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Thread: RAC Breakdown Battery Overcharging

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    6

    Default RAC Breakdown Battery Overcharging

    Hi All,

    I've come here because I've gotten nowhere with RAC's customer service and to ask for advice.

    I broke down a while ago in the middle of a dual carriage way. Car died and refused to start again. I called the RAC, they told me it'd be a 45 mins to an hour because I was on a dual carriage way and was therefore a priority. After an hour and 15 I called and was told (by a stroppy CS adviser) that I was accidentally put on a side road and therefore not a priority. Someone was on their way, and after 2 hours, they arrived.

    They diagnosed a faulty battery, and sold me one for 113.99 (the most expensive battery I had ever experienced!). I asked if he could just jump me and follow me to a shop half a mile down the road, and he said he could jump me but not follow me, and if I broke down again it'd be 60 before they'd help. Also, if I went and bought a battery, and it failed at any point in the future, RAC would charge 60 to come out for a breakdown. So basically, I had no choice but to pay the 113.99.

    When I come home, I did some digging, however. The battery I have been sold is an "RAC 027". When I put my registration on the RAC website, however, the results come up as 079, which is 91.99 including RAC fitting. Moreover, this battery (manufacture red by Excide) is available for less than 50 elsewhere.

    Is there any reason (other than a bit of extra commission) that the patrol sold me a more expensive battery than the car requires?

    I tried contacting RAC to ask about this - and was given a load of nonsense about the fact that the RAC provide a 5 year warranty and whatnot justifies the price and that was "end of conversation" as far as they were concerned. From my point of view, as they are an insurance product, they have to act reasonably and with care, and fitting an incorrect battery to my car is not within care. If they didn't have the correct battery for my car, then they should have organised getting the correct one, or assisting me as I asked to the shop so i could get the correct one.

    Any advice on how I can proceed? Needless to say I'm annoyed by the whole affair - and the stupid thing is, they've pretty much lost my renewal this year, and the extra they've ripped me off for with the battery is far less than they would have gotten from a renewal. Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Scotland
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    8,798

    Default

    I think this subject has been covered before. If you have a look through the thread titles you will find it, good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    6

    Default

    I found people peed off about the cost of a battery - but I didn't find any where the patrol had fitted a more expensive battery than was needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    8,798

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    I had a look and found the subject in the Breakdown Thread. I never read it all through, but I remember a post from someone in the RAC, giving a reason for the price.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Default

    The price isn't the primary point - breakdown companies are always going to charge more.

    The problem is that my car takes an 079 battery, and the patrol fitted a more expensive 027. For reasons which I cannot fathom.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default

    I find this more disturbing:
    I asked if he could just jump me and follow me to a shop half a mile down the road, and he said he could jump me but not follow me, and if I broke down again it'd be 60 before they'd help. Also, if I went and bought a battery, and it failed at any point in the future, RAC would charge 60 to come out for a breakdown. So basically, I had no choice but to pay the 113.99.
    1. I thought that following in this situation was normal practice.

    2. Why would it cost 60 for a subsequent breakdown?

    3 As above but further down the line.

    Most new batteries come with a three year warranty which is enough. Paying double for an extra two years is OTT.

    Can someone please explain if this is standard practice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Yep. It even says so on the paperwork I've got and what I was told on the phone. E.g. if RAC condemn a battery, and you choose not to replace it with them, a fee of "at least 59" will apply if any subsequent call out is related to battery problems.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    962

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    Quote Originally Posted by bma1445 View Post
    Yep. It even says so on the paperwork I've got and what I was told on the phone. E.g. if RAC condemn a battery, and you choose not to replace it with them, a fee of "at least 59" will apply if any subsequent call out is related to battery problems.
    Their terms & conditions actually say: "If a condemned (non serviceable) battery is not replaced, We may provide further assistance to a battery related fault but in this case a separate charge will apply."

    It doesn't say you have to buy the replacement from the RAC.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub View Post
    Their terms & conditions actually say: "If a condemned (non serviceable) battery is not replaced, We may provide further assistance to a battery related fault but in this case a separate charge will apply."

    It doesn't say you have to buy the replacement from the RAC.
    That's not what the patrol said. As far as he was concerned, if you don't buy an RAC one, 59 is charged for any future battery issues.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    ""If a condemned (non serviceable) battery is not replaced, We may provide further assistance to a battery related fault but in this case a separate charge will apply.""

    That is quite reasonable. But if the patrol said what the OP says he did, then he should be subject to a disciplinary enquiry.

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