45 miles home was, in fact, 'the best possible way of offering assistance after taking into account each individual circumstance'.

I am livid with this company since they are not offering the service for which I have paid, but they have my 85. How can I make them pay it back?

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# 2
Judas
Old 25-07-2010, 5:09 PM
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So basically you took out unsuitable coverage then expected premier service.

Many basic breakdown packages only recover to nearby garages rather than offering garage of choice/home. If you wanted to be taken to a garage of your choice/home then you should have taken out cover that provided that.
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# 3
ness w
Old 25-07-2010, 5:23 PM
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No, I took out coverage that told me they would take me home if my car broke down. Not being a lawyer I was unable to decipher the small print in the way that they seem to. Silly me for not expecting 'the best possible way of offering assistance after taking into account each individual circumstance' to mean anything but cheapest for the company.

It's possible that I will not win on this, but I will be contacting trading standards regarding their publicity material. Their renewal letter to me the other week promised recovery to my home and that I would never be expected to make payments up front. Both those claims, I have discovered today, are lies.

It's true that, like a lot of people who use this site, I looked on a comparison site to get my cover the cheapest I could, but I also made it clear that I wanted home recovery and thought that I had it. My first call to the breakdown service today seemed to be fine - they asked me where I needed a tow to and were happy with the answer. When the guy arrived he has been given the wrong address to tow to (much further away) and the wrong amount of time to spend fixing the vehicle. Seems these guys are cowboys and I was fool enough to be taken in.

If anyone has successfully complained to First Call I'd be grateful for any tips, thanks.

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# 4
Judas
Old 25-07-2010, 5:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ness w View Post
No, I took out coverage that told me they would take me home if my car broke down. Not being a lawyer I was unable to decipher the small print in the way that they seem to. Silly me for not expecting 'the best possible way of offering assistance after taking into account each individual circumstance' to mean anything but cheapest for the company.

It's possible that I will not win on this, but I will be contacting trading standards regarding their publicity material. Their renewal letter to me the other week promised recovery to my home and that I would never be expected to make payments up front. Both those claims, I have discovered today, are lies.

It's true that, like a lot of people who use this site, I looked on a comparison site to get my cover the cheapest I could, but I also made it clear that I wanted home recovery and thought that I had it. My first call to the breakdown service today seemed to be fine - they asked me where I needed a tow to and were happy with the answer. When the guy arrived he has been given the wrong address to tow to (much further away) and the wrong amount of time to spend fixing the vehicle. Seems these guys are cowboys and I was fool enough to be taken in.

If anyone has successfully complained to First Call I'd be grateful for any tips, thanks.

No you never. Please post this small print. The terms are in plain english and state you go to the nearest of garage, home, destination.

If you wanted insurance that let you choose you should have paid the extra.

They are not cowboys; Its just people like you don't read what you are getting then blame them.
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# 5
taffy056
Old 25-07-2010, 5:27 PM
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Judging by the reviews here they have a reputation of leaving you stranded!

http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews101817.html
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# 6
ness w
Old 25-07-2010, 6:21 PM
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Yes, it's a lesson, and an expensive one. I will read review sites in future as it seems that there are many 'people like me' who have had the wool pulled over their eyes by this company. It seems definitions of plain English vary but I haven't actually come here to pick a fight with anyone but this company who seemed not to want to assist me. In the meantime, does anyone have any recommendations for an alternative breakdown service that will actually tow myself and my children home if they can't fix the car at the side of the road?

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# 7
taffy056
Old 25-07-2010, 7:37 PM
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I'm with green flag, but through churchhill as its cheaper than directly through them, they tow you home
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