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AAA 'No Hassle' Auto Buying Service a rip-off
Posted by Abused Consumer on 05/29/2007
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- After buying a new Toyota Prius with the AAA's 'no hassle, no haggling' pre-negotiated price, I found out two days later the dealer was $1356 more than the other two in town for the exact same car (with Pkg#6). I am really shocked that AAA won't make this Member dealership honor their agreement.

The regional AAA program rep, Jay, refused to do anything about it, as did the dealer, since it was a completed sale. Jay even has copies of the ads and emails I sent him from the other local AAA Dealers, so I was able to fully back my point, but he doesn't seem to care.

Everyone I talked to at Steven's Creek Toyota in San Jose basically was lying through their teeth when I went back in to speak to them after I found out they ripped me off. After being referred there by AAA's website and purchasing the car (with a fancier trim package than what I was originally looking for, so I didn't have an exact out-the-door quote on hand) at what I was told was their AAA price, the Floor manager later said they did NOT have ANY written agreement with AAA (which is not true if they are in AAA's program!)and he told me that the AAA price was whatever the general manager wanted it to be that day. They said I should be happy that I did not pay full List price and left it at that. They refused to show me the AAA agreement during the sale and after when I returned, saying they could not find it (Jay has never sent me a copy either, despite repeated requests). The dealer also refused to price match, after their in-house AAA rep had emailed me that they do price match. Between the AAA program and a promise to price-match, I felt confident buying the car there without shopping around, but boy was I wrong to trust AAA!
The dealer's excuse for his high price is that they actually only wanted to give me $3500 for my trade-in, not the $5000 we agreed upon (for a vehicle worth $7k wholesale at the time,$9k retail, per KBB), and that justified the higher sales price. They also said their own *cost* on the Prius was higher than what the two other dealers in town were *selling* them for. This is a bunch of hogwash, since they also bragged that they are one of the highest-volume Toyota dealers in California, and I know high-volume Dealers get better discounts from the manufacturer. The floor manager showed me a scribbled piece of paper with their 'cost', but they had tacked on hundreds of dollars worth of advertising fees, sales commissions,prep fees, and other misc.fees; the floor manager didn't even know what some of the fees were! I assume the other dealers (Capitol and Sunnyvale Toyota) have the same costs, and they manage to sell the same car for $1356 less. I wonder if AAAJay fell for the line of crap that they were handing out. These fees didn't include any closing costs, either, which were additional and added later.

Per the AAA Buyer's program website, trade-in value is not supposed to alter the price of the new car. I would never traded a $7000-$8000 car in for only $3500, especially since the having the older car saves my teenage son a lot of money on auto insurance. $5000 was the amount agreed upon.

I do not know if I should be more mad at the slimy dealer or at the AAA Buying Program regional mgr Jay for not backing up the customers using the AAA buying program when a Dealer does not honor the terms of it. I tried speaking with the dealership myself, but found that they could care less about customer service once the car is off the lot, and all promises go by the wayside.

I was hoping for either a refund of the $1356+tax, so as to honor the AAA and the original sales agreement(s), or at least booting the Steven's Creek dealer out of the AAA program because they refused to honor it.




     
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Posted by adzidek on 2007-05-29:
They probably don't have an "agreement" with AAA, per se. Also, price matching happens before or during the sale, not after. I'd venture to say that it's common knowledge that dealers set the prices wherever they want them to be - that's why it's called a Manufacturer's "Suggested" Retail Price. They may offer a discount with AAA, but that's bound to vary from dealer to dealer. Bottom line, you should have shopped around - stop harassing the dealership and move on. By the way, how do you figure trade-in value doesn't affect the purchase price?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-29:
Abused Consumer, when I lived in San Jose I almost baught a car from them till they tried to pull the same thing.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-05-29:
Don't let the dealers play the trade in card. The value of your trade in should never play into the purchase price of a new car. Car dealers love "difference" buyers - they can get the numbers so confusing that you will never know what you paid for the new car or what you received in trade.

Need to give the guy a higher trade in? Just raise the price of the new car - if necessary with add-on items. Need to lower the price of the new car? Just chip away at his trade in value....

Treat it as two un-related transactions and you will always be in command of the situation. Know in advance what you will pay for the new car. Do your research and know what you will accept for the trade in - if they won't offer enough, then sell the car yourself. Good luck.
Posted by adzidek on 2007-05-29:
OK, now I see what you mean by trade-in affecting the price of the new car. I thought you meant trade-in value doesn't affect the bottom line of the deal. Anyway....you know what I do? I either get my trade-in value before even telling them what car I'm interested in, or, I go through with the negotiations right up until the signing, before I even tell them I have a car to trade in.
Posted by Ponie on 2007-05-29:
You're so right, adzidek. When shopping for a car previous to my last purchase, we were right to the point where I was ready to buy and they started discussing what I'd have for a trade in. I blew them away when I said I had nothing to trade--was ready to write a check on the spot. All of a sudden, the price of the car jumped by almost two thousand dollars. Needless to say, I walked out of that slimy dealership.
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-05-29:
I price shop any big purchase I make and I would think that a car falls into that range for most people as well. Why didn't you go to 1 or 2 other places before signing? I honestly can't believe that people take the word of strangers that are trying to make commissions over their own footwork and reesearch...lesson learned!
Posted by Gaia on 2008-01-04:
When I spend this much money, I can use all the help I can get. So, I decided to use the AAA car buying service in TN and it ended up being the best deal. I was told up front that there would be an additional $300 for "processing", so that was no surprise. I had the salesman email me all the figures (Price, tax, title, fees). I then used this as a base before I began calling the other 4 dealers in my area. In the end, the AAA deal was best, but I still did my homework. I had to drive 200 miles to the dealer, but it was worth it. I got the vehicle I wanted and I didn't give in to added extra's the other dealers were trying to push off on me. As for the trade-in, I didn't mention it until right before I left home to pick up the new vehicle, and guess what? I got $100 dollars more than what my research showed it was worth! I didn't discuss financing because I already had the best finance rate available through my credit union. (Still, I had to "crunch the numbers" to decide between the cash back incentive or dealer finance package). In the end, all my hard work and the time spent using the tools at my fingertips (Internet) paid off and I have a great Toyota Truck with a note that's less than what I had originally expected. AAA lead me to the dealer, but I still did all the work. My best recommendation to anyone car shopping for vehicles is to get all your figures in writing from the salesman so you know what the bottom line is going to be before you sign.
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AAA Assessment Tests are Irrelevant to their Applicable Positions
Posted by DFUTURERN on 03/09/2011
LONG BEACH,, CALIFORNIA -- I have read some of the posts regarding AAA employees and how they are like robots, how they only know how to read the scripts and how they are incapable of thinking outside the box to assist their clients.

Well I think I know why most of you are experiencing such horrible customer service amongst other things. I just recently applied for a job at triple A (AAA) and was very excited when I received the call back from a hit on resume. Thrilled because I have been laid off for approximately 2 years.

During the time I was laid off, I managed to renew my real estate license, as well as started working on my degree. I have completed 73 units and will be transferring to receive my BS degree. I have been in sales for over 23 years and have been very successful! What is on my resume is all true, every deal I have ever closed is verifiable. On my resume it shows that I worked for one company for 10 years the first go round and was hired back for another 9 months before being laid off due to an acquisition by Hitachi. That speaks volumes! If an employer is willing to rehire a sales representative back for a second time around after resigning (one would think) AAA would recognize that. I must be a great sales representative and a top producer. I listed my previous VP and Director of Sales on my application for them to verify my performance and work ethic. I have no criminal record, I have a ticket free driving record for the past 7 years. These are questions they asked me before I made it to the assessment part of the interview process. I was told that after the assessment tests (if I pass) I will move on to interview with a live human being ( a manager) keep in mind that I was told repeatedly that the assessment test.. there were no RIGHT or WRONG answers, to just be truthful.
(Keep in mind I was very excited about working for triple A selling insurance products. Big company, room for upward mobility, already had at least 12 people saying that they would switch their insurance policies over to me, because I would be working there). Well let me tell you the type of questions on the assessment tests. Some of these questions I went to the EEOC website and have determined that some of these questions are better suited to be asked after being hired. The first question (if I am remembering correctly) was HOW OLD ARE YOU? EEOC says that how old a person is should not matter during the application process that people over the age of 40 are protected under the (Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)and that these are questions that can be asked after being hired. They asked me questions like the following.... "How many jobs I've had in the past five years", "how many times have I collected unemployment", "how many people I know that sells insurance" "how much do I think a first year sales representative should make in a year", "how much should a representative be making after 3 years", "who told me about this job", "Did I speak to the person who told me about this job" Here are the choices they gave me to answer from. "1 hour to 1 week", "2 hours to a month", " 2 months to a year" etc.. you get the point. They also asked me how much money would I spend on a client in unreimbursed dollars and pretty much gave at least 10 or more choices. They also asked how many hours do I think a first year sales representative should work a week, then they asked questions if I like spending time with my family etc... Keep in mind they told me to be honest "there are no right or wrong answers" So anyway I finished taking this God forsaken test and what do you know, I go back to the training coordinator and he says to me "oh..You didn't score high enough on the test" (remember, there are "NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS")Also keep in mind that there isn't one question on the test I would have to lie about, not one question on the test that has anything to do with intelligence, sales, or anything relevant to sales. Just questions that can disqualify you if you have been out of work for a while, questions that can lead to age discrimination, (they also asked me my nationality)questions that can disqualify you if you have been on unemployment twice in your life. They asked a lot of questions about school also. All of which were answered truthfully. The training coordinator told me that he was sorry and that maybe sales is not for me. Can someone please tell me, what part of this test has anything to do with my ability to sell insurance? or any other product for that matter. Also how can a personality test determine what type of human being I am, and how well I have done for the past 23 years in sales. These tests maybe set up for the younger generation. People who have no experience. Most of the questions I answered from experience. I don't think they want anyone who has experience. I said all of this to say. With the economy the way it is today, unemployed workers should not have to take tests such as these to get back to work. Many of you have mentioned you've been talking to people who don't know how to make decisions, people who don't appear to know what they are doing, this is because good people like myself with a proven track record cannot get a job, because of tests like these that have no meaning, no substance, no ability to determine if a person will be a good employee at all. This is a way to keep certain nationalities out of work, to keep older people down. I was compelled to type this letter because this particular rejection is not sitting right. I have spoken to CEO's, CFO's and owners of companies all of my life. I have closed major real estate deals, sold technology products to Novartis, Delta Airlines, and many other huge deals, yet AAA felt Sales was not for me because of a "personality" test that has nothing to do with sales. In fact the training coordinator said to me. "maybe sales just isn't for me." I will continue to do my research and converse with the EEOC to make sure that companies are doing right by long term unemployed workers, workers who were once stable before the economy fell apart, and now seem to be undesirable to these companies through no fault of their own. So if you all are wondering why you are being treated poorly by AAA reps etc. I feel it is because they do not want someone older, qualified and experienced, instead they want someone that doesn't have a clue about life and the real world, and someone with a proven tract record. I would love to hear if anyone else have been through the same experiences I have with these personality rests. I know several sales reps all over the age of forty that have their Bachelor degrees very educated and have proven tract records and have been told they were not going to be hired because of the way they answered a "personality" test. I feel sorry for the economy and anyone who is going through this new way of being hired. The economy will never be the way it was. Never.


     
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Posted by momsey on 2011-03-09:
I don't think any of this is exclusive to AAA. It's hard to get a job when you're out of work. Sadly, some employers will try to avoid hiring older workers. Most employers will ask for your nationality so they can abide by equal opportunity guidelines or requirements.

Good luck in your job search.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-03-09:
Looking for a job is tough. I've done it many times. It is hard to know why weren't the right one sometimes. Other times, you can pretty much figure it out. Good luck in your search.

As far as AAA from the customer's point of view, I have had no communication or other difficulty with AAA.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-09:
Many employers are now finding value in more mature workers (older). They have found that experience does matter. People fresh out of college usually do not have much experience--work or life. Keep looking. There is a job out there for you :)

As a side note, I didn't think any employer could ask you your age. When I used to interview potential future employees, I asked people to "Tell me a little about yourself." They gave me all kinds of valuable information that I wasn't allowed to ask. Age was something we were never allowed to ask and I don't see how putting it in a written test makes it any more legal.
Posted by getoverit on 2011-03-09:
momsey - you're right. Employers typically do ask about ethnic background and nationality. But it's on a separate portion of a job application that the applicant can opt not to complete and is not supposed to be used in evaluating qualifications.

If, as the OP says, there are questions pertaining to age or nationality that are used in evaluating, I would agree that that would be illegal.

Beyond that, any organization can use whatever criteria they choose to determine whether a candidate is suitable for a given position. If they're hiring for an insurance sales position and don't give any consideration to someone who has earned a real estate license, that would seem perfectly reasonable to me. And, having completed credits toward degree, in my experience, doesn't count for much at all. When you complete the degree, that's a different thing.

We all know that doing a job search can be very discouraging. But AAA seems to have a process in place for screening candidates. They have their reasons and are under no obligation to justify them to you.

Maybe your right and there is some basis for making a complaint to the EEOC. But if I were in the job market, I would be more inclined to devote my time to identifying and pursuing prospective employers who see a good fit with my qualifications.

Good luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-10:
Maybe AAA just hired the best qualified applicant.
Posted by SteveWiginowski on 2011-03-10:
I think the reason they would say that there are no right or wrong answers is because they don't want people to lie on the questions. They want you to put down what your honest answer is. It seems like they did have a preference of what they were looking for from the answers and your answers didn't fit what they were looking for.

I worked at a job where we were hiring. Candidates would submit a resume and fill out a few questions with their resume (online). The online system was set up so that each answer on each question had a point value. If all of the points totaled up less than a certain value, we wouldn't even look at the resume. With how many people are looking for jobs, having a filter of some sort just makes things easier for them to find candidates in less time.
Posted by Can't Say on 2012-03-20:
I received a call also to take the assessment test on 3/21/12 and after reading all comments I am uncomfortable about the questions they will be asking. I too have a problem with employers asking about your age! Unfortunately employee do seem to age discriminate the problem with that is that it's so hard to prove. I will take the test tomorrow and report back.
Posted by blessed on 2013-04-02:
I also have more than 12years in insurance industry, also been hired 3x by one employer if that speaks about my selling ability and also was denied the next step as they say for AAA due to this stupid assessment test. It does say there is no right or wrong answer so how is it you fail it?..explain that,,crazy,I also was a recruiter for employment and I strongly believe in people period. I happen to be horrible in taking any test but put a person in front of me I can sell them Ice to eskimo as the saying goes. But its their lost, I will trust in God who is my source and the right job will come my way. But i do agree that some of the questions which were asked over and over again are not appropriate. Like age,ethnic and if you like to spend time with your family members.
Posted by turn negative into positive on 2013-04-30:
The test, I think, is a reality check and insight to what you expect. If someone, of any age, expects to earn over $100k and isn't willing to work a 40 work week than obviously right or wrong answers the job wouldn't fit you
Posted by Barbara Weigel on 2013-07-09:
Well let me tell you where you failed this no right or wrong answers test. First of all you're over qualified, no let me reword this, YOU'RE WAY OVER QUALIFIED. Second, YOU CAN GET A JOB ANYWHERE. Third, YOU'RE NOT A MORON WHO CAN'T THINK OUT OF THE BOX AND THEY REALLY WANT THOSE HARDUP FOR ANY JOB, WILLING TO WORK ANY NUMBER OF HOURS FOR LITTLE OR NO PAY, WON'T EXPECT ANY RAISES OR MEDICAL, VACATION TIME OR ANYTHING A LEGITIMATE JOB WOULD OFFER YOU, AND AS YOU YOURSELF HAVE STATED, ONLY HAVE MORONS WHO CAN READ A SCRIPT, WILL WORK 20 HOURS A DAY WITH MAYBE A 30 MINUTE DINNER 18 HOURS INTO THE DAY WITH NO OVERTIME EVER, WORK 7 DAYS A WEEK AGAIN WITH NO OVERTIME AND FOR MINIMUM WAGE OR LESS FOREVER AND IF YOUR AN ILLEGAL, HAVE NO TRAINING, COLLEGE, VOCATIONAL OR TECHNICAL TRAINING OF ANY KIND, YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN HIRED. THEY WANT THOSE WHO ARE UNTRAINED, DESPERATE, WILLING TO DO ANYTHING FOR AS LONG AS THEY SAY AND WON'T COMPLAIN TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR BECAUSE YOU NEED THE JOB SO DESPERATELY THAT YOU WILL DO AS THEY SAY AND WON'T MAKE WAVES, WILL WORK FOR 3 OR 4 DOLLARS AN HOUR IF EVEN THAT, MOST LIKELY YOU'LL GET A VERY SMALL COMMISSION FOR EACH PERSON YOU SELL INSURANCE TO OVER THE PHONE AND WON'T ASKED TO BE COMPENSATED IN ANYWAY IF YOU HAVE TO GO MEET WITH THEM OUTSIDE OF WORK THAT IS IF THEY EVEN ALLOW THAT AND THEN THEY'LL CLAIM THAT THE GUY WAS GOING TO CANCEL SO THEY HAD TO SAVE THE DEAL SO YOU WEREN'T THERE OR DIDN'T FOLLOW UP AND TRUST ME THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO FOLLOW UP, SO THEY GET MORE OF YOUR COMMISSION. NOW YOU KNOW WHY YOU WEREN'T HIRED SO DON'T LET IT BOTHER YOU. THERE ARE A LOT OF COMPANIES OUT THERE DOING THIS AND THEY HIRE A LOT OF ILLEGALS, AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO'VE EARNED THE RIGHT TO BE RESPECTED, COMPENSATED, HAVE A PACKAGE 401K, VACATION, MEDICAL, ECT... ARE NOT WHAT THEY WANT AND YOU CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO BEND OVER AND KISS WHATEVER IS IN FRONT OF YOU.
SO PLEASE DON'T LET THESE PEOPLE BOTHER YOU. GO OUT AND CELEBRATE THAT THEY DIDN'T HIRE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. YOU DODGED A BULLET SO YOU SHOULD BE JUMPING UP AND DOWN FOR JOY. THEY WILL HATE ME FOR ALLOWING THE TRUTH TO COME OUT, WILL DENY IT ALL AND YET IF THEY HAD A COMPLETE CHECK THEY'D FAIL MISERABLY THAT IS IF THOSE WORKING THERE NOW WEREN'T ALL THREATENED TI BE FIRED. THAT' S ONE WAY AND ANOTHER IS THEY HAVE YOU SIGN SOMETHING AGREEING TO ACCEPT THE HOURS, NO OVERTIME PAY AND AGREE TO WORK ANY HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS FOR WHAT THEY SAY AND NO MORE. DON'T WORRY, GOD WILL PUT AN END TO PLACES WHO DO THIS.
Posted by SharonC on 2014-04-19:
I agree!

I have experienced the same nonsense. They say they want seasoned professionals with demonstrated abilities and proven sale success, who can close, but they don't. What they want are recent grads who are good at test taking. They deserve what they get.

AAA just sent me an email to take their assessment. Thank you for the heads up. I won't be wasting my time. Based on ALL that I have read, I wouldn't want to work for such a company.
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How AAA Bait and Switch Works
Posted by Kaudelia on 11/24/2010
IRVING, TEXAS -- Here's how AAA's bait and switch works on their homeowner's insurance.

1. You call an agent to get a quote

2. They ask you a bunch of information about your home.

3. Even though you tell the agent every detail, the agent knows which items jack up the premium and leaves those out when they enter your info into into their quote system. They tell you the price can change in underwriting.

4. You get a good quote, and you decide to change and go with them.

5. They send an inspector to check your house.

6. The agent calls you and says the inspector says everything is fine, and the final quote is such and such. It might be $10 or so higher or lower.

7. You pay AAA your good, now slightly revised quote, thinking their underwriting has signed off and cancel your old insurance.

8. Two weeks later you get a letter from their underwriters saying that, based on the information you already originally gave the agent but which they never entered, your premium is $100 - $150 higher and to talk to your agent if you have a question.

9. You call the agent and the agent all of sudden don't know nuthin. You talk to their supervisor. The supervisor says, sorry, there's nothing you can do, they have 60 days to change your premium. They offer to knock $20 or so off the extra $150 to calm you down and buy your business.

10. You've already changed, you realize you've been conned, but it costs you more to try to change again.

11. Bag another sucker for AAA home insurance.

12 See #1, repeat.
     
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Posted by Alain on 2010-11-25:
Try another insurance company.
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Do not but an extended warranty through AAA
Posted by Dirt man on 07/09/2009
My 2004 Ford Freestar has an extended warranty from AAA. At 23,000 miles the trans went. The warranty company, after 2 weeks, decided to install a used transmission (!!!) much to my displeasure. Well after only 20,000 miles that one went bad!!!! Now the trans shop owner and another employee watch the inspector take the pan down and found a spot the size of a 1/2 dollar of mosisture that he rubbed into trans fluid, took pictures, and said the trans had a lot of water in it and denied the repair!!!
     
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Posted by bcd on 2009-07-09:
At 23000 miles the transmission would have still been under the manufacturer's warranty and not the extended warranty. Why didn't you have Ford fix it?
Posted by dirt man on 2009-07-16:
Because it was just 4 weeks past the 36,000 or 3 yr. warranty.
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AAA is a RIP OFF!
Posted by Bissell on 10/24/2005
On October 24, 2005 I called AAA after being a loyal customer along with my parents since the 80's and my car which was out of commission for about a month needed to be towed to the dealership to be fixed and when the driver reached my home he informed me that due to the fact that the registration was expired and we had yet to receive the copy of the new registration in the mail that it would be a charge to tow the car. He then instructed me to call and find out how much when I called back they instructed the driver to leave the car because we didnt have the new registration which was ordered for us and that we were to call another company to have the car towed. This is ridiculous because the registration issue was something that they were aware of stranded there is no point in paying AAA it costs more to pay a years membership than to just call a generic tow truck/company when you need them. I am irrate and since then have cancelled my membership along with other memebers of my family. This was also referred to by the customer service rep Lillian Topin as a new policy which I had never been informed of until I needed their assistance. This is ashame and a waste of money. In addition the rep was extremely rude when she was talking with me and insulted me as a driver and made me feel as though I was incompetant. In addition to the fact that I was up against a wall and found that I had been paying for a membership that didnt even apply to me or my vehicle at the time. Also, I asked for the drivers name and she refused to give that information to me as well. I just feel as though the customer service for AAA is a disgrace and is a deterent for all people who belong and have to deal with it and I also feel that it is my duty along with the many other people who have similar feelings that constantly write in to this site to protect other citizens from being victims as well.
     
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Posted by spiderman2 on 2005-10-24:
It states right on their website "Eligible Vehicles Roadside Service will be provided for:
All properly licensed and inspected four-wheeled motor vehicles of passenger, pleasure, or recreational type, if Roadside Assistance services can be safely delivered." You were denied because your car was not properly registered. They have no way of knowing that your registration is coming in the mail or not. This rule may not make sense to you, but I am bet there is a reason for it, based in a lawsuit from one of their subscribers.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2005-10-24:
Sounds like you didn't read your policy with them. It does state in there that you have to be properly insured and registered in order to receive service.
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-10-25:
ya, AAA hasn't lived up to my expectations either. One time I called AAA because I was involved in an accident regarding a deer and a tree (swerved to avoid first one and hit the other). It took AAA almost 4 hours to get there (I was not in the middle of no where, just a few miles outside town), while I was just sitting in the crunched car waiting. Also, the same car needed to be towed again back to the junkyard, but the junkyard wouldn't take it unless it was totalled, and AAA wouldn't tow it unless it was registered (and not totalled.) Anyway, we didn't know that about AAA at the time and the guy came all the way out in his truck and then refused to do anything unless we wanted to pay around $2.50 a mile. We declined and the driver left and got stuck in our driveway, instead of getting out to see what was going on, he just floored it and left a 100" tire dug ditch in our yard next to the driveway.
Posted by luckysgirl on 2007-02-01:
1 ) the REASON AAA dosen't tow veh's that are not properly insured is because we have a contract with EACH state we provide ERS services to stating that if we tow a veh it WILL be properly plated and tagged. It is AGAINST the LAW to move a veh with such information.
Posted by edmauss on 2010-05-01:
The warranty on these batteries is also a scam. My car died and AAA towed the car to my auto shop. The battery was completely dead with acid leaking out of it. The only way my mechanic could get it into the garage was to put in a battery temporarily. But because he took out the piece of crap from AAA, the warranty was "voided" conveniently. Turns out, by the way, the the lousy battery likely caused the alternator to go bad. So I'm out $550 total. Thanks, AAA -- I won't be renewing my membership for years to come. But you won't have to payout the $25 it probably cost you to supply those batteries made from old dog food cans. Smart business!
Posted by SpaceTim4000 on 2010-05-26:
It is illegal to drive a car without current registration. I know you were in a frustrating situation, but you can't really blame AAA for that one. You made an easy mistake that anyone else might make, but at the same time it's our own responsibility to make sure our own vehicles are actually legal to drive.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-05-26:
I've been an AAA member for more years than I care to count. They have done me well.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-05-26:
ed you may find better luck with writing a separate review, since only the main letter is forwarded to the company in question.

As far as AAA knows, 4.5 years ago or so, a driver tried to use "roadside assistance" for a car that wasn't legal to drive and that he or she was upset to find that the the car didn't qualify for the service.


They won't see that you are having a battery issue in the present.
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AAA/Member Select of Chicago are frauds and will cheat you and you will have to sue them
Posted by Dangle1978 on 07/31/2009
Hello my name is Angela Marrs and my husband is Jason Marrs. I know you get tons of emails and sorts daily, but we have a story and need to get it out. On December 23, 2008 we lost our home to a house fire. It was determined to be electrical after the insurance company did there investigation. Since then the insurance company know as AAA or Member Select since they go by 2 separate names have been horrible to deal with. They put us up in a hotel for 3 months then finally got us into a rental property which they had been paying up until now. Since the fire they have been tiring everything not to pay us and so finally we hired an attorney. When we original bought our insurance in April 2008 and only got $172,741 coverage for the house and $129,556 for contents. A month later AAA/Member Select sent us a letter stating that we were in violation of the policy that we had to insure the home for the replacement cost which was $408,000 and $306,000 for contents. We tried to get out of it, but were not able to and had to insure it for the $408,000. Now they are tiring to pay less to rebuild even though they made us insure it for that amount by taking out the original oak hardwood floors that we had, oak crown molding, oak doors etc. In addition our policy ended March 21, 2009 and when they renewed our policy they upped our coverage even more and our premium has doubled, yet they don’t want to pay the original amount they made us insure it for. All they have paid out to date is $15,000 on contents and $20,000 on dwelling, $15,000 is not much for 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids) when you have lost everything in a fire. The insurance company hired a independent adjuster to value our home and give a rebuild amount. The adjuster went back and fourth with the insurance company and finally submitted a quote and at the bottom of each page of his quote he state "This is not an accurate quote to rebuild the Marrs home this is what the insurance company told me to do and I am don’t working for them". So they have not settled on anything. Then the insurance company AAA or Member Select since they go by 2 names wanted to talk to friends and family so we gave them contact information. Then that wasn't good enough they wanted bank statement and credit card statements and as many receipts as we could get for items we had, we provided them with all that. But as you know most stores don’t keep receipts for any amount of time, but we got what we could.
Now as of July 31. 2009 we have no home to live in. They have denied our whole claim and we are having to sue them in court. They have stated they are not going to pay anything out and not cover our living expenses. The only 2 reasons they gave us were 1. when they dug up our property to find the cause of the fire they only dug up one corner of it and only found 2 TV’s and they said under oath we stated we had 6 which was true. They said we mislead them and it breaks there contract. Not only did we have 6 TV’s but our family and friends verified that when they talked to them. The 2nd reason why was that they said our bank statements only shower that we brought in $130,000 and our expenses that we spent were over $160,000 and we didn’t have enough income for that. They did not take into account our credit cards or loans we had out or any cash we got. We are self employed and we get a lot of clients that pay cash and like we told them all that does not get deposited and any self employed individual will tell you that.
But the bottom line is they denied our claim and now until we settle in court we are homeless. We have 2 children whom are staying with my mother in Missouri because we don’t know where we will live. The State Insurance Commissioner told us they are the 4th worst insurance company in the USA and we are learning that the hard way. We honestly don’t know what we are going to do and we don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we are doing. We are paying AAA or Member Select since they go 2 name $3000.00 a year to insure our property and there is nothing on it. We don’t believe they are treating us fair they have prolonged this every step of the way now they are just coming up with more and more stuff.
Also we tried to get the local media involved and even provided proof to them but one news station did not even read our documents he just called AAA/Member Select and they told him they offered us $20,000.00 less than what we were insured for and we declined it so that is why they denied our claim. We told them that was a bunch of crap and we have the paperwork stating why they denied us and they told us it was to much to read. We also contacted our attorney who was shocked they would even lie to the media just to save there butt. We are in need of getting this story out and need all the help we can get. I hope you take the time to read this is look into this.
If there is anything you can do we can give our attorneys number and provide documentation for all this. We don’t think our attorney is doing all he can be doing. So we are open for advice.

Thanks,
Angela and Jason Marrs
     
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Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-07-31:
dang, get another attorney, this one ain't doing his job.
Posted by dangle1978 on 2009-08-01:
Yeah we are calling around and the problem is most of the attorneys around us wont take thew case because they said it can be drug out from 1-5 years. We are going to have to look farther maybe out of state.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-08-01:
there has to be more for this than being told.
Posted by dangle1978 on 2009-08-01:
Nope thats everything. It will be on one news station locally. Thats why we have all the documentation and so does our attorney. They are know for not paying out and tring to rip people off.
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Verified Mileage or Pay as You Drive Is a Scam with AAA!
Posted by Anyannie on 02/07/2012
COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA -- November 17, 2011

Re: The Auto Club of Southern California’s Verified Mileage Program

A Misrepresentation by AAA Agents Regarding Insurance Premiums and Rates

Thomas V. McKernan
CEO Auto Club Enterprises
3333 Fairview Rd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Dear Mr. McKernan:

The Auto Club’s Verified Mileage Program or Pay as You Drive Program was approved by the Insurance Commissioner earlier this year and was touted as a way to save consumers money by lowering the price of insurance when they drive less. In theory, the program has its merits by discouraging unnecessary driving by motorists. In reality, the Auto Club’s implementation of the program has many troubling flaws.

Auto Club agents are pressured to forge insurance documents and manipulate insurance premiums in exchange for more phone duty, better phone calls, better leads, paid vacations, better treatment by management, a trip to the Bahamas, and to maintain their employment. Ethical agents are threatened and harassed to quit or accept their fate that they will be terminated for low performance. High production is looked at as a virtue and not scrutinized as agents submitting fraudulent business. Low production is looked at as laziness, incompetence, stupidity, and reason for punishment and termination. Lead distribution is such that high producers are given more leads and low producers are given even less leads insuring a huge gap between high and low producers. It also skews the policies written with integrity verses policies that are problematic.

Rather than estimate the accurate or actual mileage for each policy, agents are lowering initial mileage readings when starting a policy, which lowers the annual mileage category and thus lowers the annual premium, but just for that year. Agents that use this practice to quote will sell more policies because the premium will be much lower than it would otherwise be. Agents can accomplish this because only about 25% of all policies require inspections with an odometer reading. Agents at the district offices are allowed to inspect their own vehicles. They omit odometer readings intentionally and enter any figure they want to sell the policy.


All this would be a moot point; however, with the Verified Mileage Program insureds are required to submit their exact mileage reading upon renewal of the policy or be removed from the program. Through no fault of their own, many Auto Club insureds will have renewals with extraordinarily higher mileage depending on how much the agent lowered the original mileage and how many miles were driven during the current policy period.

An example to illustrate the wrong that is being perpetrated on unsuspecting consumers: If I start a policy today and my current annual mileage is 15,000 and I bought the car exactly a year ago, with zero miles, the mileage category should be 15,000 miles or less. The agent knows if he quotes me at 15,000 miles per year I won’t buy the policy so he enters my mileage at 5,000 and my premium is much lower than what I am paying now so I switch to the Auto Club. I’m happy until my renewal arrives next year. The premium almost doubles in price. When I am asked by the Auto Club what my current mileage is next year, it will be 30,000 because if you remember I was driving 15,000 miles per year and my vehicle had 15,000 miles at the inception of the policy. The Auto Club is going to rate my renewal at 25,000 miles per year because my agent entered 5,000 as my current mileage at the time I purchased the policy. The renewal will encompass the miles that were deficient from the prior policy (10,000) and include the actual miles driven (15,000). My annual mileage rating goes from 5,000 per year to 25,000 per year because it looks like I drove all those miles in only one year. I really didn’t drive that much but that is the way the miles are calculated. That’s a big increase. If I complain, I am told by the representative that I am a liar and can bring in a service receipt in 30 days to lower my mileage to where it should be. Now that is customer service! Some in the company may say the miles are being accounted for over two years so it really doesn’t matter. This is all being suppressed by the sales department. My view is the original sale would not have taken place and the premium manipulation has put the insured into a situation where the policy is written under false pretenses and can be voided by the insurance company.

The agent doesn’t care because all this stuff will happen a year later and he sold a policy he normally would not have. The Auto Club praises the current agent and lavishes him with more phone duty, pays him more per policy, and sends him on paid vacations because he is a top producer and gets away with doing this on a daily basis. Nobody seems to notice except our insured. On the renewal the policy is way over priced and the insured non-renews or has to fight with our customer service department that won’t believe him. The insured doesn’t know exactly what happened because they did not see the fraud that was committed against them. The fraud only becomes apparent on the renewal a year later. The insured has lost all longevity with their prior carrier because they are now with the Auto Club. Their current renewal is too high so the insured must shop for insurance elsewhere.


The only way to eliminate the out right fraud and corruption at the Automobile Club of Southern California is to require inspections with odometer readings for every policy written. Currently, inspections are not required for “liability only” policies or insureds that have prior insurance with similar coverage. Also, agents in the field can perform their own inspections and omit the odometer photo on purpose! This lack of accountability on new policies opens the door for agents to commit fraud and abuse on the unsuspecting public. This is a “verified” mileage program so you must “verify” the mileage, or otherwise this is a sham and should be abolished. Also, allowing the same agent that writes the policy to inspect the vehicle is a flagrant conflict of interest. The inspection should be completed by a manager or impartial third person at all levels of the organization and at all times include a photo of the odometer.

There should be a separate disclosure just for mileage in the insurance documents that require the exact mileage for each vehicle to be listed at the inception of the policy. The insured should be required to sign the disclosure verifying the exact mileage for each car on the policy. There should be an explanation that this figure will be used to determine next year’s mileage calculation. Unbelievably, this is not now required. The mileage would therefore be verified by the insured, by an inspector, and by the agent. The current system allows for only the agent to verify the mileage and the agent has a conflict of interest to be trusted with that. Currently the only disclosure that references anything about mileage is on the Coverage and Limits page and this only lists what the annual mileage is calculated at. This is misleading if the insured doesn’t know what their real annual mileage is or how it was calculated. Most insureds don’t know what they drive and are influenced by the agent. When you ask an insured how many miles they drive, they most likely under estimate. This figure should still be listed in that location but the mileage disclosure should list the exact miles at the inception of the policy. There is a culture of corruption within the Auto Club of Southern California and drastic measures are needed for true change to be forthcoming.

The Auto Club will defend its position by stating it has systems in place to catch fraud and abuse and to some extent they do. However, the only way to avoid agents from lowering mileage is to educate the insured with a mileage disclosure that must be signed by the insured and the agent. It should explain how this figure will affect the rating for the following year. When only some of the policies require inspections, and this can be manipulated by field sales agents, then there is no effective process. When the agent knows in advance which policies will require an inspection the agent can make up the mileage on selective policies to, “get the job done”. The Auto Club will also reference the fact that conversations are recorded and can be audited for integrity. The agent knows this and never asks the insured what their mileage is. They’ll only make reference to how much the insured’s commute is and make up a figure that is statistically consistent with the commute, albeit on the low end. The policy ends up being a fill in the blanks bonanza for the agent.


Some managers look the other way and others go further by processing business that has serious errors. In fact some managers were required to send policies through processing a second time to verify corrections were completed because the managers couldn’t be trusted to verify the corrections were actually completed. This company needs managers to watch the managers. But when the processing team can only catch incorrect phone numbers or spelling corrections, the mileage factor cannot be corrected at the pre-completion level but only at renewal when the insured complains about the increase in premium unless an inspection is completed and a mileage disclosure is developed. Without seeming redundant, I have spoken in generalities because it is not my intention to get employees in trouble but to correct the failures of this program and this company. If the deficiencies discussed here are not corrected I have lists of managers, employees, and policy numbers that are at issue and I will release this information to the media and notify those insureds that have been wronged. Insureds will have grounds for a class action lawsuit.


Sincerely,


Ann Anonymous Agent (AAA)
For fear of retaliation


cc: Dave E. Jones; CA Insurance Commissioner, Robert T. Bouttier; COO Auto Club Enterprises, Avery R. Brown; General Counsel Auto Club Enterprises, Karen Featherstone; Underwriting Manager, David Lazarus; L. A. Times

     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-02-07:
Interesting information. I use State Farm, and they have me on a mileage program. I'm never asked me mileage in subsequent years - it's an honor system as far as I know (I don't believe they get mileage from inspection records). Does CA require all insurance companies to obtain this information?
Posted by anyannie on 2012-02-07:
Most insurance companies operate on an estimated mileage as a way to rate the policy. The Auto Club of So Ca submitted papers with the insurance commissioner to change to a Verified Mileage. This is a price hike disguised as a discount. The fact that agents are manipulating mileage in addition to the price hike should concern every person insured with the Auto Club and should raise eyebrows at the CA Department of Insurance. Nothing is being done and insureds are confused when their premium doubles but this is the reason.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-02-07:
Excellent review.
Posted by JAMES on 2012-12-24:
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR INSURANCE RATES INCREASED DUE TO VERIFIED MILEAGE OR A MOVING VIOLATION WHICH IS WHAT I WAS TOLD
Posted by anyannie on 2013-02-04:
To find out why your rate increased you would need to contact your agent or insurance company. Compare your driving record and mileage rating from the last period.
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Very Upsetting Experience
Posted by Eugenegellis on 02/14/2013
SOUTH AMBOY, NEW JERSEY -- On 2/14/2013 I placed a service call with AAA after my car broke down. I was told that a tow truck will be there in about 30 min. 2 hrs later a tow truck finally pulled up. The driver exited his truck, eyed my car and without even acknowledging me began taking pictures of my car. He continued to ignore me when I inquired to the reason he was taking photos.

After taking the photos he proceeded to climb into the cabin and started his engine. I knocked on his door to inquire what is going on. The driver continued to ignore me. I then walked to the front of the truck, took a photo of his license plate (XZ638A)and the company logo (GarGoyle Industries LLC located in Woodbridge N. J. 8008543797). At that point he finally came out and acknowledged me for the first time.

He informed me that due to the fact that my car has commercial plates AAA will not cover the tow. He then proceeded to drive off and would not wait until I called AAA to sort this mess out. When I was in touch with AAA I was transferred to a supervisor who then informed me that "new policy" dictated that they will not cover vehicles with commercial plates. I was disgusted by my experience and how they left me stranded in a time of need due to a policy change that I as a customer was never informed of.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-02-14:
The tow truck's license and the tow company name isn't critical to your complaint. The problem is AAA's policy, which you state you were unaware of.

AAA was designed to be roadside assistance for the *drivers* of common passenger vehicles. They also have optional RV and motorcycle coverage. As follows, you can see that they cover commercial vehicles that are *rented*. This would cover a breakdown of say, a rental truck (except maybe towing).

"Basic / Plus - legally registered light passenger vehicles (i.e. sedans, SUV's , Mini-vans and pickup trucks up to 1 ton capacity). Vehicles must be able to be safely accessed from a normally traveled road or an established thoroughfare, such as a county-maintained road.

Dual-wheel light passenger vehicles are eligible for all services except inside the tire service. Rented passenger and commercial vehicles, within size limits above, except taxis and limousines, are eligible for roadside assistance."

I am wondering if the issue is that a commercial vehicle that is *not* rented is seen as a company vehicle; in other words a vehicle more heavily used and not in the spirit of coverage for citizens in the course of casual transportation to and fro.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2013-02-14:
They should notify customers of any changes in their policy.

If they did, they may have been sent out, but thrown away as junk mail. It could have been an insert or a separate mailing.
Posted by sosarcl47 on 2013-03-13:
That policy has always been in place, it's stated on your membership handbook, is also accesible on their website, definetely not a "new" policy.
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PAY FINANCE CHARGE ON AUTO PREMIUM...WTH?
Posted by Rott on 10/12/2010
In my almost 30 years of driving and having contiuned auto insurance coverage.....I was at AAA branch office doing DMW stuff...and the representative sat me down to talk auto insurance. Well, just know...they MISrepresent what their policy is ALL about. If you don't pay IN FULL, you incur finance charges...like a loan. Had the representative told me this important information, it would be one thing...but that was NEVER mentioned. I have a very high credit score for good reason...and naturally when I called to question this... the call center employee said the representative cleary noted my account that he covered me on this bogus plan they have. BS. I am angry, and going to be insulted a 2nd time by AAA as they now will charge me to cancel my policy early. PLEASE DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY!
     
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Posted by leet60 on 2010-10-12:
I have never heard it disclosed as a "finance" charge, but most insurers, if a policy is paid in monthly installments do charge an additional fee. In my experience it has been around $5.00 additional on average.
Posted by FlShopper on 2010-10-13:
I think my fee is $3.00/month.
I am in the process of switching auto insurance carriers (or trying to, anyway) and AAA gave me a quote which I am seriously considering. I will be speaking with my rep later to go over any additional fees and charges not listed.
Posted by fast327 on 2010-10-13:
I,too, had monthly billing in order not to have a big bill all at once, and the charge was $3.00 additional per month. It was very convenient at a time that I was strapped for cash.
Posted by MRM on 2010-10-13:
Wow, that is insane.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-13:
Im charged 5 dollars per month for the monthly payment. You do what you have to do.....if you can afford it, its better to pay in full. If you can't, well then you have to pay for it. It is what it is. If you charge it to your credit card, you would have to pay interest too, so what other choice do you have?
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-10-13:
I don't think I've seen in quite some time an insurance premium not have charges for paying in installments.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-13:
I'm with State Farm and the fee (not a finance charge) is three dollars.
Posted by rott on 2010-10-14:
Additional fee of a few bucks is understandable...however, being charged interest is completely different. I paid my 1st month installment..when my 2nd installment came in the mail...it was 6 bucks and change for the finance fee. As you can see...this ends up being a LOT more than just a few dollars fee each month.
Just wanted anyone to be aware....
I too, can't afford to pay the premium in full...and need to make monthly payments, but I certainly am not into paying fincance chages each month on the remainig balance.
Posted by Diego on 2012-10-25:
$17.95 monthly finance charge, in AAA Southern California. RIDICULOUS !!!
Of course the agent , NEVER MENTIONED THIS, and before getting my policy he was calling me and emailing me 10 times a day, now after I asked him about this finance charge, he's hiding under his desk. He's name is Don Nguyen. In case you talk to him...
Posted by David El Cerrito, CA on 2013-09-14:
I used to pay $3.00 month to pay my AAA auto insurance monthly. I got my renewal today, and the fee is going up to $7.00 month if I pay monthly (this fee is charged whether I pay directly or through bill pay service with my bank). AAA will keep it at $3.00 if I sign up for automatic payments (no thank you). Nice way to get $48.00 more from me. I must say I'm incensed (more about the way they went about it than just the money).
Posted by Mari on 2013-11-08:
Same thing. I signed up with SoCal agent, and I *thought* I was paying 2 months in advance. 10/20-12/20. I received an invoice today my next payment is due by 11/20 for period 12/20-1/20. And if I don't pay by 11/20, it's 18% finance charge. NEVER mentioned. And the asshole signed me up for uninsured bodily injury. I Have medical, I DONT NEED it. I only wanted uninsured collision. Added 100 to the policy. There were 2 other 'mistakes' on the policy I made him fix before I signed, I missed this other 'mistake'. I haven't called to cancel yet. I'll let you know if there's an additional fee. But paying 30 days in advance or 18% finance fee a late fee of 7.00 seems illegal, when the effective date is 30 days after it's due.
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AAA Membership
Posted by Balanced on 04/03/2010
AAA Roadside Assistance club has been happily accepting my money for the past ten years without a service call requested. My summer vacation became an unbelievable nightmare. First my transmission line blew about 45 minutes from home, to which I was towed to my house for repairs. Having lost a day of vacation I set out again. Camping 6 hours from home, my truck key was lost/stolen and once again I needed AAA to get a dealer (an hour away) to make a replacement key. Finally on my way home and still (5 1/2 hours away) my alternator went and needed a ride to get a replacement, which I installed myself on the side of the road. I was grateful to have had AAA during this extraordinary period of bad luck.
Then it got even worse there. While I still had another service call on my current membership, if needed, (allowed four per year), I was informed by AAA that they would not renew my current membership plan. I never asked to have that string of bad luck nor did I ever ask nor expect refunds for the years I did not need a service call. AAA is eager to cash your check but just as eager to drop you should you need their services. Since that time I have found another automobile club with better benefits and for less money. They have now earned my future business - bye bye AAA.
     
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