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AAA alternatives?
Old 04-29-2011, 07:42 AM   #1
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AAA alternatives?

Our AAA plus membership is up JUne 1 and I'm wondering if there is something better out there. Our State Farm agent tried to add something to our car insurance last year but I told her to take it off because we had AAA.

We got the extra towing because we used to travel a lot white water kayaking. We used it a few times because our cars had a lot of miles on them and weren't always in "tip top" condition. (Chasing white water from the mid-west we put 50,000 miles on our van in one year!)

Anyone use State Farm's "AAA" service or another one that you like? I never remember to get the AAA discount and I am already a member of AARP so I can get a hotel discount using that if I think of it.

Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:20 AM   #2
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The USAA roadside service is excellent, in my experience. Also, I have their towing and labor endorsement on the car insurance (an extra $12 per vehicle per year). That meets my needs entirely.

A few years ago, I locked myself out of my car in downtown Denver (yeah, stupid I know). At that time I had AAA, so I called them. And called. And called. Nothing but either busy signals or interminable voice mail menus. After calling for half an hour and leaving repeated messages to call me back, I finally gave up and called USAA. They had someone there within ten minutes, and he got me on my way in five more. AAA never did call me back. That's when I said goodbye to them.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:25 AM   #3
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I looked at the one offered by my insurance company, Progressive, but decided to stay with AAA because we have an old RV and a few old cars, plus I like being lazy and making them find me hotels when we're on the road. I did get a discount on our SeaTow membership for the boat as a result of the AAA membership.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:43 AM   #4
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This has been discussed before and one option is to self insure and use Bing 411 to find a tow truck when you need one. It is sort of like a yellow pages for a cell phone

GOOG-411 Winds Down, Bing-411 Parties On
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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I have State Farm auto insurance. State Farm offers reimbursement for emergency road service. The trouble with that is that virtually all the wrecker services around here demand cash (no credit cards).

On the other hand I can call AAA and the wrecker they dispatch will tow at no charge. I think they will tow 3 miles for the basic service and 99 miles if you have the enhanced service. I have the enhanced service because the 3 mile tow is not worth much around here.

You big city people might want to consider that when you have a breakdown, you may be in cash only zone and it will be a long way to where your car can be repaired.

Personally, I don't call AAA for a dead battery at home.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
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I have State Farm auto insurance. State Farm offers reimbursement for emergency road service. The trouble with that is that virtually all the wrecker services around here demand cash (no credit cards).

On the other hand I can call AAA and the wrecker they dispatch will tow at no charge. I think they will tow 3 miles for the basic service and 99 miles if you have the enhanced service. I have the enhanced service because the 3 mile tow is not worth much around here.

You big city people might want to consider that when you have a breakdown, you may be in cash only zone and it will be a long way to where your car can be repaired.
.
THanks for the info. I remember now that's what State Farm offered. To me, it's worth the $100 or so to have a service that we can call in an unknown area that at least has the backing of AAA and will tow us about 100 miles instead of the 3 miles to the next AAA service center.

Our fuel pump went out on I-70 coming back from CO one time. We literally coasted down the exit ramp to a service station to use their phone to call AAA. Ended up in a small town where they had sold the last fuel pump for a Ford van just that day. (We think it was the gas and the heat wave not the fuel pump, but that is another story.) Bottom line it has saved us a lot of headaches in the past having it. State Farm sounds like a hassle, especially if the tow trucks want cash up front not a credit card.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:21 PM   #7
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This has been discussed before and one option is to self insure and use Bing 411 to find a tow truck when you need one. It is sort of like a yellow pages for a cell phone

GOOG-411 Winds Down, Bing-411 Parties On
I had never heard of Bing-411 before. It sounds like it's a good idea but they will start sending you text messages? What's that about? Can you really turn them off? I have a pre-paid phone now so every minute counts!
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:06 PM   #8
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Use AAA but found them more useful for discounted movie tickets and hotel savings since we have not had a breakdown. Also gotten maps from them.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
The USAA roadside service is excellent, in my experience. Also, I have their towing and labor endorsement on the car insurance (an extra $12 per vehicle per year). That meets my needs entirely.

A few years ago, I locked myself out of my car in downtown Denver (yeah, stupid I know). At that time I had AAA, so I called them. And called. And called. Nothing but either busy signals or interminable voice mail menus. After calling for half an hour and leaving repeated messages to call me back, I finally gave up and called USAA. They had someone there within ten minutes, and he got me on my way in five more. AAA never did call me back. That's when I said goodbye to them.
Very useful information. I will have to check into USAA. I have two older cars (a 2001 and a 2006) and keep AAA for the roadside service option. I did not know that they afforded a viable option for the roadside thing (my big worry). I use USAA for all of my insurances and also some limited investment holdings. I have been very satisfied with their customer service.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:33 PM   #10
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I had never heard of Bing-411 before. It sounds like it's a good idea but they will start sending you text messages? What's that about? Can you really turn them off? I have a pre-paid phone now so every minute counts!
I used to use Google 411 with my prepaid cell phone and never had any issues. I have only used Bing 411 a few times, but have never received any texts or other communications from them. I think it is a great resource and it is free.

Anyone else have any issues with them?
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:56 PM   #11
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Use AAA but found them more useful for discounted movie tickets and hotel savings since we have not had a breakdown. Also gotten maps from them.
I like AAA's motel finder on their web site because it has many local mom and pop motels not associated with any major chain and these motels are often rated by AAA

If you spend enough time on the road, eventually you WILL have a breakdown.

For years I travelled the heart of flyover country for Megacorp. I used my personal car and Megacorp reimbursed mileage. Megacorp's policy was that if you had a breakdown while driving your personal car on Megacorp business, don't call Megacorp and don't miss your next appointment.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:59 PM   #12
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We have AAA now, but for awhile had a service through AARP which was similar. We have used both with no problem.
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