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Discussion Starter #1
My car overheated and dropped all the fluid when I was driving on the interstate. Called AAA to get a tow.

First they said many of the companies were busy that day and it could take over an hour. Also something about having to cross county lines. I was in one county for work and my house was 30 miles away in another county. But I have the silver plan for 100 miles.

Waited 2 hours in the cold. Battery in my phone died. Finally turned on hazard lights to attract the police. Finally a good samaritan stopped to help. I called AAA and they said they were still looking for someone to get me. It ended up taking 5 hours to get my car. They said they wouldn't get the car if I wasn't there.

Here is what the tow driver told me. He was a part owner in the truck. AAA is considered low priority. Also I had an Alfa which they considered to be rare and delicate. I had my Saturn Aura towed just fine from a bit farther away. But he said that was because it was a normal car. County lines only applied to certain companies.

He was happy since he was the only person willing to get me. He charged them $225. He said he had to "double ramp". That meant get a wedge shaped piece of wood and place a bigger flat one on top of it. That was to get my car on the flatbed. Then use primary and secondary restraint systems to keep my car down. In case the car broke free from the chains since it was old. The guy knew how to play the system.

I had the car towed last year (same county and only 15 miles away) and the person doing it did none of those things.
 

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I dropped AAA because of that kind of poor service. My Amex card now gives me hookup and 10 miles free. I used it once for the Alfa and once for my son's car; much better service than AAA.
 

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Story of Getting Towed with AAA

Maybe, Triple A service is different in your part of the U.S. I have had no issue with them and I have been with them for over 30 years. But I've learned to always tell the operator that I need a flatbed and exactly what the problem is and where I want to be towed. Maybe, I've used them enough that I'm one of their regulars. I do have "Premier" service with the 150 mile free tow, and crossing county lines has never been a problem. I also use my AAA card for discounts all over town, not just automotive.

Beyond towing, I use them for notary and DMV services as well as booking airline tickets that I can't do myself because I don't have the capability of holding tickets, while I put the other legs of the trip together, making sure that meeting points work and everyone gets back to their proper departure points.

I have noted, that what I'm able to do in California is not available in the state of Washington. I asked, to find out that each state contracts separately for Triple A services they are allowed to offer. For example, Washington cannot offer DMV service. Maybe, that's the case in your area as far as the contracts they are allowed to offer to service providers. In my area they use recognized, licensed tow service contractors, not self-employed one truck owners. Many of them have freeway contracts to help disabled motorists.
 

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I recently had my 101 Sprint Veloce towed from San Diego to Los Angeles using a AAA contractor. I have a free 100 mile towing plan and the tow was 93 miles. I waited about 35 minutes for the flatbed tow truck. I tipped the driver $40.00 for the tow. I have used AAA many times to tow my Alfas without any problem.
 

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A true tale of woe but at least it had a positive ending. The guy knew his stuff because an Alfa spider has only about 4 to 6 inches of ground clearance in the lowest places. If he had not been equipped wth his "wedge" he might have scrapped off your exhaust system, cracked an exhaust headder, or ripped off the ground effects skirts if you have a Quad. in the old days of wench lift wreckers picking up an Alfa or Corvett usually ment more wrecker damage than the reason the car needed to be towed in the first place. The newer break back tow trucks are the best thing that ever happened to exoutic cars which need a tow

I once had to replace the 2 exhaust headders and most of the exhaust system on a 6 cylinder E-Type Jag when the wrecker driver ripped off the entire exhaust system getting the Jag onto his wrecker rig.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I like AAA. All the other times it was fine. Waited just 45 min tops. All are really nice guys with interesting stories. Just this time was whacked! Thought it would be a good story to tell.
 

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A month and a half ago on a Friday nite , I lost oil pressure (found out later it was the sending unit) I towed it home , I have no AAA, paid cash $240 and like yours an extra board to get it on to0 the flat bed...then Monday am , got it towed by the same guy to the mechanic...another $240......I use Grundy 'classic car" insurance , tow charges covered up to $250 ea incident...just got a check from Grundy last week for $480...no questions asked , just sent them my tow bills.
 

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A few years ago I was traveling with friends in their Mercedes when it broke down on the interstate. They had AAA but when they called for help it was going to be hours before they could get towed. I called AARP and we were towed promptly even though I was only a passenger in the car. And AARP is less expensive than AAA
 

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I use the same type of deal with my AllState policy... though like AAA, the towing companies they use agree to a lower fee... and thus you can become a lower priority if it is a busy night.
 

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I've used AAA in Southern California many times with great results. Always fast and courteous. I suspect in climates where snow and ice can be an issue an operator can charge more than their contract price with AAA. I had Haggerty but never used tow service. My Wawanesa plan used to give me $50 reimbursed towing for free. Used it twice in 3 months, never got second check, then 5 years later the state says they have a check for me from them. Um, I never moved so why not send it to my house? lol
 

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Anyone using Hagerty? I have not had the occasion to be towed using their service.

Bob
Most of my friends use Hagerty and swear by them...I use Grundy, have for 15 yrs..very similar policy as Hagerty
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Few more details of my adventure. So the good samaritan took me to his hotel (half mile at the next exit) where he was staying so I could charge up my phone and stay warm. He actually used to live in Nashville but now in Utah. He is in the military. Straight up guy.

I called my Dad to come get me since the tow driver wouldn't come get me there at the hotel. Remember, I had to be at the car when they picked it up. My tow driver said that is not necessarily true. I stayed in the lobby for about 30 min. My dad took me to Panara to get something to eat since it was now 4 hours into the process.

The low that night was around 27. It was getting very cold in the car. I don't think I would have made it 4-5 hours. I think how much we are dependent on our phones. My other car has a charger in it. But my Alfa doesn't. I was also surprised no police officer stopped to at least see what was going on.

One interesting thing he told me was about the repo biz. For a $27k car, he would get $700-$1200. And he could do 6 a night. He said the money was crazy. But you had to carry a gun, have a bad attitude and not care about anyone. He couldn't do it after a while. To many single parents and their kids standing outside asking how they were going to get to work or school.

Another was when he trained to be a child advocate for the court. He would go into the families house to see what was going on. At times, horrible conditions. ***** for a mother and a drugged out dad. It was sad since the kids actually thought that was normal. They were so afraid of change.

Tow truck drivers have very interesting stories.
 

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Anyone using Hagerty? I have not had the occasion to be towed using their service.

Bob
I have Haggerty and had to use them a few years ago when I snapped a SPICA belt.

It didn't take long to get me, I was only minutes from the airport in Portland. They did mention using special straps etc. which they didn't do. But the car made it home in one piece.

I also carry the roadside assistance on my Geico policy for the Tahoe, haven't had to use it, but expect it's fine if we do. One less company to manage.
 

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I've towed my Alfa twice using AAA. Both times they came BEFORE the dispatcher said they would, which was great. Second time Towed me over 30 miles from Marin County to the East Bay. Sucks you had a bad experience.
 
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