Poor Breakdown Recovery Service?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Yorick, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but most folk in this bit will have some may have European experience

    Anyway, start of August we set off around France and Spain with Green Flag cover

    We headed for west side of Pyrenees found a disused ski lift car park with amazing views, so decided to spend the night there.
    Then saw we had a puncture so had to call Green Flag. But the recovery truck only had one seat, so I had to wait about 2 hours for a taxi.
    Not really ideal, as in the middle of nowhere with only 1/2 litre of water.
    The tyre was shagged, so they repaired the slow puncture on the spare.


    Went into Andorra, and what a shit hole. We decided to pass through, but the repaired tyre went again.
    We were in the middle of nowhere.

    Called Green Flag about 8:00 PM, but when the recovery truck came, it was too small for the motorhome.
    He said he would come back in the morning. It was about 10:00 by this point, so really too late to do anything. We had to sleep there, which was a bit scary.
    In the morning, he came back with the same truck, and took us to a garage, with just the spare to get fixed. He dropped us there and pissed off, leaving us at the mercy of the garage owner.

    The garage owner told us it would be 210 Euros per tyre and he had to fit a matching pair. We were high and dry and had to agree. It took about 6 more trips to the camper to get all sorted as he didn’t have proper jacks or tools to take the puncture tyre off.

    We were getting really pissed off as even though we were dropped off at the camper, we couldn’t go in as it was on jacks. Really hot and only minimal food and water. Eventually sorted about 6:00 as all the tyre shops shut for 3 hour lunch..
    Then he added 50 euros for all the running about.
    He also insisted we pay cash as it was all in the pocket for him.

    As we were leaving, we saw the tow truck pull up with another foreign victim ready for a sting. That's when we realised the scam.


    I have since complained to Green Flag, but all they offered was the £50 extra charged and £50 for inconvenience. I though that was insulting.

    AS we see it the main complaints are ..

    • They were in breach of contract for not recovering us.
      The recovery truck took us to a dodgy mate of his.
      We were charged way over the top for 2 tyres. (Green Flag say that the dealing with garage is up to me, but it was the dodgy bloke who took us there.)
      If we had been recovered properly to a tyre place, we would have been on our way by 10:00. We lost a whole day.
      We went a whole day with minimal food and water

    Has anybody been let down abroad ?

    Should we push for more compensation ?

    Cheers

    PS, will introduce myself properly soon :)
     
  2. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    i droke down many years ago had green flag our experience totally different to say the least we broke down near Toulouse broken prop shaft the guy could not fix it on site so he towed us to his parents farm as it was going to be a few days before i could get the parts from the UK
    we were treat like royalty bringing us wine bread letting the kids use the Poole after three days the prop shaft arrived and we were on our way they would not take a penny from us not even for his time.
     
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  3. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    the way you wrote that makes it sound like you travelled abroad with a known bad spare and at least one on the van reaching the end of its working life. breakdown cover is not a substitute to proper maintenance and common sense.

    having said that, you got ripped off for being a foreigner and unlikely to come back and complain. plenty of unscrupulous garages etc in this country do the same. as for green flag, they had somebody come to your aid, but have no control what local agents do. if they get a few similar complaints they may find a different agent in that area. doubt it would be reported to local gendarmes though. so the conmen rake the money in with little risk
     
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  4. Dijon

    Dijon Read Only Funster

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    Alas dear Yorick !
     
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  5. daisy mae

    daisy mae Read Only Funster

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    We had 5* service from the RAC when we broke down in France, years ago now, they even had a brake drum flown from Germany as they couldn`t source one in England, this all done by telephone, two French men turned up on a Sunday to fit it, had to laugh as they turned up in a batterd old green van. didn`t cost us a penny, highly recommend the RAC you never know how good the breakdown service is until you need them, sorry cannot help with your problem, re recompence.

    We had a cracked brake drum due to an accident
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
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  6. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    anyone that doesnt carry there own equipment to change a wheel deserves pain .
    always carry a jack and tools capable of undoing and tightening the wheel nuts . wheel nuts should be checked regular anyway . if you had a decent spare you could have changed it then driven to a garage .
    mind i say carry two spares if going abroad uk is the best place to buy tyres .
     
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  7. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Lesson learned then - maybe the hard way this time, but you won't be doing that again!

    When going anywhere outside of the UK it is more important than ever to ensure all your maintenance is up to date. You are asking your engine to perform in extremes of temperature for long periods......so give it a service, and ensure your cambelt/water pump schedules are up to date, replace if even vaguely near due.

    Check ALL tyres, age and condition - replace if worn or perished. Practice changing the REAR wheel, as this will be the more difficult.

    We all learn lessons if life! As a relative used to say, no point getting older if you don't get any wiser.
     
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  8. daisy mae

    daisy mae Read Only Funster

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    Think the last two replies a bit harsh, that is why I edited my post, wasn`t our fault. others don`t always know the circumstances, there for the grace of god etc.
     
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  9. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    The price per tyre sounds about right if they were camping car tyres, and tyres as with mechanical problems, generally in spain are expensive no matter what the vehicle
     
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  10. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    Sorry but I do not agree that everyone should be fit and well enough to scramble about under a van getting a spare and fitting it.
    I have a spare but would not change it at the side of the road
     
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  11. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Even if you are not up to, or do not want to change a wheel yourself at the side of the road, I guess this sad story is a wake up call to those venturing to foreign climes particularly, to at least carry a decent spare and the necessary jack and wheel spanner to change it. I would not venture out in my car without one (even have one for the Smart Car Toad) so why would I have no spare in a motorhome? I know many cars are specced without them these days due to greedy manufacturers penny pinching, but I always ensure my cars and motorhome have a good spare and the tools to change a wheel.

    If you don't, you run the risk of a similar scenario to the OP:Eeek:.......
     
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  12. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    My clutch went in my car in france this year.

    Green Flag were absolutely fantastic. Came out to me quickly and arranged car hire until it was fixed.

    My brother had a completely different experience with Brittania rescue when he had an accident in France a few days later.
     
  13. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Ours didn`t and hasn`t got a spare wheel,,,,, only a compressor and some kit in a sealed bag.. :Sad:

    I presume it will be OK for a nail in the tyre or the like, but NO good for a blow out...:Doh:

    But as with all the RV`s we have had I shall get a carcass, would sooner have a whole wheel, but sourcing one alloy wheel is becoming a pain..

    And with the speed of traffic these days, and the nutters out there I will let the breakdown people have the pleasure of changing the wheel, should the occasion arise.. :Smile:
     
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  14. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    We had a blowout last year without a spare - a real pain.

    I "persuaded" the AA to come to our rescue despite them arguing we were overweight. Nice chap came along but his jack couldnt lift the van because it was so heavy.

    There followed a desperate search for the vehicle jack which I had never seen (or looked for) :Doh:

    Then had to go to a tyre place and get a new tyre.

    It was a bit fraught because it was a Friday afternoon, almost closing time by the time we got there.

    Our new van has got a spare but I haven't investigated how you get at it, or where the jack is:BigGrin:
     
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  15. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Am I right in saying, even if I could get the same size in a steel wheel it wont fit on because of a different configuration of the axle`s with alloy`s..?

    Plenty of room in the boot to carry either a carcass or complete wheel.. :Smile:
     
  16. SuperMike

    SuperMike Read Only Funster

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    Personally VeryOldMoIceCreamMan, I would source another exact alloy, fit a new tyre and then any problems you might have, whilst on vacation, will go away. Further when you cross the channel, I would carry another carcass as well. After all, they are dirt cheap for those little wheels of yours. :Rofl1:
     
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  17. estcres

    estcres Read Only Funster

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    You all wait until you get a double blow out at the same time, that can really cause you a problem.

    When I ran my own business I was travelling back to Wiltshire from Sheffield in my Company van. At about 3 o'clock in the morning whilst travelling along the A419 just outside Swindon (20 miles from home) I came round a corner to find that someone or something had dropped a bag load of rubble on the road, the bag had split open and the bricks where spread across the road.

    I swerved to avoid most of the rubble but both my Nearside tyres hit the bricks and both tyres where damaged causing both to split.

    I had a good spare on board so was able to change one wheel, but what could I do about the other, nothing at the time.

    Called out the RAC who attended, jacked up the vehicle (Metro van) took off the wheel, transported me and the wheel to a Swindon garage who the RAC bloke had contacted, fitted a new tyre, took me back to the vehicle, refitted the wheel and then I was on my way again.

    Got home 3-4hrs late, the RAC service was really good. If it had not been for his local contacts and knowledge I could have been waiting until somewhere like Kwik Fit opened in the morning.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  18. motorhomelover

    motorhomelover

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    You may have green flag cover but as with all Brakedown companies they use sub-contractors for many jobs

    You can not expect the same service
    You are abroad.

    You are responsible for the correct upkeep of your motor
    You should have the tools to change the wheel with you

    Sounds like you where ill prepared for the journey
    Then bitch about poor service

    If I had a blow out. As I did earlier this year
    I used the Spare wheel. Then the following day. Got a new tyre fitted
    I do not rely on some one else to have the tools to deal
    With my motor I have what's needed.
    Having a disability I unable to do such works
    But like most who travel. We make sure every thing is I. As good a shape as it can be before leaving

    Sorry if I sound unsympathetic
    I do not have any sympathy for your bad experience
     
  19. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    Our current m/h has alloy wheels fitted but a steel spare ...... this proved it's worth and worked perfectly when we had a puncture on the busy A14 dual carriageway our way to Devon recently. It was a Sunday afternoon and no chance of getting a new tyre nearby so we would have been stuck.

    A very nice man from the RAC came along and fitted the spare so we were back on the road within the hour. The steel wheel stayed on for a couple of days until we managed to get a new tyre in Barnstaple.
     
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  20. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    I have found Green Flag to be excellent but then I do tend to check my tyres and emergency equipment before setting out on such a trip. Sods law says things will only go wrong in the worst situation possible.
     
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