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AAA - Completely Worthless
Posted by Jim8762577 on 12/09/2013
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I'm leaving for a road trip. My car is in great shape but I figured I'd pony up for AAA for peace of mind. I do all my own service work but AAA has a monopoly on tow trucks across the US - better safe than sorry. Called to find out that new member services are closed until Monday and that even if I signed up today the service doesn't go into effect for a week! AND I have to have the crap plan for 90 days before I can buy a service package that might actually help me if I had a problem on a trip farther away than the grocery store. What the hell do I need AAA for then?

Their monopoly on roadside assistance and exclusionary business practice should be illegal.

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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-12-09:
AAA hardly has a monopoly on towing and roadside assistance. For the most part they use 3rd party towing companies. Those 3rd party towing companies are free to do business on their own
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Insensitive Representative
Posted by Nenette on 12/03/2013
I just got off the phone with Vanessa in Customer Service Insurance. I wanted to transfer my insurance for some properties I have, she was very insensitive, not friendly. She need some training on customer relation. I don't think I will change my insurance because of her attitude.
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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-12-04:
It would help if you explained how Vanessa was insensitive.
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Junk Mail!!!!
Posted by Cathy.scarince on 11/15/2013
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.
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Tow Truck Driver Damaged My Car During Towing Attempt
Posted by Myordersonline on 08/25/2013
NEWBURYPORT, MASSACHUSETTS -- My 18-year-old daughter's car suddenly became really slow to drive forward. She immediately pulled the car over in a parking lot and called AAA. After waiting 1.5 hours, the tow truck driver arrived. Although the car obviously had a problem being driven, the driver gets in her car and tries to drive it so it would be easier for him to tow the front wheel drive. The axle makes a crunching sound and the left front wheel gets pulled backwards like it's going to break off. Not the right thing for him to have done. Turned out it was the ball joint.

He gets in his truck and races loudly around the block so he can back up to the rear of the car. He jacks up the front of the car with a really old jack on 2 wheels, attaches the winch and begins to pull the car forward from the rear onto the lift bed on the ground. As it rolls, the jack lists to the side and gets hung up on a crack in the pavement. Only the back tires are on the lift and he can't pull the car any further. He gets outs, lowers the jack, and because the wheel is broken, the car lists to the side and now he can't get the jack out from under the car.

He raises the truck lift so that the back wheels are up off the ground, gets back in the truck, backs it up. The car body moves backwards, but because the front tire is broken, it doesn’t move with the car and the tire gets pushed into the forward wheel well. He still can't get the jack out so he gets back in the truck and drives forward. Now the car body is pulled forward but the broken wheel again doesn't move with it. He continues to drive forward so far that I see the body of the wheel well begin to actually bend as it is crushed against the tire.

I yell to him to stop and told him that he's damaging the car. He gets out, lowers the lift bed to the ground, stomps around to the front of the car and pulls the jack out. He jams the jack under a spot in front of the rear axle and jacks the car up so he can take the tire off. But the wheel is broken and stays on the ground. He goes back to the truck and lifts the rear wheels to take pressure off the broken wheel. He tries to take the tire lug nuts off and his tool breaks so he has to get another. He finally removes the tire. He pulls out 2 long pieces of 4x4s and a small one. He jams them under the broken wheel hub itself, lowers the jack so the hub rests directly on the wood, and I hear the axle and hub make more crunching sounds and it appears that the wheel hub is now getting damaged. He then begins to pull the car forward again as the wheel hub stays stationary and the car body starts to move forward. This is crazy. I told the guy to stop right there.

I called AAA as he begins to try something else. I tell the service representative that this tow truck driver is damaging my car. She says there is nothing she can do, he doesn't work for AAA. I explain that if they don’t stop him from causing damage to my car, then AAA is responsible. She asks to speak to the driver. After speaking with her, he gives my phone back to me. She says that he has to get my car off his truck and there's nothing she can do. I ask when she can have another tow truck there. She says that it will probably be another hour before someone comes. I said that was not OK after already waiting an hour and a half for a guy to damage the car. She says that I have to go to the end of the list of other calls. I ask to speak to a supervisor. She puts me on hold for 17 minutes, then tells me there is no supervisor available. She says she's directing me to a complaint center. Another long wait before someone comes on to ask me about the situation. Meanwhile the guy has pulled my car off the truck, inflicting more damage.

The AAA guy I speak with asks me to describe what happened. He says it sounds like the tow truck driver was doing everything he should have. I said that I watched him bend the wheel well of my car and cause further damage to the wheel hub and axle. He said that he'll have an inspector come out to the mechanic's shop where the car is towed to examine the car in a few days.

When the new tow truck driver comes, he shakes his head at what the other guy has done and says that the first driver has made his job way more difficult. When I told him what happened he said he could see this guy doing it, and that that company doesn't have a good reputation. I watch him use professional tools to jack up the car with a four-wheeled jack and remove the car’s front wheel, place a heavy duty and made-for-the purpose metal slider under the body near the broken tire to help slide it forward without the car leaning over where the tire is missing. He pulls the front of the car carefully on to the lift, lifts the car and all is accomplished simply and efficiently.

Days later, when I respond to an AAA message saying they have a report from the inspector and will discuss a resolution, the AAA representative tells me that their inspector has found no damage to the car; any damage he found was already there before the guy did the tow job. He said that my daughter already caused the damage when she pulled over. I told him that my mechanic said that the inspector who came out was very young and inexperienced and had previously been only a tow truck driver. The AAA representative says that the inspector used to work for Geico and is experienced. He says that their review shows that the first tow truck driver did it all well. I said that I did not agree with their resolution, since I witnessed the guy crush the fender along with other damage to the wheel hub and axle. He will inform the complaint reviewer that I dispute their determination that the truck driver was not at fault. I asked him if they ever contacted the second tow truck driver for his evaluation of what was left by the first driver, but AAA did not. The representative says he will pass along my request and that I do not agree with their resolution. He does not ask for the name and phone number of the second tow truck driver.

Don't waste your money on AAA. You can sign up for roadside assistance through your insurance company for $15/year or call 911 for assistance finding help that you can pay for only when you need it. AAA isn’t available everywhere and will take way longer than a call by police to a nearby tow truck company. Another better roadside assistance company is Better World Club, a green company which does not lobby against public transportation like AAA.

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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-08-25:
The damage to the axle and ball joint (though if the wheel isn't moving it could be a broken tie rod as well), was already done before the first driver got there, and indeed his methodology for getting was acceptable. I've seen it done before, but you generally need two people to make it work. One guy mans the winch whilst the other keeps some wooden boards in a series under the car so that the damaged front wheel/ suspension bits don't drag directly on the ground. Apparently though the 2nd tow truck had more specialized equipment. However the first guy wasn't doing anything wrong. The damage was already done, and the dragging and noises you saw and heard, looked and sounded worse than they really were.
Posted by John Nicholson on 2013-08-25:
Time to contact an attorney and sue both AAA and the original tow truck company. Make sure you have adequate pictorial evidence in the form of photos and video of the state of the car now, along with closeups, etc. Your attorney can get depositions from the second tow truck driver and your mechanic, etc.
AAA sent the original guy and, as such bears responsibility, as does the guy's company for his actions. The only question I would pose is why you allowed the guy to proceed if it was apparent he was damaging the car?? You will be asked this question. Have a good answer ready. Good luck.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2013-08-25:
A broken down car is not a life threatning emergency. Calling 911 for a broken down car can get you fined in most places.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-08-26:
I don't agree with your conclusions, but it is impossible to evaluate the complaint completely not having been there.

Once the ball joint was broken, the knuckle will act as you describe, and pulling onto a flatbed will involve strange noises and odd positions of the knuckle/hub. Removing the wheel would be in order.

I agree with the previous poster who asked why you let the tow operator proceed. Once I had a (non AAA supplied) tow operator start to do something that would have definitely done damage to my car, and I stopped him. He agreed and changed his procedure.

I have had AAA tow my vehicles on multiple occasions and was 100% satisfied with their work.
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Stranded and Not Caring
Posted by Doug5348 on 07/21/2013
OREGON -- On July 18, 2013 I was driving my Ford Cargo van and a small trailer on vacation. Gold prospecting in southern Oregon, I came to a big hill just passed Canyonville on I 5 about 30 miles from Grants Pass. All of sudden I noticed smoke out the back and the truck slowing down, I almost made it to the top. The engine sounded fine but no tranny. I called AAA, I had AAA plus, it was about 3:30 pm they said they would have someone there to tow me soon. The tow truck got there around 5:00 pm. The driver was nice and got me hooked up and towed me to his boss' shop so he could remove my drive line.

We got there after 6:00pm. The mechanic was having trouble removing the drive line. He said he could not do it. the owner shows up at 7:00pm says he is not going to tow me because triple A doesn't pay him enough to tow me to Eugene. He says AAA does not cover box vans or small trailers. He parked my truck across the street on the Hwy shoulder unhooks me and leaves me. No Water no nothing. He was a total jerk.

I just paid my AAA plus $171.00 the week earlier to be covered for this. I am a 100% disabled Vietnam vet with several heath issues. I had my 4 English bull dogs with me and a Cockatoo, one English bulldog was overheating so bad he was foaming at the mouth and noise badly I didn't think he was going to make it. The owner watched me from across the street smiling and joking and pointing while I was trying to save my dog. I was on the phone with AAA from 6:30pm to 1:00am trying to get them to tow me. They told me on page 14 part way down there was a small paragraph that said they will not tow box van or utility trailers unless there is a motorcycle in it. I said what booklet? The one we sent you when you first sign up. I said are you kidding 15 years ago? You have taken my $171.00 for 15 years and now you're going to let me down when I need you?

Anyway, 6:30pm to 1:00am to get them to OK the tow on the side of a highway w/4 dogs. They called back and said the tow truck will not tow me with the drive line hooked up and I needed to change the right rear trailer tire? (there was 70% tread on it...) I said I would do it in the dark if it meant me getting out of there. I did it in about 45 min. both. With the tools I had with me.

Bill's towing should not be a AAA tow Service. Vary rude, non caring. Their driver could not apologize enough for the rude behavior of their owner. If you're a AAA member, you should e-mail them first, describe what you'll be doing have them e-mail you back so you have it in writing. They don't cover a lot of dirt roads ether (by the way) AAA should give a booklet each time you pay your yearly fee. That's not too unreasonable is it??
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Good Service
Posted by Hongsheng6 on 07/10/2013
My Toyota's maintenance appointment was originally on Monday, July 8, 2013, but I couldn't make it, thus changed to today, Wednesday, July 10. They had done a very good job for the maintenance. I can clearly observe the mechanic working through the customer waiting room's glass.They did it on time and carefully.
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AAA Painfully Slow Service - Stranded for 4 Hours at Night
Posted by Gfakes on 06/07/2013
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I had the misfortune of needing to use AAA service for the first time, despite being a customer on and off for many years. It was an eye opener. I placed a call at 9:50pm Thursday night, and was promised to have a tow truck there within 25 minutes to help me with a blown tire after hitting some road debris on a busy street in a nice area of North Houston.

An hour later, a guy shows up in a small car with some limited tools that couldn't get the job done. He and I let AAA know that I needed a tow truck. I got a call back saying help will be there in 15 minutes. An hour and a half later, the tow truck showed up. The driver told me he was late because he had to go to a call on the other side of Houston first, even though he was close to me. That was at 1am.

Seriously, for what we pay, AAA has too few drivers on call to were I had to wait in the middle of the night, in America's 4th largest city.
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Posted by Jonathan Lopez on 2013-06-10:
No surprise there from AAA. Just so I'm clear, you had your tire blown from debris, and you had to wait 4 hours for a tow truck only because the guy did a crappy job. Here's my advice..

1. Since you had your tire blown at the most inconvenient time, you can have your tires replaced for free because their services are available 24/7

2. You waited 4 long hours. That's absurd. The services I use are very speedy, efficient, and convenient. You can even share the services with family and friends, while saving time and money

and that's not even the tip of the iceberg..

Everthing else is explained here: www.wiihavetime.com
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Worst Insurance Ever
Posted by Tjade802 on 05/11/2013
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 lose. 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!

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Posted by nikalseyn on 2013-05-11:
You might wish to do a search of "auto insurance grace period" or some such. I did a quick one and for some general info, go to:


Search under your state, Michigan, as all states may have different rules. Try the state of michigan website, secretary of state, auto insurance.

Don't just take the word of some employee at AAA that you were not covered. Also, you should read your auto insurance policy. It should give you your responsibilities, grace period, etc.

But, the bottom line is you were late.
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AAA PLUS RV Not Worth it!
Posted by Nebagmon on 04/11/2013
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN -- During the yearly renewel 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. Michelle, employee #14502 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 Carolyn 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.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-04-11:
"She said that since my son planned to make a stop before he got home that he was only covered until the stop."

Without knowing more, this sounds reasonable. AAA is Roadside Assistance, not insurance. What the CSR said about the questioning does as well - since Roadside Assistance is not insurance, AAA could easily go bankrupt at the nominal membership fee a member pays if the coverage wasn't limited. The crux of the matter is whether the intermediate stop terminates the incident, as they claim.
Posted by Nebagmon on 2013-04-12:
Does it make a difference whether it is called insurance or roadside assistance? Shouldn't the plan still cover what it says it's supposed to? AAA says on the plan they will cover to your planned destination or 72 hours after the loss. The planned destination was home. They asked on the claim form what the destination was and our address was entered.
Posted by Nebagmon on 2013-04-13:
If AAA could easily go bankrupt paying claims they say they will cover then why are they going out of their they're way to sell the protection plan? Could it be that they are charging a fee for the plan and then twisting the language of the plan when interrogating the customer about the claim so they can keep all the money? AAA is going down hill the last several years in both areas - providing the coverage stated and customer service. If anything will bankrupt them it will be that no one will pay for their services anymore. I will seek other means of roadside assist from now on. AAA has a new ethic and it's not like the old one.
Posted by lucy on 2013-08-19:
im an Australian backpacker who bought a van which i sleep in and thought it would be a smart idea to get an AAA membership in case i required roadside assistance while travelling through the USA. i had severe car trouble and my car was unable to be driven. i called AAA who told me i would only be covered for 100 miles yet i was 210 miles away from anyone i knew that could assist me with the car. AAA wanted to charge me $440 dollars to take me back to a friends house where i knew i could sleep for the night. this occurred at 5pm AAA told me that the tow truck driver in the area could not come and get us as he had a personal matter to attend to. their 'backup' driver also could not come and get us as he had reached his daily driving hours. the third tow truck driver who was not AAA approved finally came and picked us up at 11.30pm. we could not afford the $440 so we asked the driver to take us 100 miles and to a motel. currently i am trying to fight for my reimbursement for 1 nights motel stay as i feel im entitled to. all of the calls i have made to AAA have been very unhelpful and i find the staff to be very defensive, all i want is some help or answers, im not here to blame. the service i have uncounted has been very poor considering we have a premium membership. if anyone has any advice for me on how to best claim my $$ i would appreciate it. i have roadside assistance Australia and have since the day i bought my car, i have used it many times so i am familiar with how the system works. AAA your service is disgraceful and very sneaky, all i can say is read the fine print, the service they explain to you is apparently not the service you are entitled to.
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AAA Is the Worst!
Posted by Elanstephenson on 03/27/2013
MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK -- I have had two negative experiences with AAA, both involving needing a tow. First, when you call AAA you will be waiting for hours even though they ask a million ques to "ensure" they get the right location n equip to tow your car. That does not necessarily mean that info will get translated to the person driving the tow truck. Then as you wait for hours and hours you may it may not get a driver who is gonna ask "upfront" for a tip because of some "inconveniences" he experienced getting to you or hitching your car etc... AAA is useless.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-03-28:
I can't relate to your complaint. I've called for AAA for assistance maybe 5 times in my life, and never had to wait for more than an hour. In the case of my greatest need (peril), they arrived promptly and towed my car out of harm's way.

I have never had a driver mention a "tip", and never considered tipping a driver. I'd report that to AAA, because it doesn't sound right.

If you explained each of your two bad experiences in detail, it would help in assessing your complaint.
Posted by Anonymous on 2013-03-28:
Tipping tow truck drivers is not unheard of. They are allowed to accept tips, AAA does not prohibit their contractors from accepting tips. Soliciting tips is another story, personally I find it unethical and would probably not tip someone who let it be known that a tip was expected. As far as the wait time, AAA is simply the middle man. They don't own & operate tow trucks, they contract those services out through independently owned providers. You should definitely let them know what happened, their providers are expected to meet certain standards and the only way AAA can fix a problem is if they are aware of it.
Posted by AAA Tired on 2013-05-16:
Your are spot on. At MKE airport, nice sunny Sunday afternoon, dead battery, an HOUR to show up. I'm downtown Milwaukee, not the middle of IOWA, NO snow storm, NO rain, seriously waiting 259 more days to cancel. I CAN relate. Thank God it was not my wife stranded in the middle of now where!
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