First Call GB Ltd Reviews

First Call GB Ltd
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“Used to be good but not now.”


written by on 20/04/2020

I have been a customer of First Call for many years now and have always found them helpful, providing assistance through local garages. In fact I haven't had to use them very much at all. But this time my car broke down in the local town centre and as we live in a village 11 miles away, help was going to be needed. When I phoned First Call they told me that, unless I had my car towed to a garage AND IT WAS REPAIRED (and they would require to see the invoice!), I would have to pay for the rescue. The car had suffered a transmission failure and at 21 years old it was obvious to me that a repair would be uneconomical. (This was later confirmed by my local garage.) I told them this and insisted the car be recovered to my home in the village. Reluctantly they did this and then charged me £158 for an 11 mile rescue. They insisted this was in the terms of the contract and I found it was, in very tiny print way down on page 3 of the conditions. Not so obvious - I wonder why! I thought that payment of the subscription guaranteed recovery to home or a garage as the owner preferred at no more cost. I would have been better to have not joined and arranged my own recovery, it would have saved all those subscription fees. I wonder if they have changed management from Good Samaritan Jekyll to Vampire Hyde? I will not be renewing in September but will try a rival company (with the aid of this site). Buyer beware!

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“Appalling behaviour.. steer clear of firstcall”


written by 359Underwood on 24/02/2019

I was with firstcall many years and in the beginning was very happy with their service. But I have seen their service steadily decline to the point where on my last two call outs they did not even want to attend the call outs and suggested ways I could get my car going that did not involve them sending a recovery service. The last was some months ago when my brother contacted them regarding my car not starting at home. Despite my paying extra for homestart they would not send out a recovery vehicle and instead told my brother to get my local garage to come and look at the car, which he did and I then had to pay the garage. I was absolutely appalled that they took advantage of my brother not knowing my policy fully and avoided acting as per my paid insurance. I see no value whatsoever in having breakdown insurance with firstcall, am changing my provider and advising all I know to steer clear of them.

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“Worst company imaginable.”


written by FirstCall3659 on 12/11/2018

After 3 years with this company  I rang them for the first time today requesting  roadside assistance as my Fiat Panda wouldn't start. They asked me questions about the fuel in my car which I answered as best I could as I am not mechanically minded. Initially,  I couldn't see any movement on the fuel guage so I thought it was empty but when I turned the key again the arrow moved and I could see I had half a tank of fuel. They said that because initially I had said that there might not be fuel in the tank that I had to give them my credit card details as that wasn't covered in the call out agreement. What would have happened if I hadn't had my credit card with me as they said they would not send assistance without my credit card details. 3 hours and thirty minutes later the break down mechanic arrived and told me it was my battery, he recharged it and I drove my car to my garage to have it replaced. It was freezing cold today and I had no power at all in the car to keep warm. As a woman on my own in an out of town location with no one around and a car that wouldn't start I feel very badly treated  by First Call and that they were only interested in extracting my credit card details from me so they could get more money out of me for the call out . I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to buy break down cover with this company. My policy with them ends in early January and, given my experience with First Call today,  I will not be renewing it.

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written by Jilliana191 on 26/10/2018

AVOID – AWFUL COMPANY !!! I had a legitimate breakdown call out with these guys. They came and fixed it, then later sent me a letter telling me I had to pay £125 for it. When I went to the Financial Ombudsman and they backed off. Also they refused to give me the contact name of their Managing Director.

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“My car broke down coming off the M55 about 4weeks ago,...”


written by LiliannaCassidy on 14/03/2018

My car broke down coming off the M55 about 4weeks ago, initially the response was great, the breakdown truck was with me in about 30mins and recovered me home, all great so far, I had the car taken to a local garage where it was diagnosed as the cylinder head had failed and the cost of repair was more than the car was worth. A week letter I received a letter from First Call demanding a copy of the receipt from the garage for the repair, when I sent the letter back I was charged £164 pounds for the recovery as the policy stated that they didn't cover you if your vehicle was not repaired or scrapped. They just use any excuse to get money off you, not interested in customer service, I will never use this company again and will actively discourage anyone from using them.

Was this review helpful? 4 0

“Awful service”


written by Happyperson3 on 26/02/2018

I waited for over 4 hours to be "recovered". By the time the recovery vehicle arrived, the repair garage was closed. To take me home just over 100 miles it would cost me an extra £483. I had to stay overnight after being taken to a huge industrial site to the repair garage. The garage was fine and they did fix the car first thing in the morning. Needless to say l have cancelled this policy. So always read the small print, better still don't use this company. A very stressful and unpleasant experience

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“I took legal action and won”


written by Gareth-Hopkinson on 24/11/2017

I won’t go into lengthy details of what happened as there are plenty of examples below, but basically a few years ago they extracted £200 or so from me, to tow me home. I was very busy building a business so didn’t have the time or energy to fight it.

In the course of business though I was forced to learn how to use the courts to force payment of money owed, it really is easy, just google moneyclaim. Knowing the above and having had the fact I had been unfairly squeezed for £200 grating on me for a few years I knew I had to have a crack at them in court.

They tried a counter claim but this was struck out before it got to court. In court was great, the judge basically read my case, explained why I was right and asked them asked ‘bearing that in mind do you want to go on?’ They did and lost. This is a classic example of how it went;

FC; why did you not listen to the lady on the phone and take your car to a garage straight after?

Me because following that your trained mechanic stated the car was fine and I should on and enjoy my day. I know nothing about cars, why would I be arrogant enough to ignore a trained mechanic?

FC; how do you know the lady on the phone wasn’t a trained mechanic?

Judge; can I just ask, was she a trained mechanic?

FC; blabber, no, blabber

The moral of the story is there actions are unlawful, if any other reviewers in my position took them to court they would be compensated.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for giving people a chance. In court they did blabber on about changing their terms and bearing the judges’ comments in mind, even sounding genuine, hence me deferring public criticism of them. Looking at these post court reviews does suggest they really are a leopard that will never change its spots.

Was this review helpful? 5 2

“A disgraceful company ”


written by Johnathan227 on 29/05/2017

Quite simply the most appalling breakdown company I've every encountered. Without a doubt the worst service I've every received from any company that claims to provide a service to it's customers. DO NOT TAKE OUT a policy with first call. After 4 years of using this company without having to use them, on a recent journey, Bank holiday camping trip with the family I had no power steering or ABS. After endless phone calls over a 24hr period I was told that no assistance would be provided as the car was still mobile. This left me an hours drive from home, with little option than to drive a dangerous car with my family until it stopped completely, luckily within walking distance of my home. On calling once again I was told I would have to pay for any assistance as I had driven with a known fault. One of the people I spoke to even agreed with me that the service & breakdown policies that are offered by first call a 'shocking'. This company should be allowed to continue trading!

Rescuedbyus900's Comment

Written on: 02/06/2017

have to agree with you, we were a recovery agent for them, we recently did a job for them where the owner had to pay them £200.00 pound for a recovery they would only pay us £52.00 out of that, we took the job on because they were stuck and could get no other agent to attend the job, No wonder thats it now she has been told not to call us again.

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“I wouldn't recommend First Call to an enemy!”


written by Elfsinger on 29/04/2017

I've been with First Call for nearly 10 years and never had to use them until yesterday. They will take your money but they are not there when you need them. DO NOT USE! I was exchanging my car and had a part exchange agreement with the garage. I didn't drive my car for 2 weeks for fear of damaging it. It was left in perfect condition on the drive. Over 2 weeks the battery went dead. I rang First Call to jump start me and they said they would but only after £125 charge even though their policy says they'll come to the house!! I was completely honest with them and they said that they wouldn't come out and jumpstart me because I was going to part exchange the car and not take it to a garage for mending (but only the battery was dead - it didn't need any further mending - and I was taking to a garage anyway!) I rang my local car shop and they popped out with a battery and got us up and running in 3 minutes (thank goodness) so we were able to go ahead with our plans.

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“Can't fault the Service”


written by bionicwoman2017 on 12/03/2017

We were travelling to North Wales a journey of approx 4 hours. Our temp gauge warning light came on red, and despite stopping to cool engine, it kept coming on at quicker and quicker intervals. In the end we had to call out First Call GB Ltd. The person on the end of the phone was superb, and despite our location in the middle of nowhere, managed to get a recovery vehicle out to us within a hour and a half, which was amazing given our location. We were recovered to Garaj Arwyn's Garage just outside Caernarfon (our destination), which specialised in minis, and was still open at 7.30 on a Friday night! The FCGB worker kept us appraised of the situation, and gave us confidence that things could be sorted out as she had spoken to the Garage explaining our situation and fault. I have to say Arwyn's Garage was superb and miraculously was able to find and fit required part so that we could travel back home on Sunday morning. However, without the knowledge and efficiency of the FCGB employee, I don't think the weekend would have had such a good outcome. So would just like to say a 'BIG THANK YOU' to the person on the end of the phone, who turned the nightmare start to a planned weekend break to the enjoyable weekend we had hoped for.

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“absolute rip off”


written by 484Bain on 28/02/2017

Call them out they came told me they could not take my standard 4 door car the trailer unless I paid £225.00 to get another trailer to get me home Told them I could not pay now , so they then told me I had to pay another £94.00 for call out and unless I paid £320.00, and should stranded unless I paid £320.00 on spot. I paid £84.00 to a local garage who came and fixed car within 4 minutes. Avoid

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“Check what you are covered for”


written by Zippadeedoo on 03/01/2017

This seems a bargain breakdown cover but beware if you think you are covered for any breakdown. I have called them out many years ago and it was fine but yesterday, 2nd January 2017 I hit a pothole on the M6 at it broke a front wheel spring. Fortunately my wife and I were less than a mile from a service station and managed to get there with only a small amount of banging noises. On calling First Call and explaining the problem they declared that it was an accident and not a mechanical or electrical breakdown and so not covered. I would have to call our insurance company. A moving part like a spring bouncing up and down is apparantly not mechanical. Moral - if you think you are covered with First Call you probably aren't.

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“Read the small print ”


written by House202 on 22/12/2016

There are all sorts of exclusions which mean they can get out of helping you. They left me stranded at 11pm at night when my car broke down because the operator said it was due to poor repair earlier the same day, which it was not. Wanted to charge me three times the normal recovery charge to get me home. When I arranged it separately and asked for my money back they quoted all sorts of exclusions in the small print. Still trying to get my money back but beware.

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“Thank you First Call, how to kick someone when they...”


written by Desireev1954 on 07/10/2016

Recently my car wouldn't start so I called First call. Their mechanic coul dn't start the car and thought the engine had seized. Naturally we asked him to tow it to our local garage, where our car is regularly serviced and repaired. This part was fine, I later received a phone call from first call checking everything was OK. I thought that was nice. The caller then went on to say that their mechanic had reported that the engine had seized and we had told him if that was the case then we would be scrapping the car as it would cost more than it was worth to repair. The caller went on to say that if that was the case then we would have to pay for the cost of the recovery and sure enough it states, almost at the back of their policy booklet, in small writing, that if the car is disposed of we would have to pay. Not only did I lose my car, which I cannot afford to replace but I am also being charged £128 for the priviledge.

Diva69's Comment

Written on: 08/10/2016

very similar happened to me, i hate these guys!!

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“Unhelpful, I will never use this company again. ”


written by on 17/02/2016

My car would not start at home so I called First Call. Initially they were very helpful and said they would send a vehicle out to me. This was just before 4pm and their call out time was 45 minutes. I said my garage would be shut and if I neeed to be recovered there, I would prefer the call to be defered to the following morning. The lady I spoke to said a vehicle would definitely be there at 4:30pm, so there would be time to get it to the garage. The vehicle turned up at 4:50 (having been told when I rang at 4:30 that it would be 5-10 minutes). The gentleman said my battery was slightly flat but was surprised that the level wasn't lower as the car wasn't turning over at all. He jump started the car,turned it off and it still wouldn't start. He jump started it again and suggested I drive the car for 45 minutes to recharge the battery. There was no suggestion that there was any other fault with the car. I drove the car as suggested and then returned home. I turned the engine off and tried to restart the car but it wouldn't start. I rang my garage and was told it was probably the alternator. When I rang First Call back to ask for recovery to the garage they refused as they could not be called out to the same problem and I was advised the first time to go to a garage. Firstly I was NOT advised by the mechanic to go to a garage and secondly as they hadn't diagnosed the issue in the first place, how could it be the same problem. (They also told me it was my fault as the lights had been left on and this had run the battery down, this is INCORRECT). The lady I spoke to on the phone was defensive and when I asked to speak to a manager, she told me she was the supervisor and so I was not given the opportunity to speak to anyone else. I have rarely used First Call's services and have been a member for years. I am so disappointed by the poor communication skills of their call centre and their inability to listen to customers that I will not be using them again. I would not recommend them to anyone and suggest you spend a little more on a more reliable breakdown company that will provide peace of mind and a better service.

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written by 422Hanley on 10/11/2015

This so callled breakdown {first call} is a trick do not join close them. They take their time comming out to you they dont repair your vehicle and they dont take your car back to your address so many up front cost please please stay away they are bad and a joke oh yes they dont take you home either lol had a terrible experince with them get dom!!!! And also staff are not helpful and cant do simple maths brokedown in manchester wanted to come home to blackburn another charge of £150 i asked her how did figure that out she didnt have a clue

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“When we did actually break down and need to be...”


written by ynMedina462 on 02/11/2015

When we did actually break down and need to be recovered, they managed to make multiple excuses not to come and get us. You get what you pay for I guess. I would not recommend this company to anyone. Avoid!

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written by patgc on 30/09/2015

At home this morning and car would not start. Would not turn over but everything was clicking and hazzard lights going etc. Phoned First Call at 10.20 to ask for assistance. She went through various questions and said yes all fine, asked my my local garage if I need to be recovered. Said assistance would be with me within the hour. 10 minutes later she rang again to say that the ETA for assistance was too long so she had contacted my local garage and arranged for them to come out, try and help and take it back to the garage if necessary. My garage then rang me. I explained the problem and they said sounded like a dead battery and they would be with me in about half an hour. They duly turned up, got my car started and followed me back to the garage where they fitted a new battery and all was fine. All I had to pay was the cost of the battery and to fit it. Everything else was covered by First Call.. So I cannot complain at all. 1st class service

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written by Jerry131 on 12/09/2015

I have been with this company for a few years and have got my car and my 19 years old car covered as well. My daughter broke down on the M42 and it took over 4 hours for them to rescue her. They told her on the phone that if she was low on fuel then they would not help. When they finally arrived after leaving her for the 4 hours on the hard shoulder it turns out that the cam belt had broken and she would need to be towed. They asked which garage in Birmingham she wanted to be towed to and as we live in Worcester that was not a possibility. I asked them to tow the car to our home address and they said that this was not possible it had to go to a garage to be fixed, but the only garage I know of does not have an out of hours service. I then said I was not in a financial position to get it fixed as it could cost anything up to a £1000 to get it fixed and they then told me that they would not help without my credit card details and if I do not prove with documentation that I have got the car fixed within 14 days (whether I can afford to or not) that they would charge my credit card £167. for towing her off the motorway. This is absolutely disgusting that they would hold me to ransom to rescue a vulnerable 19 year old girl off the hard shoulder of the motorway. I am appalled how awful this company is I would not recommend them to anybody ever. PLEASE DO NOT EVER CONTACT THEM

Vinnyjones's Comment

Written on: 06/12/2017

Similar to my experience. Demanded card details before they would recover me and my 8 year old daughter from side of A1 in Newcastle at 930 in morning. Then lied, misquoted small print and charged my card. Absolute robbers.

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written by on 10/08/2015

In February I called this company at 10:50 am as I could not gain entry to my vehicle and I was stranded outside of the car with all my personal belongings inside the car, including my bag, phone, house keys and medication. I used my local doctor’s surgery to make the phone call. I waited 2 hours and 15 minutes in the freezing cold waiting for their mechanic to turn up. I was very distressed and anxious by this point. The mechanic stated that he had only received the call at 12.33 pm. The mechanic spent the next hour trifling with the car but could not gain access so in the end he took me to the local garage. The staff there suggested that he tried to gain access to the car so at least I would have my personal belongings but he refused. In the end he left me there alone with no means of transport to get home and no money to get a bus or a taxi. I have since complained to the company but they are denying they did anything wrong and in fact are telling lies about some of the events! Please, please do not use them!

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Asked by anon_private on 24th April 2014 Report this content
I have roadside insurance and have never used them, are they really as bad as indicated? The company is based in Essex.

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Answers (8)
Report this content sarika Written on: 24/04/2014
Yes, I used to be with them. When my exhaust fell off and I called them for recovery, they told me that I would have to make an advance payment of £300 in case they arrived and found that my car was driveable. I made some form of complaint at the time. Then 6 months later I called them with a breakdown and they told me the policy had been cancelled at my request. I insisted that I hadn't. They eventually conceded that they would provide recovery, with me on the roadside in the rain arguing, on the promise that I would pay if they found that I had cancelled the policy. Then they investigated the call and agreed that I hadn't indeed cancelled the policy during the phone call that they said I had. I really cannot stress how awful they are. Use any firm but this.
Report this content Buzby58 Written on: 24/04/2014
Every bit as bad. Basing my response on the experience I had with them I really wouldn't touch them with a barge pole and would recommend you look elsewhere.
Report this content dodgydom Written on: 24/04/2014
yes they are a disgrace. they dropped me and my young family at Romford station at 11pm after saying my car wouldn't be recovered to my home due to it was uneconomical to repair and this was in my contract. the 3rd party recovery agent took my car then scrapped it after telling me the cambelt had gone.fair enough but i never received any scrap value and we spent the night on trains freezing with young children and luggage.they then tried to bill me £150 for recovery!!! please do not use them pay £8 a month for aa or rac they will never leave you in the lurch!
Report this content jake55 Written on: 24/04/2014
My son was with them, they are a joke of a company,should have been shut down years ago.Very unhelpful they will just try and get more money out of you.They told my son they wanted the cars service history as he lay stranded on the motorway and demanded more money.Essex trading standards know about this company.Dont go anywhere near them and tell your friends.
Report this content anon_private Written on: 25/04/2014
Thank you both for responding. My renewal with them is due. I think I'll look at Green Flag. I used to be with them, and had no difficulty with their service. Last year I was attracted by First Call GB's low price. But having read these posts. I will not renew with them. On another point. Do you see a disadvantage in buying breakdown insurance with the same company that insures the car. I say this because it occurs to me that the car insurance company will know the breakdown history, and it might disadvantage the motorist in the event of an accident claim. Best wishes. Ps. You might see this question asked elsewhere because it is part of an answer, rather a specific single question.
Report this content anon_private Written on: 25/04/2014
Sorry, I did not see the other posts. I thank you all.
Report this content DanFl Written on: 25/04/2014
Yes they are the worst company I have ever dealt with in any capacity. Why don't you call them pretending to have broken down to find out how bad they are. They will use any method to try and weasel out of providing any service. They only honoured my claim once I issued small claims proceedings. Unfortunately for the consumer breakdown services appear to be exempt from any regulation by either of the two bodies that replaced he FSA so they are able to carry in in business.
Report this content CABCEO Written on: 27/04/2014
Yes they really are. I was about to issue a claim in the County Court but decided to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) first. It had been well over 2 months since I had last correspondended with FC GB Ltd to try to resolve my complaint but they had the nerve to tell the FOS that they hadn't yet sent their final reply! When they did, it included a full refund of the money extorted by debit card before they would send anyone out. If you have been a victim of FC GB Ltd, I would strongly recommend making a complaint to the FOS. It is fairly straightforward to do and free.
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