Does AAA Emergency roadside service really work ?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

AAA Plus Membership CardHave 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.

Beachhaven Towing - Clarksville, TN

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.

Beachhaven Towing - Clarksville, TN

* Note...

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.

Posted by

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Think Clarksville * Think Fort Campbell * Think Real Estate * Think Roland

Roland Woodworth "Innovative Marketing Using Cuttin Edge Technology"

Licensed in both Tennessee & Kentucky. Please don't keep me a secret, if you know anyone looking to BUY or SELL, Please send me their contact informtion and give them my name and number.

View my website at Clarksville Home Information or Fort Campbell Housing

 Roland Woodworth is a member of NAR's Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource

 

Roland Woodworth, REALTOR ® Keller Williams Realty

Call: 931-320-9411

E-Fax: 866-596-2172

  

Clarksville TN Homes For Sale, Clarksville TN - Roland Woodworth, REALTOR

I specialize in helping families relocate to and from the Clarksville, TN and Oak Grove, KY - Fort Campbell, KY and the surrounding areas. I have the tools to market your Home For Sale including New Construction, Short Sales, Foreclosures, Distressed Properties. I'm a US Army Verteran still serving the Clarksville, TN amd Ft Campbell, KY area. Looking to sell your home,give me a call at 931-320-9411

TN Lic # 273649  -  KY Lic # 57120

Keller Williams Realty

2271 Wilma Rudolph Blvd. Clarksville, TN 37040

Each Keller Williams Office is Independently Owned & Operated

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Rainmaker
307,664
Randi Brammer
Randi Brammer, Acctg. - Hinckley, MN
Accountant & Tax Preparer

I have good luck with AAA.  Only the recent change where you have to call them and let them set up the service that has slowed things down a bit!

Jun 07, 2009 04:03 PM #1
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Roland Woodworth
Keller Williams Realty - Clarksville, TN
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource- SFR - Clarksv

Randi: It is great to have them when you need them. Just need to make sure the relay all the details to the tow truck as this is how they route your call accordingto priority status.

Jun 07, 2009 07:19 PM #2
Rainmaker
273,383
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

I have not used AAA.  I do have Roadside Assistance with my cell phone coverage.  I've used it several times and have been very satisfied each time.  Help has arrived within 45 minutes of phone call.

Jun 07, 2009 08:15 PM #3
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Roland Woodworth
Keller Williams Realty - Clarksville, TN
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource- SFR - Clarksv

Irene: That is great timing...

Jun 08, 2009 12:04 AM #4
Rainer
35,436
Matt McLaughlin
The Pest Force - Myrtle Beach, SC

Hey Roland, It sounds like they use a game where one guy takes the call and passes it down and so on, until the last guy gets the message, then he calls the tow truck with the message and then they wait to hear back from the client to see how close to the original message they were. It is a fun little ice breaker for the staff.

Jun 10, 2009 12:25 AM #5
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Roland Woodworth
Keller Williams Realty - Clarksville, TN
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource- SFR - Clarksv

I'm not sure what the game is. With only one tow company in Clarksville, this can make a easy 2 hour wait. Once you initially call in, then 30 min later they call back with a ETA of 60 to 90 min wait time.

Jun 10, 2009 09:22 AM #6
Anonymous
Anonymous
J OMalley, Orland Park, Illinois

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I know this is a really LONG story, but I'm so angry with AAA Chicago Motor Club, I want to share my story with anyone and everyone to warn them of the "farce" they call Emergency Road Service. Don’t Count On It!

Last winter, I received a solicitation by mail to join AAA Chicago Motor Club. The last of my children had recently moved out on his own. I was newly empty-nested and my only transportation was my older Dodge Caravan. For the first time in my life, I did not have another person in the house that drove, or had a car. I thought it was probably a good idea to join the AAA Chicago Motor Club, just in case. So, shortly after the holidays, I mailed in my membership. About a week later, my van would not start one morning. Talk about timing! I called the number for AAA on my temporary membership card. Apparently, the paperwork had not yet been processed, so it was a hassle to get a service call in.  The temporary card in my hand was valid for another 6 weeks and my check had already cleared my bank, so I could not justify their lack of assistance. After much aggravation and speaking to a supervisor, they agreed to send out a service truck. Little did I know that the aggravation had just begun!

 

The service truck arrived and the driver could not get the van started by jumping the battery. Contrary to their advertised services, the driver did NOT have a new battery on his truck to swap out. The driver offered to tow my van to their shop, about 15 miles away. Since this was my only means of transportation, AND it was the dead of winter in Chicago,  I told him I would prefer it be towed to the local shop that I have dealt with for years, about 2 miles away. In order to get the van on the tow truck, the driver had to roll the van out of the driveway. He got in the van, put it in neutral and the van began to roll with the driver’s door still open… I watched from the top of the driveway in total shock as the open door hit the small tree next to the driveway, got hung up on the base of the tree’s trunk and bent almost completely off the van!!  In an effort to get the door off the tree, he and I tried to push the van back up the driveway. When that didn’t work, the driver pulled his truck up to the back of the van and pushed it forward enough to dislodge the door from the tree. Part of the tree was actually lodged between the inside and outside of the door. Still in shock, seeing my van on the back of the tow truck with its door hanging precariously, tied with rope to keep it from falling off completely, I agreed to let the driver take the van to their shop, where he insisted they would repair the door and get the van running.

 

Despite the fact that it was their driver’s fault, AAA Chicago Motor Club refused to provide me with a rental car while they repaired my van. On the second day, the shop mechanic said the van would be ready by 5pm, so I arranged for my daughter who lives about 20 minutes away, to pick me up from work and drop me off at their shop. After waiting over 30 minutes, the mechanic informed me that they could not get the door properly aligned, so they needed to send it to a body shop the next morning. My daughter had already left for work. Since their shop was so far from my home, I had no way of getting home, so one of their mechanics gave me a ride home. After 3 days of trying to arrange rides to and from work and much inconvenience, the van was finally ready. The door had to be completely replaced and they installed a new battery. They towed the van back to my house, and delivered it about 8:30pm. Once off the tow truck, they started it up and pulled it into my driveway. The only problem they indicated to me was that the key did not work in the driver’s door – it would have to be re-keyed.

 

The next morning when I went to leave for work, less than 12 hours after they dropped it off, the van would not start again. It was dead as a doornail – would not even turn over. I immediately called AAA Chicago Motor Club again and explained the problem. I was informed that they would not come out again, without charging me,  because the vehicle was delivered in running condition. You have to be kidding!!  At this point, I called my local shop. The owner sent one of his mechanics over to try to jump start it, but it would not take the jump or a charge. I arranged to have it towed, at my own expense. My mechanic found that the new battery they installed was completely dead. The problem was the starter. He replaced the starter and the battery and had it running for me the next morning.

 

Later that day, when I was leaving work, I went to open the driver’s door, but it was stuck. As I pulled it open, the door got hung up on the front fender and bent the fender. Now the door would not close properly. I’m not exactly a very large person – about 5’ tall and 105 lbs – so I highly doubt that my “brute strength” caused the damage. Obviously, the door was not properly aligned. On my way home, I drove to the AAA Chicago Motor Club’s recommended shop that had done the work just days before. They were about to close, and said that they could not take care of it because it was body work and would have to go back to the body shop that they sent it to originally, when the door was replaced. That shop was another 15 miles away, and closed at this hour. Being a Friday evening, they are closed on weekends, so I would have to contact them on Monday morning.

 

I arrived at the shop on Monday morning before they opened. The mechanic straightened the fender and re-aligned the door. I wrote a letter to AAA Chicago Motor Club explaining the fiasco and requesting reimbursement for the second tow. They refused, but agreed to have the door re-keyed. How generous of them.

 

Fast forward to December 26, 2009. My son was home for the holiday and borrowed my van to run to Walgreens for me at about 11pm. On the way there, he had a flat tire. After several hours trying to get the spare tire on in the snow and cold without any success, I told him to call AAA Chicago Motor Club. The card was in the glove box. He called me back and informed me that AAA Chicago Motor Club would not come out unless I was there to sign for it. Hmmm…that would be difficult since I was home and my son had MY van. I called AAA Chicago Motor Club to clear this up, thinking it must be a mistake. After waiting on hold for nearly 10 minutes I was disconnected. I called back and was on hold for another 10 minutes before I finally spoke to a live person, at which time I was informed that they could send me an application to add my son as an “Associate Member,” but the emergency road service followed the driver, not the car. Are you kidding me?? By this time, it was after 1:30am. My son, who by this time was cold, tired and soaking wet, was stuck on the side of the road for the past 2 ½ hours. It had been snowing all day, and temperatures in the 20s. Since he had my van, I had no way of going to pick him up and AAA Chicago Motor Club is telling me that my membership only covers emergency road service if I am in the car.  I own the car….I paid a membership for the AAA Chicago Motor Club, which includes EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE. I see nothing in the member’s booklet that says that it only covers it if I am in the car. The supervisor told me that if I was a passenger in my neighbor’s car and it broke down, they would cover it. But, if someone is driving MY car, with MY permission, they would not cover it unless I’m in the car????  How asinine is that!!!  How useless is this AAA Chicago Motor Club membership??? My children, all in their 20s, are on their own with their own cars, so why would I even think of enrolling them as “Associate Members.” In case they are visiting and borrow my car and need EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE? I paid for the membership for my car. It would make logical sense that if purchased the membership and my car needs EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE, that is what I purchased. In over 30 years of driving, I cannot recall a single time when I was a passenger in, or driving someone else’s car and needed EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE.  I would say that AAA Chicago Motor Club’s EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE is GROSSLY MISLEADING to say the least. If this “requirement” of theirs is true, then I should add my children, my siblings, and my parents on as “Associate Members,” including my oldest son who lives in Delaware and travels for his job. Under this ridiculous interpretation of theirs, if he needed EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE while traveling he should be covered under my membership as an “Associate Member”, right?? Why do I doubt that?? Or better yet, I guess next time a friend, relative or neighbor’s car breaks down, I should just get right over there and call AAA Chicago Motor Club. According to their “requirement” I would be there, so they would cover it, right? Now that makes sense, doesn’t it??

 

In over 30 years of driving, I have only needed emergency road service a total of 3 times. As the daughter of a master automobile mechanic, my dad made sure that all of us knew how to keep a car well-maintained.  The first time I ever needed to have a car towed was over 10 years ago when the water pump on my car blew. The other two incidents were in the past 12 months….when I foolishly presumed that having a membership in AAA Chicago Motor Club would provide me with…of all things…..EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE!

 

So consumers beware!  Just because you have that little membership card for AAA Chicago Motor Club in your wallet does not mean you have “EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE” in the most logical sense…my experience as a AAA Chicago Motor Club member reminds me of that commercial where a man asks a child if she would like to ride a bike. After giving her the bike, he informs her that the bike has to remain within a 2’x5’ box. Does not make sense and is QUITE misleading, don’t you think?  At this point, I would not be surprised if I ever do need EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE again, AND I’m in the car,  they will inform me that the “fine print” states that I am only covered if it’s the 16th hour after the rise of the new moon, and that the passenger in the 3rd car behind me gets out on the wrong side of the road, turns 2 ½ times counterclockwise and spits toward the oncoming traffic. I can guarantee you that I will share my story with anyone and everyone.

Dec 27, 2009 04:42 PM #7
Anonymous
Anonymous
Pam Jezek

It is important to look out for yourself. If I was in the middle of a 7 lane highway, I would get out of my car and leave it there until help arrived. (AAA tells you to stay in your vehicle for safety reasons, but it is common sense to remove yourself from the middle of a 7 lane highway.) Shit happens, but you need to look out for yourself. AAA didn't break your car, it's possible you missed routine maintenance on your vehicle and this shouldn't have happened in the first place. AAA is a "god-send" business. Shame on you for whining on the internet about them.

Pam

Owner of DDD. dontdrinkanddrive.net. 

 

Dec 11, 2012 09:27 AM #8
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