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CAA Membership Road Side Assistance / Member and Tow Service

1 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Review updated:
Contact information:

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.

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  • Gr
      20th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    We have a CAA Gold membership for which we pay $270 a year for the three of us (man, woman, son). Recently, my son ran out of gas and called CAA. He waited two and a half hours, and when the private contractor arrived, he had failed to bring any gas with him. He went to a gas station and got $3 worth of gas, which my son had to put in the tank (on the gold membership, it's supposed to be $12 worth), then he left. Even though my son had advised that he was out of gas when he called, the independent contractor said he didn't know that the call was for that reason. He'll now bill CAA for $12 worth of gas, having only spent $3. This is in sharp contrast to pre-contracting out, when the service was excellent. I used to recommend CAA memberships to friends. I won't be doing that anymore, and we won't be renewing our membership. Maybe when CAA starts losing members on a wholesale basis, they'll get the message. This whole contracting out seems like a bean counter exercise where costs are lower, but bean counters have a tendency to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. That's clearly what they've done here.

  • Di
      17th of Jun, 2011
    +1 Votes

    It all started when I needed to have my car sent to a garage to have repaired. The car was not able to start so I called CAA to come pick up the car and ship to my garage of choice. I've been paying premium membership rates to CAA for quite some time now so I expect the bare minimum service...get the car to the garage in one piece. The guy they sent was already complaining that he had to drive through traffic and that 5 other CAA tow trucks refused my call because it was the high point of the morning. I told him that I don't mind waiting an extra hour however he said it's fine and continued to complain. I agree with the other posts above and the tow trucks they send are not owned by CAA, they are affiliated garages with CAA certified tow trucks. They don't care about you or your car. All they try to do is convince you to bring your car to the garage they are affiliated to so they can make their commission. Total crap. To make a long story short, the car shows up to the trusted garage of my choice missing everything in the glove compartment and my change-holder. He took the pennies and dimes, a 10$ bill hidden in the glove compartment and some burnt DVD's I left behind. How much of a loser do you have to be to steal pennies? I can't even make a claim because the value is not large enough and I had to sign a paper saying CAA is not responsible for my car if I'm not accompanying the driver to the destination. More total crap. Gotta love CAA Quebec...throw your money in the garbage...equivalent to being a member. If anyone has any suggestions to being a member to any other roadside service, I'd greatly appreciate it.

  • De
      8th of Mar, 2013
    +1 Votes

    Check out face book and utube pictures of damaged car by CAA.

  • Ph
      22nd of Aug, 2013
    +1 Votes

    . I am one of the members of CAA. one time my car broke in the middle of the intersection, so I called CAA and they told me that they will be there in less than 30 min. i waited there for 30 min and nobody show up. after a while some people help me to push my car to near parking lot. fortunately, my car started again and I tried to called them back that my car is working and I dont need there help but line was busy. therefore, I tried to call them u for 10 times but even after 12 hrs I didnt received any call from there.

  • Kr
      14th of Nov, 2013
    0 Votes

    I was working for Woodys towing in woodstock on. for one year they rip me off three times and i've seen then do it to customers on a weekly bases . For the two week pay period at 140hrs they pay cash after 80hrs then they ripped you off for some of that...I drove some of the ### trucks in my life. ... I'm glad I'm not with that job anymore

  • Kh
      10th of Jan, 2015
    +1 Votes

    I am member since 2010 . CAA service is very poor, wait time in normal conditions more than two hours. Today I called for battery failure but no showed up in three hours despite three calls every time rep said half an hour to 45 min. CAA membership is not worth at all. There reps are very unprofessional and don't know how to talk. When u ask for manager or supervisor they will never direct your call.
    Bad service

  • Sh
      2nd of Mar, 2015
    +1 Votes

    My serpentine belt let go last night and I coasted into a retail store parking lot with no alternator, power steering and the engine temperature rapidly increasing. I called CAA at 10:15 pm and arranged a tow home 5 kilometers away. My wife came to pick me up and have a warm place to wait for the truck. 25 minutes later I get an automated call saying the truck will be there in up to 45 minutes. 5 minutes later the tow truck operator calls and asks if I have a ride home. I reply yes, so he instructs me to leave the keys in the visor and lock the car. They will come in the morning to retrieve the car. ??????? By 10:45am the next day, my car hasn't been picked up yet. I call CAA again and the operator says the tow has been completed and is off the books. Tell her the story and am put on hold for 4-5 minutes. They apologize and say the car will be picked up within an hour. A little over two hours goes by and the tow truck operator calls asking where I live on Murray street. I explain and find out he's in the wrong town with my car. WOW. Talk about incompetence. My car showed up at 1:20 pm. The tow truck operator dropped it off without verifying it was the right address or even an apology.

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