How A Crappy NRMA Experience Saved Me $800

Jackie M
7 min readJul 29, 2020

I can’t even remember how long I’d been with the NRMA; for years and years, I’d faithfully paid for roadside assistance and used them for my comprehensive car insurance without a thought about switching.

Because, frankly, I was just too complacent about shopping around for better prices. I took it in good faith when they told me I was on the maximum no-claim bonus rate, plus their customer service had always been top-notch, I thought.

That was until about a month ago, when I had a flat battery as I was headed out at 7.30am, and had to call for NRMA roadside assistance. That went smoothly; the technician showed up within the hour, got my vehicle started, then he helpfully advised that I could get a free battery recharge service at the NRMA service centre in Rockdale, which was within walking distance from my place.

But, he warned, I would need to allow up to 4 hours, because that’s how long it would take to recharge it fully.

I had a delivery to do for my business, but I figured I could push it to 1pm, so I drove up to the NRMA Rockdale Service Centre and booked it in. It was about 8.45am by the time I spoke with the counter staff and was advised that no, they would need more than 4 hours; it would be more like 6 hours, which meant I was looking at closer to 3pm.

I figured they were probably just playing safe, but worst case scenario, should it take that long I could still make the delivery by late afternoon (it was a 90-minute round trip away, but as long as I made it there before 5pm, I was okay).

No worries, we’ll call you as soon as it’s done. So I went home. And waited. And waited. My optimism was unfounded (I seriously thought they would call before 3pm) and when I didn’t hear back, I called THEM.

After putting me on hold for some time, they came back and said they would need another hour, hour and a half. I’m not a mechanic, so I don’t really know how long it takes to recharge a car battery, but I had reworked my schedule based on what I was told by the first guy, which was 4 hours.

Their new estimate meant that this would be pushing 8 hours, so I have to admit, I kind of suspected that maybe they forgot about my vehicle and didn’t get it charging until halfway through the day.


Don’t worry, said the woman on the phone. We will definitely call you back as soon as it’s done. So…

Jackie M

Cook, TV presenter, food coach, Down Syndrome advocate, pot-stirrer extraordinaire | |