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Old Yesterday, 07:29 AM
 
12,715 posts, read 14,281,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
No no and no

This is right from AAA


AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES

A non-refundable $75 Immediate Service Fee is charged if roadside assistance is requested the same day a New member joins.

This includes a new primary or associate member or a canceled member renewing one year or more past their expiration date. Regardless of the membership level purchased, any same day services provided will be at the Classic Membership level.

Big deal. You pay $75 to roll the dice and sign up when needed.


In 20+ years of driving, i've only needed AAA once. I signed up on the side of the road, and then got my car towed home. I did pay the $75.

That was 6 years ago. I haven't used AAA since and let it expire after that 1 year was up. By not renewing, i've recooped my $75 fee or any other additional charged i incurred by not having it prior.

Next time I need it, i'll sign up on the side of the road again. Only took 5 minutes.
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Old Yesterday, 07:35 AM
 
16,829 posts, read 7,134,471 times
Reputation: 20781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
Just an FYI, for about $30 or so you can purchase a perfectly good tire inflator pump that you can use yourself to pump up a flat tire. These inflators plug into the cigarette lighter (power outlet) of the car and can pump up a tire in just a few minutes. It might take 5 minutes if the tire is completely flat.

There is no physical effort required to use one of these pumps other than simply hooking the hose of the pump to the tire valve and plugging the electric cord into the power outlet in the car. The pump does all the work. Unless you've run over something that gouged a big gaping hole in the tire, you should be able to easily drive any reasonable distance to a service station to get the tire fixed.

I carry a pump like this in my car all the time. With reasonable care, it will last 20 years or longer and you can use it to inflate all sorts of things.

Along with a pair of jumper cables, can of fix-a-flat, and roadside emergency kit.
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Old Yesterday, 08:11 AM
 
16,829 posts, read 7,134,471 times
Reputation: 20781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
Well, here's my take on it. AAA is basically an insurance company. They collect premiums from millions of customers and dole out benefits on an as-needed basis. At the end of the day, they have to have enough income from premiums to stay in business and make a profit.

This means that for everyone who is constantly running out of gas, getting flat tires repaired, getting a jump start or new battery for their car, there are many, many others who are paying for these benefits but seldom if ever using them.

Yeah, these threads bring out of the woodwork anecdotal stories of how people get more benefits than the premiums but that's just not happening on an aggregate level. I think in many cases they think about the couple of times they saved a few hundred dollars but not about the 20 years of hundred dollar premiums.



I think AAA is a great deal for a small segment of members and was a great deal for many more members back in 1975. Back then, AAA was a unique source of information not readily available. It was hard to know what motels were available several states away much less the rates and phone numbers. It was hard to know where the gas stations were and back then stations were less likely to be 24/7. Paper maps were essential, especially for anything off-interstate. I had a file cabinet full of dozens of maps. Discounts were hard to find elsewhere. Cars were much more unreliable. Insurers and manufacturers didn't provide roadside assistance. You didn't have cellphones. AAA might still have it's place for some but I think there are equal or better options for most of it's historical main benefits.
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Old Yesterday, 09:03 AM
 
1,617 posts, read 585,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
Well put. It's something I've often thought but never framed it well. Those always chasing "peace of mind" are the least likely to ever find it. They will buy all kinds of extended warranties and insurance policies to cover every situation possible and still worry to death over the edge cases where they are not covered.
Or worry about the insurance company not paying out as they should, or about something in the fine print, etc.

But, yes, exactly!
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Old Yesterday, 09:04 AM
 
1,617 posts, read 585,733 times
Reputation: 2783
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post
Big deal. You pay $75 to roll the dice and sign up when needed.


In 20+ years of driving, i've only needed AAA once. I signed up on the side of the road, and then got my car towed home. I did pay the $75.

That was 6 years ago. I haven't used AAA since and let it expire after that 1 year was up. By not renewing, i've recooped my $75 fee or any other additional charged i incurred by not having it prior.

Next time I need it, i'll sign up on the side of the road again. Only took 5 minutes.
They apparently toughened up their policies. You have to wait 24 hours after you sign up to get service.
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Old Yesterday, 09:34 AM
 
88,731 posts, read 86,319,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
They apparently toughened up their policies. You have to wait 24 hours after you sign up to get service.
Or pay 75 dollar same day charge, and tow coverage at the basic mileage number
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Old Yesterday, 09:46 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
27,889 posts, read 46,379,917 times
Reputation: 32571
If you are risk averse.... Buy it, enjoy the trip.

Use the discounts, resources, services.... Or consider your membership as insurance or a donation to your peace of mind. We all have spent more for less. I spend the extra dough for premium coverage since we often tow, are always in the boonies, and also use an RV on occasion. Seldom use it, but DW has a habit of locking keys in car at remote scenic overlooks. As a lifelong farmer with many cars, truck, equipment...I never lock my car, and leave my keys in the ignition so I know where they are at. Day and night.
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Old Yesterday, 02:46 PM
 
5,142 posts, read 2,808,156 times
Reputation: 24109
We have AAA, but haven't needed to use it. For us it's like having an insurance policy. We'll probably never need it, but we'll be glad we have it if we ever do need it. We think the peace of mind it gives us is worth the cost.
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Old Yesterday, 03:28 PM
 
16,896 posts, read 20,444,681 times
Reputation: 21995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
My auto insurer offers free towing and roadside assist included in my premium. I would check and see if your policy has this feature.
+1

If the OP doesn't currently have this coverage on his/her policy, it could undoubtedly be added for a fraction of the price that AAA charges.

I was a AAA member for many years, but when I bought my latest new car in 2010, the mfr included free roadside assistance for three years, and around the same time, my insurance company began to include roadside assistance. So, I dropped my AAA coverage.

A couple of months later, I got a phone call from AAA asking why I didn't realize how vital their coverage is.
My response was, "Well, I am already covered for roadside assistance for 3 years by the folks who made my car, and I also have this coverage on my auto insurance policy, thus giving me double coverage of what you want to sell to me. Are you claiming that I need overlapping roadside assistance from 3 different companies?".

To her credit, the woman who phoned me was refreshingly honest, and she said something along the lines of... No, you clearly don't need AAA, but if you ever feel the need for our coverage, please contact us.

I thanked her for her honesty and forthrightness.

In "the old days", AAA coverage came with the added benefit of free trip routing and free road maps. However, the advent of extremely accurate GPS programs makes that type of AAA service outdated and unnecessary.

Nowadays, AAA makes most of their money from serving as a travel agent, rather than through road service contracts. That is because so many people--like me--no longer see the need for AAA coverage.
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Old Yesterday, 04:11 PM
 
2,372 posts, read 1,147,535 times
Reputation: 1862
Personally I used to be a fan of AAA but now I am thinking whether I can do without it. The pros of a AAA membership I find were that they offered a lot of tourbooks, tripticks, maps,* International drivers permits and more. As well as some DMV services without needing to get in the DMV's long line.*For Emergency road service they did offer generous amount of services that many other insurance companies don't offer in their coverage. I.e extended towing up to 200 miles depending on plan*and battery service. Most insurance companies only cover 5 miles which is impossible to get anywhere if you happen to be driving through those pass through states or central valley/deserts of California and the west.

However recently as I noticed over the*years they are all about lobbying for more unnecessary nanny state laws that have plenty of unintended consequences. You cannot legislate your way towards utopia. Many new driving related laws with each passing*year in different states of the country have a lot to do with AAA's lobbying. And my membership fees are used to increase the chance I would get stopped by police in different states due to more confusing new laws. A vicious cycle as insurers would use any citations to raise rates.
Also while their ERS seems much more comprehensive compared to other insurers they only allow 4 complementary calls a year. Meaning if you are unlikely you may be hit with a huge bill if a tire blows on the highway and you already used up your four calls that year if that unlucky.

Though the last straw I find is how they blanket banned members from riding along with them in the tow truck's cab without thinking about or clearly offering or reimbursing*alternative in the name of COVID. Despite how insurers AAA likely included are probably overflowing with money due to less claims with most commuters working from home or losing their jobs. Originally AAA required*the member had to stay with the vehicle until its dropped off. Now the issue is they want you to use a taxi or rideshare instead(aka illegal taxi) problem is those are extremely scarce during the pandemic(and might only take two passengers in a single vehicle), also plenty of North America is middle of nowhere where cell phone service is scarce and Rideshare and taxis let alone rental cars or even open restrooms maybe nonexistent for hundreds of miles especially at night. Also I believe they still won't tow if the member departs before the service arrives even if thats the only way they could get a ride available in the area. I don't know if reports/rumers that people were forced to ride on the flatbed, refused because they were medical nurses, stranded in the middle of nowhere by AAA/CAA with no cell reception let alone taxis are true. Though overall these days I am now very disappointed with AAA. These days maps and tour information is online thus AAA is not as useful as in the past. Thats just my 2 cents on the whole thing.*
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