AAA Complaint - Beware Of AAA Illinois!
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 Montenro, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, and Finland. I also specifically told a female employee from whom I purchased travel insurance that I was travelling to Montenro, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, and Finland. During the time of purchase no mention was made that the travel debit card does not work in Montenro. 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 Montenro. Considering this, I had no idea that the card would not be functional in Montenro. 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 Montenro 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 Montenro. After one week in Montenro 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 travelling. He was unable to provide me with an answer on why I was not told that the card would not work in Montenro. 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 https://www.aaa.myprepaidbalance.com/FAQs.aspx 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 Montengro. 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:
1. THE AAA BRANCH IN QUESTION SOLD ME A TRAVEL DEBIT CARD WITHOUT MAKING ANY MENTION THAT THE CARD WOULD NOT WORK IN MONTENGRO. 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 DON’T WORK” ?
2. 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 https://www.aaa.myprepaidbalance.com/FAQs.aspx THAT THESE CARDS DO NOT WORK IN MONTEN*GRO IT WOULD BE UNREASONABLE FOR ME TO ASK FOR ALL OF THE FEES THAT ACCRUED TO MY CREDIT CARD DUE TO INTEREST AND TRANSACTION FEES. HOWEVER, THE MISTAKE MADE BY THE 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.