Hi, I'm a newbie to the site but a long standing customer of RAC. I had a blow-out on a rear tyre last night. Having managed to get the car into a layby on the dual carriageway I was on, I contacted RAC. I informed them that I had the entire family in the vehicle (my wife and 5 children, all girls, the youngest being 2yrs old) so I expected I would be given some priority. After a protracted conversation with the agent regarding my whereabouts (he couldn't reconcile that the road name and number I was giving him was my actual location???), I even offered to give him co-ordinates from my satnav (which he declined) he informed me that the earliest he could get someone to me was 75 minutes. I then received a text from a 3rd party recovery agent saying that they would get to me in 2hrs? I contacted RAC again who said that the new, delayed time, was correct. Naturally I kicked up a stink about it but the agent really couldn't have cared less. Well, 2 hours turned into 3 and a half hours before a recovery truck arrived - only for him to say that he couldn't take my vehicle as it is a 4*4 (Volvo xc90)! Fortunately, the correct recovery unit arrived within another 30 minutes.
I'd contacted RAC a few more times in the hours we were waiting, only to be kept on hold for sometime (at my expense - calling from a mobile) and was informed that somebody would call me back with regular updates (I was told I was a priority) on when I could expect the recovery. As of this morning, I still haven't been contacted by the RAC?
So, what to do next? I know I need to elevate this as a complaint but can someone please give me a steer on the best route for this complaint - id rather not go through the tedium of the regular customer service route but I will if I have to.
I won't comment on yet another complaint about the RAC's service and communication problems, but about the spare wheel, or lack of it.
loneranger doesn't say why he didn't attempt to change the tyre, but a quick check showed that even a 'skinny' spare is an optional extra on this car. Standard equipment is one of those cans of goo which are supposed to make a temporary repair (and also ruin the tyre). This stuff is no use if the tyre wall is ripped, as it would be after a blowout, so loneranger had no option but to be recovered. He should consider himself lucky that he didn't damage the tyre on a kerb or something, as he would then have had to pay for the recovery. (The RAC service does not cover accidents).
My point is that we should all be very wary of buying any car without, at the very least, a temporary spare to get you home. You might think that a £35,000 car would have one, but it seems not.
Sorry, forgot to add....
The vehicle doesn't come equipped with a spare. The 'get you home solution' is a pump and latex resin solution you are supposed to pump into the tyre - which I attempted and was futile as the tyre was so badly damaged the solution was merely pumped out of the damaged section. Discussing this with the recovery driver, and the garage this morning it appears many manufacturers are opting for this solution instead of a spare wheel.
BTW, the tyre still had approximately 6mm of tread depth, with no prior damage to the side walls. I'm awaiting some feedback from the garage as to the extent (and likely cause) of the damage - for information only.
I am sorry to learn of the difficuties you have experienced with our roadside service. I will try to trace the details of your call for assistance and look into why it took so long for our resource to attend. I will contact you with my findings as quickly as I can. Thanks in the interim for raising this matter.
The most usual cause of sidewall failure is kerbing or clipping some debris.
I think you will find that a 'skinny' spare can be fitted underneath the car. You may consider it a worthwhile investment if you intend to keep the car for long enough. It's a bit like insurance - you pay for years, and hope you never need it. The cynics here will add that it probably won't pay out when you do need it.
So, just to update on the matter. As Angela stated, I was sent a letter in February. To an address I have not lived at for two years - a matter that I have had to inform the RAC of on three separate occasions (clearly to no avail). As it was undeliverable, the red royal mail slip was left at that address meaning I could not collect the letter. Brilliant. After speaking to the RAC again, this was rectified and I received a letter of apology plus £50 worth of vouchers in the post.
I consider the matter closed but certainly wont be forgetting the trouble that has occurred as a result of the sheer incompetence of the staff in apparently all departments of the RAC.
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