If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

I lost my job for writing about how customers take advantage of AAA

(Yep you read that right. So because of this, I’m going to repost the article they asked me to take down to let you guys determine if its something that’s worth firing someone over. I’ll be following this up with everything wrong with AAA.)

Member:“Hello?! Please I need help immediately!”

Me: “Are you ok? Are you in a safe location with the vehicle?

Member: “ No I’m not! Its very unsafe here and I feel like we’re going to get hit! Please get someone out here as quickly as possible!”

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Me: “Would you like me to contact any police or emergency services to come and direct traffic for you to ensure you’re safe?

Member: “No I don’t need anything like that. I just need someone here its not safe!”

My face:

I then proceed to ask the member if they need police there 2 more times. They decline both times.

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That’s usually how emergency calls go with members when they call in. AAA has a protocol called the Hot Call protocol that we use in the even that a member states they are unsafe. For any reason, if a member says they feel unsafe, we are supposed to raise the priority of the call to our highest priority, which is for emergency’s. But people routinely abuse it and it shows how strong of a brand AAA is, and not in a good way.

Why, in an emergency situation where you feel unsafe, would you contact a company and not local police or highway patrol? Granted its roadside assistance but still, we shouldn’t be asking people if they want us to contact police, something they should have done themselves to begin with.

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This brings me to another point: most people take advantage of this protocol. Let me give an example:

Me: “Thank you for choosing AAA how can I help you?”

Member: “ Yes I need a tow

We proceed through the call the call normally. The bullshit starts when I get to give them the eta. Keep in mind that one of the first if not the first thing we ask is they are in a safe location to wait for service.

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Me: “ So our independent contractor will be out by (usually an hour eta, but we shoot for 30 mins or less of course. I reassure them that this is just an ESTIMATE. People don’t usually understand or hear this and I have to tell them its an estimate more than once) to assist you.

Member: “So you’re telling me I have to sit here for an hour?! (here, all of a sudden, come the safety concerns) “Its getting dark here.” or “ This place is about to close” or “I’m not familiar with this area” blah blah. Without question, we are supposed to go into Hot Call protocol if a member mentions anything like this. Their motto is “Better hot than not” which is a corny way of saying better safe than sorry. And again, I get it. But I don’t agree with people abusing it because they are so damn impatient. And usually, 9 times out 10, when I offer police assistance, they turn it down.

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But the instance of an actual safety issue, I just think its kind of dangerous for peoples first thought is to call us and not police. Someone sitting in the fast lane on the freeway is more likely to call us, if they aren’t spotted by CHP, than to actually contact CHP for help. That’s insane to me. The Auto Club is too strong in that regard. And if something happens to one of these people who thought to call us instead of emergency services and we fail to make that call Hot and something ends up happening to that person? It comes back on us and we are held responsible. Being held responsible for someone else’s stupidity.

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