Interesting Experience with Toyota Roadside Assistance Tonight

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I swore off car insurance roadside assistance after geico came out once for a flat tire, and they put it down as a claim on my record, and raised rates accordingly.

Other insurance providers seen it as a claim also, and we are still paying surcharge.

My broker advised to cancel the roadside with car insurance, and get something like AAA or Good Sam.

We purchased good sam but have not had to use it yet.
 
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Jan 13, 2016
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Northeast Nebraska
First off glad it worked out even though it took you to make it right.

There are only two tow companies in my area I would trust and the odds of getting them thru my Insurance towing is not good. I think madRiver is correct in the pool theory. So the last time I needed a tow I called and got one I wanted then submitted the bill to my insurance and had no problem getting reimbursed.

I would check with Toyota if this is possible.
 
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"Roadside Assistance"-the Door Dash or Uber Eats of the mechanic industry! There's guys running around these parts with clapped out Durangoes and similar with "Mobile Mechanic" decals on the back window-I wouldn't let them touch anything of mine with a ten foot pole! It breaks, I go-and since I generally have newer, good rubber & batteries in & on everything-it's not very often!
 
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You would think that with having so many people in this world, we wouldn't have a shortage of skilled labor.

AAA came out to my house and installed a new battery. The guy who just finished installing it tells me how he doesn't make any money doing this and asked me for $40. Well the issue was that he had just installed the battery. So I closed the hood and walked inside and gave AAA a call asking them to renegotiate their rates so Im not hit up for $40.
 
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You would think that with having so many people in this world, we wouldn't have a shortage of skilled labor.

AAA came out to my house and installed a new battery. The guy who just finished installing it tells me how he doesn't make any money doing this and asked me for $40. Well the issue was that he had just installed the battery. So I closed the hood and walked inside and gave AAA a call asking them to renegotiate their rates so Im not hit up for $40.

They just aren't working for roadside assistance and their low wages. Most people with skills are smart and go where they know they will be gainfully employed.
 

john_pifer

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What in modern society would have given you this idea? People can't add oil to an engine these days. I was at Kroger this past summer and two adult males were struggling with using the air hose to put air in their tires.
That was the first time either of us have ever used a roadside assistance service, and it never occurred to me that some random Joe who had no clue what he was doing, would show up.

I had no reason to believe that whoever responded would not be a competent professional who had changed many, many tires and successfully solved a myriad of vehicle problems.

I still tend to believe that our experience was probably the exception, and a fluke.
 

john_pifer

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Wonder who the provider is. The one I have dealt with is shockingly bad.
We didn't get the name of the provider, but, according to the rep at Toyota Corporate, it was 5 Star Automotive.

I went to their Facebook page, and, unsurprisingly, their rating is 1.5 out of 5 stars, and there are lots of negative reviews.
 

john_pifer

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I carry a small floor jack and several 4 to 6 inch boards in case the side of the road is soft. Carry contractor bags to lay on and put dirty tire in or on. Long half inch breaker bar and impact grade long 6 point sockets. Jumper cables and wire ties a few hose clamps and garden gloves. Also a 12 volt air compressor. My daughter has changed many tires for 20 year old friends that had no idea how to do anything. Dads please teach your kids the basics of how to safely stand on the left side of the breaker bar while vehicle is still on ground. How to use a small hydraulic jack and where to put it. Put a few red paint marks on your frame. Wont hurt anything.
Now the op. I am not saying your pregnant wife or anyone watching kids needs to be crawling under cars on the side of the road.. but having a few tools and flashlights can be just the ticket in an emergency..
I keep the name of a very professional towing / road service outfit in my phone. Needed a tow twice when ford fuel pumps gave it up.

Comes down to this.. its your car.. its your responsibility to be able to get things fixed on the side of the road.
I agree with you, and knowing how to fix minor problems like changing a flat or battery, fuse, headlight, taillight, etc, other basic vehicle maintenance will be a requirement for my kids when they reach driving age.
 

john_pifer

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Supposedly, Lexus uses AAA for roadside assistance during the car’s basic warranty period - shocked that Toyota won’t do the same to keep things simple on their end.

I’ve seen too many fly-by-night operations in the Bay Area as “roadside assistance”. My favorite one to see is Auto Rescue - they usually pull up in a beat up truck or SUV with little in the way for tools or supplies.
Unfortunately this was that type of "fly-by-night" operation. Or, sure seemed like it, to us.

Apparently it was an outfit called "5 Star". Many bad reviews.
 

john_pifer

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That’s why, if I can make it to my wife’s side, I go.

Screw the free roadside.

It’s like a free oil change. Most on here wouldnt use it. Why use free roadside with a loved one?
Because I was at work, and I'm responsible for supervising and directing aircraft maintenance at my job.

And, not having ever had to use roadside assistance of any kind before (I handle all our vehicle maintenance personally if possible), I had no reason to think that the responder would be anything but competent, and quick.

Had I not been working at the time, I assure you I would have gone there immediately, myself, to handle the problem.

As it was, the minute my wife informed me that she wasn't confident in the individual's ability to do the work, I headed up there.
 
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john_pifer

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Nobody made ‘John’ leave his job that was by his own choice. A tow truck was offered, and declined.
Listen, "wdn", I stated in my OP that I inquired about a time estimate on a tow truck, or someone else who could come out and figure out how to change the tire (since the dude who showed up demonstrated his inability to properly do the job).

The individual could not give me a timetable.

My wife is pregnant, and had our baby with her at the time.

What would you do?
 

john_pifer

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I spent almost 90 minutes on the phone yesterday and today, trying to reach someone at Toyota Corporate to get our experience documented.

Yesterday, I ended up trying to talk with a woman who barely spoke English. The connection was atrocious - It was obvious that the call had been forwarded overseas to some 3rd Party complaint department, probably, and I had my doubts as to whether she understood the point I was trying to get across.

Finally, today, I reached someone who seemed to care, and she told me she had documented our experience.
 
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Every time I call my health insurance provider customer service number I'm connected to a call center outside the US. The first and often the only thing I tell them is I want to speak with someone in the US office. I don't have time to waste with someone I can't understand and they can't understand what I'm trying to tell them.
 
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We didn't get the name of the provider, but, according to the rep at Toyota Corporate, it was 5 Star Automotive.

I went to their Facebook page, and, unsurprisingly, their rating is 1.5 out of 5 stars, and there are lots of negative reviews.
I mean I wonder who the TPA is like "Cross Country"...
 
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Jan 2, 2004
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California
I swore off car insurance roadside assistance after geico came out once for a flat tire, and they put it down as a claim on my record, and raised rates accordingly.

Other insurance providers seen it as a claim also, and we are still paying surcharge.

My broker advised to cancel the roadside with car insurance, and get something like AAA or Good Sam.

We purchased good sam but have not had to use it yet.
I’ve always been leery about Geico. They seem like a step above cut-rate insurers but seems to want to find a little excuse to raise rates or drop you(all insurers do that - insurance is basically underwriting risk but also making sure their shareholders also don’t get scalped in the process).

That’s why I always recommend AAA for roadside assistance - they’re not perfect or the cheapest but they have standards, or like we in IT like to say, service-level agreements.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
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California
I spent almost 90 minutes on the phone yesterday and today, trying to reach someone at Toyota Corporate to get our experience documented.

Yesterday, I ended up trying to talk with a woman who barely spoke English. The connection was atrocious - It was obvious that the call had been forwarded overseas to some 3rd Party complaint department, probably, and I had my doubts as to whether she understood the point I was trying to get across.

Finally, today, I reached someone who seemed to care, and she told me she had documented our experience.
These days, to get the customer experience team to pay attention to you, a tweet or Facebook tag probably gets more weight than calling a toll-free number, going through a phone tree then an outsourced call center.
 
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