CANCELED My AAA Premier Road Side Assistance - Think You're Covered? Think Again


Staff member

On our way out to Moab a few weeks back, Cindy and I decided to take some side routes and do some exploring along the way. Unfortunately, about half way up a long steep grade, we started to experience problems with our engine and transmission and it was all we could do get back to pavement, let alone to the nearest town. Being that we've been a Premier Member of AAA Road Side Assistance for well over 10 years, we decided to give them a call and just have Moby towed home. Certainly, it would be a lot faster and easier and our membership allows for the first 200 miles free of charge.

When I made the call to AAA, I explained to them what I was driving and that I would need a flat bed truck. I will say that I was quite surprised that a truck came out within 15 minutes but I was disappointed to see it was a standard wheel lift as opposed to a flat bed as I had requested. When the driver asked where we needed to go, I explained to him that we wanted to have our Jeep taken to our home in Carson City and that was about 70 miles away. Initially, he didn't seem to think it'd be a problem to just use his truck to do the job but then I let him know that I had specifically requested a flat bed. To this, he became irritable and started to berate me for having such a big Jeep and that I should know that the terms and conditions of AAA Road Side Assistance doesn't allow for the towing of such a vehicle. Surprised, I let him know that we've used AAA multiple times in the past to tow Jeeps just like this and without any problems and that's when he demanded where this occurred. When I said that I've used AAA for towing in Blanding, UT and Lone Pine, CA, he snapped back at me and said he was going to report them! He said they aren't supposed to tow vehicles like ours and then he got on his phone to tell the garage he came from what was going on. With me standing in front of him, he bitched and moaned about our Jeep and how AAA needs to explain to guys like me what is and isn't allowed. After the driver ended his call, he let me know that he does have a flat bed truck and that if I really wanted, he could get it and tow us home but that he would have to do it commercially and that would cost about $600-$700! Upon hearing this, Cindy and I laughed, told him we'd pass and spent the rest of the night hobbling back home.

Because we were able to get Moby home and were still able to get out to Moab and have a great time, I had totally forgotten about this stupid experience. However, a week ago, I got an email survey from AAA asking how my experience was using their service back on May 13th. Needless to say, I used the opportunity to let them know. While I didn't expect anyone there to really care or do anything about what happened to us, I figured that maybe someone on their end might want to know. Well, much to my surprise, I got the following response from a Mary Whitehead.

Dear Mr. Oh:
Thank you for taking the time to let us know of your recent service experience on May 13, 2017, with AAA. Your feedback is valuable to our organization in order for us to improve our service to members.

On the report sent to our department, I noted your concerns with service not provided for your 2013 Jeep Wrangler because it was modified. Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

As per our Membership Terms and Conditions, four-wheeled motor-driven vehicles of the passenger, pleasure, or recreational type are eligible for all road services, provided they are not loaded, altered, or constructed in such way as to make servicing the vehicle hazardous. ERS services are conditioned upon a AAA roadside technician assessing that the applicable services can be performed legally and safely, with ordinary servicing equipment, which may include a sling and/or wheel lift devices, car carries and/or dollies.

Should you have further questions or concerns, please visit our website at for further details on the Membership Terms and Conditions.

Mary Whitehead
Member Experience
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah
(801) 401-6742

In other words, sorry that we left you stranded along the side of the road in spite of the fact that you've paid for our services for well over 10 years but our driver determined he couldn't help you out unless you paid him $600-$700. Please refer back to Member Terms and Conditions to explain why you got screwed.

This is the response I just sent her but I doubt I she or anyone over at AAA is going to respond.

Dear Mary,
I would like to reiterate that I have used AAA to have my vehicle towed in the past and without any problems. If I were just having it towed to a gas station down the street, a sling or wheel lift device would have sufficed to do the job. The problem is that I wanted my vehicle to be towed home which was 70 miles away and this would be hard on the type of transfer case it has. This is why I had requested a flatbed truck, something the tow truck driver said he could get but would need to charge me $600-$700 for its use. Being able to tow my vehicle safely was never an issue or at least, not one that was brought to my attention. If it were, I would assume your driver would have just said as much and not offered to assist me at a $600 premium. I must say that I’m quite unsatisfied with your response and you’ve left me wondering why I should continue paying for your services.

Edwin Oh

I have to say that I really am quite disappointed with AAA. Not only do I insure all 8 vehicles I own with them, I have paid for their roadside assistance for well over 10 years and have recommended their services to every Jeeper I know. Now that I know they'll leave you stranded on the side of a road if their technician determines "applicable services can't be performed legally and safely, with ordinary servicing equipment, which may include a sling and/or wheel lift devices, car carries and/or dollies", I no longer have a need for their services. Certainly, it would have been cheaper to just pay the $600-$700 than to have paid what I have over the last 10+ years.
CANCELED My AAA Premier Road Side Assistance

UPDATE: 06/22/2017
Being that I had not heard back from AAA since the last time I spoke with them and was asked to hold off on the cancellation of my premier membership, I contacted them yet again and requested this be done now. To this, I was asked to be patient a just bit longer so that the matter could be looked into and today, I received the following email. Apparently, this message was sent to my representative by Dongie Royster, the Member Experience Supervisor.

From: Larsen, Annette
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2017 9:40 AM
To: Eddie Oh
Subject: The response I received:

Good morning Annette,

Regarding Mr. Oh's ERS complaint, Mary did reply to his concerns via email through ERS Survey and explained our membership terms and limitation. Mr. Oh requested towing for his Jeep Wrangler which is modified (see attached picture) and was denied towing. With the information Mary provided, Mr. Oh since then posted his experience through a Jeep Forum Mr. Oh was denied towing as the driver couldnt safely tow the vehicle because of the modification. Since then Mr. Oh has sent pictures of vehicle similar to his being towed. We cannot address those situation, we can only address his.

Per our membership:
We have some coverage limits to protect our Members, the Service Providers who provide services for us and to comply with the law. Service will be rendered where it can be done safely for the Member, vehicle and Service Provider. This means we do not provide service to:
• Vehicles or trailers that have been altered, lowered, loaded or constructed in a way that interferes with the safe rendering of service.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have additional question.

Dongie Royster
Member Experience Supervisor
AAA Northern California, Nevada, & Utah
801.401.6623 |

There you have it and right from the top. I must say that I was interested to see that they found WAYALIFE and this thread even though I NEVER made mention of either. Of course, in spite it, they are clearly choosing to hold their ground. While that's not surprising, it is disappointing see and it's why I have made yet another request to cancel my so called "service" and have the balance of my annual payment refunded to me. Certainly, there's no reason to pay for help that I might really need, if there's no guarantee they'll provide it.

I should note that Annette was in fact very pleasant to work with and she seemed genuinely interested in helping me even though I had not asked for it. It's a shame the company she works for is incapable of learning from her.

Sucks to see this! I've used my AAA several times for my Jeep and have not yet had a problem. Knock on wood.

Sounds like you got a sucky ass tow company rep and that got the negative wheel turning.
Makes you wonder. I had to put stock 225's on mine just to put it on a flat bed to tow per Penske. So they can probably argue just based on larger non stock tires. I've used my AAA for our car....not for the jeep...yet.

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Wow. Sorry to hear. What a crock of shit. I have had good luck with Metlife but not too sure of the fine print with them.
Man.. that sucks! The driver for AAA sounds lame too.. not sure why he had to give you crap, very unprofessional. Definitely sounds like a good time to cancel

Seriously! I mean, help me or don't help me and spare me the lecture. :rolleyes2:

Sucks to see this! I've used my AAA several times for my Jeep and have not yet had a problem. Knock on wood.

Sounds like you got a sucky ass tow company rep and that got the negative wheel turning.

Honestly, the whole thing was a surprise to me. Hell, I would have just let well enough go had it not been for the email survey asking how they did. Didn't realize they were going to give me a big F-you :naw:

Makes you wonder. I had to put stock 225's on mine just to put it on a flat bed to tow per Penske. So they can probably argue just based on larger non stock tires. I've used my AAA for our car....not for the jeep...yet.

Again, I've seen and have used my membership to have other people towed in the past and without issue. If they're going to allow their drivers to extort $600-$700 just because they came out with the wrong truck and defend their actions, I don't need their services anymore.
Here's a shot of a big built up Jeep that doesn't even have a rear wheel on. AAA didn't seem to have any issues helping here.
Wow. Sorry to hear. What a crock of shit. I have had good luck with Metlife but not too sure of the fine print with them.

The biggest crock of shit is that they wanted to know what I thought of their service. I told them and they just used the opportunity to defend the actions of their driver and tell me that I needed to read their terms and conditions again.
Stranded in big bear. AAA was there. No issues.


And have used it personally at least two other times for ENVY on 37s. McPucks rig was towed from outside Pleasantville down to Fullerton. Maxed out the 200 miles.

Sounds like the fine print is up to interpretation by the tow company and that guy was straight douche.
The driver was the only one at fault for that whole ordeal. As a former tow truck operator out of Minnesota, the only time I refused to tow a vehicle was due to extremly lowered vehicles. Due to damaging of the bumpers. But to be able to throw moaby up on my flat bed, would have been a privilege, and a great conversation starter! If anything, give terrible reviews to that tow operator and their company. Mostly for being to lazy to do their job...

Mr Beedle
I had a similar issue recently with progressive road side assistance. I hashed an accessory drive pully and threw my serpentine belt coming down a steep grade in my area. Got in touch with my road side assistance explained that my girlfriend and I were stranded on the side of the road. Made sure they understood that there was two of us multiple times, and explained that my jeep would likely require a roll back for the 50 mile tow home. Long story short after waiting nearly 3 hours the tow company shows up with a wrecker and not enough room for both of us. The driver went ballistic on me. I pointed out his issue was with progressive and not me and he finally calmed down a bit. Being as this was the only tow company within 100 miles I had no choice but to have him tow my jeep home with the wrecker. My girlfriend went with him and came back to get me with her renegade nearly 2 hours later. On top of all of this I got a bill in the mail a week later from the towing company and progressive raised my premium. Needless to say, I don't insure through them anymore. glad you posted this Eddie, I was considering getting AAA.
Triple A Premier is not cheap, either. I've had it, but now this makes me think I shouldn't renew. I can understand, stating the policy to you, but they could have been more apologetic, since you've been a long time member, and since they've done it for you before. That email had no hint of true apology in it.

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In my line of work I see vehicles get towed regularly, many with missing tires, axles or with other miscellaneous parts dangling off precariously. The drivers do a pretty good job locking everything down. Your experience is the first time I've heard of a rejected tow due to a safety concern.

But it Sounds like $700 would have made the situation much safer...


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