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Usually with AA, although the last callout was to my motorbike, which they dropped, damaging the handlebars and controls. They paid the repair, but very unhappy about the lack of care by a subcontracted recovery company. The fault turned out to be quite simple, a faulty main fuse connection, but they didn't find that when checking the bike, and had the bike returned to the dealer.

Before that was a puncture call out, a good few years ago, (no spare wheel) and they took over an hour to get to me......in the centre of Glasgow.

Now with RAC through buying the Clio, but no experience of calling on them.

It has become a very expensive "insurance" against being stranded by a breakdown...….
 

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Sexy at 70 super duper mod..
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Discussion Starter #3

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Premium Member
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Interesting - VERY good prices, but I wonder how the coverage would be here in Scotland...… I've heard some of these alternatives to AA/RAC are fine down south but not so good up here 'north of the border'.

Worth looking into though.
 

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Until the recovery person is an app that the member can download and Scotty beams the van down this vortex of doom in a teacup will continue to grow in apparent size.
What are we talking about, some hundreds on ten million callouts?

The inconvenient fact that members increasingly spend time with their face in a phone and less listening to or checking their cars has nothing to do with this 'tsunami of incompetence' on the part of recovery companies.
The top ten reasons for call out still feature puncture, flat battery, wrong fuel, overheating, lost, out of fuel and wiper fell off.
Sudden onset punctures are very rare, tyre was deflating over a few weeks if you'd bothered to look and so on through the list.
Finally, after ignoring the car's desperate attempts to communicate with it's master and commander through a combination of warning lights, groans, squeaks, shudders and smoke, said master blames the breakdown service for only being capable of impulse drive sub light speeds.
Inattentive driving begins long before they pick the key fob off the table.
 

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Administrator
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I'm with the AA but not had to use them in recent years thank goodness. I know I wont touch the RAC after they took 6 hours to attend a colleagues breakdown earlier this year, then proceeded to "loose" his car for a week between picking it up from the roadside and delivering it to the dealers for repair. Shocking customer service in his opinion too.:frown2:
 

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Sexy at 70 super duper mod..
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Discussion Starter #8
Until the recovery person is an app that the member can download and Scotty beams the van down this vortex of doom in a teacup will continue to grow in apparent size.
What are we talking about, some hundreds on ten million callouts?

The inconvenient fact that members increasingly spend time with their face in a phone and less listening to or checking their cars has nothing to do with this 'tsunami of incompetence' on the part of recovery companies.
The top ten reasons for call out still feature puncture, flat battery, wrong fuel, overheating, lost, out of fuel and wiper fell off.
Sudden onset punctures are very rare, tyre was deflating over a few weeks if you'd bothered to look and so on through the list.
Finally, after ignoring the car's desperate attempts to communicate with it's master and commander through a combination of warning lights, groans, squeaks, shudders and smoke, said master blames the breakdown service for only being capable of impulse drive sub light speeds.
Inattentive driving begins long before they pick the key fob off the table.

Sounds like a future daughter in law..taken me 2 years to get my hands on her swift to do an oil and filter change and that was only because her bleedin wiper mechanism decided to disconnect :laugh:
 

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Super Moderator
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My Mrs is with RAC, courtesy of Aviva. My Van is covered too, if she is with me.
Imagine the P155taking, If I ever needed them :crying2:
 

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Technical Supremo, Platinum Member
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been with the aa for a while joint with the mrs they do her a very good deal every year on her insurance as well ask her to get quotes then undercut them all ,for some reason they dont do as well for me so am with direct line with a good deal .
the times we have used the AA they have been very good over the years

apart from that been with the mrs 39 years today what can i say its alot more expensive than the AA >:)
 

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Sexy at 70 super duper mod..
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Discussion Starter #11
My Mrs is with RAC, courtesy of Aviva. My Van is covered too, if she is with me.
Imagine the P155taking, If I ever needed them :crying2:

P1ss take..:idunno: :confused: and we are the same through Aviva..but cant remember what they charged me and the O/H..can you..:smile2:
 

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Premium Member
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Whoever you're with, all the recovery around here is done by Mr McG a private operator. He has a personality that turns mishap into adventure.

Must be in his 70s now and been doing it for yonks. He's been to our house many times for visitor's batteries going flat mysteriously. Some sort of Bermuda triangle thing one or two of the repeat offenders have remarked. Keys left in with lights on I have remarked.
 

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Both vehicles are covered with the RAC through my insurance broker, they offered a package which just covers that vehicle for £69
Cover includes everything even breakdowns abroard.

Have not checked to see if it's any cheaper for a personal membership.

Not used the policies yet so don't know if any good.
 

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I worked for a Roadside Assistance company, not in UK, before and it's a lot of BS going on.

When I see they claim 80 percent is resolved on spot, I guess that's normal as what we did consisted of 80 percent empty battery and flat tyres. People pay for the service for years and then have a flat...of course they call. I would do the same.
Easy job and good for statistics for the patrol man. It's a problem he solved and did it fast enough.
Then if we add the accidents which we solved by sending a tow truck or pull some metal from against the wheel and that gets marked as 'solved' too, even if it's just asking for a recovery vehicle.... well, it was not so hard to get to 80.

People do happen to get themselves into trouble in all kind of ways.
Things I remember :

- Old man, not being able to walk well.. Couldn't park his car in the garage when it's dark, narrow garage so couldn't get out any more anyway... Well : an other solved call. We did encourage him to not call every day or week for this, but he was fine. He tried to put it in during the daylight hours as much as he could.
- Guy filling up his water level but using the hole for the oil. Next question : how much should he put in ? Well ... until full can never be a bad thing he thought. Then started the car ... Engine lost.
That was a callout that couldn't be solved.
- Some customer sometimes calling 4 times a day or more for a startup. Refused to get a new battery. Went on for months.
Always tried to let them wait as long as possible but it took until the company cancelled their subscription to get rid of it.
- Guy having two exactly the same Volvo's, same color and everything. Both in a terrible condition.. Then hang his license plate from one to an other. Called for both. Always something wrong with the car. Even he had 2, he had a breakdwon on average every two weeks.
- People losing their car. Thought they parked it somewhere but can't find it any more... MMhhh.. Drive around for a while. Try to help to find the car. Few times it was necessary, it worked.
- Leasing customer with just a dot of oil on the dipstick. Refuses to pay for 2 liters of oil. Not my car, you know.. So what can you do ? Oil is something you had to buy yourself. Give it to him ? No ...
Tow it away ? Don't think so. Tell him to go to the garage ? He wouldn't.
Then what's left : let him arrange things for himself. The story will end when the car breaks down or when he DOES find the time in his important life to go to a dealer to fill up a few liters. Then complains by letter he didn't get a tow and a replacement car.
So what.
- Guy In Brussels who says he can see one of the big monuments there (Atomium). And he is in a pub ... No further information.
He said : you will find me like that ? Of course not.
Or one who just knows the name of the town. Yeah... Why not ?
- Some guy (from an other country) who made a situation, police stepped in.. The reason : he had an accident and was driving exactly the same car as the 'club' did. So he demanded he would get spare parts (door, bonnet etc) to be able to continue his way.
Even made a big fuzz about it. In the end he was left to his own devices and those of the police.


- Other one who says he is on the road between village A and town B. In a ditch. Will find him ?
What road, what ditch ? What part of that town ? What's the name of the street ? Don't know ? I don't know either...
- People not being a member or didn't pay making a problem about what it will cost and expect to be served for free. Some guys just helped them and then left it to administration to check everything. I didn't think that was the way to go. Check papers first, then get help. Unless if it's somebody in a dangerous place or situation.
- One time had a guy from an other country with a small trailer. Flat tyre.. But it was either a badly made construction or a self made thing. On a Sunday : where are we going to get a wheel like this. It's for a wheelbarrow, not for a trailer.
Hearing that, the guy fainted and an ambulance had to be called. Meanwhile, cause it was a sorry case and he wanted to leave to the other side of Europe, his wheel got repaired in a local garage that wanted to open his doors in return for a fee. Then the customer drove on against advice... Later, a few km more far, lost his second tyre. Completely shattered too. Luckily happened in an other guy's sector.


Problem was that sometimes technicians would repair a starter or an alternator along the road. On some days you have time for this but everybody had his own area. And other technicians always complaining and attempting to work against the system if they had to go outside their own sector. So, what can you do. Repair people's stuff (if an other one had helped them too) and they were happy and served cheap... most of the time some dimes for the patrol guy. Or be responsible towards other people and send them to a garage.
If you start fixing somethingt that will take a long time, other people have to wait. Also on the highway. Also the ones that had an accident and needed a tow. Take the part off, go for a new part, put it on ... pfff.. Sorry, but that is what garages are for IMHO.


People not being happy when they have to wait... Classical remark : I need to wait 15 minutes ? WHAT ? Why is it taking so long ? I need to be somewhere. Well... everybody who started their car today and had a breakdown had to go somewhere. Otherwise they wouldn't start their car. Once you are over the fact of having a car, you don't go and start it just for fun.
Or if it's not a Lada, you don't start it just to see if it will start, I guess.

Then there was a new politics inside the company. Bosses changed every some months. First one was a guy who knew the job through and through. Next ones were bigger bosses' favorites and knew nothing about it. Then got ordered to come to the office, they come with a complaint saying : why did you need 45 minutes to get from A to B 23 days ago ? What ??? Traffic, was far away, was stopped by an other member while driving there, had to search for the customer cause he didn't give a precise adress and cause he drove on but didn't get far... My Gosh.
And more stuff like that. Then i went away and was never sorry to have turned my back.
 

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Super Moderator Technical Supremo Platinum Member
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22,807 Posts
Only bothered to join a couple of years back, getting older and cars less easy to fix by the roadside so thought why not.
AA.
Had one call out for the Kia, pulled into car park and power steering went with battery light on.... aux belt fail (I thought).
Phoned AA, 5.30 on a Friday evening so expected a long wait but big yellow van was there in under half an hour.
Bloke had it jacked up, wheel off and arch covers off pronto, oops, belt fine, bottom (crank) pulley fallen off. (Double ooops, it was me wot put it on)
No chance of refitting, inside of pulley FUBAR so recovery arranged, twenty minutes later, there it was and not much longer, off loaded outside my house.
No complaints whatsoever.
Compare to last time I called them, about 30 years ago when a company pool car blew a top hose on the A34.
No mobiles so hitched to next services. Phoned, told them exactly what had happened, car reg, model etc.
Thumbed a lift back, sat on verge and twiddled my thumbs.... for three hours.
Lickle yellow van arrives. "What's up mate?"
"Top hose blown, you brought one with you?"
He peers under bonnet. "Ah, top hose has gone"
He then gets on radio to arrange a spare.
"Why didn't you bring one, I gave all the information?"
"Can't do that, people get it wrong so we need to check, parts van will be along soon."
Yup another two hours :frown2::frown2::frown2:
And then he had the wrong hose !!!!
Which he reluctantly fitted after I threw a complete wobbler.... FFS it was right shape but about an inch too long, the first guy had given the wrong engine size.
They have improved somewhat, I hope.
 

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Hi

been with AA since I started driving, not used them that much.

They were great when I had the 5 * overseas cover & took 'old girl' to Germany, got a broken windscreen just outside Köln, they flew out a screen from the UK and arranged for a German windscreen company to come out and fit it the same night it arrived.

Al
 

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294 Posts
My text was becoming too long and replied to Brendan about the 'worries of the breakdown companies' which are many.
But the job is nice on many occasions.
Even if people are dissapointed to have waited 1, 2 or on a bad day 3 hours, once the yellow lights are flashing behind their car, they get more calm and positive. Somebody who is agressive on the phone can sometimes be surprisingly nice in person.

Many people are still thankful and don't complain too much. Not everybody has wants that can not be fulfilled, though some have.
Very often people are really happy with the help they get and that makes the working day nice.
And it's always very nice if people say they are happy to get help so fast. It happens that you are just behind the corner..

Get in trouble : often had people in those times who locked the car with the key inside. That must be an advantage of keyfobs.

Known somebody who got in trouble cause the dealer always billed them but, to my own observation, didn't do much on the car and certainly didn't replace filters as often as they were charged.

'No maintenance' was a rather common cause of breakdowns.


Also had it one time that a woman locked her baby inside the car. You know how it goes... A lot of crying.. "You can break the window, I don't mind".. but it took only a little longer to enter with a hook and without damage. And it was not in the middle of summer. Always carried the hooks ready to use.

No 'parts van' here, just ask if a colleague had a spare part or most of the time : go and get it yourself.
Wrong fuel : had to buy a dieselpump ourselves cause we didn't get one. Then pity it didn't last for many times often cause too much petrol got through. Jerrycans : same story. So sometimes towed them to a local truck company that allowed us to dump the bad product inside their tanks. Win - Win.
Parts : same story, then sell it to the member with a bit of profit to cover the investment.
Oil and petrol : same.
Whatever customers said that was wrong with their car, the policy here was also to go and have a look first. No matter what or how.
Sometimes an other mechanic had diagnosed that the engine broke or even a part went through the block : still send somebody to check it. Sometimes people left their car and had to get back a long way. But that's what the company was for : breakdown service when you are with your vehicle. Not pick up a car that was left by the owner. It's all or nothing (service).


Always carried some stuff but got lucky sometimes and of course unlucky more often cause nothing fit.
Distances here are not so long so with a little luck and in daytime you can always get to a dealer or parts store... Just time is essential.
Tended more to an estimate of one hour maximum to be kept in mind : if the total repair time (from arrival to going to the next breakdown) would be longer, orders were to tow it to a garage.
On special weather days, we sometimes stopped (very rare) assisting the people who were at home or only limited the time of arrival to 'today' if called before noon. If called in afternoon it would be 'tomorrow'.
Priority was always given to people who broke down on highways and busy roads (also accidents) ,then having to make people at home wait longer.
The longest time people had to wait here was 2-3 hours. Having to wait on the highway for 3 hours happened in guys' sector (rarely) who did start longer repairs in exchange for an extra payment. But the one who waited 3 hours is a member lost.. So what is better ?

Some more memories :

- Guy who got a replacement car.. His Ford Escort engine broke down. The vehicle he got for 5 days was an Escort. It didn't start any more on pickup. Was towed .. Then it was discovered the engine in the replacement car was the old broken one from the customer.
- Two guys of ours tried to pull a truck to start up with 2 normal service cars. Result : truck got going but the gearbox of one of the club's cars broke down one week later. New standing orders : it is forbidden to pull trucks with 2 of our cars or even with one, need to be more careful.

For myself : i have an assistance cover with an insurance company who work with a company that has no dedicated patrols.
They usually just come and tow. Fine by me..Even not all of them manage to start you up.
Then I have a complete cover too from a petrol brand here; Every time i take gas, about 4 gallons, 25 liters, I get 3 weeks full cover in Europe. This one works with one of the dedicated patrol companies.
 

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Super Moderator Technical Supremo Platinum Member
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..........Then I have a complete cover too from a petrol brand here; Every time i take gas, about 4 gallons, 25 liters, I get 3 weeks full cover in Europe. This one works with one of the dedicated patrol companies.
That's an interesting concept.
We used to get free world cup medals or drinking glasses :grin2:
 

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Premium Member
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They ARE the most expensive brand for petrol around I think. You can buy knives from them now too. Good quality even. That way they are all the same.
They just started with car maintenance garages. Do a maintenance , get one year assistance for free.

Limitations : can call them 2 times a year max, Towing is max 20 km and to the closest garage.
Courtesy car : one day. Valid everywhere in Europe.
 

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Super fantastic Mod Technical Supremo Nice Guy
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Will stick with my Friendly mechanic, In 40 years or more he has not let me down...
 
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