Roadside Service Differences

November 15th, 2005

Last week I had done something I hadn’t done in over 10 years. I had left the headlights on in my car for over 6 hours. Of course when I discovered that fact the battery was dead.

I told my friend who I was to pick up what had occurred. They offered their AAA card and I declined as I told them I had a National Auto Club card. My friend had never heard of this other company, what did I expect my friend is Canadian.

I called National back and was told it would be within the hour to ‘jump’ my car battery and was given a reference number. It sounded good so I waited and waited for the hour to pass. It did and I called after over an hour of waiting. The tow truck finally showed up after almost an hour and a half.

I was a little irritated and asked if it would have been quicker if I had used AAA. The tow driver looked at me as if I was crazy and I felt like it after he shared some facts with me which I appreciated after I had heard them.

First he told me that AAA paid $21.25 for a service call and that National Automobile Club paid $18.25 for the same call. All others were the full price customers; accidents and people with cash and no card came first, of course I thought. That pretty much capped my thoughts and feelings. After all, the tow operator, was in business to make a profit not provide a community service for anyone. Had I forgotten that I lived in America, home of the free? Free is not what makes the world go around nor unfortunate experiences like my dead battery.

In the aftermath of this interesting unplanned conversation as the result of one forgotten habit, I learned a valuable lesson. When I go to renew my auto club card, my business goes to the company that ‘pays up’ for the best service for their members and at this time it is not my current company.

John (Car Gurus Sr)

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