CAA Membership Road Side Assistance — Member and Tow Service
Not worth the hassle to get a tow from CAA. I purchased the "Gold" Membership as my family has a 5 year and a 6 year old car.
My first call was 2 weeks after the purchase. I had a flat tire and the car would not start. The CAA rep (arrived after 45mins, thats ok) said that if he would help me boost and inflate the tire it would be 2 service calls (even if both were unsucessful) or I could have it towed to a dealer for 1 service call. That was the first experience. Ok, I had it towed.
My second call was because I got a flat half hour from home. I was told that I needed to get the vehicle towed as no service could be provided on the busy road.
My bumper was damaged by the tow truck as the representative did not take the time to properly hook up our vehicle. I had followed behind him in another vehicle and tried to get him to pull over as I watched my car angled down toward the right. When we arrived at the dealership, we were all able to see that a long pin from the tow was on the bumper as opposed to being in the wheel well. This caused a crack in the bumper and the paint to be scratched off. The driver of the tow admitted to the damage (as we could all see the pin on the bumper ). He told us not to call CAA as he only gets paid 11$ for the tow. He added that he should have left us at the side of the road for the trouble we will cause when we said that we will call and that we don't understand why he would have to pay, wouldn't CAA take the necessary claim. He said he will have to pay for it out of his pocket. I do not understand this. He said the tow truck drivers are contract, they are not CAA. He admitted to the damage yet here I am having all this trouble. CAA forced me to go back and forth with the tow company to make an agreement for them to pay for the bumper replacement. Which turned out to be ridiculous as the guy was going to just paint it with whatever paint. So fast forward a bit and CAA agreed to pay for the repair as long as I provided them with 2 comparing estimates. I did. Then they told me to get an estimate from their garage, I did. Then they thought the price was too high, so they told me that they would only pay for an aftermarket bumper. My car has never been damaged and it has Original parts on it. But they insisted so I thought that to speed up the process, I'll agree. CAA then tells me to book the appointment for the replacement because the only cost difference would be the bumper, which is true. So I went to the same places and got new quotes. I booked it and now CAA only wants to pay for half the repair. Again, here I am with CAA changing the agreement after the fact. This has turned out to be a very frustrating and difficult situation.
I have been dealing directly with CAA for 3 months, with communication at least 4 times per week and still no resolution. No apology on behalf of the tow nor the CAA either. I can not understand why they wouldn't want to close this case. they are trying to swindle me obviously and I have been falling for it. I am not being treated as a valuable customer. Its a large cooperation and I regret ever purchasing membership.
I was told by the CAA rep in the complaints department that tow trucks regularly damage the vehicles. Also, the complaints department told me that they are good friends with the owners of this particular tow company. This now explains to me why my concerns are all unheard. Though, I was insulted with the fact that I paid for a service that I am not receiving and that I was told I should have been left at the side of the road, noone will ever be repremended for these comments, and so this lack of service will continue.
On another note, I travel regularly and the discounted CAA rate is NOT a better rate, I have found the same hotels and shows and restaurants have other promos all the time and are ALWAYS better.
I thought I would like getting the travel books, because my parents and in laws always did (but they never required the roadside assistance part), but what I find is that google, the library, the tourism board (free and detailed) and then of course once at the destination (like the hotel you stay at) provide much better, precise maps and tourist information.
The customer service from the tow driver and all the CAA representatives I have had to call has been very terrible. It has been unhelpful even trying to just get a manager's name and telephone number is impossible without relaying the whole story and then they just transfer me back to the small department of 4 who has been handling the damages. I'm in a vicious circle. The lady who sold me the membership was pleasant and the lady trying to get me to book a vacation was also (though her deal was not good). Everyday I know that they will try to get out of their responsibility to me, a paying customer. Because that has been what is happening. If the tow driver was more diligent (if he cared about the $11) I would not need to be dealing with this miserable company, who does not support the customer. They do not care about me or you or your car. They don't care about the money you invested to support them nor the service they are paid to provide. Save your time and aggravation and don't deal with them.
There's more details of bad customer service, but I could go on forever with this, I think you get the point though.