Do people still use AAA?

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fittan
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Do people still use AAA?

Post by fittan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm

I cancelled AAA few years ago and instead added "emergency road service" to Geico. The savings is quite signficant. AAA costs about $56/year while Geico only $4.80. And if my credit card provides this service for free, I will even drop Geico.

Few months ago, I got stranded on the highway. Called Chase road side assistance. They got my info and hand it off to tow truck provider. Waited for 2 hours and when I called back, the service was cancelled without any explanation. Chase gave the "there's nothing we can do" reply and I was fuming.

So my questions are:

1) Do you still have AAA?

2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service?

Thanks.

TravelGeek
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:33 pm

I still use them. I subscribe to the "plus" level for the increased 100 mile towing range (considering where we live and like to drive, hopefully we will never need it, but it's good to know it won't cost me an arm and a leg to get my vehicle back to a repair shop).

We used AAA twice over the last two years for dead batteries. No problems. In the past I used them once for a flat tire. Also no problem.

I also use the AAA discount all the time for hotel and car rental bookings.

No idea how they compare to other services.

panhead
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by panhead » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:34 pm

fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
I cancelled AAA few years ago and instead added "emergency road service" to Geico. The savings is quite signficant. AAA costs about $56/year while Geico only $4.80. And if my credit card provides this service for free, I will even drop Geico.

Few months ago, I got stranded on the highway. Called Chase road side assistance. They got my info and hand it off to tow truck provider. Waited for 2 hours and when I called back, the service was cancelled without any explanation. Chase gave the "there's nothing we can do" reply and I was fuming.

So my questions are:

1) Do you still have AAA?

2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service?

Thanks.
I've never had AAA and I am pretty handy so I've fixed some of my older cars on the side of the road when they broke down, and I certainly don't mind changing a tire. That being said, I recently picked up a motorhome and joined "Good Sam" club which will tow an RV like mine off the road. I did this because one tow of these large vehicles can be very expensive as compared to a car. The cool thing is that they cover your car as well, so now I do have roadside assistance.

sport
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by sport » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:39 pm

I have two Toyota Camrys in good condition. I have AAA, but never need it for towing or road service. I use it for hotel discounts and travel information. Of course, if there is ever a breakdown, I have it available for that too.

HIinvestor
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:40 pm

We have AAA for ourselves and our adult kids. D has used it to tow her car, which is why we pay for it. We have used it to restart our car and my folk’s car several times over the years. We also get hotel discounts from them but not so much discounts on attractions. They are said to pay their tow drivers well according to the tow driver I spoke to. The estimated time for the driver to arrive is generally pretty accurate and they generally arrive in a reasonable amount of time.

I know some insurers have a lower prices option, as do some cell phone plans. I’ve been happy with AAA, so we’ve stuck with them. They also give members access to their DMV services in CA, which is very helpful.

SEAworld9
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by SEAworld9 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:40 pm

sport wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:39 pm
I have two Toyota Camrys in good condition. I have AAA, but never need it for towing or road service. I use it for hotel discounts and travel information. Of course, if there is ever a breakdown, I have it available for that too.
this. i also have towing coverage through a few credit cards, but mainly use it for hotel discounts.

goingup
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by goingup » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:52 pm

Yes, since the 90's. Towing, lock-outs, dead batteries, maps, hotel discounts. I got 10% off theater tickets last week which was nice. We also have roadside service with LandRover but having AAA is cheap insurance. I think it's $90/year for 2 drivers.

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nisiprius
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by nisiprius » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:53 pm

fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
1) Do you still have AAA?
Yes. And we used them in 2016. Due to "operator error" we drained the battery on our car overnight while camping on the eclipse path in Nebraska, and sheepishly called AAA, which took care of us. The location was remote enough that the truck actually came from Iowa.
2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service? Thanks.
This is a big, big mystery to me and I'd love to know the answer. Obviously (?) in the areas I'm familiar with, AAA does not, and I don't think has ever had its "own" fleet; they contract with local repair shops which are then allowed to put up a sign and slap a decal on their trucks.

And something about the whole business has changed, maybe 5-10 years ago??? AAA started opening up lots of local offices that seem to be more in the travel and insurance business, and, simultaneously, seemingly lots of other roadside assistance services, including many named for car companies that come "free" for a couple of years with a new car, sprang up.

I imagine that there are really only a small number of networks, which private-label their services. Somewhat like dozens of cell phone companies that actually use a small number of different tower networks. But I don't know how to figure out who is "really" behind them, or how to compare.

We just keep AAA out of inertia. There have been periods of overlap between having AAA and having "free" roadside assistance from a car company, but when push comes to shove when I'm feeling stressed I haven't been in the mood to experiment with non-AAA.

I also find that real, paper road maps, for planning a trip, and, when on a trip, deciding where to go next, are incomparably better than trying to get by by printing out Google Maps or trying to do it all on-screen. Oddly enough, the very best maps are the "official" state highway maps you can get for free at "Welcome Centers" when you enter a state, but good luck trying to get them any other way. AAA maps are next-best, and the "retail value" of the maps we order probably covers about half the price of our AAA membership.
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Gort
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Gort » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:01 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:53 pm
fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
1) Do you still have AAA?
Yes. And we used them in 2016. Due to "operator error" we drained the battery on our car overnight while camping on the eclipse path in Nebraska, and sheepishly called AAA, which took care of us. The location was remote enough that the truck actually came from Iowa.
2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service? Thanks.
This is a big, big mystery to me and I'd love to know the answer. Obviously (?) in the areas I'm familiar with, AAA does not, and I don't think has ever had its "own" fleet; they contract with local repair shops which are then allowed to put up a sign and slap a decal on their trucks.

And something about the whole business has changed, maybe 5-10 years ago??? AAA started opening up lots of local offices that seem to be more in the travel and insurance business, and, simultaneously, seemingly lots of other roadside assistance services, including many named for car companies that come "free" for a couple of years with a new car, sprang up.

I imagine that there are really only a small number of networks, which private-label their services. Somewhat like dozens of cell phone companies that actually use a small number of different tower networks. But I don't know how to figure out who is "really" behind them, or how to compare.

We just keep AAA out of inertia. There have been periods of overlap between having AAA and having "free" roadside assistance from a car company, but when push comes to shove when I'm feeling stressed I haven't been in the mood to experiment with non-AAA.

I also find that real, paper road maps, for planning a trip, and, when on a trip, deciding where to go next, are incomparably better than trying to get by by printing out Google Maps or trying to do it all on-screen. Oddly enough, the very best maps are the "official" state highway maps you can get for free at "Welcome Centers" when you enter a state, but good luck trying to get them any other way. AAA maps are next-best, and the "retail value" of the maps we order probably covers about half the price of our AAA membership.
+1 on the AAA maps!

Dottie57
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:15 pm

Gort wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:01 pm
nisiprius wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:53 pm
fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
1) Do you still have AAA?
Yes. And we used them in 2016. Due to "operator error" we drained the battery on our car overnight while camping on the eclipse path in Nebraska, and sheepishly called AAA, which took care of us. The location was remote enough that the truck actually came from Iowa.
2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service? Thanks.
This is a big, big mystery to me and I'd love to know the answer. Obviously (?) in the areas I'm familiar with, AAA does not, and I don't think has ever had its "own" fleet; they contract with local repair shops which are then allowed to put up a sign and slap a decal on their trucks.

And something about the whole business has changed, maybe 5-10 years ago??? AAA started opening up lots of local offices that seem to be more in the travel and insurance business, and, simultaneously, seemingly lots of other roadside assistance services, including many named for car companies that come "free" for a couple of years with a new car, sprang up.

I imagine that there are really only a small number of networks, which private-label their services. Somewhat like dozens of cell phone companies that actually use a small number of different tower networks. But I don't know how to figure out who is "really" behind them, or how to compare.

We just keep AAA out of inertia. There have been periods of overlap between having AAA and having "free" roadside assistance from a car company, but when push comes to shove when I'm feeling stressed I haven't been in the mood to experiment with non-AAA.

I also find that real, paper road maps, for planning a trip, and, when on a trip, deciding where to go next, are incomparably better than trying to get by by printing out Google Maps or trying to do it all on-screen. Oddly enough, the very best maps are the "official" state highway maps you can get for free at "Welcome Centers" when you enter a state, but good luck trying to get them any other way. AAA maps are next-best, and the "retail value" of the maps we order probably covers about half the price of our AAA membership.
+1 on the AAA maps!
I have AAA and won't give it up. I want the insurance it provides. And love the maps.

alfaspider
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by alfaspider » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:18 pm

fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
I cancelled AAA few years ago and instead added "emergency road service" to Geico. The savings is quite signficant. AAA costs about $56/year while Geico only $4.80. And if my credit card provides this service for free, I will even drop Geico.

Few months ago, I got stranded on the highway. Called Chase road side assistance. They got my info and hand it off to tow truck provider. Waited for 2 hours and when I called back, the service was cancelled without any explanation. Chase gave the "there's nothing we can do" reply and I was fuming.

So my questions are:

1) Do you still have AAA?

2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service?

Thanks.
I think the biggest difference is that AAA will allow you to arrange a long-range tow to the place of your choosing (if you buy the plus level). Since I drive a vintage highly modified car that I would never take to a mechanic, this is very important to me. If you drive a reliable late-model car, AAA is probably a waste.

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knpstr
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by knpstr » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:19 pm

I have my insurance through AAA but have never used their services (other than member discounts certain places)
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tony5412
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by tony5412 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:21 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:33 pm
I still use them. I subscribe to the "plus" level for the increased 100 mile towing range (considering where we live and like to drive, hopefully we will never need it, but it's good to know it won't cost me an arm and a leg to get my vehicle back to a repair shop).
I have had AAA for a few year. When faced with renewal this year (approx a month ago), debated whether or not I should renew it. I'm glad I did as I was stranded a few weeks later, 50 miles from home, and was not charged for the tow. Then I had this experience:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=233769&p=3650811

AAA helped lessen the blow a bit.

fh2000
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by fh2000 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:26 pm

fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
Few months ago, I got stranded on the highway. Called Chase road side assistance. They got my info and hand it off to tow truck provider. Waited for 2 hours and when I called back, the service was cancelled without any explanation. Chase gave the "there's nothing we can do" reply and I was fuming.

Thanks.
Did Chase dispatch another tow care for you eventually?

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mhc
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by mhc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:31 pm

Yes for my DW. She used it this year. She couldn't start her car. AAA dispatched a person. Battery checked fine. He tapped on the started. He finally figured out that she didn't have it fully in park.

We regularly use AAA for discounts on hotels and entrance fees. The discounts each year more than pay for the annual membership fee.

fittan
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by fittan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:35 pm

fh2000 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:26 pm
fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
Few months ago, I got stranded on the highway. Called Chase road side assistance. They got my info and hand it off to tow truck provider. Waited for 2 hours and when I called back, the service was cancelled without any explanation. Chase gave the "there's nothing we can do" reply and I was fuming.

Thanks.
Did Chase dispatch another tow care for you eventually?
I don't think so. A cop pulled up and he help called a towing company directly. I never received any notifications or follow up from Chase or the towing company that failed to show up. Hence I assume they simply close the case for good.

TravelGeek
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:39 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:53 pm
I also find that real, paper road maps, for planning a trip, and, when on a trip, deciding where to go next, are incomparably better than trying to get by by printing out Google Maps or trying to do it all on-screen. Oddly enough, the very best maps are the "official" state highway maps you can get for free at "Welcome Centers" when you enter a state, but good luck trying to get them any other way. AAA maps are next-best, and the "retail value" of the maps we order probably covers about half the price of our AAA membership.
Totally agree on the benefit of paper maps. A GPS is a good thing to have, but not a replacement. Thanks for the tip on the state highway maps; I picked up one a while ago for our own state at the airport welcome center, but never really looked at it yet.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:40 pm

I went to the airport nice and early for a business flight back in August. I'm about to leave my car at the off airport parking lot and get on the shuttle. I'm so used to locking the door that I do that. Unfortunately, the key was in the car. Called AAA and they got there soon enough to still make my flight. As he arrived, I handed him my license and AAA car and asked him to leave the keys with the attendant, which he agreed to.

My only peeve is that they would not unlock the car if I wasn't there with my ID and AAA card. I asked if I could leave them with the attendant and they said no.

Now I have hide-a-key on all my cars.

We've always used the discounts. Hotels, Southwick Zoo, restaurants.



For roadside assistance, I always remember that AAA is everywhere. If you use credit card benefits and they contract with Bob's towing and Bob's in Aruba this month, you're stuck. AAA is everywhere.
Last edited by Jack FFR1846 on Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BogleMelon
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by BogleMelon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:42 pm

Yes, I have AAA 100 miles service. The peace of mind is costly, but sometimes it worth it.
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Goal33
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Goal33 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:45 pm

I pay for the plus AAA 100 mile tow.

I've paid since I've been a driver. So 11 years now... Total cost probably around 600 bucks. I'm a spinoff from my parents account so I've been a member for about 45 years even though I'm only 26 :)

I use them every year for DMV services which I find to be excellent and worth the cost alone.

I've used them for road side twice:
- Car broke down in the middle of a busy road. Everybody was flipping me off as if I could do something about it. AAA was there in 15 minutes and towed me to a repair shop. In a 4 year old well maintained Toyota
- Car wouldn't start when I was leaving from work. I called them and they changed the battery for a reasonable price. This was not an emergency and they took about 90 minutes to get to me.
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Bungo
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Bungo » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:58 pm

I still have an AAA membership even though I haven't had to use it in over 10 years. It's cheap and I have more confidence that it will deliver when/if I need it, than I do in the roadside assistances feature of my car insurance or credit cards. I do use AAA for discounts occasionally, probably not enough to pay for the membership, but it's something. They also offer DMV services, but annoyingly, they don't provide the one service that I can't already do online without visiting the DMV (renewal of driver license with vision and written exams). I forgot about paper maps - I should stop by their office and pick one up sometime. I use Google Maps for GPS, and it generally doesn't work when there's no cell connection, which is usually when I need it the most :oops:

MrJones
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by MrJones » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:01 pm

I had AAA until last year. I needed a tow then, first time in probably a decade. Out here in CA, AAA quoted $70 out of pocket for me because they cover the first five miles and their contracting tow truck charges $10 per mile beyond that, and I needed 12 miles. They had no alternative.

I called around and found a tow truck who offered to do the entire job
for $65, hookup and mileage included. So I just used them instead.

Incidentally, I used AAA insurance for a couple years recently and found them to be extremely archaic in conducting business. To resolve some minor issues they wanted me to actually physically walk into a local AAA office. The bureaucracy and attitude there made the DMV seem like heaven.
Last edited by MrJones on Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Soaker
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Soaker » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:04 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:39 pm
nisiprius wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:53 pm
I also find that real, paper road maps, for planning a trip, and, when on a trip, deciding where to go next, are incomparably better than trying to get by by printing out Google Maps or trying to do it all on-screen. Oddly enough, the very best maps are the "official" state highway maps you can get for free at "Welcome Centers" when you enter a state, but good luck trying to get them any other way. AAA maps are next-best, and the "retail value" of the maps we order probably covers about half the price of our AAA membership.
Totally agree on the benefit of paper maps. A GPS is a good thing to have, but not a replacement. Thanks for the tip on the state highway maps; I picked up one a while ago for our own state at the airport welcome center, but never really looked at it yet.
I certainly agree on paper maps, and as far as getting them another way, you can usually order a free copy from the state Department of Transportation. Home state example: NevadaDOT website.

I had AAA for ~25 years but when online maps became good enough for most of my other needs I switched to towing and labor coverage on my USAA insurance ($8 for 6 months; have used it once in the last 5 years and got much quicker service than the previous time I needed AAA's service). AARP's hotel discounts are more or less the same as AAA's.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:07 pm

Yep. DW has used it to have a flat tire changed. DS has used it several times--most of which were while he was in friends' cars, including having the keys locked inside.

TwstdSista
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by TwstdSista » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:10 pm

We were also able to get roadside assistance through our insurance company for less than $5/year. We also have newer cars and rarely leave town, so it was an easy decision to no longer pay for AAA.

However, come to think of it, we do have our life insurance through AAA. So we didn't give them up completely.

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verbose
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by verbose » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:21 pm

I believe all roadside assistance is at the mercy of local providers, especially in rural areas.

In 2002 (ok, it was a while ago), AAA was unable to send a tow truck when we blew a tire somewhere in the middle of rural Illinois because none of the local trucks would make a call on a Sunday.

We waited at least an hour to find this out because they first told us someone was coming. Eventually, a passing motorist stopped and he had a lug nut wrench that didn’t deform on an overly tight lug nut like our wrench had done. (And since then all my vehicles have a third-party four-way wrench in them.)

I cancelled AAA after that incident. I felt I’d been paying for assurance that we wouldn’t be left stranded exactly as we were.

thangngo
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by thangngo » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:24 pm

fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
I cancelled AAA few years ago and instead added "emergency road service" to Geico. The savings is quite signficant. AAA costs about $56/year while Geico only $4.80. And if my credit card provides this service for free, I will even drop Geico.

Few months ago, I got stranded on the highway. Called Chase road side assistance. They got my info and hand it off to tow truck provider. Waited for 2 hours and when I called back, the service was cancelled without any explanation. Chase gave the "there's nothing we can do" reply and I was fuming.

So my questions are:

1) Do you still have AAA?

2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service?

Thanks.
We still use AAA. It's worth it for us. We have long commute and many road trips. Every year, we come out ahead of the premium. I also enjoy AAA discount in hotel booking where it's cheaper than my IHG platinum pricing.

I reject the Geico's road side assistance one because it's garbage in my experience.

p0nyboy
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by p0nyboy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm

You can usually get hotel discounts with AAA...so if you travel you can save around $10/night at most hotels...which will offset the price of a membership.

I like the fact that AAA will tow 200 miles once per year then 100 miles after that...until new year. Every now and then my wife has to drive to DC from PA for work...its around 150 miles one way. If she breaks down when in the city AAA can tow her car back to our house (uncle nearby who is a mechanic.)

If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.

not4me
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by not4me » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:36 pm

At least in some cases, AAA seems to have their own fleet. I've seen their vehicles with logo, etc. I think they use them in more populated areas for battery, jump start, etc That is non-tow calls.

investor4life
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by investor4life » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:37 pm

I've had AAA for a long time and use their services occasionally. Membership is more or less free for me once I factor in the hotel discounts and the $50 reward checks that my AAA credit card cuts me every few months (which I can apply towards membership).

If you have Sprint, then they pay your basic AAA membership fee (https://promo.sprint.com/AAA/ExistingLa ... nity%3AAAA).

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:38 pm

I still have AAA, the only time I used it in the past is when I used a rental car.

quantAndHold
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:44 pm

We had AAA back in the day. We canceled it because we don't want to support some of the political lobbying they do. We have towing as part of our car insurance for *much* less. We call whoever we want, then the insurance pays the bill. We've used it. It works fine. We use a RV specific roadside assistance company for the motorhome. AAA and all of the other roadside assistance providers contract with independent tow companies. You'll probably get the same tow truck no matter who you call. When I needed roadside assistance last week for the motorhome, the truck that showed up had an AAA logo on it.

For paper maps, we just buy maps. We can buy all of the maps we need for less than the cost of the membership, and they're better quality, and more specific to our personal needs.

AAA and AARP offer pretty much the same discounts for the same places, and AARP is much cheaper.

The one thing I do miss, however, is being able to go into the AAA office to do DMV transactions. I didn't think I needed that, since I hadn't been inside a DMV in over 10 years. But then this year, I had to go to the DMV 4 times for different things, and it was painful. I don't think I would have saved any time going to AAA, since the DMV is closer to my house than the closest AAA office, and the last time I went to AAA for something I ended up sitting and waiting for a very long time. But the AAA office was cleaner and quieter.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:45 pm

So long as AAA keeps sending AAA badged trucks and uniformed employees, at least in my area, we will continue to use them.

Insurance companies using contracted roadside assistance is not something I want to deal with.

When I call AAA, I get AAA. Small price to pay to ensure wife's encounters with tow truck operators and such are with a familiar business.

Over the course of the year AAA costs peanuts, in the grand scheme of things.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

miamivice
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by miamivice » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:47 pm

Obviously a lot of AAA lovers here.

As far as towing, most Bogleheads say to purchase insurance for risks that you cannot assume yourself. A tow costs maybe $150 or $200. AAA costs maybe $50 or $100 a year. So if you don't need your car towed more often than once every couple years, it's better to self-insure than it is to purchase AAA membership.

We do not use or carry AAA.

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Toons
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Toons » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:55 pm

Geico Here
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Meg77
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Meg77 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:58 pm

I lock my keys in my car about once a year and use AAA for that. Have used them for a flat tire in the past as well. The $40 a year or whatever I pay is worth it, though I didn't realize there were really alternatives I have to say...
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

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verbose
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by verbose » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:00 pm

p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm
If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.

You may be referring to my post. How does a man change a tire without tools? The wrench broke. We had no way to remove the lug nuts. I’ve seen men remove beer caps with their teeth but, so far, not lug nuts.

TravelGeek
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:02 pm

p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm
If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.
I have changed blown tires on several occasions, on multiple continents.

That didn't stop me from calling road service when the tire of a rental car blew on a freeway in Seattle, forcing me to pull over at a spot where getting out of the car and working on the tire would have been rather unsafe without the flashing emergency lights of a service vehicle behind me. Plus, we were on the way to a wedding and I was wearing a suit.

So yeah, I, as a guy, didn't feel bad about calling them (*) at that time.

Until the little yellow Smart car pulled up behind me and a 70-year-old guy with metal knee braces climbed out of it to change my tire.

True story.

(*) them in this case wasn't AAA; it was whoever Alamo sent out.
Last edited by TravelGeek on Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:03 pm

I haven’t had AAA in a couple of decades. I don’t see the value unless they are shown to provide some ultra-superior form of support for breakdowns—and I don’t think that they do. My CC and insurance both provide emergency road service and I have used both. I would use the CC first so as not to give insurance any reason to raise premiums.

The most common problems that come up for people are batteries and flat tires. One can carry a small jump starter. Even a mechanically inexperienced person can be shown how it works in a few minutes (just follow instructions on charger). They cost about $100 and fit in the glove compartment. When AAA jump starts your car, they basically use a professional version of this and since it’s easy to do, why bother to wait for them? As for flats, I realize not everyone wants to replace a flat so make a call to cc or insurance. Depending on where and when, I’d choose to do it myself or make the call.

Anything more complicated, I’d have my honda fit towed to nearest Honda dealer or repair shop. I don’t love my mechanic enough to get the car towed 100 miles or more for a repair. I keep my car in good mechanical condition so I don’t want to pay lots of $$$ for what ifs unless the what ifs are potentially financially catastrophic.

runner3081
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by runner3081 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:04 pm

For now, yes, as our insurance is through them.

However, we will be shopping around next year for insurance and will drop AAA membership if we find cheaper rates elsewhere.

Maya1234
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Maya1234 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:06 pm

We stay at a hotel when we visit our daughter that gives a $50 night discount for AAA ( most hotels it only $10 or less). That itself covers the cost so it's a no brainer. We enjoy the magazine to and have used the service a few times which was very good.

aprilcpa
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by aprilcpa » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:18 pm

Count me as a AAA card holder!

One year we had not renewed our membership. About a week later, my car died at Mount Mitchell. We quickly renewed the membership and called AAA for a tow. It was a Sunday in January and was freezing. Let me tell you I have never let that membership lapse since.

I have also used the service when DH is out of town and I locked my keys out of my car or when my battery died. We get great car rental discounts using it!

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:29 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:02 pm
p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm
If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.
I have changed blown tires on several occasions, on multiple continents.

That didn't stop me from calling road service when the tire of a rental car blew on a freeway in Seattle, forcing me to pull over at a spot where getting out of the car and working on the tire would have been rather unsafe without the flashing emergency lights of a service vehicle behind me. Plus, we were on the way to a wedding and I was wearing a suit.

So yeah, I, as a guy, didn't feel bad about calling them (*) at that time.

Until the little yellow Smart car pulled up behind me and a 70-year-old guy with metal knee braces climbed out of it to change my tire.

True story.

(*) them in this case wasn't AAA; it was whoever Alamo sent out.
I'm a guy. I have changed dozens of tires. I have changed my last one--not because I can't, but because I don't want to.

miles monroe
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by miles monroe » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:38 pm

absolutely!

i originally got it for the travel discounts -- and i've kept it for the great service i've gotten from them over the years; breakdowns, lock outs, dead battery (both jump start and purchase of new), put on spare for wife in a downpour when she got a flat.

and last year my dad locked himself out of his house -- and they came and took care of that too. i never woulda thot of that...

jcc
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by jcc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:45 pm

I've been debating the last few years on keeping my AAA Plus Membership. On Thanksgiving morning, some lowlife decided to steal gas out of my truck by drilling a hole in my gas tank and stealing one of my license plates. The insurance company offered to set up a tow to the dealership but couldn't guarantee when it would be done and they told me that it possibly would have to wait two days. I called AAA and they had my car towed within an hour of me calling. On top of that when I had to then go get a new license plate, I went to the local branch and was in and out of there in 10 minutes and didn't have to deal with DMV for a few hours. That sold it for me and I'll be keeping my membership.

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midareff
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by midareff » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:48 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:33 pm
I still use them. I subscribe to the "plus" level for the increased 100 mile towing range (considering where we live and like to drive, hopefully we will never need it, but it's good to know it won't cost me an arm and a leg to get my vehicle back to a repair shop).

We used AAA twice over the last two years for dead batteries. No problems. In the past I used them once for a flat tire. Also no problem.

I also use the AAA discount all the time for hotel and car rental bookings.

No idea how they compare to other services.
Pretty much the same here..... always check AAA, AARP, Senior and retired Government/Military for best discounts. Between AAA and Geico Roadside have plenty of roadside help if needed.

mptfan
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by mptfan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:55 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:40 pm
Now I have hide-a-key on all my cars.
I've thought about doing this, but the problem is I have an electronic key fob, not an actual key that inserts into a lock, and if the key fob is anywhere within a short distance of the car, the doors will open. So, how do I put an electronic key fob in a hide-a-key somewhere under the car, anyone can just walk up to my car and push the little button on my driver's door and it will open. Then they can get inside and push the start button, and since the key fob is very close by the car will start right up.
I eat risk for breakfast. :)

rterickson
Posts: 76
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by rterickson » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:02 pm

As it says on my card, 35+ years.

bikechuck
Posts: 124
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by bikechuck » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:17 pm

I have had a membership for several decades. Most years I do not use them at all but on a handful of occasions they have saved my bacon with tows, replacing dead batteries which they will do in my driveway for a reasonable cost etc.

With my membership I save 5% on all of my purchases at my favorite hardware store which pretty much pays for the membership and I have used their discount at various hotels as well.

I needed some roadside assistance this year and they had a terrible response time of over two hours after I received an estimated wait time of 30 minutes. Hopefully their service is not slipping because they have really been prompt and helpful when I have needed them in the past,

Bungo
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Bungo » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:18 pm

p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm
If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.
I'm a firm believer in efficient division of labor. I don't expect the tow truck driver to write his own smartphone software, and he doesn't expect me to change my own tire, nor do I have the slightest interest in doing so.

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