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Old 10-05-2012, 12:08 PM   #21
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Every year I wondered about retaining AAA but kept writing the check. Assorted discounts at restaurants and hotels probably offset the cost but a few years ago the membership paid for itself in spades.

We went camping in the middle of nowhere - several hours drive from civilization and managed to lock both sets of keys in our truck (yes, we know better, yes, it was very stupid, yes we could have broken the window...) After hiking to the top of a mountain to find cell service to call AAA, they came out and solved our issue. The guy they sent had a 3 hour drive each way. It took him 90 seconds to break into the truck

Money well spent imo.
Did you asked how much AAA got billed for this and what was your membership level?
I'm asking because my friends in a similar scenario (middle of nowhere state park, about 2hrs drive for the pop-a-lock guy AAA contacted) needed to pay the excess (it was $165 and they needed to pony up $65 as their membership covered $100). I did not think it was unreasonable as the normal pop-a-lock rates were $69 I think and I'm sure AAA gets a discount.

If it was up to me I would self-insure like FUEGO, but DW says she likes "peace of mind" when knowing the roadside assistance is covered (even if it does not cover anything more than $100).
Or maybe becasue she remembers fondly using AAA a lot when she was in college and driving POS cars, which needed a lot of assistance?

In the last 15 years, with two vehicles I used the towing service twice.
But thanks for pointing out the drawbacks - I'll keep that in mind, if we need to use it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:14 PM   #22
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Did you asked how much AAA got billed for this and what was your membership level?.
No - I didn't ask and until today have been trying to wipe the embarrassment of the situation from my mind We have the basic membership.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:31 PM   #23
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We buy movie tickets and Disney passes through AAA too. And the hotel rates work for us.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:08 PM   #24
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managed to lock both sets of keys in our truck (yes, we know better, yes, it was very stupid, yes we could have broken the window...)
Speaking of breaking windows, I'll share what I recently learned.

I had a cracked windshield a few months ago which necessitated calling around for quotes. I ended up chatting with a lady at Safelite auto glass and got a real education.

Did you know that the cheapest pane of glass to replace is typically the windshield?...and the most expensive is often one of the small fixed glass panels on the door? The example she gave me was that of a guy with a Lexus SUV who locked his keys in the car and decided to break a window to gain entry. Sizing up the situation, he decided to break the small triangular fixed pane of glass in the rear door, figuring that would be the cheapest to replace. Cost? $1100. installed (whereas the windshield would have been less than $300. installed).

Since a windshield is necessary to drive the vehicle any distance, I asked her what the next most logical window to break (for least cost and impact on driving), she suggested the passenger-side door window.

I suspect the reason why the windshield glass is the least expensive is that it is the most replaced.

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #25
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....If it was up to me I would self-insure like FUEGO, but DW says she likes "peace of mind" when knowing the roadside assistance is covered (even if it does not cover anything more than $100).....
Our AAA was up for renewal and the beginning of September and I had decided to self insure but failed to tell DW (slipped my mind and I was still mulling it over).

She locked herself our of her car and called AAA and they came and got her in.

Then as she told me the story I told her we didn't have AAA anymore since we never use it and she reminded me that she had run out of gas a couple months ago.

I told her I still didn't think we needed it as long as we didn't do anything stupid like ignoring the low fuel warning or locking ourselves out of the car.

That didn't go over well I paid the bill a couple days later - still not happy about it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:22 PM   #26
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I guess I have been lucky (or skillful) because we have never needed a locksmith, can of gas, flat tire repair, or tow (in our 12 years of married adult life owning and driving cars). I can change a flat and I'm OCD about not locking the keys in the car. And I refill the gas usually before the low fuel indicator illuminates (and mostly drive in the city where I am less than a mile or two walk from either home or a gas station). And I maintain the cars so they have a lower probability of breaking down due to mechanical failure.

DW did drive 25 miles to work on a flat tire once. Then 25 miles back home on a flat spare tire that same afternoon. Luckily the replacement tire was under $100 installed, so not quite enough to be unhappy about the whole thing, and I got to laugh with the guys at the tire shop when I repeatedly told them "not my car, not my doing - the wife did it!"
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:18 AM   #27
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if i didnt have roadside assistance with my new car i would cancel my geico one and go back to aaa.

like i say to chance them listing it as a claim on clue isnt worth it.

very few realize their insurance company sponsered plan may be looked at as a claim.


At The Newspaper.com, a website devoted to the "politics of driving" reports that insurance companies are raising the rates for people who lock their keys in their cars or file claims under their road side assistance benefit.
Several insurance companies, for example, refused to cover Andrea Davis, 31, after she had two flat tires and locked her keys inside her 1999 Isuzu Rodeo. Davis learned her old insurance company, Geico, had reported her three claims to CLUE. Davis paid Geico $12 a year for roadside assistance, but the company never disclosed that using flat tire assistance would raise rates.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #28
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DW has always wanted the AAA membership primarily because she likes being able to get their maps and tour books. I used to think that was a good enough reason, but I never use them any more due to GPS in the car and a smartphone.

But we also have emergency road service from our car insurance with USAA, which is a lot cheaper.

The kicker for me was about eight years ago. I was in downtown Denver, and stopped in at the main library to look something up (we did that sort of thing before smart phones ).

Like a complete dummy, I locked my keys in the car for the first time in many years. I called AAA, and got dumped into voicemail menu hell. Left a message, but got no response. Tried again a few minutes later, and it just rang and rang. Tried a third time and went to voicemail menu hell again. Left another message, same result.

Finally, after about 20 minutes of waiting for a call back from AAA, I called the USAA number. A locksmith was there within 10 minutes, and had my car open in less than five minutes more.

I never did get a response from AAA on that, so I pretty much wrote them off as unreliable.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Janet H View Post

We went camping in the middle of nowhere - several hours drive from civilization and managed to lock both sets of keys in our truck (yes, we know better, yes, it was very stupid, yes we could have broken the window...) After hiking to the top of a mountain to find cell service to call AAA, they came out and solved our issue. The guy they sent had a 3 hour drive each way. It took him 90 seconds to break into the truck

Money well spent imo.

I can beat that one .I locked my keys in the car while the car was running . I did not realize it and went to a movie & had a bite to eat . We returned to the car still running . Called AAA and they unlocked it . My only excuse is that it was during a very stressful time .
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #30
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i had a situation too like that where i locked my keys in the car with the engine running.

my problem was worse , it was a convertible and my top was down and it looked like rain. ha ha ha and my family was inside.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #31
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............
Since a windshield is necessary to drive the vehicle any distance, I asked her what the next most logical window to break (for least cost and impact on driving), she suggested the passenger-side door window.........
omni
The windshield is laminated glass, meaning that it has a tough plastic layer between two thin sheets of glass. Good luck busting a hole in that. I took an ice shelf off the top of a motor home on edge into my windshield at 70 MPH and it just put a bulge in it, but did not penetrate.

The side glass is tempered and not easy to break, either, though you can use a spark plug or one of those hammer escape tools to shatter it.

A semi skilled car thief can pry back the upper corner of the door, insert a rod and have it open in a few seconds.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:26 PM   #32
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I saved a bunch of money by switching our car insurance from GEICO to the Ameriprise policy sold by Costco. If you have the Costco executive membership (which we do) then roadside assistance is provided free as a benefit. I have never used it though.

My wife had AAA but we ended up letting it expire
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