AAA Emergency Roadside Services: Don’t call us — summon us online

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By Christopher Elliott

It happened this morning. The battery on our Honda Accord died — a battery we bought through AAA less than three years ago. I tried to call AAA Emergency Roadside Services for help, but after navigating my way through a confusing menu, and enduring about five minutes of elevator music, my call was disconnected.

Then I remembered something the automated greeting had mentioned: Try sending a roadside assistance request online. I hadn’t thought of that. And I won’t bury the lede here — it worked like a charm.

An AAA truck arrived almost a full hour ahead of schedule and a technician replaced the battery at no cost. He explained that the battery we’d bought through AAA had a tendency to fail almost three years to the day after it was installed, which was just outside its warranty period. He told us AAA now uses a battery from a different manufacturer.

I was also shocked at how easy it was to use the AAA Roadside Services page. Within two screens, I had a confirmation (see above).

In short, I’m a very happy AAA customer.

I’m not a happy customer advocate, though. (Related: AAA homeowners insurance trouble: They never told me I had to fix the roof!)

When AAA disconnects a call — in my case, it went from “hold” music to a fast-busy — it isn’t doing its customers, or itself, any favors. Calls made to Emergency Roadside Services are all important. Hanging up on one is a little bit like ignoring a 911 call. (This is how to fix your own consumer problems.)

Surely, there’s software that can prevent these kinds of accidental disconnections, which usually happen with call center volume is at its highest. (Related: Get me out of AAA renewal hell, please.)

Next time I need help from AAA, I’ll go to its site. Or I’ll download its iPhone app and use it.

Global Rescue is the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services. Founded in 2004, Global Rescue has exclusive relationships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations and Elite Medical Group. Global Rescue provides best-in-class services that identify, monitor and respond to client medical and security crises. Learn more about Global Rescue.
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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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