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Old 12-11-2012, 04:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I feel the same way as wxbuoy. It's not a Roadside Emergency if it's parked at your house. I have had AAA for many years and seldom ever used it. Before my Alaska trip, I thought it might be a good idea to get Good Sam Roadside Assistance. Luckily I didn't have to use it, but since I plan to travel farther from home, I added three more years.
There's no prohibition against using the service when you're parked at home. I used AAA once at home to change a flat tire. I was on crutches at the time, following surgery to my left foot. No way I could have changed that tire by myself. No complaint from AAA over the call to the home address. Their only concern was when I went over a certain number of calls in one year.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:40 AM   #16
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Look at it this way: With GS ERS or AAA, you're buying insurance. Anyone with too many claims on their insurance is going to get dropped, or their rates are going to skyrocket, or both.

But, I wouldn't overreact - they just warned you. They haven't dropped you. It's probably better to be warned and aware, than upset if they just dropped you without any warning.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:52 AM   #17
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We switched from AAA to Good Sam. Within a month of switching we had to call them from a very rural location because we had a flat on the trailer. They were prompt, courteous and helpful. They called us to make sure we were OK and the tire was being fixed.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:54 AM   #18
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Thank you Protagonist for the recommendation of the National Motor Club!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:59 AM   #19
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The Wikipedia definition for Roadside Assistance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadside_assistance:
Breakdown cover is a service that provides assistance to motorists whose vehicles have suffered a mechanical failure that is significant enough to leave them stranded at their present location.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:02 AM   #20
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Thank you Protagonist for the recommendation of the National Motor Club!
You're welcome, but "recommendation" is a little more than I intended. I just offered it as another choice. I got my membership for free just for buying a new Airstream. Not sure how long the free membership lasts, either, maybe only a year, I'll find out soon enough, I guess.

I haven't yet used NMC/Coach-Net for an emergency call, so I can't say how good their service is. But for people who have a problem with either Good Sam or AAA, it at least provides an alternative that might have otherwise been overlooked.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:21 AM   #21
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We've been happy with Allstate. They have an IPhone App that lets them locate your exact location.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #22
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I've had experience with Good Sam's ERS, AAA Plus RV, and SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger with Roadside Assistance.

We were towing an Airstream for a friend from Anchorage to Seattle for a friend, when the TV broke down in BC. The owner had Spot Satellite/Roadside Assistance coverage on the tow vehicle, and we were using the GPS transmitter in the vehicle, so we called them first. The first thing they asked was exactly where we were. We gave them the coordinates off of our GPS, but this didn't exactly instill confidence because they were supposed to be tracking us.

Long story short, they would only tow the tow vehicle, leaving the Airstream several miles from civilization at an airplane landing strip. So, we contacted our Good Sam ERS, which we had just upgraded to the Platinum level so it would cover Canada and vehicles other than our own, to see if they would tow the Airstream. They said no problem, and even suggested they would also cover the tow vehicle. The tow truck arrived 55 minutes later, delivered us and the AS to a campground, and delivered the TV to a repair shop. The tow bill was over $400. They covered it entirely, without question.

So far, it's been a good experience with GS ERS. We used them twice in one year, and have never received a letter, or any communications from them, ever.
That's interesting. Glad to hear about Good Sam RA. I wonder what your friend's problem was in using SPOT and their locally-contracted tow provider. I've used SPOT Tracking while sailing from Panama to the US Gulf Coast, and the service never lost track of me. I've sent hundreds of "I'm OK" position reports with never a problem. If the unit is on and tracking, you don't need to call them, just press the HELP button (after turning the unit on a letting it acquire satellites), which is what I did when stranded in Utah with a tow vehicle issue. They called me within 5 minutes to verify my situation and needs (if they can't reach you, they proceed to send assistance to the SPOT GPS position). I understand that all of the RA services are simply call centers using their closest approved towing service, the difference in cost from one to the other being their particular reimbursement levels with your plan. My SPOT-contracted tow provider in Utah offered to load my disabled vehicle on the flatbed and tow the Airstream on his hitch. I elected to leave the Airstream where it was and return in a rental car. Mine was a very satisfactory experience.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:15 PM   #23
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That's interesting. Glad to hear about Good Sam RA. I wonder what your friend's problem was in using SPOT and their locally-contracted tow provider. I've used SPOT Tracking while sailing from Panama to the US Gulf Coast, and the service never lost track of me. I've sent hundreds of "I'm OK" position reports with never a problem. If the unit is on and tracking, you don't need to call them, just press the HELP button (after turning the unit on a letting it acquire satellites), which is what I did when stranded in Utah with a tow vehicle issue. They called me within 5 minutes to verify my situation and needs (if they can't reach you, they proceed to send assistance to the SPOT GPS position). I understand that all of the RA services are simply call centers using their closest approved towing service, the difference in cost from one to the other being their particular reimbursement levels with your plan. My SPOT-contracted tow provider in Utah offered to load my disabled vehicle on the flatbed and tow the Airstream on his hitch. I elected to leave the Airstream where it was and return in a rental car. Mine was a very satisfactory experience.
Glad you had a good experience with Spot. The unit was on and tracking. In fact, the owner of the rig confirmed our location on his computer prior to contacting them, as he was periodically following our progress from his location. Not being the subscriber, I wasn't familiar with all the intricacies of the service. Ultimately, Spot advised to hit the "Help" button to activate the service. My point was, that if the owner could locate us, one would think they should have been able to.

Some of the features of the Spot are fascinating, such as being able to track the trail in real time, record average speed at a given location, and the ability to download the entire trip for later viewing. If I did a lot of traveling in remotes areas, I would probably subscribe. I'm also sure, that if Spot agreed to tow both the TV and the AS, it would have been the same tow contractor as GS/ERS. Vehicle services were somewhat sparse in that area of BC. Fortunately, we were only 55-60 miles from the nearest repair facility, which was within 2 miles of the campground. The tow service was located across the street from the repair shop.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:24 PM   #24
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we all know that some folks over-use or innaprorpriately use things like this, warranties, insurance policies..etc..

we also know that some folks have bad luck and have to use it frequently on legitimate basis.

we also know that controlling cost for a company as such is important not only to the vitality of the company, and it's profitability....but also for keeping premiums low for all premium payers.

So how good of a job does any of these companies do at discerning between appropriate and innapropriate? Should they create a cap? Is that acceptable?

There are no easy answers to keeping costs low...but behind the scenes it has to be done, and it aint always perfect. If companies do not do it, folks will have to as an alternative face as a group higher premiums to compensate.

It is I suspect a balancing act...and no matter what you do it will anger someone.

If there is a company that services someone 3 times a year every year and never really seems to mind...then are they not doing a disservice to the premium payers at large?

Your annoyance is reasonable I think...you have a run of bad luck and they threaten you with cancellation...switching from that standpoint seems reasonable given the experience.

Alternatively, once could assume the intent was not personal, but rather a policy attempt to keep premiums as low as possible for the entire group and at least they did not cancel you. Intent matters I think if you are to find this alternative narrative relieving in any way...I doubt Good Sam has that policy to simply "stick it" to the unfortunate....but perhaps rather it is an unfortunate reality and need for the polict to get to sniffing around if folks get to using the policy "quite a bit"?

I offer only differing perspectives and rationale for consideration...you personal experience with the company will no doubt supercede...I think it would be nice if the company flags these events (I think they should at least internally) that they give you a call and try and deliver it to you in a better manner...or perhaps make such a policy more transparent up front so folks are not surprised later?

Good Luck.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:35 PM   #25
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Good to hear the positive reports re GS ERS, which we have. We've had it about ten years and used it twice. Once near Freeport,FL. Had a flat on the rv in a major rain/wind storm. Due to the weather and the number of on-going accidents, the response time was about an hour, but they continued to call and make sure we were ok and to update the ETA of the repair man. Second time was about 15 miles from our house, my wife hit a deer and the car had to be towed. Response time for that was 20 minutes. We were pleased both times.

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