The AA

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by meandmycornet, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member


    Well, I'd just got off to sleep (about 20 minutes ago) when Mummy rung me (at Uni!) to say that she'd broken down on her way home from band.... and could I ring dad (who doesn't have a mobile) at the athletics club to tell him, that him and Gordon will have to walk home! Which they weren't bothered about in the slightest... in fact they're more than like using it as an excuse to spend a bit more time in the bar!

    But.... Mum is having to wait an hour and half for the AA to come out and 'rescue' her.... she's not exactly completely in the middle of nowhere... but the road she's stranded on is dark and pretty quiet at this time of night...and she's on her own. Surely she shouldn't be having to wait this long?

    My uncle is actually an AA man, in Manchester though which isn't much use!

    I'm now not going to sleep tonight until I know my Mummy is home and safe, I shall be ringing her lots to make sure she's alright!

  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Reading, UK
    That's pretty bad! One of my best friends is second in command at the AA legal dept - I'll mention this to him and see what the response time is supposed to be in circumstances like this! Hope your mum gets home OK.
  3. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Ohhh ta Dave :D

    Just rung her to check she's still ok... and apparently they're sending a garage to fetch her instead of the AA now!

    She's been on the blower to her baby brother who's an AA man aswell.... and he reckons its something to do with 'crankshaft centre' which I am realibly informed is 'the bit that connects the engine to the wheels' which sounds jolly scary tomorrow!

    Think Daddy is going to be having the day off work tomorrow... seeing as he drives for his job!
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    A quote from the AA web site

    Although a very very very looong time ago, we had a couple of really bad experiences with the AA. We were driving towards Hadrians Wall, four adults in the car. We managed to have part of the cats eye iron surround - which had come out of its hole and was in the middle of the carriageway - smash all along underneath the car which ripped a hole in the manifold. Bearing in mind this was, as said about 25 years ago and we didn't have the luxury of mobile phones, we walked some distance to the nearest farm and called the AA telling them that the car was disabled and we needed a recovery relay truck. After 2 hours!! a small van arrived. The mechanic got out, looked under the car, scratched his head and said "hmm, you need relay". He had to drive about 5 miles to get his radio to work in his van before coming back to us to tell us we were in for another long wait. :mad:

    We switched our cover to Green Flag not longer after, when we joined the Caravan Club as it also had good deals on vehicle and caravan recovery. We've had very good responses from them, with an average of around 20 - 30 minutes.

    A quote from their web site :

    May your mum should look at switching her policy Fi but I'm sure she'll be back safe and sound soon. :)
  5. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    I've always had a top service from the AA. The longest I've had to wait is about an hour and that was when it was really late at night (or early in the morning) when the patrol vehicle in my area was already called out. I hope your mum got back safely :)
  6. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I was with the AA and thought they were absolute rubbish! Once I waited 4 hours for the guy to turn up, I'd told them the diaphagm in the carb had gone and I'd need a tow. They guy turned upi, fiddled about and then told me the diaphragm in the carb had gone and I'd need a tow. I said well you could tow me, I only live 3 miles up that road. He said he didn't have a tow rope. I said I do. He said against the rules. Another 1 1/2 hours wait for the tow truck!! On another occaision, with my wife, young baby and a dog in a camper van. Smoke started to come from under the dash board. AA turn up and check it. The wiring is melting, I'm told, just drive it for 30 minutes, let it cool down and then drive on etc. It should get you home!! The guy was quite hurt by what I called him! So, Brittania Rescue for me!
  7. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    We switched to the AA after a poor experience with what was then National Breakdown, now Green Flag. We had a reasonable service from the AA until one day when my sister was involved in a RTA and needed recovery. She was involved in a non-fault accident, thankfully she wasn't injured, but the car was quite old and was an economic write off. There was no problem with the AA recovering the car to our house, took about an hour for them to respond but it was 5pm on a weekday so was acceptable.

    Next day the car was taken by the insurance company and assessed. The accident happened on a Monday evening and by the end of the week, the car had been written off and a settlement claim agreed for it's value. By Monday of the following week, my sister had received a cheque and had secured the purchase of a replacement vehicle.

    Two weeks after the accident, an invoice arrived from the AA for £150, the cost of recovering my sister's damaged car. As the settlement had been made, the claim was closed so the cost of recovery could not be added into it. My sister contacted the AA to tell them this, they were totally unsympathetic and threatened to suspend her membership if she didn't pay. She ended up paying £150 to ensure that she retained the use of their services.

    When the recovery was up for renewal, she switched to the RAC. They've been absolutely fantastic, through no fault of her own, her car broke down twice with a failed clutch. Unfortunately this was on the M1, the RAC were there in under 15 minutes, recovered the car to her garage and took her home. She was also stranded at mine with a water leak but when the RAC technician came he found a diesel leak. Not only did he manage to repair the water leak but he also repaired the breather pipe where the diesel was leaking, absolutely first class service.

    The RAC may be a little bit more expensive but they employ trained motor vehicle technicians who can repair so many faults and get you going on your way again very quickly. Super impressive! Highly recommended!
  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I've never been a member of the AA, so I can't really comment on their service, but I will add to the recomendations for the RAC. I've been a member for over 10 years now, and they have always given me great service. Generally they come out within a reasonable time (usually within 45 minutes although when my missus broke down on her own they were there within 20) and have never let me down when I've called them out - and with some of my old cars that was quite often!

    They are expensive, but even with a relatively new car I wouldn't consider changing as I have piece of mind that if I have to call on them they will either get me going or get me the means to complete my journey.
  9. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Absolutely; their vans are a miracle of engineering as well, since they seem to accommodate virtually every possible tool, a full set of standard spares, a compressor, battery charger, etc. into one Merc Vito.

    I've been an RAC member since I first bought a car, and whenever I've called them out the service has been excellent. Even when they had to work on my knackered old Chevette. :D
  10. Di

    Di Active Member

    Snap! Isn't it great when you tell them what's wrong and then you wait for hours for someone, ill equipped, to come along and say the same thing! Grrr.

    Similarly, I noticed last week that one of my tyres was looking perished, so, not wanting to mess around, I took it to a well known tyre centre during my lunch break as they're within walking distance, and told them I'd pick it up after work. I said it needed a new tyre, driver side, rear as it's perished. The front two are ok, had them done, and the tracking adjusted, just after Christmas and the rear the other side not long before that. They then got a form out and said "ok, we'll check this, that and the other". I left wondering what on earth was going to be done. :-?

    About 20 minutes later, I got a call from them.

    "Hello, just to let you know, we've checked everything over. The two front tyres are OK, the back passenger side is ok, but the back driver side, now madam, that's perished and you need a new tyre".

    I'm like, "well duh! Isn't that why I took it in?" (I didn't say quite that of course, but that was about the gist of it. :rolleyes: ).
  11. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    I havent used my AA rescue yet (touch wood) but when i was on RAC i had to wait two hours for hem which was on the motorway and when they got they they said they could only tow me however many mileswhich was useless cos i was halfway between my flat in huddersfield and my house in manchester and not really anywhere near a garage and my dad had to come and save me from whereever the AA left me in saddleworth!! so i am now on AA!!
  12. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    West Midlands
    i have been with AA since i first passed my test when i was 17 i will say now 100% service each time from them when ive broken down but i have got the;Home Start,Relay,Relay Plus;
    Its costs me about £160.00 a year but if i break down i can continue my Journey by a FREE Hire Car,Spend a night in a Hotel continue my Journey by Taxi,Train or get towed home by them.
    But ive only had to use this service once and it was worth every penny of the membership.
    So i would recomend anyone to join the AA:clap: :woo
  13. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Hadleigh, Essex
    According to today's paper, the AA are to discontinue their policy of having patrols out 24 hours a day in favour of using local firms for call-outs. Be interesting to see what effect that has on the response time.
  14. SoloBaritone

    SoloBaritone Member

    I'm a member of RAC and last time I broke down, the man told me that if I break down again to tell them I'm stuck on a really busy road causing an obstruction and they'd come quicker! Also, something else that annoys me as well as the waiting time - we have family cover and in January my Dad got a letter saying that if any of us needed to use RAC before April we had to pay! We pay enough for the cover never mind having to pay more, it's not like we want to break down!
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
  15. Di

    Di Active Member

    Oooh, here's another one.

    I did have free RAC given to me for 3 years when I bought my new car. The one and only time it's EVER needed breakdown with my car ( *touches wood* ) was when I had a hole in the petrol pipe. I'd just had a new petrol gauge fixed under warranty and on the way home was filling up with petrol when someone pointed out there was petrol leaking out the bottom of my car. Whether this was happening before the gauge was replaced, I don't know, but I did keep running out of petrol a) before the warning light came on and b) before I'd driven far enough to use what I thought I'd paid for.

    Anyway... (sorry, one does tend to get carried away..;).)

    The lady at the forecourt came out, saw the petrol on the floor, wave her arms and called to the other cashiers "call 999, call 999, close the garage off and get the fire brigade". Oh great. The call went through to the main store, Asda for an announcement to be made that the garage was closing and the fire brigade came blue lighting round the corner. The firemen moved my car (lifted it, with all the ladies in the office with noses pressed against the window admiring the muscles) and placed it so one side was on a kerb and they good get a good look.

    They said I'd got a hole in the pipe and I was to call my breakdown people, and to get towed back to the garage. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES was I to start the engine and drive that car.

    So I called the RAC and explain the problem. It took a lot of arguing with them to actually send someone out. They were quite insistent that I should be OK to drive my car, hole or not in the petrol pipe. I had to really put my foot down, and firmly tell them what the firemen had told me. Plus which I had both kids with me and I was certainly not willing to put them at risk as well as myself.

    When a van eventually did come, the mechanic was all for getting in the car and starting it up to see if he thought it was fit for me to drive. I again had to put my foot down and repeat what I'd been told and demand my tow back to the garage.

    It made me feel, as a customer, that I was asking for something that I shouldn't be and that I was wasting their time. :mad:

    Now, it may have been OK to drive, but who am I to know? I'd been given my advice and I was sticking to my guns.
  16. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Once dropped my car keys down a drain (d'oh!), didn't have spairs (d'oh some more!!!) so walked to local ford garage to ask for a new key. they told me that they needed the car at the garage to get it 'chipped' with a security code, but gave me a key to get into the car, it just wouldn't start it (modern security feature apparently).

    So..... walked back to car and called the AA and asked for a tow. Explained the whole situation - and that I had a key but the car needed to be towed half a mile down the road to the local ford dealers in order to be 'chipped'.

    The bloke on the phone obviously hadn't listened to a word I was saying, and was obviously reading from a script. First of all he advised me to break in to get the key (was sitting IN the car at this point, and the key was in a drain, as I'd just explained to him so why he wanted me to smash the window I have NO idea!!!!) THEN started going on about sending out a locksmith, which i'd be charged 60 quid for!!!!!!

    Erm...... a locksmith - to unlock a car I was already sitting in!?!?

    Finally got car towed after a complete waste of a morning.

    Don't even get me started on the time my car broke down on a narrow country lane at half ten at night, (I was on my own) and I couldn't even get through to the AA to come and get me!! Had to call my parents neighbours to come and get me as boyfriend/parents/AA were not answering the phone!!!

  17. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I cannot reccommend RAC enough. The cover I have even entitles me to a courtesy car if my own has to go into a garage and the man who came last time it broke down carried me to home after having towed the car from near Wigan to a garage in Tyldesley. Fantastic service.

    The down side is the courtesy car was brand new (10 miles on the clock) and was awesome to drive.:biggrin: Now my own car (repaired) feels like a piece of junk to drive!:(
  18. Di

    Di Active Member

    Although I'm pretty sure I had full cover, all paid for courtesy Hyundai, I was told I didn't qualify for a courtesy car and, having finally begged my way into a tow to the garage, had to arrange for someone to come over and meets us there to take us home. Hmm, I was in Leicester, Steve was still at work in Nottingham. Rush hour too. So we were left stranded, at closed garage, with a nice long wait. :mad:
  19. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    I am a member the AA and have a mixed opinion. When I was involved in an RTA I rang the AA and stated that the car was not in a state to drive and would need to be picked up. They said that was fine and that they would be with me in an hour. That’s when the fun started. The Police were there directing traffic and the AA knew about this. An hour and a half went by and still nothing so I phoned again. They stated that it was shift change over and that the guy who was closest was only just leaving the depot. They told me he was stuck in heavy traffic in Leeds. This was when I did flip as I was over in Colne in Lancashire, I thought they had got the wrong address and they thought I was near my home not far from Leeds. It was Friday at 5.30pm and I knew it would be ages before they arrived. 8pm and the guy finally turned up, the police were with me all the time and were great and patient, but I am sure they had better things to do then to wait for the AA. However the guy was apologetic and stated that he would take my car and put it in their depot as it was the least they could do and then drop it off at the garage the next morn as of course they were now shut. Apart from that I haven't had any other experiences...if I do I hope they are better than that!:confused:
  20. Di

    Di Active Member

    We've had Green Flag out several times for Steve's car, and they've usually come to us within 30 minutes and have been great. There was just one time, very early on however, again, before mobile phones and involving a 2 mile trek to a phone) when we called and waited for over an hour. Finally gave up and walked to the phone and called again. She said the van had been out, not found us and gone back, assuming we'd got the car going again. I said no van had been anywhere near us. She asked us for our location again. Turns out the driver had gone to Defford near Pershore instead of Desford in Leicestershire. :rolleyes:
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