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.
LONG BEACH,, CALIFORNIA -- I have read some of the posts regarding AAA employees and how they are like robots, how they only know how to read the scripts and how they are incapable of thinking outside the box to assist their clients. Well I think I know why most of you are experiencing such horrible customer service amongst other things. I just recently applied for a job at triple A (AAA) and was very excited when I received the call back from a hit on resume. Thrilled because I have been laid off for approximately 2 years.
During the time I was laid off, I managed to renew my real estate license, as well as started working on my degree. I have completed 73 units and will be transferring to receive my BS degree. I have been in sales for over 23 years and have been very successful! What is on my resume is all true, every deal I have ever closed is verifiable. On my resume it shows that I worked for one company for 10 years the first go round and was hired back for another 9 months before being laid off due to an acquisition by Hitachi. That speaks volumes!
If an employer is willing to rehire a sales representative back for a second time around after resigning (one would think) AAA would recognize that. I must be a great sales representative and a top producer. I listed my previous VP and Director of Sales on my application for them to verify my performance and work ethic. I have no criminal record, I have a ticket free driving record for the past 7 years.
These are questions they asked me before I made it to the assessment part of the interview process. I was told that after the assessment tests (if I pass) I will move on to interview with a live human being (a manager). Keep in mind that I was told repeatedly that the assessment test. There were no RIGHT or WRONG answers, to just be truthful. (Keep in mind I was very excited about working for triple A selling insurance products. Big company, room for upward mobility, already had at least 12 people saying that they would switch their insurance policies over to me, because I would be working there).
Well let me tell you the type of questions on the assessment tests. Some of these questions I went to the EEOC website and have determined that some of these questions are better suited to be asked after being hired. The first question (if I am remembering correctly) was HOW OLD ARE YOU? EEOC says that how old a person is should not matter during the application process that people over the age of 40 are protected under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and that these are questions that can be asked after being hired.
They asked me questions like the following.. "How many jobs I've had in the past five years", "how many times have I collected unemployment", "how many people I know that sells insurance", "how much do I think a first year sales representative should make in a year", "how much should a representative be making after 3 years", "who told me about this job", "Did I speak to the person who told me about this job".
Here are the choices they gave me to answer from. "1 hour to 1 week", "2 hours to a month", " 2 months to a year" etc.. you get the point. They also asked me how much money would I spend on a client in unreimbursed dollars and pretty much gave at least 10 or more choices. They also asked how many hours do I think a first year sales representative should work a week, then they asked questions if I like spending time with my family etc.. Keep in mind they told me to be honest "there are no right or wrong answers".
So anyway I finished taking this God forsaken test and what do you know, I go back to the training coordinator and he says to me "oh.. You didn't score high enough on the test" (remember, there are "NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS"). Also keep in mind that there isn't one question on the test I would have to lie about, not one question on the test that has anything to do with intelligence, sales, or anything relevant to sales. Just questions that can disqualify you if you have been out of work for a while, questions that can lead to age discrimination, (they also asked me my nationality) questions that can disqualify you if you have been on unemployment twice in your life.
They asked a lot of questions about school also. All of which were answered truthfully. The training coordinator told me that he was sorry and that maybe sales is not for me. Can someone please tell me, what part of this test has anything to do with my ability to sell insurance? Or any other product for that matter. Also how can a personality test determine what type of human being I am, and how well I have done for the past 23 years in sales. These tests maybe set up for the younger generation. People who have no experience. Most of the questions I answered from experience. I don't think they want anyone who has experience. I said all of this to say.
With the economy the way it is today, unemployed workers should not have to take tests such as these to get back to work. Many of you have mentioned you've been talking to people who don't know how to make decisions, people who don't appear to know what they are doing. This is because good people like myself with a proven track record cannot get a job, because of tests like these that have no meaning, no substance, no ability to determine if a person will be a good employee at all. This is a way to keep certain nationalities out of work, to keep older people down.
I was compelled to type this letter because this particular rejection is not sitting right. I have spoken to CEO's, CFO's and owners of companies all of my life. I have closed major real estate deals, sold technology products to Novartis, Delta Airlines, and many other huge deals, yet AAA felt Sales was not for me because of a "personality" test that has nothing to do with sales. In fact the training coordinator said to me, "maybe sales just isn't for me."
I will continue to do my research and converse with the EEOC to make sure that companies are doing right by long term unemployed workers, workers who were once stable before the economy fell apart, and now seem to be undesirable to these companies through no fault of their own. So if you all are wondering why you are being treated poorly by AAA reps etc. I feel it is because they do not want someone older, qualified and experienced, instead they want someone that doesn't have a clue about life and the real world, and someone with a proven track record.
I would love to hear if anyone else have been through the same experiences I have with these personality rests. I know several sales reps all over the age of forty that have their Bachelor degrees very educated and have proven track records and have been told they were not going to be hired because of the way they answered a "personality" test. I feel sorry for the economy and anyone who is going through this new way of being hired. The economy will never be the way it was. Never.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- After buying a new Toyota Prius with the AAA's 'no hassle, no haggling' pre-negotiated price, I found out two days later the dealer was $1356 more than the other two in town for the exact same car (with Pkg#6). I am really shocked that AAA won't make this Member dealership honor their agreement. The regional AAA program rep, Jay, refused to do anything about it, as did the dealer, since it was a completed sale. Jay even has copies of the ads and emails I sent him from the other local AAA Dealers, so I was able to fully back my point, but he doesn't seem to care.
Everyone I talked to at Steven's Creek Toyota in San Jose basically was lying through their teeth when I went back in to speak to them after I found out they ripped me off. After being referred thereby AAA's website and purchasing the car (with a fancier trim package than what I was originally looking for, so I didn't have an exact out-the-door quote on hand) at what I was told was their AAA price, the floor manager later said they did NOT have ANY written agreement with AAA (which is not true if they are in AAA's program!) and he told me that the AAA price was whatever the general manager wanted it to be that day.
They said I should be happy that I did not pay full List price and left it at that. They refused to show me the AAA agreement during the sale and after when I returned, saying they could not find it (** has never sent me a copy either, despite repeated requests). The dealer also refused to price match, after their in-house AAA rep had emailed me that they do price match. Between the AAA program and a promise to price-match, I felt confident buying the car there without shopping around, but boy was I wrong to trust AAA!
The dealer's excuse for his high price is that they actually only wanted to give me $3500 for my trade-in, not the $5000 we agreed upon (for a vehicle worth $7k wholesale at the time, $9k retail, per KBB), and that justified the higher sales price. They also said their own *cost* on the Prius was higher than what the two other dealers in town were *selling* them for. This is a bunch of hogwash, since they also bragged that they are one of the highest-volume Toyota dealers in California, and I know high-volume Dealers get better discounts from the manufacturer.
The floor manager showed me a scribbled piece of paper with their 'cost', but they had tacked on hundreds of dollars worth of advertising fees, sales commissions, prep fees, and other misc. fees; the floor manager didn't even know what some of the fees were! I assume the other dealers (Capitol and Sunnyvale Toyota) have the same costs, and they manage to sell the same car for $1356 less. I wonder if AAA ** fell for the line of crap that they were handing out. These fees didn't include any closing costs, either, which were additional and added later.
Per the AAA Buyer's program website, trade-in value is not supposed to alter the price of the new car. I would never traded a $7000-$8000 car in for only $3500, especially since the having the older car saves my teenage son a lot of money on auto insurance. $5000 was the amount agreed upon.
I do not know if I should be more mad at the slimy dealer or at the AAA Buying Program regional manager ** for not backing up the customers using the AAA buying program when a dealer does not honor the terms of it. I tried speaking with the dealership myself, but found that they couldn't care less about customer service once the car is off the lot, and all promises go by the wayside. I was hoping for either a refund of the $1356+tax, so as to honor the AAA and the original sales agreement(s), or at least booting the Steven's Creek dealer out of the AAA program because they refused to honor it.
ARIZONA -- Our car broke down on a narrow shoulder on a dangerous mountain road, with no cell reception for miles. AAA refused to send a tow truck because we did not remain with the vehicle, even though we came in to a central location on the edge of town where no tow truck could have gotten to the vehicle without driving right past us.
The first thing the call center asks is are you safe, and are there animals or children in the vehicle. It was not a safe location, and we did have animals. But forget all that: HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO GET ROAD SERVICE FROM AAA WHEN YOU HAVE TO LEAVE THE CAR TO MAKE A PHONE CALL??? I'm cancelling my membership.
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK -- AAA is a corrupt company who collects payments and then drops their clients if they make too many claims. The day after Christmas, AAA dropped my mother's insurance. This was after a drunk driver totaled her vehicle. They gave her very little time to choose a new vehicle, and she ended up getting one with faulty suspension, which caused her to injure her leg severely. Her injury required two surgeries, involving 27 Staples, and resulted in a pulmonary embolism. This cost the insurance company more money; however, this claim was a result of their own reluctance to give her a fair deal after the drunk driving incident.
When a drunk driver destroyed her vehicle, which was her prized possession, AAA refused to allow her to repair her car (which cost $3000 less than the total value of the car) and they refused to grant her a reasonable amount of time she to find a new car. As a result, they ended up having to pay for the injuries caused by the faulty suspension in a car she bought solely because she did not have enough time to shop around. Now, they are dropping her insurance. AAA is an unethical company. I am warning everyone I know not to get their insurance or their roadside assistance through this corrupt, immoral company.
TIDEWATER, VIRGINIA -- I called AAA because the transmission in my car died. It's my husband's vehicle and I hadn't noticed that while we had current registration he had not put the sticker on the plate. Tow truck shows up and notices and tells me it's now $200 to tow my car home! So I told him I couldn't afford that and he left me and 3 kids to figure out how to get the car and ourselves home.
Why do I pay for these options if I can't use them? This was also not disclosed during the time of the call. Luckily the person whose driveway I was able to pull into let me keep my car there until I can return with the plate sticker. I also don't blame the driver as I do AAA. He had an order to follow to not allow my car to be towed. I place this solely on AAA.
GEORGIA -- Be careful dealing with AAA. They get you sign a contract with no price schedule attached to the contract, tell you all about how this contract is so much better than the last, give you a price sheet they say isn't the correct rates. And just all out lie about the whole thing. Then when its time to get paid from them you realize you didn't get paid for everything you submitted. You then have to submit all the paperwork with your mileage, maps, as detailed as possible.
Then they still may not pay you 100% of what you have done. And if they call you to do any type of road service and the customer leaves the scene, you get nothing!! They don't feel its their responsibility to pay you if they dispatch you and their customer leaves..
ANYWHERE USA -- Every bad review about 3A is accurate. The biggest problem is they continue to open new memberships and greedily collect money yet they have so many members now that the supply cannot keep up with the demand. They hire/contract regular tow companies to perform these services (these tow trucks do not belong to AAA they belong to private owners). They do not have enough tow trucks to service all these members and since most of the time cars break down during traffic commute times, this is what causes super long wait times.
AAA is greedy and will keep accepting new memberships knowing they have not thoroughly explained their policies and procedures and are not the caped super hero's to help you in your time of need. They are a corporation of thieves like EVERY SINGLE OTHER CORPORATION THAT EXISTS. It's all about greed. AAA has not upgraded their computer systems in over 2 decades to keep up with technology and demand in order to improve efficiency because they are greedy and cheap.
Do not waste your money on AAA. Keep your money and set it aside to pay a tow truck directly as you will almost always receive better service when you are paying cash and cut out the greedy middle man. PLUS AAA only pays 30-40 dollars per local run to these tow companies. That is barely worth it to them. It pays fuel and little else. AAA is not worth it for anybody except AAA. Because they keep getting richer and richer while more and more of you are stranded on the roads. Save your AAA money and put it away for a tow and a rainy day. You will be better off.
WALLA WALLA / TRI CITIES, WASHINGTON -- Big company that caters only to the Seattle WA area population but enjoys taking money & membership benefits from the rural areas of Eastern Washington. They closed the Walla Walla WA office without notice leaving the nearest office 50 miles away in the Tri Cities. I have called that office to get road travel info only to be apparently talking to Penny a clueless ditz working there.
Where do they get these people or am I really talking to someone in India who doesn't know where anything is in the United States? Membership & service is not what it used to be. I will be taking my emergency road service to another company where I pay a whole lot less & get better service. As they say... you're paying for the name only. Company gone bad & is a well named rip off.
DENVER, COLORADO -- Do not get a AAA membership - you will be overwhelmed with junk mail. I couldn't believe the number of credit card offers and other crap I immediately started receiving. All of it was affiliated with AAA, so I have no doubt it was because I had become a member. I immediately opted out over the phone. The recording told me it would take several weeks for it to take effect. I waited those several weeks. Things seemed to quite down. But then about 6 months later, I started getting junk mail again.
I called to talk to someone about it, but the operator told me there was no one available. So I told her to send me to someone so I could cancel my membership. She immediately sent me to a live person. I doubt the irony of that even occurred to her. I canceled my membership and the woman thanked me and said goodbye without asking why I was canceling.