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Old 08-15-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
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AAA Versus Coachnet

We were unfortunate enough to have our MH and our toad towed within hours of one another. Trying to keep things "clean", I used Coachnet for our MH and AAA to take the Saturn. For reference, we were in Devil's Tower KOA and both vehicles had to be towed back to Rapid City, SD.


Coachnet was flawless. They gave me a time about an hour and half out and sure enough, the right sized tow truck with an experienced driver showed up right on time. The driver knew exactly what to do and they had everything setup in about 1/2 hour. The MH arrived in Rapid City with no problems.

AAA was another story. I tried to follow up with them today to better understand why they handled my situation so badly. I think that I finally understand.

I placed the original call to AAA around noon. They gave me an incident number of 194. I don't think that I was talking to the right group. AAA dispatches based on the area code that you provide. I had to give them the KOA's number since I had no cell phone service. That should have told them that I was in Wyoming. Today, I learned that they have no record of talking to me until 3pm. They hung me on KOA's phone for 1/2 hour when I called in to find out where the truck that was supposed to have been there at 1:30 was so I did call them prior to 3pm. The actually dispatch was never done until after 3 and their own records indicated that they were calling towing companies and leaving messages - they didn't talk to a human.

We arrived in Rapid City around 5:30pm and I called AAA for a status. They still couldn't confirm that our Saturn had been picked up. Now that I had cell service, I give them that number and asked them to have the tow truck driver call me with confirmation of where the Saturn was being delivered. That never happened. About 8:30pm, a AAA representative left a message on the cell phone saying that the Saturn had been delivered but she could not confirm anything else because the service shop where it was delivered was closed at 6pm.

Coachnet sent me a survey to fill out about my experience. AAA has not. To me, that speaks volumes about why there was a difference in results. In fairness, the Saturn was delivered where it was supposed to be and that service group turned out to be terrific. The repairs were done promptly and very reasonably. But I had many anxious hours because, in order to get a ride to Rapid City, I had to put the keys under the Saturn's driver's mat. That is not a very good way to do things. I don't like abandoning my car 1,200 miles from my home but that was really my only option.

My AAA membership is due for renewal at the end of this month. My sending it in is now seriously in doubt. I've been with them 29 years and have rarely used any tow service. I had no idea that their process had to deteriorated to the point that it has.

I realize that my experience may not be typical if all I needed was a local tow but I can clearly see through my dealings with them that the dispatch center setup is ripe for failure. The center that handles Wyoming is in New Jersey - 2 time zones away.

I should mention that one of the times that I called in for status, I was sent to the California dispatch center who had no idea about anything and it took two more transfers to get me to the right group. I had similar problems today until I finally figured out how they are setup. The number on the back of my AAA was definitely not a one stop item.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:35 AM   #2
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I was with AAA 20+ years. After dropping AAA two years ago, I went with CoachNet. Fortunately, I have not needed any service. It is good to hear your comparison of the two services under an identical situation. Thanks for posting that.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
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Why doesn't Coach Net cover your toad under the same policy as the MH?
Why need two different ERS?
Quote:
Trying to keep things "clean"
?????

What was the break down troubles of both vehicles?
A Devil's Tower curse?
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:51 AM   #4
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Exactly what I was thinking.....our GS ERS covers all 5 vehicles we own.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
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I believe my Coach Net Service DOES cover all vehicles in the household.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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Coach-Net also provides a technical support where you call in, describe your problem, and they will go through a trouble shooting matrix for your coach and/or chassis. I have used this as well as the towing; both with success.

safe travels and THE JOY IS IN THE RIDE
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasfm11 View Post
Trying to keep things "clean", I used Coachnet for our MH and AAA to take the Saturn.
Based on this statement I think he wanted to keep the two separate. But CoachNet does cover all of your vehicles.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triker56 View Post
Why doesn't Coach Net cover your toad under the same policy as the MH?
Why need two different ERS?

?????

What was the break down troubles of both vehicles?
A Devil's Tower curse?
I'm a belt and suspenders guy. I had no experience with Coachnet until this tow and I've had AAA for many years. If I had been stuck in a situation where I needed a tow and one of the companies couldn't provide it, I was willing to pay the annual fee to have a backup plan. No longer, however.

For the story of the breakdown, read here.
.... and then an angel appeared.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncbounder View Post
Based on this statement I think he wanted to keep the two separate. But CoachNet does cover all of your vehicles.
AAA provided that they cannot handle one vehicle, let alone two. I wasn't sure about the toad coverage under Coachnet.

In a city environment, I won't worry too much. In Devil's Tower, a much more remote area, I wasn't sure how things would work out trying to get two vehicles towed out by the same organization. That was what I meant by "clean".
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV735 View Post
Coach-Net also provides a technical support where you call in, describe your problem, and they will go through a trouble shooting matrix for your coach and/or chassis. I have used this as well as the towing; both with success.

safe travels and THE JOY IS IN THE RIDE
It is my understanding that it is an either/or. You get troubleshooting help OR you get a tow, not both for the same incident. I called Freightliner support and took advantage of their troubleshooting assistance. What I was convinced it wasn't something that I was going to fix there myself, I called Coachnet for the tow. In retrospect, I could have fixed it myself but it wouldn't have been possible because of the broken toad at the same time.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:41 AM   #11
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Upate:

I had placed a complaint call to AAA about my towing experience. I got some of the same runaround in trying to do that that I had experienced with the actual tow problem.

Today, a Mountain zone representative called me back and told me that their internal investigation confirmed that they had dropped the ball. They agreed that I had talked to them before the first 3pm record that they finally showed and also agreed that the reason for the gap in information was due to the call center discrepancy between my home one it Texas (which apparently received my first phone call) and the one that covers the Mountain time zone one in WY (which is where the follow up complaint that I placed on the day of the actual tow) ended up.

I asked if it was possible to understand what actions are being taken to address the situation. I believe that their current setup is ripe for a repeat situation. The representative said that she would have one of the managers who had been involved in the investigation call me.

My membership renewal will hang in the balance. If the manager calls me back and can describe the changes taking place, I will renew. If they blow me off and I get no further phone calls, I will not. I will write the Texas office a letter if the latter occurs.

To me, this is a fundamental problem in a lot of businesses today. I realize that corrective action is not possible with every error. On the other hand, when a basic business process flow problem is discovered, it needs to be corrected or the same situation will be repeated over and over again. Some businesses are fine with the repeat errors. I worked with an electric company that ordered service disconnects for hundreds of customers because of non-payment when it was their own billing payment posting application that was at fault. When I know about situations like this and companies willing to ignore them, I simply walk away.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:21 PM   #12
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I just recently used Coach-Net on my toad, broke down several miles from the CG in the Tetons. Toad needed towed to the closest repair shop, some 130 miles from Flagg Ranch below Jackson Hole. Not a problem, called them at 6:30PM, arri9ves around 9:30 and that was that.
Ii have used them several times, never an issue, excellent service, and yes they cover the MH and your personal cars as well anywhere anytime.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:59 PM   #13
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chasfm11...... I would say your experience with CoachNet was very typical. I've been with them for a year, have had occasion to call them twice, including a 45 mile tow, and their performance was smooth, efficient, professional, timely, and flawless. I have recommended them to others unequivocally, and will continue to do so.

I have no experience with AAA.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:13 PM   #14
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Had a starter motor give out at the Phoenix GS rally last year. Coach Net concluded that it was a bad battery. Then added: "If I send a battery truck and it's something else you'll have to pay for the tow". Waited over an hour and no show, found that there was an onsite repair and called them. I called Coach Net to cancel their service. The on site driver got there and got me started. Then the Coach Net driver called wondering where I was. Found out Coach Net hadn't called him to cancel the call. the on site service billed me $95 and apologized for the cost but he had to pass on the high price that GS charged him for being onsite.
I was able to get back home in WA before the starter acted up again, then Coach Net paid the over $700 tow with no problem.
Coach Net covers all our vehicles under one contract.
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