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24/7… Outsourcing…You get what you pay for!

January 14, 2016 Leave a comment
You-Get-What-You-Pay-ForA typical case of “You Get What You Pay For”….. I joined AARP Roadside Assistance in November. For under $80, I got the Premium Road and Tow Service for myself and George. The new member materials arrived promptly. The package offered 24 hour road and tow service for up to 100 miles, tire change for a flat tire, a jump start for a dead battery, fuel delivery, winching if the car gets stuck, and up to  $120 for lockout service. I was quite pleased, and thought that I had made a good decision.
It was a good decision until George had to use it last night. He got a person on the phone who barely understood English and had an incredibly thick accent. The guy couldn’t seem to understand the information even after George repeated it over and over. He finally got it after it was repeated to him MANY times. George told the man exactly where he was, but the guy on the phone kept asking if he was near Perth Amboy because that was the town that the map showed. He then told George that he didn’t know if he had anyone available at that time of night, but he would call George back. George NEVER got a call back. He finally called 911 who got a local tow truck who was able to help. It was well after 2:00 in the morning when he got home.
Today I called AARP Roadside Assistance. I wanted to get reimbursed for the Tow Truck services and then cancel my membership because I refuse to deal with that kind of poor customer service. I mean, what part of 24 Hour Roadside Assistance did they not get? And to not even call George back is COMPLETELY and TOTALLY unacceptable.
I started off my conversation by being sweet and courteous. The woman on the phone had such a thick accent that I kept having to ask her to repeat herself. I told her that I could not understand her, and asked to speak to her supervisor. She put me on hold… for eight minutes.
Her supervisor got on the phone and introduced himself as “Peter”. His accent was very thick but understandable, but I knew his real name was NOT Peter. I explained what had happened last night, giving all the details that I had, and he said he would look at my account. He said he had NO record of George ever calling their service center. At this point, I was livid. I told him that I wanted to cancel my account and get a full refund. He said that I ordered my membership in November, and he would have to pro-rate my return. Wrong answer!! I demanded that he reimburse me for the FULL amount of my membership plus the cost of the tow truck last night. He told me that he couldn’t do that and he needed to speak to a supervisor. When I said that I thought he was a supervisor, he put me on hold. I held for another 11 minutes until Roger got on the line saying he was a supervisor who was authorized to help me.
I had to explain my story for the THIRD time. He too looked at my account, and he said he had no record of a call from George last night or anytime. He said since he had no record he could not reimburse me for our tow truck services, but he would refund my entire membership. I asked him how it is possible for a member to call in to their roadside number and there be no record of it. He fumbled for an answer mumbling something about linking issues. I asked him outright if the call center was even located in the United States. He said that most of the calls were outsourced. I told him that was the problem right there. How did AARP Roadside Assistance expect someone in another country to help me? I mean, there are towns in New Jersey that I have never heard of, and I have lived here all of my life. How can you expect someone in another country to have ANY clue at all about a small town in central New Jersey?
AAARoadsideAt this point, I just accepted my full refund. I was lucky to get that. I will now go with the choice I should have made. I will sign up for a membership with AAA. I know that they are more expensive, but I want to know that if George or I ever need roadside assistance, it will be there for us — unlike AARP Roadside Assistance who failed miserably.
I have been a member of AAA in the past, but canceled it when my Mitsubishi came with its own Roadside Assistance Plan. I’ve had to use AAA when I was a member, and I was always pleased with their services. I thought that AARP’s program would be a good one. But, as I learned, you get what you pay for.
AAA, here I come.
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