AAA Roadside Assistance

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Left My 88 Year Old Father-Inlaw Stranded On The Side Of The Road
Posted by Ntst07 on 09/26/2012
PORTLAND, MAINE -- You would think when you get the best plan from AAA you would get the best service!!! WRONG JUST SO WRONG. My father in-law's battery died on a busy road 30 min. from our house, we had add him for the reason of him driving to FL. etc. He calls for a tow and was told they couldn't tow a camper/van. When my husband and myself get to him I then called AAA to see what the problem is. This is where it gets so upsetting for us.

They never told us a van with a bed in it would not be covered for towing, that's fine we knew it was a dead battery so I asked for someone to come and test/change battery. Well then we are told we are not in the service area. So I said to the lady, if I was out in the middle of nowhere then you would come help? She says that is why we are not coming out now! We were on a main road just outside of town with semi's and traffic a consent flow and we are in the middle of nowhere she says... I did call the New England Headquarters when I got home 2 people said they should have come out, but when the supervisor called she said no and that the lady we talked first was right. Both ladies who said they could not help was very rude on top of everything else... BEWARE AAA IS NOT THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM AS THEY SAY THEY ARE!!! I WILL BE ASKING FOR MY MONEY BACK WHICH IS OVER $100.00 for lack of info when we signed up for this.....

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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-09-26:
It is correct that AAA's regular plans are not intended for campers. The fact is, these larger vehicles require more costly service vehicles. If someone comes out, they need to be prepared to tow depending on what they find - ergo, larger service vehicle.

There are two plans that would probably cover that vehicle - AAA Plus RV and AAA Premier RV.

It is unfortunate that it sounds like you were told that you were outside the coverage area if you were not. I am guessing this was an excuse for not coming because it is a camper vehicle. The rep should have stuck to reason A, in my opinion.
Posted by Traveling-Jim on 2012-09-26:
Rv's of any size need special road service coverage. Try Good Sam's Club, FMCA, or some other service that specializes in RVs. About the same price and they cover ANY vehicle that you drive.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-09-27:
The heading is a little over the top, since the op and her husband was there. Her 88 year old father was not left "stranded" all by himself. Additionally, if you are capable of driving a camper on long trips, you have to be competent to deal with the situations that come up.
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Member for 16+ years, hassled!
Posted by Trystann on 01/23/2006
CINCINNATI, OHIO -- I faithfully paid dues as a AAA Plus member for over 16 years. I haven't used it much, perhaps three or four times in all those years. I haven't had to call for probably six years. It gave me piece of mind to have that card. I thought help would be there if I needed it. But that's not true.

I called for emergency assistance last Friday. My car overheated and was leaking antifreeze everywhere. It clearly needed attention and was not safe to drive. AAA dispatched a tow truck. I told the dispatcher exactly where I was. She never mentioned there'd be any problem.

Once the tow truck driver arrived, I was told that because I had pulled my car from the road and into the parking lot of a car dealership the driver refused to tow my car. He said I might have had work done it there, so he could lose his job if he towed it.

Here I thought I was doing the right thing by putting it in an accessible, well-lit area.

He didn't pay any attention to the stream of anti-freeze leading from the road to where my car was parked or the puddle that had formed underneath. He wouldn't even get out of his truck and look! He refused to take my word for it, eventhough it would be silly for anyone to take an older Pontiac to a Dodge dealership for work. Since the dealership was closed for the night and no one could verify I hadn't had "work" done there... the driver was just going to drive off and leave me stranded. I called the dispatcher back and she said I'd just have to deal with it tomorrow.

I was furious. For over 16 years I have trusted AAA to be there when I need them and when I finally need help, they try to refuse to do their job and wouldn't trust me. The guy basically was calling me a liar.

Fortunately for me, before the tow truck had arrived, a friendly man at the dealership had offered help just before he left for the night. I thought he seemed like a good guy, so I asked for his business card. My wife convinced the driver to call the number on the business card and ask the man if I had been there for service. Thank God the man answered his cell phone and told the AAA Tow truck driver what happened. Finally the guy agreed to tow my car.

The whole ordeal was an insane hassle and showed terrible customer service!
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Posted by naychurboy on 2006-09-06:
Your complaint must be valid as there is no refute on the AAA side. My apologies on the treatment you received as recognition for being such a longstanding and loyal customer. Although AAA will readily tell you that they cannot control the actions of its contracted providers, it is in fact, a direct reflection of AAA lack of accountability and service.
Posted by gowhereurtowed on 2006-10-26:
Some towers say that because AAA pays the lowest rates they try and make the call go retail. If you want the peice of mind just know that you can call 911 and ask for the next towers on rotation. That's also the fastest way to get a tow truck. When it's really busy some towing companies put off or turn down motorclub calls to take the more profitable ones. AAA just contracts with whoever will tow for the worst rates in the industry. If you get someone off the rotation list you're getting someone that constantly works with law enforcement.
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AAA Roadside Assistance Is USELESS
Posted by DON'T USE AAA on 10/08/2009
My wife bought a AAA membership while we were living in Texas. We are now in Illinois. Last night her car broke down. Since the dealer was closed, we decided to wait until this early this morning to call AAA for a tow. Since I am self-employed and my wife works full time, we decided that I would call AAA this morning and manage the situation while she was at work.

AAA REFUSED TO SEND OUT A TOW TRUCK BECAUSE MY WIFE COULDN'T BE HERE TO MEET THE DRVER. Despite the fact that it's HER car, and even after my wife called and spoke to them personally, they wouldn't send a tow because she's not here in person.

After speaking with 5 DIFFERENT incompetent fools at AAA, it turns out that if we were in Texas they would send the tow without her being here in person, but since the car is in Illinois, different rules apply. Even though our membership is in Texas (we just recently moved).

So my wife has to take a day off to be here to meet the tow driver tomorrow, and meanwhile her car is sitting on the side of the road in a sketchy location for two days. And we can't afford to call a private tow, so we're pretty much on the hook, having wasted $450 over the past 6 years on AAA membership for nothing.

Essentially, we've been paying for nothing for the past 6 years, and the one time we really need their help, AAA IS AN EPIC FAIL. Huge waste of money. And their so-called "customer service" reps are barely literate and not helpful at all -- all they do is transfer you from one idiot to another and nothing gets resolved. Avoid AAA -- save your money.

She has had membership for 6 years at $75 a year and never used the service.
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Posted by JR in Orlando on 2009-10-08:
I love AAA. The rules as I understand is that the person has to be there to a) give the tow driver the keys, b) provide identification and c) sign paperwork. How can you expect them to take liability for a car, based on what someone says over the telephone. She could be a thief.

YOU decided not to call that night. YOU decided to try to do it the next day while she was at work. Now you complain. She does not have to take off work tomorrow. Simply go back out there to the car after work today and call them tonight.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-08:
I have to say that I have been a member of AAA for many years and have always understood that if I am the member, I must be present at the time they come out. In order for you receive service, you must be a member. I suggest that you be added as a secondary member. That way, this situation will not arise again. Also, if you are somewhere and the car breaks down (and your wife is at work), you will be able to get the problem fixed without calling her. It's not that much more and that is the way AAA has always operated. The secondary membership is cheaper than a tow.
Posted by TheMightyBoosh on 2009-10-08:
Those incompetant fools!
Posted by moneybags on 2009-10-08:
Why aren't you a member, too? And transfer the membership to your new location. Who exactly is the incompetant fool?
Posted by beanbagbritches on 2009-10-08:
Both my husband & I are members on our AAA account. I have never had a problem with AAA & this is probably the reason.
Posted by Flexanimous Fellow on 2009-10-08:
They're not going to service a car when the person who actually has the AAA membership isn't there to sign paperwork. Doing so would set them up for loads of legal issues. I think you need a reminder what century we're living in.
Posted by redmx3racer on 2009-10-08:
Agreed JR. They can tow the car to the dealer after hours-most places have an after hours key drop box-I'd just call the dealer ahead of time today and let them know the car and keys will be there in the morning.
Posted by Eloise on 2009-10-08:
Why are you angry at AAA for following the rules? Don't you think a company should follow the rules and regulations that are set forth in their membership booklet? Also,why didn't you have your wife meet them at her car after work?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-08:
I can't believe some people. They have how many 'incompetent fools' tell them the exact same thing? How many times do you have to hear it to understand it? READ the AGREEMENT. Your wife is the member.

Why don't I just call and pretend to be your wife and have them pick up that gorgeous Dodge Charger from your house and bring it to mine? (being smart)
Posted by Eloise on 2009-10-08:
Lady, could I have that one, the Van's brakes don't sound great?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-09:
Lol El...My dream car is a Charger!
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-09:
My dream car is... well is actually not always reliable
if by some chance it actually gets you want to go, there's the risk that it'll get you there too early or too late.

but even so, my dream car is still the good old car-of-tardis ;)
Posted by Eloise on 2009-10-09:
My dream car is a Range Rover.
Posted by beanbagbritches on 2009-10-11:
My dream car is a Yugo!
Posted by Keith A. on 2010-10-19:
I am the operations manager for a towing company in Oregon and we are also a AAA contract station.

I've been in the industry since 1996 and with this company since 1998.

This case is pretty "cut and dried". AAA policy is that the member must be present for several reasons....many of which have already been detailed in other comments.

HOWEVER, the towing company who is responding CAN opt to provide service unattended. But that is purely at the discretion of the towing company, not AAA.

If you had wanted to have the vehicle towed unattended, AAA would have contacted the towing company in the contracted area and asked them if they would be willing. MANY towing companies won't tow unattended anymore due to liability issues (again already stated).

But, some towing companies, including ours....will still do unattended tows once we are sure that we aren't getting involved in a domestic dispute or theft.

So the fault is not with AAA.

With our company, we like to believe we are still in a "small" town and will go out of our way to provide service even if it sometimes puts us in jeapordy for potential liability issues. So far, so good. We haven't been bitten by our "small town" attitude. But as one poster already said, "remember what century you are living in" and I know that someday soon we'll have to change our policy.

But again, it is NOT the fault of AAA. They have very good rules based on what it takes to run a national automobile association.
Posted by scott on 2012-09-04:
We just got screwed by aaa today. We've had them for 23 years and they have towed our trucks numerous times. Today we called to get our truck pulled and they say its not even covered for the last year even though we've been paying. Suck bags. We are never going to use them again. 4K a year down the drain
Posted by joyce on 2013-06-25:
a friend of mine just called me and told me his car broke down on highway and he had no money for tow ,he called his son who has AAA towing and since they had the same name he took advantage of the towing no questions asked. would like comments on this
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AAA means Awful, Arrogant, Asinine, Customer Service
Posted by Sue44 on 09/28/2009
OMAHA, NEBRASKA -- We had a blow out on our brand new camper, and called AAA immediately, thinking we would be saved.
The customer service agent was cold and non-empathetic from her first word. She asked my location.
ME: "I am on Interstate 35 near St. Paul MN. We were heading south and took the Hugo Centerville exit. We are now on top of that exit."
SHE: "What is the number of the exit?"
ME: "I have no idea, we are past the sign."
SHE: "I need to know the number of that exit."
ME: "I have no way of finding out that information."
SHE: "We cannot send help without knowing where you are."
ME: "We are on the Centerville/Hugo exit on Interstate 35."
SHE: "But I need to know the exit number."
ME: "But I don't know that information."
SHE: Silent....dead silence.
ME: "Well, I suppose I will have to walk down and find the number, if that's the only way."
SHE: Silent.
ME: While walking and panting, "You know, this seems dangerous, walking down a ramp. Besides, it is raining and I am old, fat and arthritic. It might take awhile."
SHE: "Let me put you on hold while you are finding that information."
ME: walk, pant, walk, pant. Find the sign
ME: Try to tell her I have the information now, but I am still on hold.
SHE: Three minutes later. "I have looked on my system and found that information."
We then discussed the type of policy I have, and it seems I forgot to call and include the brand new camper.
I realize that they cannot pay for services that are not covered by my policy. But a truly customer focused company would have found a way to be helpful to a seven year customer without previous claims.
Perhaps she could have found a way to say YES instead of NO.... Yes, as a customer courtesy I will call a service station for you, but we cannot pay for your tire change.
Perhaps she could have "looked on her system" instead of filing her nails and found the information in the first place. The most important part of good customer service is attitude, followed by knowledge. Hers was bad in both departments.
Perhaps AAA has too many customers and they just don't need my $100 a year. I am cancelling my membership today.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-28:
This might seem like an odd question, but who's your cell phone carrier? I have Verizon, and they offer a roadside assistance option that you can receive. You pay for it monthly, it's really cheap. If you're having that bad of an experience with AAA, there's always *that* option if your cell phone carrier provides that service.
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-09-28:
I have roadside assistance through my car insurance. It would have been nice if AAA called a tow company or service repair company for you even though it wouldn't be covered under your policy. That would have required them to provide "customer service" though.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-09-28:
+10 MS, couldn't have put it better.
Posted by karleebarlee on 2009-09-28:
I've never had a problem with aaa. They always give me like a 60 minute estimate for assistance and they're always there in under 20 minutes. Maybe it's just the service in your area, or it could just be that one girl. don't blast them after just one bad experience.
Posted by MRM on 2009-09-28:
I dont think that AAA was cold-hearted as you claim to be. They were trying to locate you but you but dont have the information right a way. Id say give them another chance.
Posted by skelly39 on 2009-09-28:
They could have easily looked up the exit number. In fact, she did, after making this fat, old, arthritic OP walk down the ramp. He gave her the exact info. She could have saved him a bunch of time by asking the biggest question first-which vehicle is it? I'm siding with the poster on this.
Posted by JR in Orlando on 2009-09-28:
Its not the clerk's fault you are old, fat and arthritic. It is not unreasonable request to ask for some assistance in locating where you are. You also made the mistake of not calling and getting your camper covered. Did you apologize to the clerk for wasting her time when you had no coverage? I thought not. Why does this always run one way.

Be careful with insurance provided roadside assistance. I read an article which said some insurance companies use calls for assistance to raise your rates, e.g. people who don't take care of the cars, are higher risks.
Posted by skelly39 on 2009-09-28:
Why should he apologize to the clerk that is getting paid with the money he sends in every year? It's a simple question: what vehicle is it? She wasted her own time. And do you always use the exit number when giving directions? I don't. And if anyone needs it, it takes two seconds to look up-at your desk on a computer, not on a highway offramp.
Posted by twixypeps on 2010-02-17:
"Be careful with insurance provided roadside assistance. I read an article which said some insurance companies use calls for assistance to raise your rates, e.g. people who don't take care of the cars, are higher risks. " I have heard that some companies do count these claims against you. Go with a company that does not. Mine doesn't!
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AAA Roadside Renewal
Posted by Essence702 on 11/16/2007
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- I just received my renewal application from AAA. I am appalled that they have raise their rates to $84. I live in Las Vegas and requested roadside assistance back in June. I had my grandkids in the car and we waited over 1 1/2 hours in 100+ degree weather for roadside assistance; now they are increasing their membership fees.

Based on my experience with AAA, I will not be renewing my membership.

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Posted by essence702 on 2007-11-17:
I joined Sam's Club roadside service for only $54 annually. and was able to add up to 4 additional members of my household at no extra cost. Sam's Club offers same services as AAA. AAA family plan is well over $100 I believe.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-11-17:
Been a member of AAA for over 20yrs. Still the best, most reliable out there. Sure it may take some time to get there, but they don't have sirens. Have had to use them several times. No complaints.
I sure wouldn't trust my emergencies to Wally World
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2007-11-17:
JKT...are you sure you're a member of AAA and not AA?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-11-17:
shute! I thought they just left out a letter or it wore of the card!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2007-11-17:
Essence702...I got your Email...and I'm sorry, my comment about being AA or AAA was meant for Jktshff1, not you....sorry about that :)
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AAA Sucks!
Posted by Zadd0311 on 01/21/2009
BROADVIEW HTS, OHIO -- My car broke down on the way home from work. got it into a service station, and called AAA for my free tow.(i am a plus member)the time was 2:30 pm. they said they were busy and they would have someone there by 5pm. I wait and wait. 5:15 I call to inquire where the tow truck is. AAA tells me that it will be there by 7pm. finally comes at 6:30.

two days later my other vehicle breaks down(yes I have that bad of luck). I was close to home this time. AAA tells me that I can wait at home and the tow truck guy will call me when he is near. AAA even calls me back and hour after I request service to verify my phone number. a few hours go by and I decide to call. AAA says that he was already there and didn't tow it because he needed me there. try and figure that out. so he left without towing it. I was going to add my mother to my plan so I could feel that she would be safe in her older years.

I have decided to take my business elsewhere. especially after hearing that they don't guarantee a phone call and that I should have waited with the vehicle. its ten degrees outside.
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Posted by RedSox1982 on 2009-02-17:
Yeah AAA does suck. They keep you waiting and waiting and customer service can be quite rude sometimes. My mother is a plus member as well and twice AAA gave us the run around. The first time we were stuck at a gas station and they claimed they had sent someone but they didn't. We were promised that someone would be there the next morning. Finally they came the next day at 11am which was stupid.

The second time we were in the cold for 3hrs because we needed a jump and there was no one around that could jump us.
Posted by YOU PEOPLE ARE TOO DEMANDING on 2009-02-17:
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-02-17:
I have never had any problems with AAA for over 20yrs. Took them a while to get there a couple of times, but everyone gets busy. That's part of it.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-02-17:
too demanding, I fail to see why you need to step up to avoid the poster's issues. Waiting for a tow almost 5 hours isn't unusual for the basic package?? Heck, where do I sign!? BTW, would it be too demanding to ask you to turn your cap lock off and spell checker on?
Posted by jgraziani on 2010-06-24:
Hi I work for AAA and just want to let everyone know that if you ever have a problem/complaint you can contact MemberRelation@national.aaa.com and someone will help you.
Posted by Keith A. on 2010-10-29:
I am the operations manager for a towing company in Oregon and we are also a AAA contract station.

I've been in the industry since 1996 and with this company since 1998.

First, I want to apologize on the behalf of AAA and the towing industry on your terrible experience.

When I take the time to try and explain some "reasons" for what might have happened, it is never to diminish your experience and the resulting dissatisfaction.

My goal, on the other hand, is simply to share with readers HOW & WHY this might have happened and what goes on behind the scenes in our industry.

And going just from the information available to me by your post, here is my take:

First observation is the time and date of your post and the location. Winter in Ohio.

Again, not knowing anything else, I have to assume the temperature was very cold and possibly inclement in nature.

AAA is very keen on maintaining their ETA's and always strive for 30 minutes or less. Without going into it again, see my other reviews on how this works and their standards.

The weather must have been playing a factor because normally AAA would just advise a member based on pre-set ETA's of 30....maybe 45 mins....but for them to automatically advise you of a 3 hour delay means the towing companies were slammed.

Being you were in town and not out in the boonies, my guess falls back to weather. Because otherwise AAA would have tried to route your call to another contract station or even a back-up vendor. Last thing they want to do is give you a 3 hour ETA.

Now, had the call been dispatched to us, we would have immediately contacted you and tried to work out some way to make it unattended with you being able to get a ride home, etc.

Sometimes that doesn't always work out, but when it does it sure relieves some of the pressure for both parties involved: you and us.

You're home safe and warm. We deliver your car before the night is over.

Still, many towers, and AAA backs up this policy, of "no unattended tows" due to liability issues.

Bad form on AAA or the tower to not advise you as 5pm approached that the truck would be late.

At our company, we always take the approach that you will be much easier to deal with if we make the call first....being proactive....than if you call us once the deadline has passed and now we are defensive.

So if at 4:30 we knew our truck was going to be late, we would call.

The ONLY good thing is that when you were advised of the updated ETA to 7pm, at least the driver showed up sooner than expected at 6:30.

Glad to hear you did not take it out on the driver. Remember they really are the ones out there trying to help and can only do so much and work so fast.

Other than the delay, and lack of customer service on the end of AAA and the towing company dispatcher, it appears all else went well for this first interaction.

The only thing I might add about the notification and calling to advise is that even WE get slammed and fail at times to make those calls. It happens. But I think what is important to remember here is that we do try. The number of phones calls coming and going at a towing company on a bad weather day can be several thousand...not to mention AAA itself being overwhelemed. So yes, in spite of the best intentions, we all fail. And sometimes miserably.

Two days later. You need service again. Unless there has just been a mid-season heat wave, I have to assume the same conditions exist. Also why AAA might advise you to wait safe and warm at home.

Not much different than what we would do at our company. Sounds like a workable plan.

But it all went wrong when the tow truck driver didn't call you and then AAA tries to verify your number, and you find out the tow truck driver has already been to your car, etc.

I can see all of this happening and I'm cringing.

Two things we would have done differently:

First, at our company, unless absolutely necessary for you to be present....we would have not required it. But as I already stated, many towers insist on your presence for liability reasons. They are mostly afraid of damage claims.

Or secondly, if the keys weren't with the car and you lived nearby, we would have had the tow truck driver meet you at your home and either picked up the keys or brought you back with us to the vehicle.

Either way, what appeared to be a very sound plan fell apart again thru no fault of yours.

Without a doubt, AAA and the towing company let you down AGAIN. I am sorry.

Your expectations were not over the top and your disappointment is valid.

In this case, AAA rightfully lost your business and future loyalty.

If you read my other reviews and comments, I am still a big believer in AAA and encourage people to stick with them for other reasons.

However, being that it appears AAA hasn't made any attempt to contact you and resolve or explain any of your complaints that caused you to drop their service, I don't blame you for abandoning ship.

Posted by lpzahno on 2012-03-01:
KeithA - This winter, Ohio had no winter. My HORRIFIC experience tonight started out at about 45 balmy degrees while I waited for TWO SOLID HOURS in front of a store that CLOSED. My 78 year old mother was with me and I BEGGED "dispatch" to send over a driver to give me a simple battery charge. When the driver FINALLY arrived, it was cold and rainy...it turns out that "dispatch" only called the driver 23 minutes before he arrived..he showed me the call on his cell phone!!! AAA SUCKS!!!
Posted by caveat emptier on 2012-08-31:
On March 17th 2011 my wife and I booked a trip to NYC W/Show tickets, with AAA So. Jersey, Voorhees. One month later while searching AAA's site for other trips, I discovered that AAA had reduced the the cost of the same trip w/tickets by 50%. And 2 months later by 66%. Our tickets were $149.00 for a total of $298.00. The final reduced price was $49.00 ea.

In Apr I sent AAA Customer Service an email, inquiring about this issue. Having heard nothing of a reply I called in May, the Voorthees office and was informed that all emails are forwarded to the appropriate dept., and yours sir would have gone to our bus trip coordinator Debbie, upon which my call was forwarded to her. I received a busy, then v/m and left a message. Requesting an adjustment....this was a month prior to this trip. No Call was forthcoming.

On June 4th we boarded a bus in Sewell our pick-up point. Upon arrival at the Voorhees Office of AAA, Seeing some passengers already had tickets for this trip, I spoke with the trip chaperone, about our tickets and an adjustment, and was referred to Debbie. She informed me that Triple A's policy was "No Refunds's", at which time I told her I was not asking for a refund but rather an adjustment, covering the reduced cost that others were charged for the same trip. Debbie informed me "that's our policy, and you can speak with our President and he'll tell you the same thing." I informed her that other passengers had told me they too had paid either full or the second reduced cost per ticket's for this same trip.

Origional ticket price $149.00
1st discounted price $119.00
2nd discounted price $49.00

After a brief discussion Debbie attempted to address my issues by issuing a credit for a later trip, followed by saying, "Sir, if you make a purchase in a store, and they later discount the item, you don't get an adjustment." Upon which I replied, "I have no idea what store's you shop in but all stores will issue a adjustment or refund if requested within 30 days, and that is Boscov's, Macy's Sears, Home Depot or Lowes, etc. Her reply was "Sir, if your not happy you can leave the bus."

We returned, back inside the bus another passenger asked how I'd made out with the adjustment. Debbie overhearing this discussion reintegrated the request (somewhat more emphatically), to leave the bus. At that time Debbie asked me to return the tickets, which I flat refused, since they were paid for without any renumeration from AAA. We left the bus and informed Debbie she must provide transportation back to our original point of embarkation. Which she did, she went inside and called a cab, at AAA's expense.

I was unable to locate on their site any policy that addresses adjustments, or for that matter discounted tickets. I feel they AAA, was less then truthful By not stating a "Disclaimer", on there site, that if the trip isn't filled we will discount tickets attempting to fill those seats. The only statement AAA makes on their web site that I could find was NO REFUNDS,
Posted by 311 Echo / 442 Zulu on 2013-06-14:
Well I use to be a tow truck driver for AAA Club i think the first part you are in the right its not you that needs to call for an update on driver ? its the company he /or she works for they are required to keep you updated when time runs out from first told and second part of your compliant is reason driver need you to be with car ? is they need proof your name your face on drivers license ok that's all .
Posted by Frock on 2013-10-07:
Once every three years I need AAA. I have never had an experience where AAA took under 1.5 hours. Of the 5 times I've used them it ended up taking about 2 hours. One is better off calling a tow company directly and paying a little more that one time than shelling out $70 dollars each year and that one time you need them they take an hour and forty-five minutes. It always starts off as 30-40 min, 2 phone calls later and something came up and it's going to be a while.
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AAA Stinks!
Posted by RedSox1982 on 02/15/2008
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS -- Yesterday my mother came out of the Hair salon only to find out she left her lights on and her battery was dead. We have AAA, and we have the gold membership or something. Well she called them and they told us it would be 30min. 30min later we called them to see if someone was coming and the lady told us it had only been 20min, and it had been 30min. Another 30min later she called again and they told her that they had a few priority services that they needed to take care of first and that someone would be there in 30min.

So we had been in the car an hour and it is wicked cold out and we can't turn on the heat because battery is dead. Finally she calls again 30min later and they tried to tell us that AAA only has one vehicle throughout all of Cambridge and Somerville thats BS, because we know people who work in the auto shop business and they know that AAA has more than one. The lady proceeds to tell us another 30min and then says the guy had to do a long distance tow. He could have jumped us first then did his long distance tow.

Then another 30min go by and they tell us someone is on route and that could take 15min. The guy calls and says he will be there. An hour went by and it is now 8pm and we were STILL WAITING FOR AAA!!!!! My mom called again and they called back and she was pissed. They finally got someone out there and it took them less than a minute to jump our car, when they could have had someone in the first 30min like they said they would then this wouldn't have been a problem. After the guy jumped us he sped off so fast so that we couldn't get his license plate number. He probably did that so he wouldn't get in trouble.

She has the gold member service and someone is suppose to come faster when you have that service, WELL THEY DON'T!!!!! AAA is a BIG SCAM!!!!! Do not get them they suck and don't help you. Their customer service people are nice but they shouldn't tell you 30min if you are going to wind up waiting 3 HOURS!!!!!

This is the SECOND time We have had a problem with them. The first time they sent someone all the way from RI to MA just to push a small button to turn off the alarm in the car.


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Posted by jenjenn on 2008-02-15:
Ummm...he probably sped off because he had other calls to attend to. DUH! You LIVE in the Northeast...it's Winter!
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-02-15:
jj is right, he was probably in a hurry to the other folk's that have been waiting.
I have been with AAA over 30yrs and never had a problem. Yes, I've had to wait a couple of hours, but that's life. Sometimes their shops get busy when the weather is bad, because people don't service their cars like they should.
Posted by GothicSmurf on 2008-02-15:
I called AAA last week and they were there in less than 20 minutes.
Posted by dan gordon on 2008-02-15:
check with you auto insurance and see if you can get towing on your car policy. Its usually only a few dollars a month. Those plans let you call anyone you want and get reimbursed. Much easier.
Posted by FoggyOne on 2008-02-15:
I pay a very minimal about on my car insurance for road side assistance and I can call any towing company - not one that only AAA uses. Then I am reimbursed by my insurance. Fortunately, I have a car that the lights go off when you turn the key off. Also, in the winter you might wait along time for any tow truck to show up.

"This is the SECOND time We have had a problem with them. The first time they sent someone all the way from RI to MA just to push a small button to turn off the alarm in the car. " You mean you don't know how to shut off your own alarm?
Posted by Flute726 on 2008-02-15:
I wouldn't have waited as long as you did for the AAA guy. Wasn't anyone else around that could have given you a jump? You said your mom had come from a hair salon. Why didn't you ask anyone there?
Posted by bargod on 2008-02-15:
Always keep jumper cables in your trunk.Then when this happens you just have to find a friendly passerby to help you out.
Posted by Nohandle on 2008-02-15:
Sorry your mom had this problem when she was expecting and had paid for better service. This is after the fact, of course, but as others have stated roadside assistance can be added to your auto insurance for a nominal fee and/or keep jumper cables in the trunk of your car. I've had a set in my trunk for years and gratefully I've never needed them but can't begin to recall the times I've loaned them to someone else.
Posted by GothicSmurf on 2008-02-15:
Alright since this is coming up here is how it roadside on insurance works, it is usually a REIMBURSEMENT:

1. Call your insurance agent and verify that it is indeed on your policy.

2. Call the local tow company and have them assist you. Your insurance agent may or may not have places to call, but most of the time they do not. You will have to find a place on your own.

3. PAY the tow company and make sure you get a receipt. KEEP THAT RECEIPT.

4. Take said receipt into your insurance agent and hand it over. (They need it for their records.) If you'd like, most agencies will make a copy for your records. But you will need the ORIGINAL to turn into the insurance company.

5. Depending on the company/ agency they can either cut you a check there or it might take up to 10 BUSINESS days.

6. Usually it is good for ONE tow per instance. Meaning if you have it towed to ABC Body shop, you don't like their prices the insurance company will not reimburse you to have it towed to EFG Body Shop.

7. Usually there is a mileage limit on it. I believe most top off at 75-100 miles MAX, but you'll need to check with your specific policy.

8. Usually it states in the policy that they will cover to the nearest and/or reasonable repair shop and labor up to an hour if a tire change or gas is needed.

9. They DO NOT cover the cost of parts or gas. If your tire blows, you'll need to pay for the cost of the tire, but insurance will cover labor.

Of course these are all general and each policy is a little different, so check with yours, but from what I recall this is how a good majority of Roadside assistance via your insurance works.
Posted by RedSox1982 on 2008-02-15:
I understand it is winter, but it was freezing and there was no one around to help us out. The lady kept trying to tell us to go inside and wait in the KFC but they don't allow you to stay in there unless you buy something or are eating there. Bottom line is they shouldn't have told us 30min if it was going to take 3 hours. They gave us the run around and they have done this before. Living is a city they have more than one truck that work the greater Boston area, so by them saying they only had one that was BS. This is still no excuse for AAA to take this long. I have had other people who have had the same problem with them.

Thanks for the comments though.
Posted by RedSox1982 on 2008-02-15:
Another thing is my mother doesn't make much money and she tries to do what she can for her car, and we know people who work in the auto shop business and even they told us AAA shouldn't have taken that long.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-17:
The last post is a clear example of 'it takes one to know one'
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-17:
I'm sure there's a bit missing in the OP. My guess is that, after being abused and accused on the phone, AAA simply kept moving this call to the end of the line, hoping someone else would deal with it or the motorist would solve their own problem. Word to the wise, when you really NEED a service, it pays to be almost obsequious to the person you call for help.
Posted by RedSox1982 on 2009-02-17:
FYI for those who didn't know. Word to the wise to the person above me the people on the phone AAA customer service was extremely rude about it when we called them the first time asking them where the tow truck was. That was after we had waited an hour. We live in the city and it shouldn't have taken AAA that long. We were freezing cold. We were extremly nice to the customer service people even when they were rude to us back. The only time we got rude with them was when we called the final time and they said 30min lady and thats when my mother got upset and she had to the right too because we had waited 3hrs in the cold.

To the comment about the alarm in the car the car she has is an old car so we didn't know there was a special button, and we did not have the car alarm key fob to turn it off.

I am not the only one who has had problems with AAA I know a few people who said when they called AAA they never even showed up.
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Left Me Stranded
Posted by Sjstrader on 02/10/2005
EBENSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA -- I called for roadside assistance on Jan 31 2005, only to be denied. Due to my new year membership starting the very next day, which I had paid for weeks in advance, I was informed that they couldn't help me because I had used up my four times allowed for roadside assistance during the previous 12 months.

It didn't matter that they had my money for weeks, it didn't matter that my car was locked with my engine running, my purse inside, and my cellphone in my purse. It really didn't matter at all that my house was also locked with the keys also in the locked car. They did offer to connect me to someone who might be able to assist, but it sure wasn't AAA.

So, if you are under the mistaken idea that AAA membership is necessary for emergency situations, forget it. They couldn't even bend the rules a little for a prepaid loyal customer. Nuts to them, I'll never spend another dollar with their company. Also, I canceled my membership and have yet to receive a refund.

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Posted by melissa.messner.ni1q on 2005-02-10:
When did you cancel? If your roadservice was on 1/31 and you cancelled the next day, 2/1, that would mean that only 9 days has passed. Give them a little time here...
Posted by Slimjim on 2005-02-10:
Well you did use them four times in a 12 month period. That’s a very high occurrence rate and, let’s faces it, AAA lost their shirt on you that year. You can kinda see why they may not be so quick to bend the rules and cover you for, yet again, another occurrence.
Posted by miketech on 2006-01-10:
After my divorce my wife canceled my AAA and I thought I still had it. Took off from Tennessee to Florida and upon arrival the first thing I did was lock my keys in the car. I called AAA and they said I wasn't a member.I certainly felt in a pickle. The guy said that if I wanted to sign up in my name and pay buy credit card they would go ahead and take care of my stupid actions. I did and they did. I love AAA. I got a discount at a hotel in Panama City that was like $15 a night off the AAA discount on an $85 a night room. a Holiday Inn gave me a $3 discount on an $85 a night room. That made me mad at Holiday Inn.
Posted by gowhereurtowed on 2006-10-27:
Can't believe you people. Call a towing company and pay the 35 to get in to your car. I've seen a person with 16 calls in a year. Do you really think that paying 60 a year is worth it? In the days of cell phones and 411 it's easy to find someone. And when you pay retail rates the tower will leave right away. You can't get faster service than calling the tower direct. Or call 911 and ask for the next tower off the rotation list. a tow costs 40-50 for the hook and 3 a mile one way. These poor people that pay year after year for a roadservice that they don't need could be way ahead just paying outright for the tow/jump/lock out/fuel/ or flat change. You also wouldn't be dragged to a AAA garage. You'd get the benefit of the tow truck drivers knowledge of who is good in the area.
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AAA Could Care Less And I Can Prove It!
Posted by DPMOB on 11/14/2008
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- I would like to personally thank Ingrid from Arizona AAA for helping to see the true AAA.

Late night 11/13/2008 South Phoenix (a lovely area to be stranded for those of you unfamiliar). My girlfriend and I had the pleasure of contacting AAA for help in a dire situation. Unfortunately we had reached our 4 call limit. We pleaded for help and they let us know that they would charge $65; they would not waive the fee. I asked the kind and compassionate Ingrid if AAA could help us out, making sure that I noted the 10 years of faithful patronage to AAA. She simply said that she would not waive the fee.

I inquired would not or could not. She simply stated that she would not. This lets me know that A) It was within her power to do so. And B) that our 10 years did not deem us worthy of a onetime $65 fee waive. I simply stated that AAA could care less about their customers (this statement I believe is strongly supported by all the contact I had with customer service). When Ingrid stated to the contrary, I simply said this was her opportunity to prove that I was wrong. Again she would not offer any other options. I then stated that, her refusal to waive a single fee after 10 years was proof that AAA did not care. She snapped at me "You want me to send someone out or not!?!".

I asked for a manager, I was denied. I asked for a manager callback, I was denied. I asked for an employee ID or Pin number again (Surprisingly this time as it is federal law that if they have a badge or ID number that they provide it if requested, I know I've been in customer service for a long time and have been in fact read the statute by a very savvy customer). So there I stood with a pocket full of cash, as they refuse to take credit cards, at midnight in a hotel parking lot in South Phoenix. So please be aware that there are many other options other than AAA and you are only important to them until the letter of the policy has been met, after that you are on your own, if we were on some back country road without $65 in cash. Tough darts.

We canceled our AAA, as did my girlfriends mother (17 years with AAA), my mother (25 years), My brother (3 years), and I even carried my crusade to work and forced my buddy to quit (8 years). The all gave the reason as Ingrid in Arizona. That is 63 years worth of patronage, all for a $65 fee. I hope you will dump AAA as well. Poor customer service should never be rewarded. I hope to cost them at least 1000 years worth of patronage.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-14:
You reached your call limit for your plan level. AAA did nothing wrong. They were willing to send someone out but at the additional cost you agreed to when you took the plan.

If they start making exceptions for you, where do they stop.

If your car is that unreliable perhaps you should upgrade to a different plan.
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-11-14:
so what was the reason you were stranded? as well, what was the reason you had called them the 4 previous times?

i do not think the whole story is being given here.

if you are in a dangerous or dire situtation, call 911.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-11-14:
I would also like to know the interval for the 4 previous times.
I have had AAA roadside for 30yrs and they have always responded. Takes some time to get there sometimes, but they have always come thru.
Posted by jenjenn on 2008-11-14:
I am going to cancel my coverage today! (NOT!) Your post is ridiculous. They did nothing wrong. Man up and pay the $65. It IS YOUR responsibility!!!
Posted by moneybags on 2008-11-14:
I'm with all of the above posters. AAA did nothing wrong. You knew the terms of the contract. And a cheap motel in a bad part of town? Shows a lot of respect and concern for the well-being of your girlfriend! Shame on you!!
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2008-11-14:
Another case of "I didn't mind the rules until they tried to apply them to me!"
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-14:
Sorry, but your sense of entitlement is astounding.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-14:
You tried to badger and intimidate a rep to violate policy and drop a fee for you, and then became angry and vengeful when the request for special treatment was denied. AAA is going to miss you as much as you miss them.
Posted by dan gordon on 2008-11-14:
its always been a better 'deal' to have towing added to your auto policy vs add a seperate co. such as AAA. That way you can call who you wish and get reimbursed. Much easier than dealing with a 3rd party.
Posted by cherpep on 2008-11-14:
Dan - if you add it to you autopolicy, then every time you get reimbursed, it counts as an insurance claim. In the long run, that could be more expensive.
Posted by bill on 2008-11-14:
"I even carried my crusade to work and forced my buddy to quit" You forced your buddy to quuit? Everything about your post says you are a bully who thinks that rules apply to everyone else but you.
Posted by Starlord on 2008-11-14:
I have to agree with everyone else. Your sense of entitlement is astounding. I have met too many people like you. You remind me of the guy who while travelling 80 in a 45, ran a red light. When I stopped him, I got an earful about having to make my quota and why wasn't I arresting criminals instead of harassing innocent citizens. You might be that guy, as I was a deputy sheriff in Pinal County, just to the south of Phoenix. I told him they had told me I could write as many tickets as I wished, and that he had committed a criminal act, and that people who committed criminal acts, were, by definition, criminals. I dutifully wrote the particulars on the back of the citation for the judge, who had some rather harsh words for this person. I do so hope it was you.
Posted by Slimjim on 2008-11-14:
"dutifully wrote the particulars on the back of the citation for the judge, who had some rather harsh words for this person. I do so hope it was you." LMAO good! What chump gets caught going 80 in a 45 and then argues with the police about getting a ticket.
I have to say to poster, on your fifth incident in under a year. That's a lot of claims and you know very well you darn well got your annual membership dues back in spades already. If you were so uneasy about the hood you were in, perhaps getting off your horse and paying the $65 would have been a prudent move.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-14:
Yes. Exactly what Starlord and Slimjim said.

Poster, I'd like to hear what your 'dire' vehicle situation was that night.
Posted by Ghost of former member on 2008-11-16:
Okay, and why do you feel that you're special & the rules should not apply to you? You have a limit of 4 calls. You reached that limit. End of story!

Accept it & move on with your life. There are more important things to worry about.
Posted by PepperElf on 2008-11-19:
Entitle much?

Oh woe is me... they won't bend policy for me! I'm entitled to it! They're horrible!

*rolls eyes*
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-11-19:
You were in the parking lot of a hotel. It would have been better to use that cash and just rent a room for the night and try to get some other kind of help in the morning.

Drop AAA and get StateFarm insurance with roadside help. I've had them for a number of years with never a problem. They've always re-embursted me for my towing charges, with a check within five days of me sending them a copy of the towing bill. I have my car and rental insurance with them.

Anyone I ever knew who had AAA all had long waits for towing...with Statefarm, you can use any tow company you want...and with roadside service you can get help with just about anything...
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AAA Road Service is Useless
Posted by RAAndre on 05/23/2011
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I waited almost two hours for a tow last night. After the first hour I called their dispatcher who told me that the truck was "on the scene". That was a flat out lie. After the second hour, I called and was told that a flat tire became a tow for another customer, so it would be another hour probably. Since I didn't feel like waiting three hours total, AAA suggested that I get a ride home and they will arrange for the pick up of my car and take it to my repair shop later that night.

Well, I called my repair shop this morning and they didn't have the car! I called AAA and they had no idea where my car was! What?

After many frustrating phone calls, I find out that AAA never even picked the car up!

Since the problem occurred on a Sunday night, my car was sitting in an open parking lot, and since they needed to flat tow it, there would have been easy access.

Today it is blocked in and they won't be able to get to it until maybe tonight. So it's not going to be repaired until tomorrow at the earliest.

This is totally unacceptable. AAA service is terrible and not recommended by me. They need to fix things or other similar services (like Progressive) will replace them pretty quickly. I certainly will not renew my membership.
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Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-05-23:
I've not had any problems with AAA. I may just be the local AAA garage you are working with. I'm sure there are others in your area and would contact AAA with the name of the towing company and the nature of your problem.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-05-23:
I agree with the first reply. I've never had a problem with AAA roadside service, which has helped me on several occasions. Once my main belt broke right in a busy intersection, disabling the car, and they were out with a tow within a half hour.

I would also suggest contacting AAA to let them know what happened. It sounds like the garage definitely dropped the ball.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-23:
I would have never left my car unattended no matter how long I had to wait. I agree that it was probably the particular garage you were dealing with, but I also note you live in a major city which may also slow down service.

I recently had to have my car towed because it was in a wreck and the AAA operator told me to call back if the truck wasn't there in the designated time. They actually called me to make sure the truck had arrived. I feel that someone dropped the ball on this one. I have never been told to abandon my car.

I agree with the other two. I've never had an issue with AAA where I live (and I have lived in several different locations). You should definitely contact AAA's corporate office.
Posted by MRM on 2011-05-23:
Trmn8r, Im sure that all the other drivers were yelling all kinds of alphabets at you!
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-05-23:
Hey, I can hold my own MRM! Actually, people were decent and didn't even ram my car.

I'm with singsing, but I didn't mention it above. I wouldn't leave my car unattended for an unknown driver to pick it up. Don't they ask you to stay with the car? Maybe that's why it was not towed.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-23:
I remember years ago having to call AAA and dispatch telling us that the tow was on the scene. My then boyfriend who was a total smart-ass said "well can you tell the driver to turn off his invisibility shield because I am standing right here and I can't see him" lol
Posted by MRM on 2011-05-23:
I was stuck at an intersection before but it wasnt very busy at that time. In my situation, the vehicle just stalled while at the stoplight. It needed a new on-board computer.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-05-23:
I could use a new on-board computer, as well some new hydraulics.
Posted by MRM on 2011-05-23:
You know, Trm, Ive replaced alot of parts for this vehicle before realizing that the on-board computer was the culprit. And after the computer has been replaced, the vehicle has been running fine.
Posted by alice armstrong on 2012-07-10:
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-07-10:
Check your car insurance. Many (and I mean A LOT of people I've known personally) uses AAA for towing, not realizing they have towing service already with their car insurance company...check your policy. Those I've know, realized it after I told them to check, and they cancelled their AAA altogether.
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