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AAA Vs. Credit Card Roadside Assistance

dioxide45

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We have recently been rather disappointed with AAA service. Two service calls in the last year or so and the wait times were rather unreasonable. Two hours for a lock out call. We had to call back and they ended up sending the wrong person. We needed a locksmith and they just sent someone to fish the lock open. That sent our alarm blaring and with no keys, they were in the trunk, we couldn't open the trunk. We ended up what we should have done in the beginning. Call a friend to drive us home to get our other set of keys. We filled out a survey and asked to be contacted about the service call and no one has contacted us.

We did have some quick battery replacement service a few years ago. Had to pay for the battery, but it was quick and efficient.

Our insurance company offers coverage for $10 every renewal cycle, which is 6 months. Not sure how it works since we dropped it a while back since we had AAA. Not sure if we will renew next year or look at other options. $100 a year is pretty expensive.
 

csxjohn

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Lots of bad info being posted here, but these are the facts:



Personally, I get the AAA because the discounts I get for theme park tickets, meals, souvenirs, rental cars, plane tickets, hotel rooms, etc MORE than cover the cost of the membership. We also get the free maps and tour books.

Those may be the benefits you get from your local club. Benefits are not the same everywhere. It depends where you live.

One example is the towing for basic membership. I get 3 miles to the destination of my choice or free back to the AAA station.
 
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theo

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"The facts" are not the final word, just locally applicable club terms...

Those may be the benefits you get from your local club. Benefits are not the same everywhere. It depends where you live.

One example is the towing for basic membership. I get 3 miles to the destination of my choice or free back to the AAA station.

Exactly so. Slightly different terms in different clubs / geographic areas doesn't somehow make any of the previously reported accurate details "bad info". Sheesh. :rolleyes:

"The facts" chart provided (with accompanying judgmental commentary) is for one particular (but unspecified) club's geographic area. It may or may not be precisely what applies in the geographic are of the OP's son, but in my experience AAA coverage is relatively consistent throughout the U.S. Minor differences should not preclude OP son promptly getting himself a membership. That $280 towing experience should be lesson enough; that $ would have paid for nearly 4 years of AAA Plus membership! :eek:
 
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donnaval

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We've had AAA for quite a while and will always have it. It seems we use it for something at least once each year. They've come to our home to change a tire in the garage, jump-started, etc. One other benefit is if you are traveling in someone else's car, and there is a problem, you can use your AAA. A couple of years ago, we were in Gatlinburg on a gal's trip, using my friend's car. Her starter failed while we were at the resort. She did not have any sort of service plan. The closest Honda dealer who could fix her problem right away was in Knoxville - AAA arrived in 30 minutes and towed her Element at no cost. As others have mentioned, we also use it for travel benefits, discounts, notary services, all kind of things.

When I bought a new car a few years ago, it came with roadside service so I dropped myself off our master membership. Had a problem - called the roadside service, was on hold for almost 30 minutes when my cell died and I was never helped. We had to go find a phone, and call someone to come and pick us up and my car sat there until the next day when I was able to get through to the "free" roadside service and arrange for it to be towed, which again took quite a long time on the phone and then I had to get a ride to the car and be there through the whole ordeal. I put myself back on the AAA master membership the same day.
 

A.Win

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I am considering buying this, but it probably isn't a good fit for me. Here is why:

- I always drive cars that are less than 10 years old.
- I rarely drive further than 3 hours from home.
- For hotel discounts, many people have other options such as: Govt rate, military rate, corporate rate, senior rate, etc. Plus discounts from my Wyndham and Bluegreen vacation club ownerships.
- For other discounts, I prefer buying the entertainment book. That only costs $5 to $30 per year. I think it includes a lot more than AAA. Also Wyndham Perks is free for me and also provides discounts. I use some restaurant.com certificates too.
- I think my credit cards can provide assistance in case of emergencies (I have AMEX, Visa, and MC).
- I can rely on friends and family that live nearby.

So for me, the chances of using benefits that exceed the annual fee is probably very small.
 

ace2000

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I am considering buying this, but it probably isn't a good fit for me. Here is why:

- I always drive cars that are less than 10 years old.
- I rarely drive further than 3 hours from home.
- For hotel discounts, many people have other options such as: Govt rate, military rate, corporate rate, senior rate, etc. Plus discounts from my Wyndham and Bluegreen vacation club ownerships.
- For other discounts, I prefer buying the entertainment book. That only costs $5 to $30 per year. I think it includes a lot more than AAA. Also Wyndham Perks is free for me and also provides discounts. I use some restaurant.com certificates too.
- I think my credit cards can provide assistance in case of emergencies (I have AMEX, Visa, and MC).
- I can rely on friends and family that live nearby.

So for me, the chances of using benefits that exceed the annual fee is probably very small.

You don't mention if you have a spouse or kids, but for me those are the biggest reasons I go with AAA. And by the way, where is all this "bad" info on this thread? Trying to find it... :) only joking, no need to respond.
 

Fern Modena

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I live in a desert. Car batteries drop like flies. If you ask (at least in my area) AAA to send the "battery truck," they will sell you a battery if yours turns out ti be daid. And once you buy one from them, they will prorate the next one.

That's the thing I use them most for here. We don't have DMV services (although I do think they may have DMV in a Box), and you can't pay tickets at out AAA. You could do both in California.

Fern
 

SMHarman

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You don't mention if you have a spouse or kids, but for me those are the biggest reasons I go with AAA. And by the way, where is all this "bad" info on this thread? Trying to find it... :) only joking, no need to respond.
As we discovered recently AAA is for the individual not the vehicle.
 

dioxide45

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As we discovered recently AAA is for the individual not the vehicle.

True, it also covers you if you are a passenger in a vehicle. You don't have to be the driver.
 

Ken555

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In CA the DMV services alone are worth keeping the membership, so that I don't have to wait in line at the DMV. They can't do everything the DMV does but for most things, it's great.

Everything else is just gravy to me. I look at it as yet another cheap insurance policy.


Sent from my iPad
 

Sea Six

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Those may be the benefits you get from your local club. Benefits are not the same everywhere. It depends where you live.

One example is the towing for basic membership. I get 3 miles to the destination of my choice or free back to the AAA station.

Which is why so many of these previous statements are FALSE because they may not apply to the OP.
 

pedro47

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If the OP purchased AAA could they add their son to the AAA membership?
 
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csxjohn

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In CA the DMV services alone are worth keeping the membership, so that I don't have to wait in line at the DMV. They can't do everything the DMV does but for most things, it's great.

Everything else is just gravy to me. I look at it as yet another cheap insurance policy.


Sent from my iPad

Our local AAA stopped issuing plates for the DMV years ago and I always used it for the shorter lines.

Now that Ohio has staggered due dates there are very few lines anyhow. It used to be that everyone got new plates in April, now it's on your birthday. And we can now renew plates on line.
 

WinniWoman

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Thank you everyone for your input. It seems that it would be a good idea for him to maybe at least get the "Plus" plan. (Thanks for the chart, csxjohn)

(His newly repaired car is now leaking (it was the rear end that went on his 2004 RAV 4 with 178,000 miles on it) and he has to bring it back to the shop today. He was able to borrow a friends car to get to work today. Ugh!)
 

csxjohn

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Thank you everyone for your input. It seems that it would be a good idea for him to maybe at least get the "Plus" plan. (Thanks for the chart, csxjohn)

(His newly repaired car is now leaking (it was the rear end that went on his 2004 RAV 4 with 178,000 miles on it) and he has to bring it back to the shop today. He was able to borrow a friends car to get to work today. Ugh!)

I can't take credit for the chart Sea Six posted it originally, however it may not apply to your area. Go to the AAA web site and put in the zip code where he lives and you can get an idea of bennies.

I can't give you a link. When I search I'm directed to the MI club benefits. When I searched yesterday I was able to put in my zip code so you need to try from where you live to get the right club and right chart
 

uop1497

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In CA the DMV services alone are worth keeping the membership, so that I don't have to wait in line at the DMV. They can't do everything the DMV does but for most things, it's great.

Everything else is just gravy to me. I look at it as yet another cheap insurance policy.


Sent from my iPad

Can you please share detail of DMV service AAA offer . We had AAA account many years for road service in case needed. Thank you
 

isisdave

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Can you please share detail of DMV service AAA offer . We had AAA account many years for road service in case needed. Thank you

You can do vehicle-related (and trailer and boat) transactions. Since change-of-address and renewals can be done by mail or online, really it boils down to the ability to do re-registration associated with private-party sales. No driver licensing activities, though.
 

WinniWoman

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I can't take credit for the chart Sea Six posted it originally, however it may not apply to your area. Go to the AAA web site and put in the zip code where he lives and you can get an idea of bennies.

I can't give you a link. When I search I'm directed to the MI club benefits. When I searched yesterday I was able to put in my zip code so you need to try from where you live to get the right club and right chart

OOPs! Well, thanks Sea Six! I will also tell my son to search by zip code-thanks csxjohn.
 
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AAA discounts = other apps for MORE discount +AAA

I downloaded Larky app.
You select all of your affiliations by name (no account numbers, nothing divulging) eg, AAA, car insurance company, college, airlines / hotel affiliations, museums, government, and many more - all of those organizations which give you discounts but you didnt know you had!!! And then larky not only keeps all your discounts in one place but TELLS YOU when you should be getting a discount.
Ok so maybe this should be a new post in the lounge about location based DISCOUNTS via phone app...
I read about this in money magazine and maybe NYTime or WSJ also.
 

MichaelColey

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Awesome suggestion! Just downloaded it.

Another handy app (but that DOES link to your accounts) is Wallaby. It'll let you know which credit card to use at each location/category to maximize your rewards.
 

WinniWoman

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I downloaded Larky app.
You select all of your affiliations by name (no account numbers, nothing divulging) eg, AAA, car insurance company, college, airlines / hotel affiliations, museums, government, and many more - all of those organizations which give you discounts but you didnt know you had!!! And then larky not only keeps all your discounts in one place but TELLS YOU when you should be getting a discount.
Ok so maybe this should be a new post in the lounge about location based DISCOUNTS via phone app...
I read about this in money magazine and maybe NYTime or WSJ also.

Thanks! Great suggestion!
 

geoand

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AAA is a very good deal for us

This past spring, we drove from home to Palm Springs. Sunday morning we had a flat tire while in Lebec, CA. Tire was not repairable and there were no tires available to us in the area. We had AAA transport us and the car to Palm Springs via one of those flat bed tow vehicles. We rode up front with the driver. Almost 200 miles and there was no charge to us. AAA has always been prompt, courteous, and most helpful.
 

Phill12

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We have been with AAA for more than 35 years and very happy with most treatment but never liked paying more to be a member and more for towing service.:doh:
We have use it maybe five times in 35 years and most were for flat tire at our home. We had one time when I called them and the AAA driver never showed up after five hours and AAA kept saying he should be there and later we found he stopped off a womens house one block from us to visit or something else? We finally called a outside service who in less than one hour had the tire fixed.:clap:
The last time was in the Tracy area heading towards the bay area and our daughter's car broke down on the freeway.AAA did show up but we drove there before him and made sure our daughter was safe. He held us hostage making us up grade with AAA before he would tow the car to the Tracy dealership which was three miles from where she broke down. We were told we had the regular coverage and because the next place he could get off the freeway was about seven miles ahead and then come back it was over our miles and had to up grade our package. We still have it but only because we have always had it and just didn't want to make change.:ponder:

If we had to do it all over we wouldn't pay AAA for this and just use a credit card when needed!:crash:

PHILL12
 

Ken555

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This thread prompted me to upgrade to the AAA Plus membership level so I can get 100 miles of free towing if needed.

I was rear ended by an 18-year old a few days ago (not going too fast, thankfully) while I was at a stop, and though I know in such situations I would be covered for a tow anyway I want better coverage now that I drive further and am not going to be covered by the car manufacturer's included benefits in the near future (my car is almost at the end of it's included warranty, etc).
 
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