Over 5 hour wait-is this normal?

  • CatherineF's Avatar
    Yesterday I broke down with a fuel leak from my Volvo X90 going onto a busy roundabout in Ipswich, 100 miles from home.
    Police pushed me into hard standing and I called RAC straight away. I have full cover. Gave accurate location and fuel leak info and was put on hold. This situation continued for 5 hours. Everytime I phoned for info was held in a phone queue for over 2 hours in total. Phone battery was dying. No updates, just texts saying a trusted service person hadn’t been allocated.
    I phoned local breakdown company who said they worked for RAC , were free but hadn’t been allocated the job. Several of their vehicles and RAC vans had passed me during this wait. Eventually spoke to a real person from the RAC (they had dispatched someone to my home address 4 hours previously) who said I could leave the keys with the vehicle. RAC were still sending me texts all day- the last one said estimated time for my vehicle would be 23.25 (over 14 1/2 after my first call). Tried to report online but app wouldn’t let me- said there was an online fault.

    Had to organise taxi for husband & 2 children and pay £230.
    No apology or interaction until my husband posted on social media about this appalling lack of service and interest.

    I’m paying £300 a year and always felt I needed it for my own safety as a woman driver. Renewal is due in August - should I stay with the RAC or seek an alternative? Yesterday I felt let down and vulnerable. Today I feel angry and want answers!
  • 5 Replies

  • TabG's Avatar
    Been waiting since 11:00 for a tow, they arrived about 10min ago at 22:00 so yeah this is normal "service"
  • CatherineF's Avatar
    @TabG
    that is appalling. Is there any alternative that is any better?
    currently battling with emails in order to get some answers. Apologies just aren’t enough when I’ve been put to the bottom of the queue and are a long way from the ‘priority’ they claim I was.
  • MrFixer's Avatar
    I and my two daughters have all been individual members of the RAC for many years. None of us has had reason to call the RAC until today.

    Today my elder daughter was driving alone on a minor road in rural Lincolnshire when she suffered a blowout. She called me to ask what to do (I am 100 miles away). I told her to contact the RAC for assistance in putting the spare on (she has a spare, but she's smaller than average and probably doesn't have the physical strength to safely change a wheel).
    Her phone data signal wasn't strong enough to be able to use the online breakdown reporting system (she said the website was just 'hanging').
    She eventually got through to someone at the RAC Call Centre and was told that 'if she felt unsafe or vulnerable' she should call the police. No RAC assistance could be given......! She was very distressed.
    She waited by her car and luckily managed to flag down a passing driver who put the spare on for her.
    This is absolutely appalling service from the RAC and try to 'pass the buck' to the police is not acceptable.
    Needless to say none of us will be renewing with RAC breakdown and we'll be relating this experience to as many others as possible!
  • GJGIBBON's Avatar
    I broke down at Membury Services between Swindon and Newbury..There was a rattling from the engine . I thought it advisable to not continue with the journey lest I should break down on the motorway or cause irreparable damage to the engine. I phoned for assistance at 21-45 30-10-23. I got a text saying the targeted arrival time would be 03-0. 5 hours. Someone came along at 0400 and diagnosed the problem. Then a text said a tow truck would be with me at 06-19.. Eventually a truck arrived at 13-15:the following afternoon. I was repeatedly lied to. First I was assured it would be 1100 31-10-23, then 1200. Eventually it was 13-15. If I had broken down on the motorway I would have been in a life threatening position; either stay in the car and try and keep warm out of the rain and 8C temperatures and risk being struck by a car or truck as does happen to cars on the hard shoulder or leave the car and get soaked in the rain and endure 8C temperatures for hours. How long would the RAC have taken under those circumstances? Maybe as a priority, instead of 15 hours, 7.5 hrs. This is an unacceptable level of service and needs to be broadcast.
  • Kerso's Avatar
    @CatherineF sorry to hear your experience. This afternoon had the rear track control arm go on my car at 50mph. I am lucky to be in one peace. Called RAC immediately to be texted back saying they would be hopefully with me within an hour. 2 hours later I called them and was told it may be up to a 13 hour wait. I said it’s minus degrees, windy and snowing. Luckily my car was running. I was then told that a private contractor would contact me to arrange recovery. I am still waiting on a call. I ended up having to get a neighbour pick me up and left car at side of road. Will not be using RAC ever again once car is at garage.