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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I put wrong fuel in car. Insurance company arranged RAC to

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I put wrong fuel in car. Insurance company arranged RAC to take us back home. Upon speaking to RAC sales advisor said if we pay £250 we would be seen to in 45 mins and be able to carry on our journey as otherwise have 169 mile trip back home and not get to destination. RAC took 2 hours. Not given T+C. Not got written confirmation. Phone call is taped. RAC even admit sales agent said 45 mins. In my opinion this is a verbal contract to which they did not adhere to.

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you.

Was the 45 min turnaround promised when you were making a claim? How much would it have cost without the 45 min turnaround time?

Kind regards

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Let me explain again



I put the wrong fuel was put into my vehicle. Upon breaking down half a mile from the service station on the M6, I called my insurance company to find a solution to the unfortunate situation. We have no issues with the insurance company.


The insurance company transferred the call to the RAC with the intention of the RAC returning us and the vehicle home on a recovery vehicle.


HOWEVER the RAC sales agent hijacked the insurance company's direction by first planting a seed of doubt into our heads by suggesting we may have to pay excess insurance fees if we were taken home.


He then gave us the option of paying £250 to the RAC. We were told that we would be dealt with within 45 mins and we would be on our way and able to reach our destination after the necessary fuel drain. This would eradicate the need to be taken 169 miles back home.


Just to clarify this would be a new transaction and for the RAC to take over the situation, nothing to do with the insurance company.


This was discussed during a mobile phone conversation on the side of the M6 motorway. NO Terms and Conditions were expressed or offered. ONLY that we would be seen within 45 mins.


Various promises of being called within time frame were not adhered to, but the main issue is that we were not attended to for over 2 hours and thus this broke the verbal contract.


The RAC have a recording of the conversation.


Two letters have resulted in them not addressing any of the issues we have raised.


The issue is that after verbally agreed and then paying for a service, the service agreement was not honoured.


The RAC eventually attended over two hours later to but we are not satisfied as it was quite spectacularly not in the time scale offered.



If we were offered a fuel drain but within the agreement we would be seen within two hours, we would have opted for the drive home on the back of a recovery vehicle.


Can you clarify the law with regards XXXXX XXXXX contracts please AJ.


In one reply the RAC suggested they are not liable due to their T+C, however (i) this only related to if you join to the RAC and we simply paid for a service and did not join (ii) we were not told of any T+C over the telephone and were not aware of them.


Thank you for your time, I hope we can get this matter addressed and reach a positive solution.


Matthew Ashton


Thank you.

I will review this and write a response. It may take me some time so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me until this evening.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no problem AJ


take your time


thanks again

Thank you.

Kind regards


Thank you.

Based on what you have told my I can summarise the position as follows:
1. Either the RAC have misrepresented to you what you were sold;
2. Or they are in breach of an express term of the contract. The fact that you paid extra for a 45 minute turn around means that in contractual terms "time is of the essence". This means that the time limit is a condition of the agreement and if they breach it they would be liable to pay you damages.

I would suggest you start by writing to RAC as follows:
1. Say that when you purchased the 45 minute turnaround from RAC you believed this to be a condition of the arrangement. RAC have clearly breached this condition by not arranging the call out within 45 mins.
2. At best this is a breach of contract and worst this amounts to a sharp sales practice in which you were misrepresented for a product you did not need;
3. Say to them if they do not refund you the full additional sum paid within 7 days you will:
(i) Report the matter to Trading Standards;‎

(ii) Reserve the right to take county court action to recover your losses plus the cost of doing so. A money claim can be started here

I do think the insurance company should take some responsibility here as clearly they must have recommended the RAC to you? Or did they just let you pick and recovery service?

Kind regards

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