Author Topic: Do you AAA?  (Read 1227 times)

better late

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Do you AAA?
« on: June 07, 2019, 01:22:28 PM »
Do you purchase AAA Roadside Assistance?  If not, do you use a different service? How do you handle car travel "emergencies"?

We have purchased AAA over the years as we have had older cars (or at least one older car) for most of our marriage.  We have had varying degrees of satisfaction at the service during the times we have needed help.  The last call/breakdown, though, was a disaster in terms of service, communication, and follow-through and really has me wondering if there are other solutions.

therethere

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 01:32:06 PM »
Check your credit cards for roadside assistance coverage first. You may find out you're paying for a service you already have. I have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card and have used that benefit.

Sibley

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 01:50:12 PM »
My insurance policy has roadside. Why would I pay extra?

Lichen

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 02:00:49 PM »
The full roadside package, including glass chip repair and towing, is less than $10 annually on my car insurance policy. It covers me in my car or a rental car. I've had to use it twice, a jump and a flat. To be fair, I could have changed my own flat, but it was cold and icy and I knew that the roadside tech would be faster and have a better jack. I was back on the road within 30 minutes both times.

Easy to use, too. I can order help via the app, a text message, or a phone call. Then, I get a text back with the name and employee # of the tech they are sending, along with a pretty accurate ETA.

Malkynn

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 02:56:56 PM »
First, you can always sign up for AAA at the time of an emergency, so there's no point in signing up in advance.

Second, I've had a few roadside emergencies in my time and I've never had a problem calling a local garage or tow truck when needed.

BicycleB

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 05:18:33 PM »
No.

Once when I thought my car was unreliable, I noted the number of a tow company and the address of my favorite mechanic. That was before smart phones and Yelp.

msministache

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2019, 10:28:23 AM »
First, you can always sign up for AAA at the time of an emergency, so there's no point in signing up in advance.


I did that, and they charged me extra $50 for needing service the same day.
Also, I have had it years ago and used it many times in on year, this time around I was surprised to find out that they have a limit of 4 "entitlements"(free service), after that they charge you additional fees.
Vey dissatisfied with it overall. 

Hibernaculum

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2019, 10:51:00 AM »
I've use "Better World Club" off and on for the last few years. Same sort of thing as AAA, but your money doesn't go to an organization that lobbies again bicycling and public transportation.

The last service call we had took a while... truck didn't show up for over an hour. Not sure if AAA would be any better. Communication was fine, though. Since then, I noticed we had also been paying $3.50 per car either quarterly or every six months for roadside assistance through our auto insurance. That's the way to go in my book, for the money. But if that isn't an option, Better World Club is a good way to go. You can get bicycle roadside assistance, too, which I don't usually have, but that's pretty cool.

ontheway2

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2019, 11:22:16 AM »
I get it as a Christmas gift each year; I previously used the coverage through my insurance for around $15/annually. I've honestly never used either for roadside assistance, but I have more than saved my membership in discounts from hotels, tickets, etc and like the peace of mind.

ketchup

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 11:51:55 AM »
We have it.  Platinum premium whatever all-the-frills package.  Partially a compromise with the girlfriend to make her feel safe driving our "old" cars (2001 and 2005) on road trips for work, of which she does many solo.  I'm fine with that.  I'll take it over fancypants newer cars.

It's saved our asses a couple times when she got a flat a few hundred miles from home last year, and also when something blew a three inch hole in the gas tank of our old car and leaked 18 gallons of gasoline onto I-94 (that was a fun phone call).  It also towed our last car home after the engine died 150 miles from home on the side of the highway.

They definitely have worse availability/longer waits in crappy weather.  Last winter I derpily ended up in the ditch and needed a winch (pretty sure that was a three hour wait).

Dollars and cents wise though, we usually about break even based on hotel discounts and whatnot, since GF travels a lot for work.

okcisok

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 06:07:10 PM »
I had it for years, when I had a longer commute and was often on the interstate or back highways after dark and in all weathers. Now that I've moved to within walking distance of work (thanks MMM!), and have a roommate (again, MMM!), I dropped the coverage. YMMV, but I felt safer with it when I was driving a lot.
I did use it a couple of times, both times excellent customer service. Once was from a local garage that contracted with AAA. So I could've just called them for a jump for less than a year's worth of membership.

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2019, 06:47:49 PM »
I know how to change a tire . . . which is really the only emergency I've needed to handle with my vehicle in the past 16 years.  That said, I do try to minimize the amount driven whenever possible.

Malkynn

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2019, 04:52:25 AM »
I know how to change a tire . . . which is really the only emergency I've needed to handle with my vehicle in the past 16 years.  That said, I do try to minimize the amount driven whenever possible.

I know how to change a tire too, but I've also:
-hit a deer
-had a battery die in -40 weather that couldn't be jump started
-had a starter die
-had a suspension spring snap in half
-hit black ice and slide into a guard rail
-hit by a bus, twice

Shit can happen that you can't fix on your own.
Oh yeah...and don't ever get in a car with me, it's apparently bad luck.

Still, I don't bother with CAA, I just call a local tow truck. I keep a card in my glove compartment.

better late

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2019, 01:51:54 PM »
This has been very helpful. Took the time to do a little research today and I realized I am covered for roadside assistance through my auto insurance company (USAA) and also through our Chase Sapphire Reserve account - so thank you therethere and sibley for responding to my post.  I had no idea I had either coverage.

While we do use the AAA discount when we book hotels, I'm doubtful that in our case those discounts offset our membership cost for the year. 

And I'm still rather pissed off at how AAA handled the last emergency, so really want to dump them. Which is too bad because they really saved us a couple of times. But then again it was really the tow truck that did the work - as I understand it AAA is just the dispatcher?

Has anyone else used the Chase Sapphire roadside assistance or USAA's? Would love a few more data points.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 01:53:41 PM by better late »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2019, 01:59:06 PM »
Always have had roadside coverage through my insurance for like $12/year. No reason to carry AAA at all. Their discounts on hotels isn't worth it really as you likely could get as good if not better by just asking really nicely and playing reward points/perks on certain credit cards.

I also know how to change a tire, jump start a vehicle, change bulbs and lots of other car maintenance stuff. Doesn't mean I want to get out in the road in the dark/wee hours/heavy traffic/bad weather and do it myself. I think my safety and time and not getting soaked/filthy/frozen/heat stroke is worth a measly $12 a year.

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2019, 04:52:46 PM »
I know how to change a tire . . . which is really the only emergency I've needed to handle with my vehicle in the past 16 years.  That said, I do try to minimize the amount driven whenever possible.

I know how to change a tire too, but I've also:
-hit a deer
-had a battery die in -40 weather that couldn't be jump started
-had a starter die
-had a suspension spring snap in half
-hit black ice and slide into a guard rail
-hit by a bus, twice

Shit can happen that you can't fix on your own.
Oh yeah...and don't ever get in a car with me, it's apparently bad luck.

Still, I don't bother with CAA, I just call a local tow truck. I keep a card in my glove compartment.

- after you wrote the vehicle off, did you at least claim the carcass?
- maintenance issue
- maintenance issue?
- suspension is for wussies
- winter tires?
- how did you piss off the bus driver so much that he was dedicated enough to double tap your car with his vehicle?  :P

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2019, 05:52:43 PM »
Yup.  Got it.  And it's saved our bacon a few times.  We drive older vehicles and wifey works in a rural area.  Used it twice in the last 2 years.  Last tow was 80 miles.  That'd cost a pretty penny if you had to pay for it with cash.  For our situation and with older cars, it makes sense. If we both worked in town we would probably skip it or rely on credit card coverage. 

Loren Ver

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2019, 06:54:29 PM »
Since you asked, I have mine though USAA.  I have driven some less than reliable older cars.  I have the number of a tow truck.  When something happens (radiator blows and leaks all over the highway) I call a tow truck (business card in wallet since I don't have a smart phone).  Then once done I contact USAA and they reimburse me.  Very easy.  Last time I could do it all online.

Now when my mom got in an accident in another state, she called USAA and they found her a tow truck and a mechanic to fix her up since she doesn't have a smart phone and was a long way from home.  She was so happy they were there to help.    Then again, USAA has always had good customer service.

LV

Malkynn

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2019, 03:04:50 AM »
I know how to change a tire . . . which is really the only emergency I've needed to handle with my vehicle in the past 16 years.  That said, I do try to minimize the amount driven whenever possible.

I know how to change a tire too, but I've also:
-hit a deer
-had a battery die in -40 weather that couldn't be jump started
-had a starter die
-had a suspension spring snap in half
-hit black ice and slide into a guard rail
-hit by a bus, twice

Shit can happen that you can't fix on your own.
Oh yeah...and don't ever get in a car with me, it's apparently bad luck.

Still, I don't bother with CAA, I just call a local tow truck. I keep a card in my glove compartment.

- after you wrote the vehicle off, did you at least claim the carcass? The deer lived and so did the car
- maintenance issue probably, I bought the car used
- maintenance issue? see above, same car, it was a shit box back in undergrad
- suspension is for wussies not in Montreal it isn't
- winter tires? I have the best winter tires, but even that's not always enough on rural highways at -30 when salt stops working
- how did you piss off the bus driver so much that he was dedicated enough to double tap your car with his vehicle?
 :P lol, two different buses, 20 years apart. I'm just lucky i guess.

SaucyAussie

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2019, 08:25:08 AM »
I love AAA, the membership pays for itself with hotel discounts.  I drive a pretty old car so it's nice to have for the peace of mind.

reeshau

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2019, 08:41:17 AM »
I love AAA, the membership pays for itself with hotel discounts.  I drive a pretty old car so it's nice to have for the peace of mind.

+1

We let our membership lapse since we are overseas, but I viewed my membership this way.  We did a lot of road trips all around the US.  There are ways / groups to get discounts (and "online discounts" which usually require prepayment) and, as listed here, other ways to get roadside assistance.  But it's a good way to package them together and keep down the hassle factor while on large trips.

If my travel was mainly in my home region, I expect I could go it alone, directly with a trusted repair shop.

reeshau

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2019, 08:41:51 AM »

Oh yeah...and don't ever get in a car with me, it's apparently bad luck.


Does this explain the black cat avatar?

Malkynn

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2019, 09:21:29 AM »

Oh yeah...and don't ever get in a car with me, it's apparently bad luck.


Does this explain the black cat avatar?

N'ah, I just like Cornish Rex cats. They're hilarious.

ketchup

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2019, 10:21:45 AM »

Oh yeah...and don't ever get in a car with me, it's apparently bad luck.


Does this explain the black cat avatar?

N'ah, I just like Cornish Rex cats. They're hilarious.
I never looked at it too closely and always assumed it was an Umbreon.  https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Umbreon_(Pok%C3%A9mon)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 12:01:04 PM by ketchup »

Malkynn

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2019, 11:19:14 AM »

Oh yeah...and don't ever get in a car with me, it's apparently bad luck.


Does this explain the black cat avatar?

N'ah, I just like Cornish Rex cats. They're hilarious.
I never looked at it too closely and always assumed it was an Umbreon.  https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Umbreon_(Pok%C3%A9mon)

Nope. Actual real cat, they just look like living cartoons.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Do you AAA?
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2019, 02:15:11 PM »
I've been a loyal member ever since they majorly bailed us out on the fourth of July when our vehicle broke down 6? states away from home and another 4 states away from our destination.  Everything was closed but they called in a mechanic for us and we limped our car over there. He had us back on the road in under an hour.  I'm not sure my insurance has that kind of pull out of state.  Once in awhile you pay a little extra for piece of mind.  This is one of those times for us.  Older cars and frequent rural road trips w/ dogs.