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Old Yesterday, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,594 posts, read 6,559,505 times
Reputation: 9979

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Quote:
Originally Posted by djsuperfly View Post
I always find that when I have AAA I rarely use it. When I don't have it, I seem to then have a need for it.

To me, it's pretty inexpensive peace of mind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Geek View Post
It's like insurance. It seems like a ripoff until you need it.
Yeah, this is it, I consider it the same as an insurance policy. I have the top of the line membership. I don't use it all the time, or even every year. I typically travel well-prepared- jacks, tools, even some spare parts and have the ability to solve most of the common problems that occur...but every now and then something drastic occurs that even advance preparation can't cure- alternator failure 80 miles from the nearest parts store, buried up to the body in mud, burst fuel line, fuel pump failure, etc....and then you need some assistance. It's nice to have an on-call 'get me out of here' service to come to the rescue.
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Old Yesterday, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,594 posts, read 6,559,505 times
Reputation: 9979
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebbe View Post
That's really cheap of AAA. Many times car batteries die overnight in your own garage. It's happened twice to me.
If your battery is dying, overnight, in your garage...then you have a crap battery that is way past due to be replaced...and/or an alternator issue where the battery is not being properly charged and is getting run down.
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Old Yesterday, 12:48 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 926,475 times
Reputation: 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
Seems like their membership costs go up every year and the things they do go down. For instance, they used to tow free of charge but now you pay for the towing. Service calls like battery jumps and gas also has their charges as well. So what the point of joining? Free maps and bumper stickers?

For me it is the peace of mind if something beyond my control happens with my car and I can't get to any help. There is their service the someone will come to me and I don't have to walk a mile for gas, change a tire in my tux, bring a new battery or boost to me in my driveway, help me out of a snow bank, bring water for my rad, and so on. All these things might not be covered but at least they will come to my location and help me out. That's worth the cost.
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Old Yesterday, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,594 posts, read 6,559,505 times
Reputation: 9979
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
Then last year, our pickup wouldn't start and when the neighbor tried to jump start it, he got the cables backwards and fried something. I've forgotten what exactly, but it had to be towed.

AAA refused to do it. Said because it was on our property, it was not "emergency towing."

Went around about it a bit, but AAA was adamant.

So cancelled it.

Haven't missed it since.
Dunno what plan you had, but my plan(s) have always covered me, even in my driveway.

My 'driveway' is 1,000 feet long, unpaved, here in the 'sticks' in ME. Springtime here is called 'mud season' and my driveway turns into a 1,000' bog run. We have 4x4 vehicles, you put it in 4WD at the road and don't stop until you get to the house. Wife rang the phone one night- "I'm stuck near the bend, can you come up here and get me out?"

So I go up and look, her Jeep is buried, the right side is so deep that the body is actually in the mud. "Did you have it in 4WD?"

"Well, I put it in after I got stuck." That explained it. Even if I got my truck and hooked a chain to it, there was no way it was coming out of the hole(s) she'd made, it would have to be hoisted *up* and out. "Hello, AAA?"

I told them to send a truck with a hoist instead of a flatbed, the truck showed up maybe 20 minutes later. No problem. Hoisted it up and out of the hole(s). AAA didn't say a damn thing about it being in my own driveway.

Her new(er) Jeep is currently sitting with a dead fuel pump, in front of the garage. I've already confirmed that AAA will come and tow it to a garage for me. (I already have the new fuel pump and was going to do the job myself...until I found that I need to drop the gas tank, which I had just filled, and I haven't yet figured out a way to do that with the equipment I have.)
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Old Yesterday, 01:45 PM
 
2,137 posts, read 502,702 times
Reputation: 2393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
Dunno what plan you had, but my plan(s) have always covered me, even in my driveway.

My 'driveway' is 1,000 feet long, unpaved, here in the 'sticks' in ME. Springtime here is called 'mud season' and my driveway turns into a 1,000' bog run. We have 4x4 vehicles, you put it in 4WD at the road and don't stop until you get to the house. Wife rang the phone one night- "I'm stuck near the bend, can you come up here and get me out?"

So I go up and look, her Jeep is buried, the right side is so deep that the body is actually in the mud. "Did you have it in 4WD?"

"Well, I put it in after I got stuck." That explained it. Even if I got my truck and hooked a chain to it, there was no way it was coming out of the hole(s) she'd made, it would have to be hoisted *up* and out. "Hello, AAA?"

I told them to send a truck with a hoist instead of a flatbed, the truck showed up maybe 20 minutes later. No problem. Hoisted it up and out of the hole(s). AAA didn't say a damn thing about it being in my own driveway.

Her new(er) Jeep is currently sitting with a dead fuel pump, in front of the garage. I've already confirmed that AAA will come and tow it to a garage for me. (I already have the new fuel pump and was going to do the job myself...until I found that I need to drop the gas tank, which I had just filled, and I haven't yet figured out a way to do that with the equipment I have.)
Excellent service based off of your account. I hope more people experience this level of service than the OP's.

Interesting story I have as a city slicker with a Chevy Volt. Unnamed roadside assistance company (honestly, I forgot) needs to be dispatched for a jump (my 12-volt battery died, that controls the power door locks and key-less ignition, not the main battery, which had a full charge).

I am informed by phone support that the in-network roadside assistance can only tow hybrid-electric vehicles, they do not offer jumping as a service. I said "well just tow me to the nearest garage and they'll jump it", driver is dispatched, and the tow truck driver has no problem giving me 12V leads to start the car. The technicality was, his dispatch app expects the tow truck driver to be at the destination before it will allow him to close out the job. He said he will proceed to the parking lot of Pep Boys and close out the job. I met him there (5 minute drive) signed the papers, and that was that!
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Old Yesterday, 01:53 PM
 
26,240 posts, read 50,701,231 times
Reputation: 19918
Some have CSAA and don't own a vehicle because CSAA is more than just road service... it is a membership that is much more than Home Owners.

Family had been with Fireman's Fund for 30 years and then got a letter they were being dropped... also, another family member got the same for car insurance and that letter said the company was ceasing operations in California.

I said why not call CSAA... as it would be hard to imagine CSAA ever leaving California!

Both are very pleased with CSAA.
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Old Yesterday, 02:10 PM
 
8,702 posts, read 4,092,619 times
Reputation: 11123
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty61 View Post
For me it is the peace of mind if something beyond my control happens with my car and I can't get to any help. There is their service the someone will come to me and I don't have to walk a mile for gas, change a tire in my tux, bring a new battery or boost to me in my driveway, help me out of a snow bank, bring water for my rad, and so on. All these things might not be covered but at least they will come to my location and help me out. That's worth the cost.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
Yeah, this is it, I consider it the same as an insurance policy. I have the top of the line membership. I don't use it all the time, or even every year. I typically travel well-prepared- jacks, tools, even some spare parts and have the ability to solve most of the common problems that occur...but every now and then something drastic occurs that even advance preparation can't cure- alternator failure 80 miles from the nearest parts store, buried up to the body in mud, burst fuel line, fuel pump failure, etc....and then you need some assistance. It's nice to have an on-call 'get me out of here' service to come to the rescue.

Everyone has access to that 'get me out of here' service without AAA. It is usually the exact same service provider as if you had AAA. AAA doesn't own any wreckers. If there's a wrecker available to respond to your AAA call there's a wrecker available to the public at large. You just have to pay for it. So AAA is not insurance against getting stranded but insurance against the cost of getting help. It's not like AAA member gets a tow and a ride in a blizzard and non-AAA member freezes in their car overnight.



The equation is how the cost of the annual memberships over the years compares to the cost of the services consumed. It's the same equation for all inusrance services. Difference in some, like health or home, is that the potential downside can wipe you out beyond ability to sustain or recover. I've saved thousands in AAA premiums over last 20 years and paid a few hundred in tows. The prospect of having to pay for another tow or two this year doesn't even remotely change the equation.
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Old Yesterday, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande
86 posts, read 119,799 times
Reputation: 116
AAA is a middle man that backs the subcontracted company that comes out to help you 100% of the time. These guys are not going to operate at a loss. So if that subcontract determines that their service exceeds what they are going to receive from their agreed contract with AAA, you are going to have to pay the additional cost regardless of what you believe your membership status says. This is why there are so many various experiences because it is completely up to the subcontract and has nothing to do with AAA themselves.


I won't comment on all the negative stories here, but will comment on the poster that needed the hoist truck in their driveway. This is why the off-road community abhors AAA. Those trucks are a lot more expensive to own and operate than a run of the mill flatbed which probably is what AAA contracts are based on. They don't honor a lot of what is in their contract regarding distance and towing when it's not on paved roads.
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Old Yesterday, 03:46 PM
 
Location: NY / Fl.
349 posts, read 262,616 times
Reputation: 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
Seems like their membership costs go up every year and the things they do go down. For instance, they used to tow free of charge but now you pay for the towing. Service calls like battery jumps and gas also has their charges as well. So what the point of joining? Free maps and bumper stickers?
Yep, I always have to stop & think about renewing..and I always renew. Last year 4 or 5 nights in hotels saved me 10%. Other then that its just an inexpensive way to have peace of mind for emergency service for my car.
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Old Yesterday, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,594 posts, read 6,559,505 times
Reputation: 9979
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
Everyone has access to that 'get me out of here' service without AAA. It is usually the exact same service provider as if you had AAA. AAA doesn't own any wreckers. If there's a wrecker available to respond to your AAA call there's a wrecker available to the public at large. You just have to pay for it. So AAA is not insurance against getting stranded but insurance against the cost of getting help. It's not like AAA member gets a tow and a ride in a blizzard and non-AAA member freezes in their car overnight.
This may be true, but without AAA I would need to hunt down and make phone calls to find someone willing to come and do the job, and wait until they get around to it. While that might not be a big problem in my driveway, where I can simply walk to the house and pull out a phone listing and make calls in comfort, out on the road in an unfamiliar area it becomes a much bigger deal. In either case, being able to call just a single 1-800 number and be assured of someone getting there in a reasonable amount of time is worth it.



Quote:
The equation is how the cost of the annual memberships over the years compares to the cost of the services consumed. It's the same equation for all inusrance services. Difference in some, like health or home, is that the potential downside can wipe you out beyond ability to sustain or recover. I've saved thousands in AAA premiums over last 20 years and paid a few hundred in tows. The prospect of having to pay for another tow or two this year doesn't even remotely change the equation.
It's not just the cost of the tows. Part of it (a big part) is the convenience of being able to call a single number no matter where I am and having somebody get to me in a timely fashion. When you're out in East Fumbuck, 80 miles from anywhere and 800 miles from home this can be a Very Big Deal. BTDT. It's like a gun, it is better to have and not need, than to need and not have (and yes, I carry that 'insurance policy' too, and have needed to use it, one of those times was when I could have used AAA, but didn't have it). Our cell phones are the same, and they cost [nearly] as much in a much in a month as AAA costs for a year.

And there are some people, whose finances are dire, living paycheck to paycheck, who drive crapboxes that are even more likely to break down and need towing, that a few hundred $ in towing charges *would* be catastrophic- if they've paid the AAA up front that disaster can be somewhat mitigated. Failing to do that can have a domino effect where what is an 'inconvenience' for others results in major troubles for them.
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