NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- The 2 times that I used AAA, I was disappointed. The first time I tried using them, I accidentally locked my keys in the trunk. They told me that it would be 45 minutes before anyone would show up. 1.5 hours later, nobody showed up. I called again. This time they told me that the guy got held up and they are not sure how much longer it would be. Finally, the guy who was supposed to show up called me and said it would be another hour before he got there and he does not know why AAA told him an hour. I was at a gas station where luckily a locksmith walked in and opened my trunk for me. I waited for over 2 hours and nobody ever showed up.
The second time I tried using AAA, I had a flat tire where I worked. Once again I was told it would be about an hour and once again after 1.5 hours I called again. The guy who was supposed to be there to help me with my flat informed me that he wasn't sure why they called him to come because he was located approx. an hour away in a completely different county. I don't understand why of all the tow truck business located in my big city, they called someone in another county. After the last incident, I let my service expire. I will just take my chances next time.
CALDWELL, NEW JERSEY -- I had terrible experience with AAA. First time when my car's tire got flat I called them and was told that the driver will be there in an hour. He didn't come until 2.5 hours of waiting. Luckily I was in the parking lot of my office. He finally arrived and did his job. Second experience was worst. There was an accident on a major highway and somehow the broken glass from that car got stuck in my car's tire eventually leading to a punctured tire. My car was sitting in the fast lane on a major highway with all the rush hour traffic coming in. I call AAA and told them to send someone quickly as I'm stuck in the fast lane of a highway.
They told me someone would be there in 20 mins. 40 minutes passed no one came. Finally a police officer came with a tow truck and moved me to the shoulder. The tow truck guy also changed my tire. The AAA guy never arrived. I was there for an hour and no one from the AAA company showed up. I called them again and told them that no one came and I no longer need them. Instead of being apologetic the representative told me that she cancelled my request so I don't get charged!
Unbelievable...charge for what??? I have been paying them all those years to help me when I need and they want to charge me extra? I would never ever trust AAA again. It is the worst insurance to have if you have an auto emergency.
DENVER, COLORADO -- First time in texas I ran out of fuel in a rental car and called AAA for help. The dispatcher took almost 45 min to get the info, call a service provider then call back and say that AAA could not help me. I should call a local tow company or the police for help! Bad experience. 3 hours and the police brought fuel to get off of the highway. Then AAA shows up to assist me.
Second time AAA failed me I was on the way home and my engine failed, smoke pouring out, piston slapping the cylinder head and off of the side of the highway off ramp. One hour to get AAA on the phone, 45 min for a call back to say it will be 45 min at least due to heavy traffic. Started calling at 3pm and tow driver picked me up walking home at 5:25pm. Not what I think is ok or what I pay for. Bad service, expensive and leave you hanging.
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- I called AAA at 4 pm and it is now nearly 1 pm the following day and I have yet to get my car towed. I have called six times talking to a different representative every time that tells me the tow service is on their way only to find out there has yet been another miscommunication between AAA and the towing service.
I had given the keys to the tow service the day before (he was in touch with AAA about this). I did not need to be there and keys were in possession of tow company for a couple of hours later due to cars being parked around my car and couldn't load onto tow truck. Needless to say, I am still waiting just to get my keys back. I am in disbelief of the incompetence and runaround I have received from AAA. I will not renew my membership this next year.
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS -- We had some SEVERE storms in our area, and called AAA when our roof began to leak, and ruin our ceiling. We called AAA and got them out as soon as possible considering we had several more storms on the way. I took off work to meet with the guy coming to inspect the roof, who said there was damage and he would be writing the report stating that the roof needed replaced due to damage, and that we would receive a letter with a check to help with the damages.
A week later another adjuster called and stated that the photos that were taken were not clear and he needed to come out and look at it. Then four days later and two more rainy nights he calls to tell us that our insurance is not going to cover any of the damage, and that the issues with our roof our due to "installation".
NEWBURYPORT, MASSACHUSETTS -- My 18-year-old daughter's car suddenly became really slow to drive forward. She immediately pulled the car over in a parking lot and called AAA. After waiting 1.5 hours, the tow truck driver arrived. Although the car obviously had a problem being driven, the driver gets in her car and tries to drive it so it would be easier for him to tow the front wheel drive. The axle makes a crunching sound and the left front wheel gets pulled backwards like it's going to break off. Not the right thing for him to have done. Turned out it was the ball joint.
He gets in his truck and races loudly around the block so he can back up to the rear of the car. He jacks up the front of the car with a really old jack on 2 wheels, attaches the winch and begins to pull the car forward from the rear onto the lift bed on the ground. As it rolls, the jack lists to the side and gets hung up on a crack in the pavement. Only the back tires are on the lift and he can't pull the car any further. He gets outs, lowers the jack, and because the wheel is broken, the car lists to the side and now he can't get the jack out from under the car.
He raises the truck lift so that the back wheels are up off the ground, gets back in the truck, backs it up. The car body moves backwards, but because the front tire is broken, it doesn't move with the car and the tire gets pushed into the forward wheel well. He still can't get the jack out so he gets back in the truck and drives forward. Now the car body is pulled forward but the broken wheel again doesn't move with it. He continues to drive forward so far that I see the body of the wheel well begin to actually bend as it is crushed against the tire.
I yell to him to stop and told him that he's damaging the car. He gets out, lowers the lift bed to the ground, stomps around to the front of the car and pulls the jack out. He jams the jack under a spot in front of the rear axle and jacks the car up so he can take the tire off. But the wheel is broken and stays on the ground. He goes back to the truck and lifts the rear wheels to take pressure off the broken wheel. He tries to take the tire lug nuts off and his tool breaks so he has to get another. He finally removes the tire. He pulls out 2 long pieces of 4x4s and a small one.
He jams them under the broken wheel hub itself, lowers the jack so the hub rests directly on the wood, and I hear the axle and hub make more crunching sounds and it appears that the wheel hub is now getting damaged. He then begins to pull the car forward again as the wheel hub stays stationary and the car body starts to move forward. This is crazy. I told the guy to stop right there.
I called AAA as he begins to try something else. I tell the service representative that this tow truck driver is damaging my car. She says there is nothing she can do, he doesn't work for AAA. I explain that if they don't stop him from causing damage to my car, then AAA is responsible. She asks to speak to the driver. After speaking with her, he gives my phone back to me. She says that he has to get my car off his truck and there's nothing she can do.
I ask when she can have another tow truck there. She says that it will probably be another hour before someone comes. I said that was not OK after already waiting an hour and a half for a guy to damage the car. She says that I have to go to the end of the list of other calls. I ask to speak to a supervisor. She puts me on hold for 17 minutes, then tells me there is no supervisor available. She says she's directing me to a complaint center. Another long wait before someone comes on to ask me about the situation. Meanwhile the guy has pulled my car off the truck, inflicting more damage.
The AAA guy I speak with asks me to describe what happened. He says it sounds like the tow truck driver was doing everything he should have. I said that I watched him bend the wheel well of my car and cause further damage to the wheel hub and axle. He said that he'll have an inspector come out to the mechanic's shop where the car is towed to examine the car in a few days.
When the new tow truck driver comes, he shakes his head at what the other guy has done and says that the first driver has made his job way more difficult. When I told him what happened he said he could see this guy doing it, and that that company doesn't have a good reputation. I watch him use professional tools to jack up the car with a four-wheeled jack and remove the car's front wheel, place a heavy duty and made-for-the purpose metal slider under the body near the broken tire to help slide it forward without the car leaning over where the tire is missing. He pulls the front of the car carefully on to the lift, lifts the car and all is accomplished simply and efficiently.
Days later, when I respond to an AAA message saying they have a report from the inspector and will discuss a resolution, the AAA representative tells me that their inspector has found no damage to the car; any damage he found was already there before the guy did the tow job. He said that my daughter already caused the damage when she pulled over. I told him that my mechanic said that the inspector who came out was very young and inexperienced and had previously been only a tow truck driver. The AAA representative says that the inspector used to work for Geico and is experienced. He says that their review shows that the first tow truck driver did it all well.
I said that I did not agree with their resolution, since I witnessed the guy crush the fender along with other damage to the wheel hub and axle. He will inform the complaint reviewer that I dispute their determination that the truck driver was not at fault. I asked him if they ever contacted the second tow truck driver for his evaluation of what was left by the first driver, but AAA did not. The representative says he will pass along my request and that I do not agree with their resolution. He does not ask for the name and phone number of the second tow truck driver.
Don't waste your money on AAA. You can sign up for roadside assistance through your insurance company for $15/year or call 911 for assistance finding help that you can pay for only when you need it. AAA isn't available everywhere and will take way longer than a call by police to a nearby tow truck company. Another better roadside assistance company is Better World Club, a green company which does not lobby against public transportation like AAA.
OREGON -- On July 18, 2013 I was driving my Ford Cargo van and a small trailer on vacation. Gold prospecting in southern Oregon, I came to a big hill just passed Canyonville on I 5 about 30 miles from Grants Pass. All of sudden I noticed smoke out the back and the truck slowing down, I almost made it to the top. The engine sounded fine but no tranny. I called AAA. I had AAA plus. It was about 3:30 pm they said they would have someone there to tow me soon. The tow truck got there around 5:00 pm. The driver was nice and got me hooked up and towed me to his boss' shop so he could remove my drive line.
We got there after 6:00pm. The mechanic was having trouble removing the drive line. He said he could not do it. The owner shows up at 7:00pm says he is not going to tow me because triple A doesn't pay him enough to tow me to Eugene. He says AAA does not cover box vans or small trailers. He parked my truck across the street on the Hwy shoulder, unhooks me and leaves me. No Water, no nothing. He was a total jerk.
I just paid my AAA plus $171.00 the week earlier to be covered for this. I am a 100% disabled Vietnam vet with several health issues. I had my 4 English bull dogs with me and a Cockatoo. One English bulldog was overheating so bad he was foaming at the mouth and noise badly I didn't think he was going to make it. The owner watched me from across the street smiling and joking and pointing while I was trying to save my dog.
I was on the phone with AAA from 6:30pm to 1:00am trying to get them to tow me. They told me on page 14 part way down there was a small paragraph that said they will not tow box van or utility trailers unless there is a motorcycle in it. I said what booklet? The one we sent you when you first sign up. I said "are you kidding? 15 years ago? You have taken my $171.00 for 15 years and now you're going to let me down when I need you?"
Anyway, 6:30pm to 1:00am to get them to OK the tow on the side of a highway w/ 4 dogs. They called back and said the tow truck will not tow me with the drive line hooked up and I needed to change the right rear trailer tire? (there was 70% tread on it...). I said I would do it in the dark if it meant me getting out of there. I did it in about 45 min. both. With the tools I had with me.
Bill's towing should not be a AAA tow service. Very rude, non caring. Their driver could not apologize enough for the rude behavior of their owner. If you're a AAA member, you should e-mail them first, describe what you'll be doing have them e-mail you back so you have it in writing. They don't cover a lot of dirt roads either (by the way). AAA should give a booklet each time you pay your yearly fee. That's not too unreasonable is it??
SANTA ANA -- I have been a AAA member for 25 years. What a waste of money!!! I took a family vacation to Portland, or in July 2012, for a family reunion. Upon arrival at the airport we rented a car from enterprise, knowing we will get our AAA discount on the car at the end of the trip, four days later. Upon return to the airport, we had a $580.00 total payment due on our credit card!! I hit the roof and called AAA asking why?
I was told by **, the supervisor to customer service with AAA, that they do not honor or work with enterprise anymore!!! I told him how am I to know that? He said they do not notify members on these issues!!! My feelings are that AAA does make business decisions without the member's awareness behind the scenes and the chances are members get upset but eventually drop their complaints and move on!!!
For the past several months, I have written formal complaint letters to their president/CEO Robert **, communicated with **, again followed up 15 times on the status of my complaint!!! Up to now, I have not received any resolution, get my refund, or communication back from their complaint department. The customer service complaint department is a total joke!!! They ignore letters, faxes, and you can't reach them unless you fax them. Still they don't respond!!! Wow what a great company!!! When I call to follow up, they are surprised as to how many times I have called to complain about their customer service and how they ignore customer related issues!!
** always has a excuse, or does not return calls. When he does, he blames it on the other company!!! I have been passed around from one supervisor to another, even talked to a supervisor's supervisor!!! This is not a complicated thing, just refund the damn money!!!!! How hard is that??? From California to Texas and then back again the follow-up calls go around and around!!! Still no resolution and I'm aggravated like hell with AAA!!!!
I have to thank Enterprise, because they were nice enough to give me a 20% discount equal to $40. That's more than I can say about my own membership of 25 years with AAA which did not do crap for me!!! The AAA does not deserve my money. Nor would I want membership with AAA any. I cancelled my membership on the phone and demanded to get my prorated membership refund. My money was wasted on them for so many years. I have been a loyal customer. What happened to their loyalty to me???? People.. save your money.
This AAA is not what it used to be. They are greedy, irresponsible, and so secure with their jobs that they pass you around, giving you run around until you get tired and drop your complaint. I deserve so much better than them. I feel bad, wasted my time believing in AAA!!!! Is it the company policy to ignore members???? You tell me. Shame on you AAA. You are disgusting taking advantage of good members like me.
COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA -- 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.