Awful misguided service by un-caring, script reading, money grabbers!
My letter of complaint sent to the RAC after shockingly bad service and incompetent staffing.
"3rd July 2013
I write to you to express my utter disgust at the treatment I have received as a member of your service over the weekend of 30th June - 2nd of July 2013, a period during which I received misleading information or worse information was omitted altogether, terrible treatment from customer service representatives who clearly didnít care and ultimately resulted in me being £815 out of pocket.
On Sunday morning I called the RAC at 6:50am from Bridgwater Services after hearing a loud rattling noise from the engine. A RAC van arrived and the RAC operative asked me what the problem was. He started the car up, listened to the engine for about 30 seconds and then said he would get a recovery truck out. I was handed a piece of paper (customer assistance report) specifying "Member aware, recovery either to destination or home, chose destination to have car repaired".
I was then told it would be a 45 minute wait before we could be recovered and taken to the destination of my choice - which we accepted and were grateful for. After waiting for about one and a half hours I called the RAC at 10:36am and was told somebody was on the way however, no one arrived until 11:30am.
Were it not for the events that followed, the long wait time would have been easy to ignore. The gentleman who picked us up (a local sub-contractor) was very friendly and helpful despite he himself having had very little information from the RAC, including where to take our vehicle to be repaired. Once arriving at the Fourwinds Garage in Mitchell at around 1:45pm, the repair men knew nothing about our car, they had not received any call from the RAC explaining our issues or even that they were supposed to repair it in the allotted time of our visit or pass our car onto another garage.
If I had been made aware by the original RAC operative that the car would not be repairable during my stay in Newquay, I would have opted to head home. My choice to continue onwards to our destination was based on the fact that I was led to believe the car would be repaired during our stay in Newquay by a RAC repair centre, along with the fact it was several hundred miles closer to the point of breakdown and since the costs of the holiday were already committed.
We were then very kindly driven the 18 miles from the garage to our hotel to enjoy our holiday by the local sub-contract recovery driver.
However, after arriving at the hotel I received no notice or call from the garage or the RAC explaining that they would not and could not repair the car. I find this completely unacceptable. After my partner and I had attempted to call the garage 11 times, I finally managed to speak to a pleasant young lady answered the phone at 4:00pm on July 2nd. She was able to find out the majority of the information for us, namely that the garage couldn't repair the car and it would never have been an option to perform the fix in the time available which had not been communicated to me at any point up to now.
We then called the RAC at 4:20pm to determine our options in towing the vehicle home to Cambridge, a distance of 328 miles. The first representative we spoke to was helpful, informing us a tow truck could be out to the garage in approximately one hour to one hour fifteen minutes. However, at no point during this conversation were we informed that we would have to pay to tow our car home, a fairly fundamental piece of information that I would expect your operator to provide. We agreed to be picked up in an hour and made arrangements to get ourselves and our luggage to the garage, 18 miles away. We checked out of the hotel, packed our belongings and were waiting to be picked up.
At 5:35pm, another RAC representative called to inform us that we had to pay £815 for our car to be towed home. After a heated phone call with the representative, we agreed to pay the £815 as we desperately just wanted to get home and forget about everything that had happened. We paid the £815 to then be told it would be a four hour wait for a tow truck, not the one hour original estimate. Incredulously, I was then asked "so, do you know which tow truck provider is collecting your vehicle?" I have been a member of the RAC for many years now and never received such terrible, misleading and incompetent service. I am now £815 out of pocket before having paid for the repair of the vehicle and for transport from my home to the local garage.
This is totally unacceptable. During the entire episode I received nothing but misinformation and encountered RAC representatives to whom customer service would appear to be an oversight and whose sole goal is to get us off the phone with the minimum of fuss. This is also unacceptable.
I understand, and do not dispute, that when we were picked up we were given the choice to be taken home or to our destination however, as stated previously if we had been correctly informed that my car was not able to be fixed I would of accepted the tow back to my Cambridge home instead of accepting the misguided promise of repair in Newquay whilst on holiday!
I received a call from Dave at four winds garage at 7:02pm to inform me that they would be recovering the car back to Cambridge the next day. I explained that I had been informed by the RAC that the car would be returned that same day and as such, had already checked out of the hotel. To his credit, he was very helpful and offered us one of his own cars to drive home saying that he would have my car recovered back the next day when they then had the driver available to take the car to Cambridge. He also mentioned was that he was stunned by the charge of £815 levied by RAC to recover my car back to Cambridge, explaining that had we contacted four winds garage directly it would have saved us around £300!
This begs the question, why have I paid an extra £300 to the RAC when the same company the RAC is getting to recover our car has told us that the charge is extortionate?! The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the RAC is just trying to extort as much money as possible out of so called "valued members" who are in a desperate situation. How many more members have been charged over the odds because they didn't know any better?
For the duration of this sorry incident we have had had nothing but problems with the RAC and it has ruined our holiday and left me in potentially very serious financial difficulties!
I can't express how disappointed I am in a service which used to be so valued to me.
The extent of this disappointment and the complete disregard for customer service and satisfaction mean that we will be withdrawing our memberships and ending your services shortly. We've received no apology from the RAC at any point for the inconvenience that you've caused and your representatives have barely even tried to help.
I will be making this official complaint to the RAC as well as contacting consumer watchdogs over the awful level of service. I will also be seeking consultation from Financial Ombudsman Service over what seems an extortionate charge by the RAC for the so called "service carried out" "
Yet to hear anything back from the RAC yet but not letting this one go without a fight never had such a bad customer service! I like how they quote on their website "you wont just be towed to a garage" when its exactly what they did saying my car would be fixed without even checking with the garage to see if they could fix it or even have a timeslot to look at it! Surely thats the first thing you check before telling a customer their options and making a empty promise that was never going to be possible!
in my mind the fact my car was never going to be looked at or fixed at the place they had us recovered too that it was still the original breakdown so shouldn't be charged for a second tow just because of the RAC's complete incompetence let alone then ripped off +£300 on the towing charges.
Perhaps someone could let us know whether it is normal practice for the RAC (or any other recovery firm) to phone a garage before towing a member there. I suspect not.
In most cases, you need to book your car into a garage several days, or even weeks, in advance. Garages don't have the equivalent of an A&E service so anyone who gets towed in takes pot luck - they will inevitably give their regular customers priority anyway.
The RAC should be aware of these difficulties and advise members accordingly - from this and other similar complaints, I would advise most members to be taken home unless the problem is a straightforward one. This, of course, doesn't solve the problem. If you break down on a Saturday - do you get taken to your house, and then pay to have the car taken to a garage subsequently, or do you have it taken to a garage that will probably be closed anyway?
i agree there script readers have heard the same thing off four people two were a minute apart with the same babel
From your post I gather that you wrote to RAC on 3 July. I will forward a copy of your post to our Breakdown Customer Care team to ensure that they have received it and that an investigation is underway. I am sure they will contact you as quickly as they can regarding the matter.
they dont contact me on my claim i wouldnt hold your breath
I understand that my colleague in our Customer Care department has responded to you by email ?
as per other post
Originally Posted by Operations Exec
Santa, I can only say that when I worked for the AA, it was our local knowledge that decided us on which garages were suitable for member's use, in the same way we were expected to know where we could obtain suitable parts. In my case, working nights, I knew which parts places would open up in the middle of the night to supply an alternator, starter motor etc. Generally, a Patrol worked his 'local' patch as he would also know better routes from A to B, hopefully avoiding congestion areas. Now, however, as I understand it, this has all gone out the window with the 'Have Van, Will Travel' system which I believe both the RAC and AA have decided on.
That's pretty much what I thought. So my general advice to anyone with a problem that the patrol can't fix, and isn't just a straightforward replacement part (alternator/battery/etc) is to opt to be taken either home, or to your home garage.
Yea I wish now i had of just gone with being taken home rather than accepting the promise of fix option definitely wouldn't advise anyone else on anything else other than home recovery after the bill i have been lumped with on this one!
Stil yet to hear anything of acknowledgement from RAC of my complaint yet a 7 days on from when i submitted it! Looks like im going to have to take to constant phonecalls before anything gets done with this one.