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Praise for our Patrols

RAC Patrol van fixing a car

Efficient and polite patrol

On November 21 we were planning to spend the day shopping and having lunch in Newtownards, (Northern Ireland) but unfortunately about five miles from home our Nissan Juke broke down.

We called the RAC and within the hour your patrol Gordon Lee (call sign 3020) arrived and assessed the problem with the car. He diagnosed the breakdown as a ’clutch hydraulics’ problem which unfortunately could not be fixed at roadside. As a result Gordon towed us to the nearest RAC approved Nissan garage in Newtownards.

He was most efficient and polite, and as his next job was close to our home he also took us there.      

It was much appreciated as we are both senior citizens, so very well done RAC, and thank you Mr Gordon Lee.

RAC Member – Colette Roberts

Excellence of Service

On the evening of Thursday 25 October 2013 my elderly BMW 525 suffered a sudden and catastrophic power steering failure. My wife and I were in Barnstaple, North Devon, a town with which we are unfamiliar, for a short holiday. My call to your breakdown helpline call centre was handled quickly and intelligently by a female operative.

Your patrolman Paul Mullinger arrived in less than 15 minutes and immediately took charge of the situation in an entirely reassuring and efficient manner. Despite the lateness of hour he succeeded in contacting the local RAC approved garage, Car Care Centre, where he reported our problem to the manager, now known to me as Mark Pounds. This gentleman agreed to await our arrival and to secure the vehicle for the night pending diagnosis and repairs on the following morning.

Paul somehow drove the car, and us, to the Car Care Centre where Mr Pounds kindly provided us with a courtesy car so that we could continue with our holiday while the BMW was off the road. By now it was dark. Aware that we did not know the local road layout, your patrolman Paul then convoyed us back to our hotel in the town centre and ensured that we were safely settled for the night.

The Car Care Centre obtained the necessary replacement parts and has us back on the road by midday the next day.

I wish to draw your attention to the excellence of the service provided by both the patrolman Paul and by Mark Pounds of the Car Care Centre. Both of these gentlemen were in every respect professional, supportive and efficient in dealing with out difficulties.

RAC Member – Roger Perkins

The RAC saves the wedding day

On Thursday 9th May, my wife and I set out from Cardiff to Lockerbie in our Alvis 1961 TD Park Ward Saloon to collect and deliver our nephew’s bride to their wedding on Saturday. On Friday 10th May in Scotland, we decided to leave the M74 motorway to travel parallel on the old B7078 as it would be a more pleasant journey on the B road. We were progressing over the vast bleak exposed moorland north of Abington and south of Douglas which is apparently one of the least travelled roads, quite close to the highest village in Scotland when I changed down from 5th gear to 4th. As I did the upper section of the gear stick snapped and sheared off cleanly and completely from the lower section, which was still engaged in 4th gear.

I called the RAC Call Centre, and was advised that a patrolman would arrive in approximately 40 minutes. My wife and I then discussed having the car taken to Abergavenny where it is normally maintained, and obtaining a hire car to get us to the wedding on the Saturday and ultimately back to Cardiff.
The weather at this time was atrocious - strong winds and rain. We were stranded, not a habitation in sight.

Your patrol Ian Booth appeared and immediately put us at our ease. He enquired whether the car was in gear and advised me to drive the car around the bend to a safer ‘lay-by type’ spot. He stated that though the vehicles were few they would likely be driven fast. The car did pull away up a slight incline in 4th gear.

We pulled up the front and gear console carpets, over the lower gear stick section. Ian removed that section from the gear box. I gave him the upper section. He stated that he was going to Lanark about 20 minutes away to see what could be done, and he would be back. He checked with us that we would be warm enough. We believed perhaps he would go to a motor factor or to a steel fabricator. He returned in just over the hour.

Ian had been to his own home and he had re-welded the two gear stick sections together in his own garage.

We got to Dunblane that afternoon. On Saturday, I collected the bride and her father from Falkirk and delivered her to the wedding at Dunblane Cathedral. On Sunday we started our return journey and the motor car gave us no more trouble for the remainder of our 913 miles journey.

Picture of a wedding car

We have recounted this experience to many of our relatives, friends and acquaintances. They have all been amazed at the service we were privileged to receive from Ian in particular, and also the RAC.

We wanted to make the RAC aware of this act of chivalry. We were particularly impressed with his quick thinking, his initiative and also most importantly his reassurance. He really was a ‘knight of the road’. We hope you will deem it appropriate to acknowledge this sterling and distinguished service, in some appropriate way, when you consider all the consequences of any alternative outcome. Presumably, this colleague has saved the RAC a significant potential cost for our recovery.

RAC Member - Hugh Bradnum

My car is not designed for the snow

I was caught out in the horrific weather conditions and grid lock in Brighton last night. My car is NOT designed for the snow! The burning smell and overheating meant I had to abandon my car two miles from my house and walk home. Called the RAC this morning. ETA was two to three hours. RAC patrol Lee Coldwell arrived within the hour, made sure my car started and followed me to a parking space within my permit code. He then cleared the snow and made sure I was safely parked.  The only part of his job was to make sure my car started yet he did everything else just to make sure I was safely parked.  Total star. Well done RAC and especially Lee.

RAC Member - Lucy Wilsdon

You saved our grandsons' christening

We’re writing to express our enormous appreciation of one of your Rescue Team members, Terry Staff, who came to our aid in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

We had travelled from Yorkshire to our twin grandsons’ christening.  Arriving in Dursley, we locked ourselves out of our car with the keys  inside. The babies’ family christening gowns, the christening cake - everything, in fact, except that which we stood up in, was locked in the car. To get the spare key would have meant a nine-hour journey in a hire car to Yorkshire. Weary from the journey down, it was a very dire prospect.

When Terry arrived, he explained that opening the car might be impossible but that he would try everything that he knew. As time passed by, little by little we lost all hope but Terry persevered. He seemed to see it as a challenge and clearly sympathised with our predicament. And having tried everything, when even Terry finally seemed at the point of giving up, with one last unorthodox stroke of genius he brilliantly succeeded. His genuine happiness seemed at least as great as our great joy and relief. We cannot believe that anyone else would have persisted for so long, and certainly no one from other organisations.

We made contact with the RAC via Skoda Assist and still have several years under our car’s guarantee, but when we next need to buy a motoring assistance subscription we’ll certainly remember Terry Staff’s diligence and kindness.

We don’t know whether the RAC has a Rescuer of the Year award but, if so, our unanimous nomination would be for Terry Staff.

RAC Member - Ray Kershaw

A very happy RAC customer who made it back in time for the nativity play

I'd like to share with you a very positive experience that I had with the RAC today.

After being delayed for nearly six hours in Ireland and arriving into Liverpool airport late at night with a bleary-eyed four-year-old in tow, I then get back to the multi-storey car park to find our car with a dead battery in temperatures of -2C. While the initial call-out time for emergency assistance was potentially hours away due to the high volume of calls, the dispatchers did everything they could to help us and were calming, helpful and friendly on the line. I was able to arrange over night accommodation and was assured of a re-arranged call-out in the morning. The RAC patrol driver, Mick Sfinavolakis, arrived exactly when they said he would and was absolutely brilliant. He was efficient, personable and made a big effort to chat to my son and answer his questions. He even helped to fix his toy car while we were waiting for the battery to charge and made what was otherwise a distressing situation bearable. He waited to make sure that we could continue on our journey safely and best of all we managed to make it back in time for the school nativity play. It all sounds a bit too good to be true, but honestly this was the story for us this morning!

I know that people take out RAC cover for exactly the situation above, but the level of service we encountered and the patient, friendly manner of the patrol driver really exceeded my expectations.

RAC Member - Siona Murray-Rands



"We made it back in time for the nativity play

After arriving into Liverpool airport late at night with a four old in tow, I get back to the multi-storey car park find our car with a dead battery in temperatures of -2C."

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