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

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.

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.

Surely, there’s software that can prevent these kinds of accidental disconnections, which usually happen with call center volume is at its highest.

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

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at . Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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