Rac, Rip Off ?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Terry, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi all I am now having a good day :thumb: after a not so good w/end :Rofl1: On thursday we wnt off to Whitby to meet up with a mate.Passed where we were to meet so carried on untill I could turn around,stop and take pooch for a quick leg up job :Rofl1:Up on stopping engine would not turn over just the click of the starter solinoid so (no phone signal) I had to walk about 1 mile plus up hill to the pub :thumb: no public phone :Angry: so another few hundred yds to phone box :thumb: Phoned RAC who told me 1 1/2 hrs so went back to wife and dog meeting friend by accident who was stuck on site till morning, awaiting a tow.Rac MAN EVENTUALY came asked what problem was,told him it would not start and I suspected a loose wire as it started stright off this morning without a struggle but now juct click :Eeek:after a few mins he came to the conclusion I needed a new starter motor-- are you sure its not just a wire or something ?-yes new starter as power is at solenoid. He tow started us,:thumb: then I had to follow him about 2 miles to the top of the hill where he could get a phone signal.After phoneing he said £269 plus vat and fitting for a new starter but I would have to drive to Stockton on Tees park up for the night at the garage and they would get one for 2 pm next day.I said no chance I may as well go home (almost as near) and get it fixed there.He then proceeded to finaly get under the van to check if power was at the solenoid ????(I could hear it click same as him there by knowing it was)I then asked him where I could buy a tow rope from ?, he tried to undo an old one he had but could not so he gave me quite a nice one which I gave him £20 for and to all his credit did not want to take but I insisted as it was a nice one worth £20 :thumb: this I could use for my mate to tow start next morning after he got unstuck :thumb:We carried on with the break with mate tow starting the van again next day upon we returned home :Sad:Now to-day another mecanic mate came to take off S/M (2 different types needed to see which before buying)took 2 mins to say nothing wrong with starter it's a wireing loose conection fault :thumb::Angry::Angry: took him another 25 mins to strip and clean (very awarkward to get at ) and away she goes :thumb: Saving £269 plus but very P---ed off at the RAC man :Angry:I said to the wife at the time that I felt he only wanted a kick back off the starter and fitting.Very bad on the RAC and us having to cut short our w/end but all in all a result :thumb:
    terry
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Sorry to hear that Terry, now either the RAC man was a crook after a kick back or he did not know his job. Either way the RAC need to be informed, you could even get 12 months breakdown free by way of an apology.
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi Terry,

    i used to work for the RAC in a round about way.
    the company i worked for were breakdown contractors for all the big clubs.

    we found that if you were attended by the RAC patrol van then everything went to pot....late arrival, couldnt be bothered to fault find most of the time, reluctant to tow ect.

    if you were lucky enough to get a contractor it should be a different experience.

    we had to arrive within the hour, usualy a damn sight less, or suffer a £10 penalty, a lot on a £30 callout!
    we would always try to faultfind and i dont mean just have a look....get in, get dirty.
    i have laid on my back, in a gutter, in the rain, wet through re-fitting a broken exhaust before today
    if it was something we couldnt fix at the roadside WE would tow to a local garage or to your home/destination depending on cover and it was your choice.

    we would never send someone on thier way with an unfixed fault....temp repair maybe but never unfixed.........suppose you'd stalled on route, how do you get started again?....another callout for the same fault, they dont like that and will only do it a couple of times then your on your own:Angry:

    with any luck, next time, you'll get a contractor and faith will be restored.:thumb:

    john.

    ps: the longest wait i heard of was 7 hours for a patrol van
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  4. dshague

    dshague Funster

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    my clutch pedal broke [ not the cable ] on our camper in the middle of no were
    in Scotland .rac came out with in one hour ,the rac men said by the time i get a low loader up hear i can drive the 50 miles to main dealers get new part and have it fixed this he did .all in the rain and under the van.
    we all have good and bad days .rac are worth the money for me :thumb:
     
  5. Mark&Sue

    Mark&Sue Deleted User

    Rac

    Although our cover went up by a few quid this year, we have found the RAC to be excellent all round, always fixed and gone beyond what would be expected. I suppose it comes down to the individual, maybe we have always been lucky.

    Once had a bad accident on my bike, wrote the bike off and was covered by the AA or so I thought. When I purchased the highest level of cover I was told that they would pick the bike up no matter what the problem was. I sat on the side of the road and was told by the AA that they would get my bike home but I would have to pay as the bike wasn't covered for recovery in case of accident. I would also have to pay in advance and claim the cost back from the other guys insurance. I cancelled my AA membership as I was missold it and checked with the RAC, they do cover this type of incident, all I needed to know!
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    yep...done it!

    winched out a BMW from a 5ft drainage gulley:Eeek:
    only thing the guy would say was "dont bend me new footpegs"......his bike was scrap!!!

    funny how an accident affects your priorities:Wink:
     
  7. Blisters

    Blisters Read Only Funster

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    What can you say, big firm like RAC should be top notch, but there no better than a back street garage, in so much as you get good and bad garages and you also get good and bad mechanics, Like yourself we have had bad service from the RAC, but our cost us nearly a grand, We had a works van breakdown the RAC man told our driver to limp home with a faulty clutch, end result new clutch, pressure plate, release bearing, flywheel and the faulty spigett which had originally failed, total cost aprox £1200 in stead of £250 had the van been recovered on a low loader and just the spigett bearing being replaced, we have taken this up with their customer service dept who said in a word, tough.
    We have written to them demanding they pay for the additional items damaged as a result of driving the van whilst faulty (as advised by RAC mechanic) but we expect to have to issue court proceedings before we get anything,
     
  8. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    We've had some good, some bad, RAC experiences. Mostly incredibly loooooong waits before their van arrives. Some years ago when I had a Nissan Patrol manual 4x4, they were very pleasant but completely hopeless - it broke down a mile or two from home one day when we were on our way to Sheffield - van took an hour and a half, no problem says mechanic, its the points and I luckily have a set. Changed - on our way - drive approx 2 miles - engine dies. This time on busy A38 on a bad corner. Called RAC, van had been sent elsewhere, given wait period of 2 hours, police came as it was a dangerous area of motorway and although helpful and wanting to protect us, were very demanding that we provide a recovery service instantly or they would call their local friends at a huge fee instead, Eventually RAC arrive with police having made calls to their call centre. More messing about. Points burned out says mechanic. Eventually, after battling for another hour, towed us home (about 2 miles) himself. Spent total of 8 hours in broken down car around 2 miles max from home that day!!!!:cry::cry:

    Result: Condenser wasn't changed with points and had blown......no amount of messing around was going to fix that until the points and condenser were changed. RAC announced when challenged that "modern cars no longer use such outdated technology and some of our mechanics are not trained in the repair of older vehicle systems.". Hmmmm.

    Next incident involved Smart Car - battery died completely while out on a Sunday at supermarket. Called RAC. After 2 hours still no sign of them. Supermarket car park empty now, shop closed. Feeling very vulnerable phoned again. Discovered they had sent a van to Litchfield near Hastings when I had given the location as a supermarket near Lichfield (no T!!!) near Birmingham, W Mids. Hmmm. Formal complaint - was ultimately given full years free membership (Arrival, Recovery, HomeStart - full caboodle). Eventually van came some 4 hours after first call, in the dark by now, luckily had a battery for sale on van of correct size - took 10 minutes to change and get on our way. :Sad:

    Several other anecdotes relating to other incidents - needless to say, none of these have inspired much confidence so far, and I think they are all just as useless as one another, but I keep the membership nonetheless - years ago when a head gasket blew on a Honda Legend I was driving at the time, they recovered it on a low loader in Worcestershire and delivered in Derbyshire - for recovery I guess the service is worth having.:Sad:

    Our Adria is insured with Safeguard which includes full AA cover, thankfully we haven't had to use it yet. Please heaven we never need to!!!!:Eeek:
     
  9. Rapide561

    Rapide561 Read Only Funster

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    Rac

    Hi

    I had to call out the RAC two weeks ago for the motorhome. Long story short though, and I had to call Fiat Camper Assist first. Camper assist phoned me back to say their UK contractor - ie the RAC would not attend as the nature of the breakdown was not a Fiat warranty item. I phoned the RAC Commercial Vehicle control centre at Stockport ready to give them some really pan handle, only to be told a patrol was on his way.

    Basically I had a flat tyre and no spare wheel.

    The RAC patrol came out but was unable to assist. He did however suggest a local firm who could help - and this they did at a reasonable price.

    Russell

    I will add that I do not have a spare wheel and a Fix and Go type kit on board.
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi guys :thumb: nice to know I am not the only one :Rofl1: what got me was he was not interested in either trying / looking for a fix :Angry: just seamed to see motor home and ££££££'s, plus I priced up the starter from Iveco main dealer at home -- no trade-- and they said £252 inc vat rememeber the RAC man had main dealer at £269 plus vat :Eek!: so quite a big difference,plus at home we could get a recon for £96 off the shelf or takeit in to a recon bloke and get it next day for about £75 :BigGrin: admitadly these are trade prices but I also found them on ebay at £95 inc next day delivery.Just be aware !!! if this had happened a few weeks earlier whilst on 3 week tour of Scotland I would have not had much choise but to pay :Doh:but £269 plus vat and fitting on top ??? Wonder if when they took it off if they would have told me starter ok, just bad conection on wire or charged me full whack ? or checked it and found the fault after 2 mins like my mate without removal ?Going to phone up tommorow and complain,plus getting onto C & CC as I had to join them to get on the ARIVAL's jobby because she's above the 3 . 5 ton normal membership limit.Always been with the rac for about 30 yrs and when you need recovery it is worth every penny but somtimes they take a v / long time :Rofl1: Once waited an hour for the mecanic to tell me the engine had blown (which I told them when phoned) then 6 hours for recovery to pick up the van and take us home :Angry: but I did get a yrs free membership after that -- for the wait,with a sorry :thumb::Rofl1:
    terry
     
  11. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Don't forget to give your self a good rollocking, you bought and converted the bloody thing:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Geo
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    :Rofl1: This is only my second bit to go wrong after 2 yrs exactly :thumb:(first outing 30 oct 2006) The first thing was a bit of self stick trim about 8 ins long that came unstuck :Rofl1: I take full responseability for that :thumb::Rofl1: but the starter is nothing to do with the bits we touched :Rofl1::Rofl1:Ivecos fault. :Rofl1:HOW MANY other owners can say that bout there vans :thumb::Rofl1:Swift and others cannot get them out of the factory without something breaking :Rofl1::Wink: sorry Swift :BigGrin::Wink: only joking:Rofl1::Rofl1:
    good rollocking done :thumb:
    terry
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi all, quick update, phoned RAC to complain that my mecanic only took 2 mins to diagnose the fault and 20 mins to rectify and that there mecanic had caused us to cut short our holiday for what my mecanic said was a very basic,identifiable/remidy fault. There reply was we got you going and out of danger from the roadside & they where sorry but would send a report to the head of there mecanics department.:Angry:When I pointed out I was not on the roadside but on the enterence to a farm (off roadside)his attitude changed a bit and he said sorry again.He had trouble taking in the fact that as we were in a m/h and planed hols in front of us, which through there inepetitude had caused us to cut short.I can only assume he wanted us to pay for a new starter motor (which was not needed) along side there mecanic.Sorry agin.
    This got me going :Angry::Angry: so decided to go ahead with a complaint to C&CC who listened intently about all my simple problem and fears that the RAC see a m/h and think ££££'s.They have promised to investigate this with the RAC and get back to me :thumb:They are v/interested to find out if this has happened to other members or just a one off :Eeek::thumb: As such I am now going to c/p this to the dark side to see if anyone has had probs like this on there :thumb: will keep you posted as to the outcome.
    terry
     
  14. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Ihad a VW based 'van a while ago, sold it and on the eve of the buyer coming for it guess what? wouldn't start! sent for rac man who came fairly quickly and diagnosed a faulty ignition switch- a fairly common problem on the t4. He fitted a temporary wire to hot -wire start the van and went on his merry way. The following morning took it to an autoelectrician who fitted a new switch and all was ok again. Cost about £130 but at least my buyer went away happy. So I think like anything else there are good and bad in every organisation, but you should complain for bad service.
    Dave:thumb:
     
  15. Stephen & Jeannie

    Stephen & Jeannie Read Only Funster

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    as a born again republican anything prefixed with "royal" has to be suspect ! i am with green flag for my car and FREE recovery for the motor home with caravanguard insurance ! as to "royal" look at prince charles ( celebrated adulterer ) do we need a royal family ? i don't think so !! and don't give me all that guff about tourism etc ! rant nearly over, will resume when necessary ! :Doh:
     
  16. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Sorry Terry this is all a bit one sided, tell me how exactly this guy could have won this one,
    he is carrying out a set of instructions given to him by his employers
    he has a set diagnostic system to work to,given the same set of circumstances I believe I may have given the same dianosis of your problem, and for good reason, there were only two others he could have given you
    1. I aint got a clue mate, he had an opinion and he gave you that
    2. its a loose wire mate, 9 x out of ten it is the starter, so chances are you would have expected next to no charge, but would have landed a bill for God knows what, he looses again
    You made the decision not to be taken to the garage, based i assume on your distrust of the motor trade, they may well have diagnosed a loose wire, we will never know, we do if there is a loose wire, if not it would be a new starter, simple.
    The AA and RAc Green flag and all the others, offer a simple Emergency roadside assistance package, Thats all,
    Not a mobile mechanic service there is a huge differance, and you should except the service for what it is, had you not been a member and called a garage out for help and recovery the price of a starter motor would have been just a fraction of a bill running into many hundreds of pounds
    when you read your story
    it clearly shows that the RAC man was not on the make or he wouldn't have offered a free tow rope. by your own admission the wires were difficult to get at, but he got under and looked, And from what i read It would suggest you stayed foran extra day with your freind and his towing kit and again it was your decision to go home, I feel it all could have been avioded if only you had a little trust.
    As for back handing RAC AA men to bring in breakdowns, in your dreams. 98% of breakdowns are local, and the RAC AA men are told by the customer to take them to their local garage. in over 25 years I have never been asked or offered such a deal, the reason? RAC or AA drop ins, means your carefully planned workshop load is shot to pieces, and you now have yet another customer who feels you were sat there for the last 50 Hrs just waiting for them to conk out and want the car back asap
    Sorry mate but that how i see it:Sad:
    Geo
     
  17. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Geo,:thumb: thanks for your insider view, and not faulting your reasoning.:BigGrin:We carried on for one more day because my mate stayed that long only so when he went we had to.We also tried to get a local garage to look at it,but everyone was busy,and could look at it next week.
    My own thoughts were that it was not the starter as this had never given trouble or anything,not even" tired" starting.He only got under the van when I said it was easyier to go home rather than S on Tees and wait till 2 pm next day for the not needed part.
    My mecanic simply turned on ignition and herd click,got under the van and looked,asked me to hand him a small screwdriver,shorted the solinoidover to starter and away she went.
    At one stage I asked the rac man to do just such a thing saying yrs ago we used to do it.That is when he started to try to convince me it was the starter and I needed to buy a new one.I don't think he had any intension of getting under the van to try that.It was only after he towed us and we got to the top of the moor and realised I was not going to go wait the night at a garage for a s/m that he got his board out and got under the van to check that power was at the solinoid ???? this I found strange as we had established this at the bottom of the hill with it clicking ? quote -there's power there you can hear it clicking--Any way he got his trusty muti meter conected it to a long scewdriver touched the solinoid, got a reading to show me there was power saying that proved it was the starter.He was a nice old chap but I just knew he was not going under the van to look for a loose wire / bad conection without a pit !!!
    Could not fault him on that as I was scruffy / muddy from doing just that before he came.Me !! cound not see a thing,and too old and fat to do anything about it:Rofl1:

    I suspose this is a tale of 2 mecanics 1 good 1 not so good.I just felt he only wanted to sell us the new starter,thereby not have to get under the van.:Rofl1:
    terry
    Still trust the grease monkeys ,they usualy know more than me,anyway I have forgoten most of what I know about cars,try not to touch them :Rofl1:
     
  18. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    The RAC chaps we have had dealings with in the past few years seem to lack basic troubleshooting skills - I agree one can't expect a full mechanic service for the price of a membership but I think that fairly basic skills are still lacking - for instance changing a condensor when changing points isn't rocket science and should not have taken 8 hours of failure to diagnose at the roadside and towing us home for a proper garage to do in five minutes a day later :Eeek: The extremely long waiting times at the roadside are another issue altogether, but a hugely annoying and stressful one!!:Angry: In the cost-cutting times we live in, service levels and staffing are reduced to impossible levels where satisfaction is likely to be really low, but most of us put up with some of the shoddiest service levels in the "developed" world.....:Sad:
     
  19. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Terry thank you for your understanding,
    Did you know not all RAC/AA men are mechanics:Eeek: they are mearly trained in the diagnostic procedure of the RAC or AA and that,s all they know, but folks think they are Gods gift to Motor cars because they are RAC or AA, and on the other hand some RAC/AA men think there gods gift too, I know because i deal with them nearly every day, It may come as a suprise ,it does to a few, even I'm in the RAC, stuck on the motorway with no tools im as usfull as a chocolate fire guard, and what is more frustrating, I can tell control exactly what is wrong where to get the Part and what tools to bring and I'll fit it, but NO I have to wait for the little orange van same as you, but I do smile and listen intently to his droolings:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Geo
     
  20. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Keep it up Geo :thumb: the insight bit, no I did not,:Eeek: I thought they ALL were mechanics.I did not expect them to be the best in the world :thumb: they probably don't pay enough,but a mechanic all the same.No wonder my alarm bells were ringing :Doh: I thought I had forgotton more than he knew :Rofl1:He was about 64, if a day and I thought he was probably looking for an easy job to see to him right untill he retired :Rofl1:As it is he is probably a retrained banker.:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    terry
    edit I am even learning to spell mechanic heehee
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
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