Appalling Service, and it is still continuing...
So, through the end of December until now, I have received appalling service from the RAC in all avenues: telephone contact, the engineers, and now the follow up to my complaint.
My original complaint is here.
I am writing to complain about the horrendous service I have received from you within the past month. I have already made a complaint a couple of weeks back, but I had no response and there have been many continuations of that since then.
On 22nd December I broke down on the motorway around an hour away from my home. I reported my breakdown at approximately 8.00pm, and was told as I was a high priority customer an engineer would be with me within 45 minutes. Considering it was cold, wet and dark, and I was on a hard shoulder with no barrier, I considered this to be a reasonable waiting time. However, after around 40 minutes I received a phone call from your call centre explaining somebody would be with me in 45 minutes. They could not tell me why I had already been told 45 minutes and said there must have been a mistake. My wait time had now doubled from what I had originally been told, so I was expecting somebody at 9.30pm. Around this time, I received another telephone call from your call centre, stating that you had spoken to the driver and he would be another 45 minutes. When I explained that over two hours was not an acceptable waiting time for a high priority customer and asked if another driver could be contacted, I was told this wasn’t possible. I waited for a further 45 minutes. At this point, I received a phone call from the driver, informing me he was an hour and a half away. It was also at this point I discovered that you were not sending me an engineer at all, but simply a contracted recovery driver, which meant nobody was even going to look at my car to see if it could be fixed at the road side. I explained to the driver that I was told that he would be arriving any minute now, and he said he had only just had the job through. I then phoned the RAC back to query this, and they said there had been a ‘miscommunication’. The recovery driver actually arrived when he told me he would; the only person to have done so that evening and the only person who did not work for the RAC. We arrived home at 1.30am, 5 and a half hours after first reporting the breakdown to you.
I contemplated at this point cancelling my membership, as each person I had come into contact with from your company that night either lied to me or was completely incompetent. However, I called an engineer the next day to look at my car (as they should have done the previous night) and he was fantastic. He took me to one of your recommended garages and was extremely helpful. I decided that maybe the previous night’s mistakes could perhaps be overlooked, as I had not had problems since I first started using your service in 2009. I got my car back on January 7th.
On 8th January, my car again broke down, doing the same journey in a similar place. It appeared to also have the same problem. I phoned the RAC at approximately 6.00pm to report this. I was informed an engineer would be with me within 45 minutes (sound familiar?). I explained the problems I had previously with this and asked the advisor to ensure the job had gone through properly. He assured me that I was high priority and that he had processed the information. After 45 minutes, low and behold, I had a phone call from the engineer explaining he was 45 minutes away. He again was unsure why I had been told otherwise, and for the second time in as many weeks, my wait time had doubled. Fortunately, he did show up at the time he had given me, and was unable to fix my car at the roadside. He also suggested that the work that had been done on my car following the previous breakdown was not up to standard, despite being completed by one of your recommended garages (JRL Autos). I was towed to a place of safety and told that a contracted tow truck would be coming to collect me. I was advised to call the RAC if it had not arrived within half an hour. It was approximately 10.00pm at this point. At 10.40pm, I telephoned the RAC, who said recovery was on its way. I waited a further 40 minutes, before phoning again. I was put me through to an advisor for the recovery agent, who informed me that the driver was held up at another job and they did not know how long he would be. Despite being pressed for an estimate, I was just told to wait for a phone call but that he had no idea when this would be. I phoned the RAC back and asked for another recovery agent to be sent to me, as it had now been almost 5 hours since I had broken down. Instead, the advisor phoned the company again (despite me telling her I’d got off the phone to them seconds earlier), and came back to me saying they would be 45 minutes. I have no idea where the figure ’45 minutes’ comes from, but every time somebody has said this to me it has been a complete fabrication. For some reason I accepted this information and waited for the driver. 45 minutes later, he phoned me saying he was 45 minutes away. I explained what I had already been told and he said he had no idea why I had been told this and that somebody had lied to me. This is the second external agent to have said this to me in as many weeks, and given how many times I had already been lied to and how many mistakes had been made, I think he is probably right. I finally arrived home at 1.30am again, 7 and a half hours after reporting my breakdown. I was refused a tow to the garage the following day, but when I explained that it wasn’t acceptable this was quickly turned around, and somebody arrived shortly afterwards.
The engineer that came to my house on both of these occasions was fantastic, and I would like to have this fed back to him, as he is the only person that I have come into contact with that made me want to stay with the RAC and actually gave you another two weeks membership from me. However, that is not enough to compensate for the mistakes, lies and 13 hours of my time I wasted waiting for (a complete lack of) assistance from you. For this reason I will be cancelling my membership, will be recommending that others do not use your service, and fully expect to receive some form of compensation from you for the trouble caused.
Despite sending this complaint via three different mediums, and sending a shorter one in between following the first breakdown, I have been entirely ignored by the RAC. As a further kick in the teeth, I received a letter last week stating I am at my call out limit for the year, although the only reason I used the call out service the following week is ebcause the garage that was recommended to me by the RAC fitted a faulty item.
Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can get them to remotely acknowledge me?! I am at a loose end now and am furious!
I am not an RAC member so this is just an impartial view. I have long campaigned on this forum for the RAC call handlers to stop promising a patrol within 45 minutes. I have absolutely no idea why they insist on doing this as it simply generates complaints. A quick look back through this section will show that. This is a recurring theme and why a senior manager has not tackled this issue simply beggars belief. I have been told on here that a manager does read some of the complaints but whether that is true or not, I will leave you to decide. The fact that nothing changes may give you a clue.
Usually an RAC person will post a short response to you and will promise to look into your complaint. The standard reply may well be along the lines of, "we were particularly busy that day and sorry we took so long to get to you." If this is priority service, imagine what it must have been like for ordinary drivers.
dont blame the patrols,lot of it is due that they are now having to cover larger areas and some are clocking up well over 100 miles per shift
I am sorry to hear about your concerns regarding our roadside service. I can confirm that we have received your email and that one of our Customer Care Managers is currently investigating the matter. Please rest assured that she will contact you directly with her findings as quickly as she is able to.
Thank you in the interim for your continued patience.
Curiously my local Chinese takeaway always promises 45 minutes for a delivery. Sometimes it turns up in 20 minutes, and sometimes takes over an hour. I wonder if someone decided that 45 minutes is long enough to allow flexibility, but not so long as to worry a customer. Of course - no one is posting complaints that they said 45 minutes and turned up in 10.
Originally Posted by Hometune
Ah but your Chinese would be cold after a total wait of 13 hours Santa!
Quote....."dont blame the patrols,lot of it is due that they are now having to cover larger areas and some are clocking up well over 100 miles per shift"
I used to cover more miles than that in one shift in my ambulance? Mind you, we had controllers who used to think that Dundee to Edinburgh was only two inches on a map, and could be driven in twenty minutes?
Can you please tell me why it has been almost two months since my original complaint without acknowledgement?
Originally Posted by Operations Exec
I have no choice but to be 'patient', you have completely ignored me...!
Our records show that we wrote to you on 5 February? I note that we do have an email address for you on file so I will ask my colleague to email a copy of the letter she sent to you. This will include her direct contact details in case you wish discuss anything further.
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