Breakdown firm refused to pick up car in floods
A NURSE left stranded in floodwater says she is angry that the RAC would not send help to rescue her.
Sarah Tosh, who has been a customer of the road rescue organisation for 22 years, says it was "unbelievable" that the company would not come out.
Ms Tosh, from Charfield, was stuck in inundated Stidcote Lane, near Tytherington in South Gloucestershire, when her Toyota stopped late on Monday evening.
After reaching dry land she called the RAC only to be told her breakdown cover did not apply to the incident.
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She was told she could pay for a patrol to come and help her but would have to do so in advance – and could not as her credit card was inside the flooded car.
Ms Tosh, who is in her early 40s, first got into trouble as she followed a Land Rover down a cut through from Yate to Thornbury.
Her car cut out in the deepest part of the flooded road, leaving her trapped as the car in front sped off unaware.
After being told she could not be helped by her breakdown company, Ms Tosh flagged down a fellow driver in a 4x4 who helped tow her out of the water. She spent yesterday morning taking it to the garage to be fixed.
Ms Tosh said: "When I first called the RAC they told me that I had to pay if I wanted help. I thought it was unreasonable but I understood that I wasn't covered so I accepted. Then they told me if I didn't have my card details they couldn't send someone out, despite being on their record for the last 22 years.
"They take regular payments out of my account so they must have all my details on record. It just seems so unfair that they couldn't come out and wait until the car was recovered before I paid. It is no way to treat loyal customers.
"It makes me so angry to think the RAC would not just make a small compromise for me stuck in the middle of nowhere in the darkness. I have been with them since 1990 and I expected a little more sympathy from the company.
"I know they were busy but they outright refused to come and save me unless I paid in advance.
"I explained to them how I had left my credit car behind when I abandoned the car. I was scared and tired and needed help. It is unbelievable. and I hope it never happens to anyone else."
Ms Tosh said that if it weren't for the assistance from the passing drivers she would have been wading back down to her car through the cold water in the dark.
She said: "The spirit of Britishness is clearly not lost. They stopped for me and chipped in and got me out despite the horrendous conditions."
An RAC spokesman said that incidents involving stranded vehicles in flood water are not covered by breakdown cover and therefore must be paid for.
He said: "As defined by the terms of Miss Tosh's membership, this was not an unforeseen mechanical problem. As a result, any assistance provided is chargeable to the customer and has to be paid in full prior to an operator being sent. Even then RAC will only attempt to recover a stranded vehicle from water if it is safe for the operator to do so, otherwise recovery will have to wait until the water subsides."