On 6/22/11 I purchased two Visa Travel Debit cards (LOW WITHDRAWAL FEES AND NO INTEREST) from an Illinois AAA branch. During the time of purchase I specifically mentioned that I was traveling to Montenegro, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, and Finland. I also specifically told a female employee from whom I purchased travel insurance that I was traveling to Montenegro, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, and Finland. During the time of purchase no mention was made that the travel debit card does not work in Montenegro.
After the purchase I was given the debit card contract and a little card “slot” that has important phone numbers related to the debit card. After review neither one of these makes any mention of the card not working in Montenegro. Considering this, I had no idea that the card would not be functional in Montenegro. One would imagine that a business selling a product would be informed about the details of the product they are selling and this information then conveyed to the individual purchasing the product.
Upon entering Montenegro on 6/25/11 (having no idea that the card would not work) I attempted to use the debit card. Following several attempts it became apparent that the card would not work. As any reasonable traveler I brought with a spare Visa credit card. I had no intent of using this card however considering the circumstances I had no choice. Of course with using a credit card an interest rate is applied to all withdrawals. Despite the much larger withdrawal fee and the interest I had absolutely no choice but to use this credit card during my stay in Montenegro.
After one week in Montenegro the charges that were applied to my “back-up” Visa credit card amounted to $431.56. I spoke with a AAA employee (from the branch where I purchased the card) on 6/27/11. I explained to the employee that upon purchase of the cards I clearly stated where I was traveling. He was unable to provide me with an answer on why I was not told that the card would not work in Montenegro. This individual did however reassure me that “he wants me to be happy” and that “I should enjoy my vacation”. Following my conversation I had the impression that the AAA would offer some assistance upon my return.
Upon my return I again called the AAA branch in question on 7/18/11 and spoke with the same employee that I spoke with on 6/27/11. Despite our conversation where he stated that he wants me to “be happy” and that “I should enjoy my vacation” he was very quick to tell me that his branch was in no way responsible. He stated, “when we sell these cards it is impossible for us to know where the cards will work and where they will not work". I re-read the information that I was given related to the debit cards after I purchased the cards. Within the contract there is nothing mentioned about a branch not being liable since “it is impossible to know where a card will work or not”.
After this conversation I visited ** to see if this is true. After a minute of searching I came upon a page that clearly states that the card cannot be used in Montenegro. I found this information despite the employee telling me that “it is impossible to know where the card works and where it does not work”. Considering the above I have serious problems with the following:
The AAA branch in question sold me a travel debit card without making any mention that the card would not work in Montenegro. Is it not their responsibility to be properly informed about where the card can work and where it does not work? Do they really sell these cards to the public "having no idea where they will work and where they won't work"?
As a loyal AAA customer who comes from a family of loyal AAA customers I expected more help from AAA branch. It is obvious that when I spoke with this employee on 6/27/11 he had no intention of wanting me "to be happy". He was simply interested in getting me off the phone.
Considering that it is posted on ** that these cards do not work in Montenegro it would be unreasonable for me to ask all of the fees that accrued to my credit card due to interest and transaction fees. However, the mistake made by AAA branch in Addison cost me I deserve more than an apology. I am sure that the AAA branch in question will be more careful when they sell these cards... Of course at my expense.
MICHIGAN -- In April my car was hit outside my home by an intoxicated driver. The interesting part was that she was driving a leased vehicle. Now, it's common knowledge that Michigan is a no-fault state. But under this situation, since I was not in my car, the driver would have to pay for everything. Different insurance companies interpret Michigan law in different ways in this circumstance. The other person's insurance company stated that the dealership's company had to pay for the damages. The dealership's company had never heard of this before and suggested I call my insurance agent at AAA.
No one there was familiar with this law either way, so they basically told me they couldn't help me. Here's where I made my mistake - I went under my own policy to have my car fixed. My car was in the shop for over a month, and damages cost up to $10,000. I also ended up paying an additional $400 in rental car fee's that AAA would not cover, since it was not in my policy (regardless of the fact that they would have been recouped for the extra money).
So, in the beginning of June I began the process of recouping my deductible and additional $400. All in all, I was short $800. Again, no one was any help until I got a hold of Centurion Insurance, the dealerships head insurance company. I spoke to a wonderful representative who truly tried to help me in ever way possible. She made the calls to AAA and State Farm (the other person's insurer) to find out who owed the money.
Finally, around late August, AAA transferred my account to their collection agency, TransPak Solutions. I called their representative on 8/28/08, and reviewed all the information they had. Every claim number, every representative's name, phone number and extension. On 9/9/08 the representative from Centurion called and said that she had checks waiting, but could not get a hold of TransPak. I called them on 9/11/08 to follow up on their status, and my call was not returned until 9/19/08.
At that time, I was told that originally they had the wrong claim number from AAA (impossible, since I had review it with them already), and they had the wrong amount. They told me that they would "start" the process with Centurion (obviously they had not been in contact with them), and that in 30 DAYS I could follow up with them. Now, that's just ridiculous!!! A company has my money waiting, checks waiting to be made out, and I'm being told that I can see if TransPak will be ready for that in 30 DAYS!!!
I've been working on this for 3 MONTHS ALREADY! That $800 came out of my own pocket! The blatant disregard for my time and money from my own insurance company has been highly insulting, and I want people to know what terrible service they have. This has been a nightmare from every step, and THEY should have been taking care of this!
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Yesterday was the second time that the people at AAA that are supposed to provide customer service to their members/customers DID NOT. My mother's car broke down in Anderson, SC. We live in Columbia, SC. Called AAA for a tow. We both have Plus membership, so 100 miles of towing is covered. The AAA representative looked up the distance between the address where the car was and my home on Mapquest. (She said it was Mapquest she was using.) 98 miles. Cool. Then I thought about where the car could be fixed.
My neighbor is Service Manager of the dealership where my car has been worked on before and I could trust them. I called him on his cell and asked how many miles it was to work (he lives 1/2 block from me). He said 10-11 miles. I then knew how much it was going to cost me over the 100 miles (11 x $3 = $33). I then looked it up on Mapquest. 109.22. I placed the service request to have it towed.
The driver came for the car and left for Columbia. When we were driving back to Columbia (I went to get mom so she wouldn't have to climb into a tow truck and drive for two hours.), the driver called and said he had dropped the car and realized he hadn't collected money for the extra mileage. He said it was a total of 128 miles. He wanted a credit card number to be given to him over the phone. That did not feel right (giving a stranger a CC # and the number) so I asked for them to send me an invoice that I would send a check to pay.
When we got home I when back onto Mapquest to double-check myself. Yup. 109.22 miles. Called AAA and spoke with a Judy. I explained how the driver hadn't asked for the overage money when picking up the car and the call he had made. I said the mileage was wrong and that I don't want to pay for his getting lost or taking a tour. The rep put me on hold to figure out who she/I needed to talk with about this. (Shouldn't that be her?)
She came back and said "hold on, I'm still trying to figure out who to talk to..." then click and "If you need to place a call...." Disconnected. Called back. New person. Start all over again with the explanation. By the way, no reference number was ever given to me. So the whole ID thing starts all over again. On hold again.
New Judy (a Supervisor) gets on. Start the story/ID thing again. She says that the first rep was supposed to use AAA Triptik mileage. OK. She and I both get on our computers and we get 109.1 miles. We go on Mapquest and get 109.22. Doesn't this sound pretty straightforward? I tell her I am happy to pay 9 or even 10 x $3. But I don't want to be ripped off by a company THEY sent out to provide service that I pay membership to AAA to provide. She put me on hold. Came back and said the person who did the tow is gone for the day. She wanted to give me the number to the towing company and have me call them the next day when that person was back.
Then she said that because we didn't pay them the overage, they could have taken possession of my car and not dropped it off at the dealer. What?! First of all, he called AFTER dropping it off and HE was the one who forgot to request the money when he could have been handed the cash. And if he had, we all would have looked at Mapquest of AAA Triptik and seen it was 109.22/109.1 miles.
I said, "shouldn't this be pretty simple? It's 9.22 miles past the 100. That's what I owe. And if someone has to explain that to them, shouldn't it be you? You chose the company to send to me. I am your member/customer." "Oh OK," she said reluctantly. "Then call me tomorrow and remind me to call them." "What?!" "I'm very busy and I want you to call me to remind me to do this." (She's a supervisor, right?) "Can't you put this on your To Do list for tomorrow? Take responsibility for it? I don't really know why it should even be a discussion, but it if is, you need to take care of your member, right?" We both looked up the mileage and know it's 109.22.
It shouldn't be this hard to get something this simple taken care of. And it's the second time that people in "Customer Service" did just the opposite. The first time it was questioning me about whether a tow was even justified and requiring proof through a number of phone calls to service people. I'm shopping for a new company. I may have been a member for 20 years, but they're not the only game in town anymore.
BROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA -- Good luck getting a tire changed with AAA. I've had two flats on a 24 ft. MH and no one could do it. First time in April 3, calls and someone showed up to change travel trailer tire. Had no tools for RV lugs. Had to change tire myself with borrowed tools. Second time, same thing. No one to change it again. I borrowed tools to change it. This time I was told they won't change inside tire, too dangerous. What's up AAA, you sell a service and do not provide service. Buyer beware.
YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO -- I made an appointment for window tinting on Saturday 12-13-14 and I was quoted $150 and I put down a $100.00 deposit. No special tools or materials were required to have ordered just an appointment time. Well for various reasons I decided not to have my windows tinted and I was told that deposits are non-refundable. That was never explained to me nor is it stated on their own receipt. I could understand if I was told, or the receipt stated or even if they had ordered something but none of that is the case.
WOODHAVEN, MICHIGAN -- On April 5th 2012 my husband called to make payment arrangements for that month on our auto insurance. He told them he would not be able to pay until the 12th. Now mind you we have had 2 cars insured through them for 8 years. I recently had a stroke after my child was born and my husband had to take on all income alone. We have never in those 8 years had our Insurance expire or terminated. Well the lady said "not a problem the insurance would still be active but next month you may get a bill for double, that as long as you pay on the 12th its fine." So the next month my husband was in an accident rt when our insurance was due.
He called to pay May's bill and submit the claim. Well everything was fine and she was ready for our monthly payment until he also told he needs to make a claim as well. Right then it switched. She put him on hold and then told him "sorry your car was not covered at the time and your insurance is terminated because your last month bill was late." I was stunned. I spoke with every person possible and each said even tho she did not tell him it would be terminated he should have known because when the next month bill came in and it showed double payment. After talking to everyone possible I decided I could not deal with the stress anymore. I will chalk it up to a loss.
So as I try to pay my may bill again the same day she then tells me instead of being 285 as normal it was now 1400. I almost died. Just before telling them about the accident (which was only a single car, no damage to anything or anyone but our car) all I owed was 285. I am not letting this go. I filed a formal complaint with the company and I will call and complain everyday until something is handled professionally. They were the nicest people to deal with when all I was doing was paying them for 8 years and the one time I actually need to use the insurance they screw me with some BS. Worst auto insurance ever. Do not use them!
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN -- During the yearly renewal of our AAA a representative suggested we upgrade our membership to AAA plus RV. It sounded like a reasonable deal so I agreed to the 175.00 cost to be upgraded. It included travel interruption reimbursement involving car mechanical issues on a trip which required costs on the trip. The protection plan states that it covers rental vehicle, hotel, and meal costs to your planned destination up to 72 hours after the car breakdown to 1000.00.
Our 19 year old son who is covered under our policy had severe car issues on his way back home with 870 miles left to go of the trip. Because he is not of age to rent a car my husband had to drive from our home to help him. On his way home he had planned make 2 stops. AAA made many calls from their investigative center in Southfield, Michigan about this reimbursement request. Each voice mail or phone call sounded like a police interrogation.
**, employee # ** was the last person to interrogate my son. I was listening to the questions she was asking him and asking the same questions many different ways. She decided that she would only cover the first night hotel charge after the breakdown and total disablement of the vehicle. I then called the customer service dept. at AAA about the situation. I talked with ** in member relations who declined to give me an employee number. I explained the situation. She was not helpful and argumentative not letting me speak. She explained that since the cost of the protection was only about 45.00 per person that each and every reimbursement request is sent to AAA investigation dept. and the employees have to be interrogating otherwise they could not stay in business.
She said that since my son planned to make a stop before he got home that he was only covered until the stop. AAA covered 95.00 out of the 539.09 claim. This was contraindicating to what the Car Travel Interruption Protection Plan is supposed to cover and it states that it will cover up to 1000.00. If I wouldn't have persisted I don't think they would have covered anything at all. When I told her I would file a complaint about this issue she said they get complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau all the time and it is not a bother to them.
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- The very first time that I've ever used AAA services since I've been a member and this happens. The towing was great, did a good job. I called AAA and the lady suggested that I have my car towed to one of the AAA car care centers (Charleston, Sam Rittenburg Road). The shop called me and said that the oil control valve was bad and had to get a new part from Toyota and it would take 3 days for the part to arrive. It would cost me over six hundred dollars. I agreed to have the work done.
I picked my car up four days later and as I drove away from the shop a large amount of white smoke came out of the exhaust pipe. I drove it straight home and the car stayed in my driveway for about five days before I used it again. I was very lucky that I happen to see oil in my driveway before I started my car, because most of the oil had leaked out. I refilled the oil in my car and took it back to the AAA car center and they told me that the head gaskets needed to be replaced and it would cost another three hundred and sixty dollars.
It's fine if the gasket needed to be replaced, but I think they should have discovered this before they let me drive away from their shop and maybe damage my engine. I took my car to another shop and they replaced the gaskets for less money and they completely cleaned my engine to make sure that there wasn't any other leaks. AAA should have cleaned my engine and found this leak before they allowed me to drive the car. I spoke with the guy at AAA counter and all he could say was sorry.
Years ago I owned a Corvair and when the clutch cable broke I called AAA to tow it to a service station for repair. Please note that this was a standard shift car and without a working clutch it remained "in gear". This means that the drive train is always engaged. The proper way to tow would be with a tow truck to lift the wheels off the ground for towing. The company that AAA called sent two men over with a pickup truck. Since the car was stuck in gear, they pushed it to jump start the car and drove it through town to the garage. Needless to say there were stop lights and they would have had to yank the gearshift out of gear to stop.
After I had my garage replace the clutch cable I got in to drive the car only to find that the car made a horrible clanking noise and couldn't be driven. It was found that there were broken teeth on the gears in the transmission which were broken when the gear shift forced the car out of gear while it was moving according to the repair shop mechanic. I called AAA and was told that even though they hired the towing company, they could do nothing about it and I would need to deal with the towing company direct. Even though it was obvious how the transmission got damaged, they refused responsibility and would do nothing.
It cost me over $400 to repair the transmission which was working perfectly prior to the towing or lack thereof. I have been approached by AAA many many times since then to purchase their membership and I then told them the story to which their response was "oh, we're sorry about that". Since they refused to take responsibility for the contractor that they hired, the very least they could have done was to refund my years membership or offer an extra year which they did not do.
Each time they try to recruit me I tell them that I would NEVER use them or trust them again and to stop annoying me with their sales people. I still get constantly mailed and called to join. The bottom line is that they hired the towing company that ruined the transmission and expected me to deal directly with them to which I had no leverage since I didn't hire them. AAA would not even come to my defense.
There is no customer relations address or telephone number to contact AAA so consequently no person in authority to complain to that can correct anything like this happening again. If you are dissatisfied with their service, who do you complain to? Evidently, once they get you hooked into their service they no longer care.