KATY, TEXAS -- AAA has been my insurance provider for two vehicles and our primary residence going on three years. Prior to switching to AAA, I was insured by Nationwide and had claims settled satisfactorily through real catastrophes including northeast ice storms, and hurricanes Rita and Ike over the years.
Last week in Houston we experienced heavy flash flooding which caused some minor water damage to one of our AAA insured vehicles. We took the vehicle into our dealership last Wednesday for what was to be a two hour service to the engine but was put on hold pending AAA inspection. What we experienced with the auto claim with AAA since that day has been nothing short of unbelievable.
AAA deemed the flash flooding a catastrophe and assigned all claims to a catastrophe team. From that moment on, I could no longer call the AAA main number I had on record because all claims were being handled by that team. The catastrophe team was either a third party or actual AAA staff, but that varied on who at AAA we talked to. Regardless of their affiliation, no matter when we called that "new" number, we either received a voice recording or was put on hold until we ended up hanging up. When we did finally get connected to someone later in the week, they had no idea what the status of our claim and had no system availability to tell us anything.
By close of business Friday, January 13th, the dealership reported to me that the AAA inspector had indeed come to look at our vehicle but had left without authorizing the repair. So I called the catastrophe number once again at 5:15pm Friday and received a recording stating they were closed outside of "normal" operating hours! Then we waited, WAITED, AND WAITED without a work truck I desperately rely on.
It turns out that the "catastrophe" team decided to take off not only the weekend but also Monday to observe the holiday. WOW!!! In the core turnaround time for all your customers impacted in the greater Houston area, you conveniently decided that the "catastrophe" didn't warrant staffing or response through a three day period? God forbid the next "catastrophe" doesn't strike right before a long holiday weekend or your customers will just have to wait even longer. So I waited until Tuesday of this week (today) to go ahead and authorize the two hour repair and subsequently pay for it out of my pocket. Never did hear from AAA.
Our relationship is 99% me paying you on time every month for both auto and home insurance. The 1% time I need my insurance to come through for is during times of need. You miserably failed as an insurance company to act even remotely prepared or responsive in the time of need. I have already lined up alternative quotes and will never pay AAA another dime for auto insurance. By mid-year I plan to find an alternative for my home insurance as well. Of course at that point your bread-and-butter membership and roadside assistance will no longer be needed.
Maybe you have strayed too far from your core business of Auto Clubs when venturing into the insurance business? Not sure but to be so complacent and non-responsive to claims seems to indicate so. I sent this note to the CEO in hopes he has some insight when he's reviewing quarterly insurance income results later this year and asks his executive team why AAA is losing customers in Texas. I'm sure I'm one of MANY customers that had the same experience with AAA during this event.
CALIFORNIA -- The management style of AAA seems to be changing from one that generated old style loyalty to one that is opportunistic and unfriendly. I have been a loyal member of the company for a very long time and have an extremely clean driving record. I also have been using my car less and less in recent years, relying on BART more, so my car often gets less than 10,000 miles a year. I do not drink or have unhealthy habits and have often been criticized for being a little too cautious on the road, never being among the first to arrive at a destination. In short, I am the kind of client an auto insurance company would love to have. Pay up, but stay out of trouble.
But I made a mistake recently when my schedule was overwhelmingly busy; I missed the due date for a payment and my account became delinquent for over thirty days. A first in over seventeen years of being with the company with a completely clean driving record! No tickets, no violations to my name... I was a little embarrassed to call AAA when I discovered my mistake upon finally being able to cope with the pile of mail that had accumulated in that hectic schedule, but also ready to pay all that I owed and correct the situation.
Since I had been with them for so long and I am a very safe driver, as embarrassed as I was to have dropped the ball, I thought they would help me fix the situation. They jumped at the occasion to reduce my benefits and offered me a policy with higher deductibles and much higher fees. I indicated I was hoping to put payments on auto pay to avoid a similar mistake in the future and apologized for my lack of organization during a stressful and busy time, but to no avail. I almost felt the manager I was connected to was mocking me for having given them an opportunity to get more money out of me.
The result: I am getting quotes from other companies and comparing them. I feel a little like a fish out of water because I have been a member of that company for close to 20 years. If I had not had this opportunity to test their approach when I made a mistake, I would have continued with them thinking all was fine. Now I am reconsidering.
To be fair to them, they did take care of me in fixing rare, minor things in the past, such as fixing the bumper and the taillights after one inexperienced driver hit my car in the parking lot of a supermarket and was ready to flee until the security agent on duty stopped him. Still he had no insurance and AAA did not create a fuss and fixed it. (It was obviously no fault of mine. I was not even in my car, but was met with the security officer and the other driver when I walked to my car with my young child.
They did honor the agreement and provided me with a rental during the repair. They also sent to our home a service person to repair a little crack on the windshield from a rock flown from a truck on the freeway. And the repair person they sent was very pleasant. The problem seems to be in their recent management style. I used to think of them as being a good company in the old style, professional, experienced, trustworthy, friendly to their clients. They seem to have moved in the direction of the bankers on Wall Street and gotten a little too pompous and opportunistic. I am hearing that from more and more people.
Maybe, as it happened with many good companies of one time, they are under a different cloud. Not do I only feel disgruntled about the way I was treated, I am also worried about where that attitude will take them because we do have some investments with them. That kind of greed never pays off, as we all saw in the example of where the greed on Wall Street took the global economy. Maybe they consider recruiting better managers.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- On November 25, 2013, I realized I haven't received our auto billing statement for December, so I check online. According to our account online, we do not have anything outstanding balance. So, I called the AAA main phone number, the staff told me that our auto policy had been cancelled. I was shock because we didn't receive any notice of cancellation.
I placed a call to my agent named Nicolas and left a voice message. Then I called his manager, Ms. Fletcher, and she told me that the company had implemented a new policy effective 9/15 even though our agreement was witnessed on 9/11. She apologized and said a notice was sent out on October 31. I told her we never received the notice. All we received around that time was the billing statement for November. She said our policy was cancelled effective Nov 16 but if you check our records, the cancellation date is Nov 10.
Basically we have been without auto insurance for approximately 2 weeks! Based on our history, we never have a lapse of insurance. Because of AAA error, we now have to pay a higher premium with any standard insurance company due to the lapse of insurance due to no fault of our own. My agent Nicolas called me back. He didn't know about our cancellation on our auto policy either. He doesn't have anything in his system that states our policy was cancelled.
We had to get auto insurance immediately with another insurance company for a 6 month policy.We refuse to drive without insurance. Our premium is $60 more per month due to the lapse insurance. I would like for AAA Texas County Mutual Insurance to refund our money due to the policy cancellation and to pay for the amount we are being charged for having lapse insurance due to no fault of our own.
MT. LAUREL, NEW JERSEY -- AAA MidAtlantic offered me the best price for insuring myself and my new 16 year old driver and 2 cars. 3 months joining AAA my car was stolen from my train station parking lot. AAA was nonresponsive to my phone calls for 3 days (including making it impossible for me to rent a car although I purchased rental coverage). I took a day off from work to make all of the phone calls, but no one ever responded to the more than 11 calls I placed to try to contact my "adjustor." The person who eventually picked up the phone said, "Would you stop calling me??" in a very rude voice.
After I called a manager in another state, my adjustor finally called me the next day at work, spoke to me rudely, and was unable to instruct me on how to proceed other than telling me wait 30 days to see if my car was found. Never having had a car stolen before, I don't know if this is typical, but this woman basically told me "tough," and got off the phone. With no assistance from the insurance company, the city police notified me several weeks later that my car had been found and towed to a distant lot.
The insurance woman told me that if I didn't retrieve my car within 24 hrs (thus requiring another day off from work), I would be liable for both the towing and impound lot storage costs incurred because someone stole my car. Car was retrieved with relatively minor damage. A detective was then sent to my home where he grilled me for several hours because.. well, I don't know why. I had to travel for a while, and when I returned, I had received two checks, cut on different days, for the same amount of money and dedicated to the same repairs.
I also learned that while I was away the same detective tried to talk to some of my neighbors--they told me he was a bully and that they had nothing to say to him because they had no idea why he was even wasting their time--and costing AAA money! Worst service in my 40 years of driving--you get what you pay for in car insurance, just like anything else.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- We have been AAA customers for 20 plus years for home and auto insurance needs. We had been dealing with an assigned agent, who had been with us for at least five years of this policy time. He would look after any changes, updates, annual reviews, etc. Then all of a sudden, we would call and we were informed that our agent was not available and would we like to leave a message or go into his voicemail. Messages were left and never returned. This took place over a year and half time period.
Then out of the blue about a year ago, we received a phone call from AAA. It was our new AAA agent, calling to introduce herself and go over our policies, since they had been in limbo for a year and a half. WHAT A SHOCK! She did the review, and discovered we were under insured, and suggested an umbrella policy should be part of the coverage.
One week ago, we called because, again, there was no policy review and no sign of our AAA agent. We took our policies to another insurance company and had a review done. It turned out there were errors in our policies that would cost us financially had there been an accident. There were also errors that cost us financially over, at least the last year, unknown to us, until the review by another insurance company. Again, when we tried to get a hold of our insurance agent, and we were told that she was no longer with AAA and we did not have a new assigned agent.
We had to make the corrections on our policy with the call center and the corrections that were made, would arrive in the mail to us in a couple of days. Well, the corrections were sent out to us and there were still errors not corrected, that should have been corrected. So, our questions to AAA are: is this the way they treat all of their clients? If so, ares these new cost cutting measures? If so, then maybe we should be shopping for a new agent that will provide at least the very basic service of a once a year review. After all, AAA claims they value the relationships they build with their clients. Well, we are not feeling the love in this relationship. Respectfully, **
People, the title says it all (well, almost all). It does not matter very much which company you choose. They are all going to play hard-ball because that is what they do. Anyone who works for an insurance company & is honest will tell you the same. The cards are stacked against us, even for those of us who do NOT love in a no-fault state. They have decided for us whether we will be considered responsible in every situation conceivable to man. Usually they will fault all of us, so they should really call it ALL-FAULT.
Regarding AAA specifically, I had insurance with them for a number of years. One incident in '94 (I was not at fault), was when the AAA Rep actually told me he felt sorry for the guy making the (ahem, false) claim against me because he, himself had experienced how expensive insurance is for young men (the reason for his ratty car?). What did that have to do with the important issue, that AAA had no responsibility to pay out his claim? The claimant's car was 7 years old, had dents & scratches all over the car & bumper, but AAA insisted on inspecting my vehicle to make sure that my bumper showed no damage in the area where the guy claimed my bumper hit his bumper. He just wanted a new bumper at my expense!
Then there was the accident in '95, where a car cut off another car in front of me, & AAA declared the person in front of me, and ME, at fault, instead of the person who caused the accident by driving recklessly. It looks like a setup, in hind sight, because I didn't like the way that car was driving & I slowed down considerably to avoid him. So he picked on the car in front of me, but I got caught in it. I would have had plenty of room to stop in time if it hadn't happened at the bottom of the freeway on-ramp, which was downhill, and if it had not been raining. My brakes locked up at the last minute & I found myself drifting into the back of the 2nd car.
In '98 AAA refused to replace the bumper on my pristine, dentless & scratchless car with an OEM part; instead, they used a cheap part & the body shop could not get it to align properly. No amount of complaining could convince them to fix the PROBLEM (OEM! OEM! OEM!). Hopefully they can't get away with that nowadays, I think the laws changed shortly afterward.
This was an accident that was caused by the guy behind me, so HIS insurance was supposed to pay for it anyway! If his company did refuse, AAA should have paid the difference to keep me happy. I ended up selling that beautiful car & shaving $500 off the sale price because of that stupid bumper! It was the last straw, I switched to another company & never looked back.
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY -- I got a quote online a month back which was for around $1000. When I went to AAA office (as they don't sell it online), they said its $1800, since my current insurance has less coverage. They asked me to increase my current insurance coverage and then go for AAA so that it will be around $1200. I went to my current insurance and increased my coverage, and then waited for 15-20 days for it to get reflected on AAA. I again got a quote online. I gave all correct info including my DL number, SSN and violation details (I had traffic ticket), and it gave me a quote of $800 a year.
When I called AAA to purchase it, they said online quote is normally not correct as it doesn't pull my credit report, and said I have to pay $1400. When I asked them, if there is so much of difference between Online Quote and actual cost (almost 100%), why should anyone get a quote online from AAA. The lady said she doesn't have any answer and rudely disconnected the phone. Then I went to AAA office, where they said, they do not know why the online quote is so low, and I need to pay the quote amount that I got from them a month back in AAA office (which was $1100).
When I told them that I gave all the info correctly while getting the quote online, including my 1 traffic ticket, and asked them to check if I entered anything incorrectly, she called 2 -3 AAA call center agents and finally told me that they do not know why the quote was $800, but they can't sell me that. I had no idea what to do, as I spent so much of my time with these guys. I came home and got a quote online from Progressive and bought that online which was much cheaper, easier and fast. But decided never to refer anybody to AAA (at least in this state). Bad thing was, I already referred 3-4 of my colleagues.
MURRIETA, CALIFORNIA -- BEWARE!!! AAA ( Automobile Club of Southern California) is running the biggest scam! CHECK THE MILEAGE THEY HAVE ON YOUR VEHICLES A YEAR! Take a good look at your bills (past & present). I was organizing old records and notice the mileage of one of our vehicles (1987 truck) and the mileage that was listed was 50,000 + miles a year (insurance for 6/2006-6/2007). A new renewal was coming up for 2007-08. I then looked a past bills and notice the years previous (2004-05) was 1-5000 miles which was correct. But I didn't have a statement for billing on (2005-06).
I called AAA 1800 number and asked if the our premium costs were based on the yearly mileage? Answer: YES! I then asked for the rep on the phone to check my records for 2005-2006 and tell me what mileage they had us down for that year. He said they had us down for 63000 miles + (then made a comment that we would have to drive around the earth 3 times in a year to rack up that many miles). I agreed and said the 87 truck drives to work 5 miles and home 5 miles 5 days a week or 2400-3000 miles a year.
He said they would look in to it.I told him my rates were doubled because of their mistake and expected a full refund including interest we had to pay for both years and to make sure it was corrected on my upcoming renewal. I then went to my local office in Murrieta, ask for a print out of billing record. Told agent about it and he said they would look into it. 3 days later I received a phone call within a few days from the district manager telling me they couldn't do anything about the mileage on the previous bills, that the mileage was what we had put down.
I then told him NO it was a mistake and I wanted proof that we put that down number one & that my husband had taken over paying bills and if we made the mistake the computer program or person entering data should have flag such an increase which no one could possibly drive in one year. I then told him I had been a member for 20+ years and they had all past records to compare to. He told me their records are from our smog report and we had to prove the mileage, bring truck into their office have a agent check odometer. I told him I wanted a copy of the revised billing showing correct amounts as well as mileage for my records.
We brought in truck and waited. May 4th B.M from AAA called and said they would refund me $261.00 for 2006-2007. I told him the year before that needed to be corrected as well. He said he would look in to it. Received check for amount above but no interest. Also revised billing that was not correct it did not include the less policy holders dividend (which make the bottom line higher). The amount it should have shown was $991.00 for that year instead of $1194.00. call 1800 number listed on letter if there was a problem with the amounts,was told to call person who is doing the work on our account so far. Called AAA B.M. an left message (wasn't in).
Received call from AAA manager and was told the mileage was corrected on his records. I said really well its wrong because AAA local office gave me a fax showing the higher mileage. He asked me to send him proof, via fax . I said what are you talking about AAA sent the fax surely they have record of the mistake & correction. He said he couldn't get that information. I said NO I won't fax it, I will bring it in. He said well I will be gone by 4pm, I said I am right around the corner from you office will be their in 5 minutes. He looked at the faxed previous bill and the record he had on his computer and said it was 216.00 over charge on our bill I told him yea and I wanted the interest from this billing and the other bill as well. He said he would put in for that as well.
Got check for 216.00 but STILL NO INT. Then received new renewal 6/2007-6/2008 and I couldn't believe my eyes they had us down for 25,000 to 30,000 miles a year ( instead of the 1,000-5,000 miles we drive)!!! The bill was again double, what it should have been. Now I have to fight this thing all over. I will be asking the insurance commission for a complete audit on AAA( Automobile Club of Southern California). I just wonder how many people they have done this too and got away with it.
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI -- Just got my new renewal forms and see where AAA jacked my car insurance up from $63 to $90 a month. All because I got a no turn signal ticket. That is a $26 a month increase for more than 3 years, which means it will be over $1000 for the 3 years. I can see if I got a DUI, ran a red light, speeding, or even caused an accident. But to hit me for this much for just a no turn signal ticket? Ok, they got me on this one FOR NOW. Guess I gotta pay for your CEO's new boat. Since both my cars and homeowners insurance renews in September, you can be FOR SURE that in August. I will be looking for new insurance for both.
POWAY, CALIFORNIA -- Someone broke into my truck. Call claims and she suggest that replacing the window will not reach the deductible. I explain that there is more than just the window. Appraiser comes out. We agree and he is very nice. Adjuster calls and sends a check for just under $700. When I go to repair, the parts are a lot more than I expected.
I then ask the adjuster to send a copy of the appraisal. She sends the appraisal with a price closer to a thousand dollars. Without explanation the adjuster sends the almost $300 balance. There is no explanation of how the math error occurred. How is it possible that the adjuster can not read the appraisal and copy that amount onto a check. I say this: If I walk into a store and steal a candy bar, they will charge you with petty theft. Do it again and it is a felony. But if AAA gets caught stealing $300 it is an error. I really wish someone could give me some other explanation.