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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70284
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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When I accidentally put the wrong fuel in my car the RAC -

Customer Question

When I accidentally put the wrong fuel in my car the RAC - which I am a member of, charged me £200 to come to my assistance. They told me the reason was because the
Local Authority would be charging them this amount in order to dispose of the retrieved fuel down a public drain. I have since found out this is totally untrue. They local firm they instructed, Kavannah's, informed me that the service they provide for the RAC is totally FREE. They (Kavannah's) make their money by selling the retrieved fuel back to a refinery.
Surely this must be Fraud? Do I have a case for the return of the charges made by the RAC through a Small Claims Court?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Do you accept that they are entitled to charge?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I do not! I am a member and the service is supposed to be free. They charged me the £200 under false pretences for which they have apologised but still kept my £200.How can that be right?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You have not provided any answer, only a question!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

According to the RAC website they do charge for this service but members get a £50 discount

http://www.rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/fuel-patrol/

Wrong fuel is not covered unless you have their optional extra service which costs £24

http://www.rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/uk-breakdown?JID=%2bl6szwLe6Yd4YFj50%2bHR33mxEaot6kw7yEQZROt9MFMduWq6cDc642PCOM8Vyges


So having established that they are entitled to charge the only issue appears to be the fact that you have been told something which is completely incorrect. It is illegal to flush fuel down the drain. They may get the service provided for free by someone else but they are entitled to charge for doing the work based upon their terms and conditions.

However because of what you are told I think you do have cause for a valid complaint. If you were to take them to court over this I think they would probably pay up without going to court they may cancel your membership or at least refuse to renew it. That decision however is theirs.

I am sorry if this is bad news for you.

Can I clarify anything?