I work in a smaller UK Breakdown & Recovery company, unlike the largest companies, we do not have our own fleet of recovery vehicles or service vans, we rely on contracts with recovery operators all across the country, passing the job details over to them. Which is a lot cheaper.
While we have our own small inhouse Breakdown Scheme, we mostly rely on being the breakdown service for insurance companies and the like, we are also the recovery service for a large insurance company for insurance claims (accidents, fires etc.). It’s a pretty good deal since we don’t have to rely nearly as much on marketing, and the companies can slap their name on the schemes, and they and customers pay less for pretty much the same quality of service.
Despite the fact that most people calling in are having a shitty day, and with some finding out they are not actually covered and need to pay a load of money for us to come out, most callers are kind and polite, we hardly get any horrible customers.
With that out the way, I’ll bring us over to my tale. I was only in the job for a short moment at the end, but I can go through the series of events.
Customer calls in that his van isn’t starting at home, and the engine isn’t turning over. (Most likely a flat battery, most the time we can just jumpstart the vehicle.)
Unfortunately for him, he had only a basic breakdown cover that did not cover him at home. So he had to first chuck up a chunk of money for someone to come out to him to try to get someone someone to start (Happens often, most people decline and get someone else to jumpstart the vehicle or pay a Garage or Recovery Company directly as its usually cheaper).
We head out to the location, and we discover that the house used to be his home address, and that it was now his Ex Wife’s home and he had been kicked out, and she had a restraining order against him. The recovery agent explained that apparently he tried to murder her (not sure if true or not). The van likely lost charge in the battery for not being used so long due to the restraining order and/or stuck in possible jail.
He had a court order that allowed him to pick his vehicle up from the property, however the Ex didn’t believe it applied to the recovery agents so refused to allow them on her property. Police were called and got on scene, and while they asked her to allow them on, she still refused. During this time the recovery operator was on scene (or near it in this case) that they started charging waiting time, which the customer was not covered for and had to pay for too.
My small part was calling him telling him to pay up. He was of course incredibly angry. He refused as he believed the recovery operators had done nothing so he didn’t have to pay a thing, swore and hung up.
Don’t know what happened after that, afterwards we would have our accounts team chasing payment, it would be easy in this case as the customer has to agree for us taking further payments if there are additional charges when they do their first payment.
TLDR: Customer wants a jumpstart. Has to pay first. Ex Wife refuses to have anyone touch her property and now the customer has to pay even more for us waiting around too.