Have you ever needed to call AAA for Emergency Roadside Assistance ? This is a little like auto insurance.. You purchase the plan and hope you never need to use it. Of course it is there in case of an emergency, if you run out of gas, need a jump start or even lock your keys in the vehicle.
When you call they will ask you several questions ranging from your name, address, phone number, membership numer and of course your location with a nearest cross street. They also will ask what the situation is and if you need police assistance while you wait for the tow truck to arrive.
Tonight a similar occurrence happened and why my alternator decided to go out in the middle of Ft Campbell Blvd. When I called AAA we went through the above questioning. Of course I explained in was in the middle turning lane of Ft Campbell Blvd at Jack Miller Blvd and Gate 1. This is a very busy road and not to mention, it is the first gate north bound into Fort Campbell, KY. Sitting in the turning lane at Gate one is really not a safe place to be as people will laterally run over you trying to make the turn into gate one. The operator at AAA asked if I needed the police for traffice while we waited and of course you hate to tie up the police in this situation, It really was the best option as there were nearly three accidents while I was there.
AAA told me the response time for an emergency situation as I was in the middle of a 7 lane highway would be approx 30 min. About 40 minutes later Received a call back stating that the ETA of the tow truck was about 90 minutes. They once again asked about having the police to arrive due to my location. Apparently they never called them on the previous call. I had to ask what happened to the original approx 30 minute arrival. Now if they had mentioned it would take longer up front, this would not have been a issue. By this time it was getting dark and of course with a dead alternator and battery there were no lights or flashers working. I was lucky that a soldier from Fort Campbell had stopped to assist me and stayed behind our vehicle with his emergency flashers on while I waited. I was told by the AAA operator that there was only one AAA Service provider in the whole Clarksville-Montgomery County area. This company is Beachaven Towing.
I called Beachaven towing direct to see if there was any possible way of getting there any sooner as I was in the middle of Fort Campbell Blvd and that there were already multiple situations where accidents nearly occured and my being stuck in the middle lane was a safety hazard. He asked for my exact location and was immediately frustrated as the AAA operator did not give him the full details of my current situation. Wayne ( The tow truck driver ) was told I was on a side street ( Jack Miller Blvd ) which is not nearly as busy although not your neighborhood two lane road and needed a jump with a possible tow. WHAT????...... Once Wayne knew my situation I was bumped me from 3rd tow to priority placement and he arrive in less than 10 minutes from my call.
I later called back to AAA to find out what had gone wrong in relaying the information to the towing company. Apparently my call was routed and re-routed prior to actually reaching Beachaven Towing and vital information never transfered in the process. which could have allowed the arrival much sooner. Over all things could have been handled a little better and thankfully there were no actual accidents, just three near misses.
The tow that was bumped behind me was a car in the callers own driveway so they were not in the same dangerous situation as my vehicle at that time.
My recommendation if you are in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area and need the service of AAA, call Beachaven Towing direct at 931-552-1037 and alert them to your situation and them call AAA for the actual service call. Beachaven will need a 4 digits code for them to cover your tow.
Now please keep in mind that if there is a police emergency that a tow truck is needed, they get priority and they must give them a 30 minute ETA. Now if the police had been called in my situation, this would have been the original 30 min call time as quoted. Since AAA never notified the police and gave the driver Ft Campbell Blvd as a CROSS STREET, this delayed his arrival to my location.
** Sorry for the long rant. I would like to prevent situations like this from happening more often when the AAA Dispatcher does not relay all the purtant information for a emergency roadside service call.