RAC leaves Derbyshire couple stranded and freezing for HOURS on dangerous road

A couple from Derbyshire who broke down on a treacherous mountain pass while on holiday in Wales have blasted the RAC after they were forced to wait nearly EIGHT hours for help. John and Leah Hill, of Kingsley Crescent, in Long Eaton, have accused the recovery service for abandoning them when their VW campervan broke down on the A470, near Snowdonia, on May 31. Mr Hill claims when they called for assistance they were informed crews would attend within 90 minutes or sooner as they were in a dangerous location.

“It turned into a nightmare,” the 78-year-old said. “My wife and I had planned a two week holiday in our VW Campervan on the coast in Tywyn. “The campervan was running well and there was no indication of any problem.

We continued to within about 20 miles of our destination but when I attempted to change down to a lower gear I was unable to select anything and the vehicle came to a halt.

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“Realising we were not going to be able to go any further and it was not going to be a roadside repair, I attempted to call the RAC but there was no mobile signal. “I had allowed the vehicle to roll backwards as close as possible to the side of the road and put the hazard warning lights on. “Visibility was good at the time, and although it was a very fast road, the campervan was reasonably visible from both directions.

John Hill has blasted the RAC for abandoning them at the roadside.John Hill has blasted the RAC for abandoning them at the roadside.

“My wife and I walked about half mile back down the road to a farmhouse to call for help.

Where we were reassured by a RAC operator it would be around 90 minutes.” After waiting for more than five hours, the couple were forced to take more drastic action.

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He added: “We waited five hours, by which time it was getting dark with torrential rain making the situation much more serious, and eventually we had to phone the police. “When the police arrived they called for breakdown assistance, set up hazard warning signs and directed the traffic until the breakdown truck arrived, around 90 minutes later.

“The vehicle was towed away to the nearest police compound in Corwen, about 70 miles from the breakdown location. “Kindly the police arranged for us to stop overnight in a local hotel and drove us there when the road was eventually cleared. But during that time the RAC did not attend!”

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It is then understood that the following morning Mr Hill contacted the RAC again, but was unable to secure a replacement vehicle and was forced to pay for taxi back to Long Eaton – costing more than GBP300.

The pair were also hit with a GBP150 release fee from the police compound, as well as the GBP80 hotel stay. Costing them GBP542. John said the whole experience had been a nightmare from the start and has been left disgusted with their customer service.

He added: “May this be a warning to anyone who thinks that membership of the RAC will give a guarantee to rescue them in a breakdown situation.

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“We have been members of the RAC for over 16 years and have always paid for full coverage in case of breakdown for our two vehicles. “I have been appalled by the way we have been let down and by the totally unhelpful treatment by the RAC when we most needed it. I cannot understand why we were not attended within the 8 hours – we were stranded in a dangerous situation.

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“There is no logical reason why they failed to pick us up.

“The operator knew the precise position of the vehicle, that it was in a dangerous position on the road, and that it was not repairable at the roadside and would need to be towed away.” A spokesperson for the RAC has apologised for their error and have agreed to cover all costs. An RAC spokesperson said: “We accept that the service we provided to Mr Hill was not of our usual high standard, and we have since made contact with him to apologise sincerely.

“We have agreed to cover all of his costs and provide him with a year’s free membership as a goodwill gesture.”

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