I waited 12 hours for the RAC - and when they turned up at 3.30am, they wouldn’t fix my car

PUBLISHED: 13:44 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:56 19 July 2019

Wendy Williams, who was left waiting for 12 hours for assistance from the RAC after her car broke down  Picture: Chris Bishop

Wendy Williams, who was left waiting for 12 hours for assistance from the RAC after her car broke down Picture: Chris Bishop


A woman and her daughter were left waiting 12 hours for the RAC after their car broke down.

And when a patrolman finally arrived at 3.30am, he refused to fix it.

Tea shop joint owner Wendy Williams from Terrington, near King's Lynn, had travelled to Lincoln to collect her daughter Anna from university when the electronic hand brake became stuck on her Volvo.

Mrs Williams, 50, called the RAC - which promises "a superior service at the roadside".

She rang at 3.30pm on Monday, July 1. Help arrived at 3.30am the following day.

"He got out of the van and told me how tired he was and how he had fallen asleep at the wheel getting to me," said Mrs Williams. "He walked towards my car, stopped and said: 'I'm not touching that - it's an electronic hand brake.

"I was completely shocked. He phoned his office and informed them he had just fallen asleep at the wheel. He told them he was not touching my car.

"He told them I would need a specific recovery truck as the car could not be moved. He informed me that a recovery truck would not be available until 9 am.

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"He said they could taxi me back to Norfolk and when I said I would go and get my daughter he said I would have to leave her in Lincoln as she had left the car. It was this point I reached breaking point and informed him he should leave and I would sort out this mess myself."

Mrs Williams and Anna were collected by a taxi at 5.15am and taken back to Norfolk at the RAC's expense.

Her car was also returned - too late for the garage to look at it that same day. She has complained and been told an investigation will take 20 days.

"How could I have been a priority case," she said. "I was left stranded in a strange city. I had to take my daughter to her student accommodation as she was so distressed by the experience. I have not been told how to claim for my food.

"The lack of communication throughout and since has been disgraceful. I was on hold for 24 minutes on one of the many occasions I contacted the RAC for an update."
The RAC said: "We are sorry for the service Mrs Williams' received after breaking down, which was not of the standard she rightly expects of us. We are in contact with her about her experience.

"Due to a high number of breakdowns that evening and the closure of the A17, one of our contractor partners attended. We expect the highest standards of our partners, but it is clear they did not communicate well with Mrs Williams after she broke down. We are discussing this with the contractor to help prevent a similar situation happening in the future.

"All drivers who work for us have to follow strict rules regarding driving hours and rest periods.

"We continue to investigate Mrs Williams' case and have been in touch with her to discuss a suitable gesture of goodwill."

Mrs Williams has been offered £100 for her trouble.

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