Vehicle Breakdown Clubs

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Silent Earth

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Vehicle Breakdown Clubs
Many of us are in the AA (AAA in US) or RAC or Green flag etc but are you getting the service you pay for, is your money being spent wisely?
I am a gold member of the AA I have been for nearly 30 years, I don’t call em very often on average once every three years but over the years they usually turn up within the hour and either fix my vehicle on the spot or relay it to the garage of my choice, until recently.
In the winter of 2010 the clutch slave cylinder on the Mitsy died and we were stranded by the side of the road, I called the AA and got through, they told me a patrol would attend. Nearly three hours later a AA recovery truck arrived. THREE hours in mid-winter I was not chuffed, and it was compounded by the fact the driver only came because he was passing by Durham on the A1M as he headed back to Leeds, otherwise we would have waited even longer.
I let it slide this time.
Then last year at 7.30 AM I found the van would not start, a flat battery was to blame. My battery charger was busted and I could not find anyone else at home in the street whose car I could borrow to give me a jump start (Mrs NR already having left for work) So I phoned the AA at 7.55AM, again at 8 AM and again every few minutes until 11.50 AM before they actually even bothered to answer the phone. So that was nearly 4 hours waiting to start with. Then the stressed lady on the phone told me a patrol would be dispatched ASAP, I asked roughly how long I would have to wait , and she said they will be with me by about 2.45 PM nearly another 3 hours before they could arrive. They actually turned up at 2.30 PM.
So consider a few points
(1) What if it had been your wife and child stranded away from home who were left waiting nearly 8 hours in the winter cold?
(2) What if you were trying to bug out or attend a vital appointment when misfortune struck?
We can only go so far in our preps to ensure we are ready for trouble, we can never guarantee 100% that our vehicles will start, gennies fire up, flashlights light up, radios will transmit, and even in normal time we often need a hand for external sources, but if we are PAYING good money for that external backup, surely its fair and reasonable to expect them to honour their side of the deal.
I have just had the AA write to me and phone me asking why after all these years I was not renewing my membership? I replied its rather pointless having AA membership if (A) you cannot get the AA to answer the phone and (B) they don’t come until the day is over and you or your family could have frozen to death.
I’m not saying boycott the AA or anything like that but it sure must be a worthwhile effort into looking at who responds the quickest and deals best with the problem, especially if you are paying for the privilege.
I’m joining Green flag as most of my neighbours have GF membership and are content with the level of service.
 

jimLE

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id change services as well if they couldnt or wouldnt hold up to what they say theyd do..pluse id deffintly post something to the effect to why im changeing services on thier web site.includeing to being stuck in the winter cold like you were..especilly seeing how its like you pointed out.it could of been a woman with/without children as well.
 

Trapper

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I have seen numerous incidents where AAA was called and they would contact one of their contracted tow services. Most times there are a several hour delay in services. Tow companies are called from well out of the area when other AAA tows are much closer. Its a waste of time and money to be a member.
 

bigpaul

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I was a member of the AA for years but left after we were stuck for several hours in the freezing cold, 1st patrol couldn't find us, gave up and went home, 2nd one turned up after about 4 hours, so I didn't renew, I've got Green Flag included in my motor insurance, called them twice since and am happy with the level of service.
 

jimLE

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those reasons i don't depend on AAA or the other insurance companies for towing ..if i can fix the problem my self i will.if not,then i call towing service myself seeing how (I) can give better directions to where i am then the insurance company can or will.and yes.i'll make sure that id get reimbursed for it later if i can..
 

Gazrok

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Don't know about you, but I have roadside assistance with my car insurance. Much better than a separate bill or service. Never had a problem using them.
 

Snowflake

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Not with AA or any other, Seven has a tow truck, knows mechanics and has a unit full of spare parts. I put winter preps in my car ever since those folks got stuck on the M8 all night.
 

DrHenley

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Don't even get me started on AAA...:mad:

A number of years ago (before I had a cell phone) my car started sputtering and smoking out in the middle of nowhere in Alabama (Macon County as I recall) I hobbled to the nearest convenience store (which was closed) and called AAA on the pay phone to get a tow. They told me I was on my own! They said they didn't cover that area, and I had to find a tow truck myself and they would reimburse me later.

Here I am stranded out in the middle of nowhere in Alabama and AAA just blew me off. Talk about steamed. And finding a tow truck turned out to be impossible.

I hobbled the rest of the way home at 30 MPH and IMMEDIATELY cancelled my @#$%^&* AAA membership.
 

Trapper

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Working as a county deputy, I have seen numerous cases where motorist called AAA. I stopped to help them and they said, "No, I called AAA". I would check back a few hours later and found the same motorist still waiting for a tow truck to show up. AAA sent a tow from 3-4 hours away instead of a tow less than 30 minutes away. I never had their service and never will.
 

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