NEVER Use Your AAA App For Roadside Assistance

NEVER Use Your AAA App For Roadside Assistance, My Failed Experience

There's an update below:

You know how the classic adage is that most AAA calls will get to you within 90 minutes? Well, try having to wait 19 hours!

With that, I'm going to lead this report with the moral first...

Never use your AAA smartphone app for an emergency roadside service! The app sucks.

I say the app sucks not only from my own experience, but from input from almost a dozen people who have had similar failures, including a few AAA staffers.  I learned from my multiple sources that the app is flaky at best and should never be used to arrange for roadside emergency service. It's a shame but I guess the only thing the app is good for is finding discounts in and around your area!

I've tried using my app for assistance a few times. The previous times it could not find my location and of course, this latest experience has been the most eye-opening fail ever. It was because of the app that it took AAA nineteen hours to resolve my issue.


This is my open letter to AAA:

This note involves tracking number "37505, August 17 2019."

On Saturday evening (8-17-19) when at ~5:36pm, I used my AAA smartphone app to request a "battery service truck." This is specifically not a jump start request call and there are a few hoops to go through to make sure you have the right request sent out.

Below is the screen from my app, take note of both the phone and app times.


At 6:30pm a "jump start" truck, not a battery service tuck showed up.

After failing to get my car jump-started (he tried, but I later learned from a peer of his that his truck has issues jumping cars), I sent him on his way and I CALLED AAA back. The man who answered the phone was pretty adamant I requested a jump start, despite what I told him about what I requested via the app.

Be it as it may he did get me my battery service truck request going. Again. (I thought) At around 7pm I got a text with a link to the status of where my battery service truck was at. But then at 7:30pm, the update screen changed and said my truck was reassigned and that they're getting me a new truck.

"Reassigned to an emergency" is code for "You're SOL."

-At around 8:15pm I started getting antsy so I called AAA to inquire what was up. Turns out my service request was put on hold until the morning. But no one effing told me.

Which immediately got me thinking, THANK GOD I CALLED. I had to wonder how long I would have had to sit there before anyone actually thought to notify me of this modification to my request!

The guy I spoke to this time around was as helpful as he could be, and after the options were laid out for me, I chose to call AAA at 10am the next morning to make new arrangements with the Battery Service truck. I chose 10AM because that's what the main AAA office THINKS the battery service truck starts it's day. But after the fact, I learned they start their day at 8am.

At 10am I called, got to actually speak to someone at 10:15 or so and I passed on the pertinent information to my case ("37505, August 17 2019."). The person who took my call said I'd have a response within 45 minutes.

COOL... except that was not to mean a truck would respond, but that the system would then tell me where I'm at in the queue.  See below...


I later go a new update indicating the truck was actually on its way! Woo hoo... I hope.
The  Battery Service truck arrived. Except, they thought my car was a different model altogether, and in the end, would not even have had the right battery for me in any inventory. Period.  (I suspect that they did not want to get my battery because during my conversation with the phone tech the previous evening, he said the closest battery was five (5) hours away.)

The driver did get my car jump started with the appropriate equipment and directed me to the nearest reputable location to buy a battery at.

When all was said and done, I was back on the road with my new battery at around 12:24pm, or NINETEEN HOURS after my initial call for AAA roadside assistance. And they didn't even get me the battery I needed.

Just in case: Roadside Assistance Kits!


Between the app fails, the run-around I got from AAA on the night in question, then not even having the battery for my car, I have to wonder what this service is good for? I've been a member since 2006, but rarely used it.

Even though AAA is one of the biggest known brand names in roadside assistance, there are others....
  • AAA. The American Automobile Association,
  • Allstate Motor Club. ...
  • Good Sam Roadside Assistance. ...
  • National Motor Club. ...
  • Paragon Motor Club. ...
  • AARP. ...
  • National General Motor Club. ...
  • AutoVantage. ...
  • OnStar

I am trying to keep in mind that the app failure is what got this bu****it train in motion, but the continuing human failures along the way during this experience can't be ignored. They always ask you if you're in a safe place. Well, yea, but 19 hours on the side of the road seems to be pushing that safety factor.

Maybe it's time to review my options because if there's a next time, I'm going to be worried about if I'll be stuck for 19 hours again. At least this time, I was lucky that I was "near" home. Though to be honest, I still ended up putting about nine (9) miles on my shoes and missed a scheduled appointment due to this AAA fail.

And to be honest with you, considering how klutzy the app or digital interactions are with AAA, I really have to think about this. From continually being asked to log in (phone OR desktop), even when following links from your logged in accounts, to just wonky performance... sheesh.

I love when you log in, look at benefits, and the big splash page says, 'Join Now!'  SMH!

UPDATE 8-21-19

A AAA representative called me (after I lodged my complaint) and took care of me for the problems I encountered. I DID LEARN that you only get four service calls per year (per person)! And that they know the app has issues. I'm wondering that if they know the app has issues, why let people use it, but that's for another day.
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