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Thread: 24 Hours to get home after RAC left us to beg help from strangers

  1. #21
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    Dec 2012
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    Just to be completely clear we didn't drive through a flood. There was some surface water standing on the surface of the A66 dual carriageway, to a depth of a centimetre or two I think but we could not change lanes as there was other traffic and due to road undulation I couldn't see it till it was too late for severe braking to be safe. The effect was to generate spray, and the car was not impeded by the small level of water - I was more wary of aquaplaning than anything else.


    I could not stay on the line to argue with an unhelpful operator as I was on a borrowed phone and we were many miles from home and needing to get the car moved before darkness fell (the weather was wet too) so their refusal to help caused an emergency that needed my attention.

    The car was repaired and it was found to be a mechanical fault - a failed alternator. They didn't even offer send a patrolman to assess the situation - SIMPLY SAID WE WOULD BE CHARGED FOR RECOVERY!!!

  2. #22
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    Dec 2012
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    At no time did I say that there was water BLOCKING the lane - there was water standing on the road surface. This part of customer services reply is misleading - the surface was flooded (in a technical sense) to a depth of perhaps an inch perhaps less - the car's progress was not impeded or affected by the water but there was spray!!!! As you might expect on a wet day in the UK

    Angela - the car was driven on wet road during December in the N of England, with a family on board, going to a carol service in Durham Cathedral. If you don't cover innocent activity like that what do you cover. Moreover you will see that the car broke down a number of miles (near Staindrop) from the A66, backing up my story that we hadn't driven through a deep flood.

    I haven't been able to respond till now as I find this whole incident and dealing with your horrible robbing organisation so stressful

  3. #23
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    Apr 2012
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    As I have said before on another similar thread; It all depends on what you say to the call centre operator at the time. Of course only the RAC can say accurately what was said, but if, as reported above, that you drove through standing water that was blocking the road, then it is not surprising that they assumed that you had driven through a flood. If you didn't say that, or something like it, then you need to hear the actual recording.

    For the benefit of everyone else - If you drive through a puddle and break down, DO NOT mention the puddle. In fact it is probably better to not even mention the rain. At least this way you will get a patrol out - if he finds that the problem is caused by driving through deep water then you have lost nothing.

  4. #24
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    Oct 2006
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    You say it was an alternator fault,did you not see an indication that you were running on your battery,the red light glimmering and your lights getting dimmer??

  5. #25
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    Dec 2012
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    Hi Davesdad,

    indeed those were the symptoms we had in the closing minutes of the breakdown but we didn't know how much battery power was left and we had to reach somewhere where we could make the famous "peace of mind only a phonecall away" which fell on deaf ears. Being far from home we depended on good samaritans to give us sufficient charge to try to get in the first instance to relatives (who were out and that was why ended up going for a very long walk in the dark trying to get to Bishop Auckland in an effort to get to another relative near Durham). We then got home the next day by geting further charges till each time the battery went flat and we had to find help again, which is why it took a day to get home.


    All for a huge annual fee for providing no help. I never claimed the road had been blocked by water, that was an assumption made by the operator who seemed to have stopped listening to what I was saying once I mentioned "water".

    I suppose their investigation did not extend to asking whether there had been any reports of such a fictitous blockage from the Durham police on the Eastbound A66 W of the Bowes interchange. ~If they had they might have considered why they should think that someone would make up a story of a blockage when non existed?

    IT CERTAINLY SEEMS THAT PAYING A LARGE FEE DOES NOT GIVE PEACE OF MIND IF A PUDDLE OR TWO MEANS NO HELP TO MEMBERS

  6. #26
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    Dec 2012
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    Santa,

    are you seriously saying you have to consult a lawyer before making an emergency call on a borrowed phone in bad weather, family in the car and failing light - surely any reputable organisation would ask questions before shooting the caller down - the patrolman can surely tell whether someone is stuck in a flood or just suffering a failed component in bad weather, but he can't do that if the operator makes a faulty snap decision that cover is refused based on an assumption they have made.

  7. #27
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    Oct 2006
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    but he can't do that if the operator makes a faulty snap decision that cover is refused based on an assumption they have made.

    so so true

  8. #28
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    Apr 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillShocked View Post
    Santa,

    are you seriously saying you have to consult a lawyer before making an emergency call on a borrowed phone in bad weather, family in the car and failing light - surely any reputable organisation would ask questions before shooting the caller down - the patrolman can surely tell whether someone is stuck in a flood or just suffering a failed component in bad weather, but he can't do that if the operator makes a faulty snap decision that cover is refused based on an assumption they have made.
    Sorry - I don't see where i mentioned a lawyer...?

    Yes they should ask and be sure that they are not jumping to the wrong conclusion.

    My advice was based on the several threads we have had in the same vein. I always try to say only the minimum when asking for help with any problem. For example - if I found that I couldn't change gear, it would not be a good idea to tell a garage that I thought I needed a new clutch because there may be another cause. If I just say that I can't get a gear then I expect them to diagnose the problem.

    With a breakdown on the road, I would start by just saying "I have broken down," and then answer any questions I was asked. I assume that they have a form on their screen to fill in and will go on to ask who and where I am etc. To be honest, even if I had a pretty good idea of the fault, I would profess ignorance and only describe symptoms.
    Last edited by Santa; 12-04-13 at 18:25.

  9. #29
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    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by davesdad View Post
    You say it was an alternator fault,did you not see an indication that you were running on your battery,the red light glimmering and your lights getting dimmer??
    I remember about 40 years ago driving a BMC Mini with a DC dynamo. The red light did not come on when the Fan belt broke because immediately the dynamo started operating as a Motor drawing its power FROM the battery.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    4

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    Well. Another eye-opener. No accident care and now no water-caused breakdown cover. The water must be like the RAC membership: MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN

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