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D’oh! Left the lights on this morning went back to the car at lunch so we could go home and collect hubby’s gym stuff but the battery was flat! (Between you and me, I reckon that Mr Fishbulb turned the lights on so we didn’t have to go to the gym)
Frightening thing is, this is a fairly regular occurrence with this being the 4th time we’ve left the lights on when we’ve gone to work – maybe we’re so committed to our jobs the second we get to the car-park that’s all we can think about or maybe it’s because the little beeping thing that tells us we’ve left the lights on stopped working a while ago (hmm… this was also immediately prior to the first ‘incident’ – what a co-incidence.
Back to today, after Mr Fishbulb got cross with Mrs Fishbulb, L I remembered something about ‘Green Flag’ cover – I think Mr F got it included with his bank account. Turns out, after a bit of searching on the Internet and a few swift telephone calls to LloydsTSB that we are covered by the AA! Cool I thought as I shivered and remembered the day we got stuck in the rain for three hours after work and STILL didn’t get the car going! LOL.
One quick phone call later and after repeating the names of the streets where our car was currently residing we were told “someone will be with you within the hour – wait by the car” So, off we trot, Mr & Mrs F hand in hand into the sunset….oh no that’s not right, we scurried across the (never ending) car park in the rain, without coats or brollies and sat and waited in the car. Actually, this is a lie, it’s not raining at all, but it does add to the overall effect!
Even though Mr & Mrs Fish have only been married a short while they soon ran out of things to talk about and decided to play games with their mobile phones rather than have an actual conversation.
Mr Fish was playing his game when he was interrupted by a “Bzzzz” someone had sent him a text – but who? Not Mrs Fish!! It was the AA, an automated message telling us that the patrolman was on his way and gave a time that he should arrive by. Estimated time he would be with us was 13:20 – half an hour after the initial telephone call – Brilliant!
At 13:10 we received a telephone call from the patrolman who was right the way at the other side of the centre of town, he had been given the wrong street details even after we explained several times very clearly to the control office and even spelled out the names of the streets where we were. Never mind, at least we were kept in the picture.
He seemed pleasant, we gave him directions and within a matter of moments he was with us. Boy was I pleased to see that bright yellow van – that’s the great thing about these guys, they might not see you, but they’re difficult not to spot so I started jumping up and down in the middle of the road waving frantically. (Mr Fishbulb was non too impressed at this and I’ve censored the words he used to describe my)
A rather happy man hopped out of the AA truck, (obviously after stopping it) and after a brief explanation as to my idiocies, he grabbed this huge……. (hehehehe… for the ruder readers, insert pun here) … metal contraption which was not unlike a giant metal brief case with jump leads on it.
I thought that we might have problems starting the car as it was parked quite tightly between two others and you would have needed rather a long set of jump cables to get it going. Luckily he had this device to aid him.
He hooked it up to our car and within about 3 seconds (I kid yee not) he’d started it and was packing up to leave. We were kindly reminded that we shouldn’t leave our lights on when we’re not driving and given the advice to “drive around for a bit, charge her up”
All things said, I cannot fault this service, they were quick, well within the time promised, polite, helpful and most importantly did the job!
COVER TYPES & COSTS
Cover with the AA starts from just £40, so even if we didn’t have this free cover I would definitely join. They have four main types of cover package.
Roadside cover – simply that as long as you are at least a quarter of a mile away from your home they’ll come out and sort your car out. Fix it or take it to the nearest garage or to your home.
Single £40 Joint £58 Family £96
Roadside & Relay. You get everything that Option 100 has to offer along with free transportation for you and up to six other people to any destination in UK (assuming that they can’t fix your car at the roadside!)
Single £79 Joint £99 Family £139
Roadside, Relay & Home start. You get everything that Option 200 gives you as well as….go on, guess, yeah you’re right. Home start. For those of you (like me) who leave the lights on at home too when you hop out of the car in the evening.
Single £112 Joint £134 Family £176
Roadside, Relay, Home Start and Extended Relay. Guess what you get with this cover well, the same as Option 300 plus a courtesy car if yours in not repairable along with a night in a hotel if you need it.
Single £141 Joint £165 Family £209
If you’re anything like me, and I’m sure you are I’d probably recommend Option 100 or Option 200. (I have been known in the past to push my car about half a mile away from my house so that I could call the RAC out!) LOL – luckily I live at the very end of a very straight street that’s on a slight hill. Obviously it’s ‘horses for courses’ and if you travel a lot via airports for example for business then perhaps Option 300 or Option 400 are better suited to you. But for your average schmuck (whoops, I mean ‘driver’) then you can’t really grumble for £40 for roadside assistance.
The one thing I would recommend is, changing your roadside cover yearly for example from AA to RAC then back again. My RAC cover was £89 last year and to re-new my cover £85 but as a ‘new member’ they were offering the exact same cover for £39 – I did ask them why, but they failed to answer me. So generally, as a new member, you can reap the benefits of a discounted membership.
Also, did you know that if you use your cover it puts up your premium. So if you called your roadside assistance people out 6 times during the course of your membership, they then put your cover up for the next year – a bit like car insurance. This is something they often omit to tell you – so make the most of your cover and just change companies when it runs out.
I have always had RAC cover (apart from this year when it ran out just after Christmas and I couldn’t afford to re-new it) but have never found their service to be of a particular high standard. I was left waiting in the snow the Christmas before last for nearly 5 hours. My mobile battery had gone dead, I also only had a T-shirt on (and trousers, before you ask!) and I asked if I could wait by a telephone box in the shopping centre (which I was parked next to and they said no, I had to be by the car – if the patrolman turned up and I wasn’t there he’d have to go on to the next person and I’d have to ring up again and re-book him)
In conclusion (Phew... I can hear you thinking!) The AA have offered an excellent service to us today, with some nice touches like the text to say they were on the way so we didn’t have to wait in the rain. You can find full details of types of cover at Http://www.theaa.co.uk they don’t just do Breakdown cover these days, you can get all sorts of advice on the website on driving, travel news hotels, holidays – you can even set up traffic news to be delivered to your mobile via SMS! As well as all this they also offer loans & car inspections – if their breakdown service is any guide at all this is definitely a website I’ll be visiting in the future before setting off on any journeys.
I would happily recommend them and am so very glad we’ve got their cover. Now, I’ve got this horrible feeling I’ve forgotten something…….