• Report: #39229

Complaint Review: American Automobile Association (AAA)

  • Submitted: Thu, December 26, 2002
  • Updated: Sat, July 02, 2005

  • Reported By:Carlisle Pennsylvania
American Automobile Association (AAA)
2023 Market St. Harrisburg, PA Nationwide U.S.A.

American Automobile Association AAA offers total ripoff fraudulent services Pennsylvania Nationwide

*UPDATE Employee: AAA Dispatcher AAA trys to please every member

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I experienced a flat tire on christmas afternoon, in the middle of a snow storm. I am a AAA member, so I called to see if I could get someone to come out and change it. They said that since I was at home and not in danger they couldn't come out til the next day.

I explained to them that my mother lives with me and people in the area were having power outages and if it happened here we would need to have a vehicle to drive. I wasn't strong enough to get the lugs off of the tire, as I would have changed it myself. They said they couldn't make any promises but would put me on the list for service.

Well 25 hours later, I never heard from the garage or AAA. When I called customer service, the response I got was that they can choose who needs the service the most. This is what they offer:

Emergency road service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is designed to assist you in an emergency when the vehicle you are either driving or riding in becomes disabled.

You can read it all on their web site. What's worse, is the first woman I talked to who works at AAA said she the last time she called for emergency road service she waited 2 hrs. and her supervisor once waited 3 hrs.

Whoever decides to open a membership here should talk to others and really check into before you make the same mistake my family and I made. We have just canceled all 3 of our memberships. Too many other auto clubs out there.

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/26/2002 09:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Automobile-Association-AAA/nationwide/American-Automobile-Association-AAA-offers-total-ripoff-fraudulent-services-Pennsylvania-N-39229. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

AAA Dispatcher AAA trys to please every member

AUTHOR: Nikki - (U.S.A.)

If you remember correctly, around Christmas time we had a blizzard, and it was much worse in PA than it was in OH. I worked for AAA as a dispatcher, and our rule was to get those in immediate danger first, THEN get to the people who had heat, shelter, and food. AAA rarely takes that route, but there are a few things that you have to understand about the Winter time.

a) That tow trucks are not 4 wheel drive. If they are towing a vehicle from behind on icy roads, there is a great chance that upon taking a turn, the vehicle its pulling will slide off the side of the road, and take the tow truck with it.

b)That the stations dictate how many drivers they allow us in certain areas and types of weather. If the owner of the tow company deems the weather conditions too dangerous for his drivers to be out in, he will tell them to stay home, sometimes making certain areas hard to cover for road service.

c) That members who are in an accident come first, followed by members on the side of the road, then those who are safe at home. In this particular winter storm where it was very dangerous to do any kind of service calls, we had our supervisors out in 4 wheel drive vehicles picking up our members and taking them to a safe place, leaving their cars behind to tow when the roads were safe again.

d) Tow trucks get stuck very easily, therefore making it difficult to get down any side streets. Any tow truck that gets stuck risks getting another truck stuck trying to get him out. That means that if we cannot get down the street until it is plowed, we cannot get down the street.

e) Please remember this is NOT the normal routine for AAA. Sometimes it takes longer than our estimated times when there are no drivers to cover certain areas. This storm in particular meant life or death for some our members who were stuck on the side of the road, with no heat, and only the shelter of their cars which didnt offer too much protection. We had one particular tow truck get stuck on the highway going up a hill, and we could not get to it for a few days either. The driver and his passenger had to climb a steep snow bank to the road above where they could be picked up, leaving his tow truck and the vehicle it was towing to sit there until the road conditions improved.

Sometimes life hands you difficult situations and you have to make the best of it. Please try to understand that these are not excuses, but the reality of the tow business. Had your power went out and turned it to a life/death situation, then yes, you would be on the immediate service list. Ive known people to get service in less than 5 minutes, and Ive known people to wait a few hours at a time, especially if they are at home with no where to go.

AAA trys to please every member, every time, but sometimes people want services that are not available in certain circumstances (especially in the Winter) and become irate. Put yourself in the reverse situation; if you were stranded with your mother on the side of the road during this storm, wouldn't you be upset if the driver stopped to do a tire change before helping you, leaving you to wait longer in the freezing weather? With over 200,000 members just in the 6 counties that we dispatch, we cannot please everyone. Hopefully this answered the question of why your situation wasnt given immediate attention.
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