1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

AAA Roadside Battery Scam

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Zappa, Mar 23, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Zappa

    Zappa Road Warrior NES Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    36,207
    Likes Received:
    5,963
    Location:
    Living Free In The 603
    For those of you who call AAA for a jumpstart, it seems they have an ongoing scam to sell batteries, whether you need one or not.

    I ran into a old buddy of mine today who works for a AAA contracted road service company. He drives a white AAA marked truck and takes calls exclusively from them via onboard data dispatch terminal. He told me that AAA gives them a quota of batteries that they MUST sell every month. He's not happy with this arrangement, but he needs the job. He told me that the AAA Brand batteries are utter crap and he'd never use one in his own car.
    Here's how the scam works. Every morning he loads up the truck with new batteries of different sizes. When he goes out to the jumpstart calls, he hooks up the cables and attempts to give the disabled vehicle a jump. Things are NOT what they appear because he only pretends to hook up the cables. When the car dosen't start, he tells them the battery is junk and needs replacing. Lucky for them because he just happens to have a battery on the truck that he could sell them. He then installs the new battery, collects payment and offers to take the old battery away for disposal. If they don't want to give up the "junk" battery, he tells them that it'll cost them another $20 for a "core charge" if he dosen't bring the old one back with him. So, more often than not, they customer will let him take the old one away. That way, they don't have the old battery, even if they wanted to do a load test on it. He only makes an extra $15 on the battery sale, with the bulk of the profit goes right back to AAA.
    After learning of this, I spoke to another friend who runs a repair shop and asked if he knew about this. He didn't specifically know about the scam, but has seen several problems with the batteries AAA sells. He told me that he thought they were junk and seen a few hack installs. He told me he had a customer recently that got a battery installed by one of their road service guys. They installed a battery that was the wrong size and rubbed against one of the cooling hoses, which created a hole that led to coolant loss and overheating. The car was towed into his shop and he showed the customer the problem with the battery, and found out that AAA installed it. Trying to save his customer money, he called AAA to find out about their warranty policy. He explained the situation and got an earfull of shit by the guy from AAA. It seems that AAA was very irate now that they would have to pay out a warranty claim. The said to the mechanic "why didn't you just fix it and charge the customer like anyone else?". The mechanic replied "because I don't screw people, and since when is it my job to cover-up for your mistakes?". The car owner then called AAA and hashed it out with them. The car was picked up later that day by another tow truck and taken somewhere who knows where. I assume AAA made it right by the guy, or they should have anyway, but I'll never know.
    I never trusted AAA and this is only one more reason to avoid them like the plague. I have more AAA horror stories, but I'll save those for another time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  2. RKG

    RKG NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    296
    Location:
    Boston
    Usually when a car starting battery goes bad, it is a victim of something else (such as a bad alternator or regulator) and not the cause of a problem itself. Replacing the battery without finding and repairing the underlying problem is simply swapping victims.
     
  3. Erebus

    Erebus Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,458
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Fitchburg, Ma
    Another thing I learned about AAA the hard way. If you are on a motorcycle you are SOL. They won't do anything for you. They will send no help at all no matter what you need. They left my butt on the side of the road with a dead battery once. All I needed was a jump start to get the bike home and replace the battery. Sorry it's not a car you are on your own. Needless to say I canceled my membership right then and there.

    I was a member for years and the one time I called them needing help I was simply told they would not help me because of the class of vehicle I was driving.
     
  4. News Shooter

    News Shooter Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,742
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    In the Great Smoky Mountains
    I don't know if there is something subliminal about this or not, but I read this when I got up this morning and on my way to work I passed one of those trucks parked on Soldier's Field road waiting for suckers
     
  5. C-pher

    C-pher Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    23,190
    Likes Received:
    988
    Location:
    The Land of Confusion and Pissed off!
    I've been using AAA since I started driving. I've never had a problem with them, and when I've called with the bike, I just ask them to bring a flat bed.

    I've never been turned down by AAA, and I've never need a jump and have them sell me a battery. And the one time that they couldn't jump me, the towed it back to the shop, and they called and said that the battery was fine, that it was the lead down to the starter that was bad, and it was fixed for under a 100 bucks.

    I also get my movie tickets from AAA, free maps, and they've hooked me up with travel plans as well.

    I used them to get Brent into his car when he locked them in at Dave's wedding.
     
  6. News Shooter

    News Shooter Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,742
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    In the Great Smoky Mountains
    I'm thinking this AAA Battery thing is different from the regular Triple A. The truck I saw was plastered with AAA Battery logo as opposed to the AAA Oval. I've never seen that before
     
  7. wahsben

    wahsben NES Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Messages:
    7,867
    Likes Received:
    842
    Location:
    Ma.
    I too have had no problems with AAA. They have come in handy several times throught the years.
     
  8. HoseHead

    HoseHead Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Somewhere south of the free state
    They recently sent me an information package that said they would now include motorcycles and trailers for an additional cost - I think it was $35 or something like that.
     
  9. Nashmack

    Nashmack Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,020
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Nashua, NH
    AAA batteries are refurbs. We had em at Ferreira's, but we pretty much told AAA to screw when they tried giving us quotas.

    Had a Northern New England fleet driver jump my mom's car once, he offered to "test" the battery and alternator for us. I said go ahead, he said "Your alternator is putting out 9 volts" at which point I threw the multimeter on it and replied "I'm getting 14.7 volts, and your supervisor is getting a phone call". Never had a problem after that.

    They always seem to show up pretty quick for me, I mentioned once to the dispatcher that I was working for a Southern subcontractor (034), and aparently got an employee flag on my membership number.
     
  10. vellnueve

    vellnueve Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    16,917
    Likes Received:
    749
    Location:
    BIOT
    I think the core charge is pretty standard...
     
  11. Zappa

    Zappa Road Warrior NES Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    36,207
    Likes Received:
    5,963
    Location:
    Living Free In The 603
    Not exactly. Once the car is running, it should remain running until you shut it off. If the battery goes dead while you're driving, the alternator is the culprit. If the car won't start after being parked, it's usually something as simple as leaving the lights on. Even the dome light can drain the battery enough to prevent starting in the morning. These people are the most common victims of the battery sale scam.
     
  12. Mike1911

    Mike1911 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,573
    Likes Received:
    288
    Location:
    North of Boston, MA
    Same here over 25 years or so.
     
  13. jon

    jon Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    1
    Or a dying alternator. If the alternator is on its way out it can keep the car operating, but not charge the battery properly. Although if you tax the elctrical system by putting on the lights, stereo, ac, etc. it will be quite evident.
     
  14. MMF

    MMF Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Mass
    I worked for a sub of triple A in wareham, doheretys/heneys towing. We did some pretty messed up stuff. haha
     
  15. C-pher

    C-pher Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    23,190
    Likes Received:
    988
    Location:
    The Land of Confusion and Pissed off!
    Yep, I'm going on 23 years with a AAA card in my pocket.
     
  16. dwarven1

    dwarven1 Appleseed Instructor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    27,500
    Likes Received:
    1,816
    Location:
    Starksboro, VT (and sometimes Waltham. For now.)
    Triple A member for over 30 years now. They've hauled me off the side of the road a few times, but not lately. (That might have something to do with buying new cars and keeping them maintained properly...) Never tried to sell me something I didn't need, either. Even though I don't use it much, I will keep my membership. Like a carry piece, a fire extinguisher & car insurance, you never know when it'll come in handy.

    Like the other bikers here, my only complaint is that they'll leave me high & dry with a bike. I'll have to look into that addon to my membership. (although the BMWMOA Anonymous Book has helped me out a few times!)
     
  17. jon

    jon Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    1
    FYI,

    For the motorcyclists. Call AAA and ask for a flatbed truck. When the guy shows up see what happens. 90% time they will tow you, they get paid either way. the other 10% of the time just offer them a couple of bucks CASH (a tip) and it will works out. From my experience with tow truck driving friends you can get a whole lot if you use the words Cash, No Receipt.
     
  18. 6hold

    6hold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Messages:
    4,150
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    THE GREAT "BAY STATE"
    Myself and the loved one have used AAA for many a moon and have never had a problem. They usually show up within thirty minutes of our call and never tried to sell us anything.

    We’ve used their maps and received Travelers Checks through them, no problems.

    They were the best price and accommodations for a trip we took. Just never had a problem using them many times through many years, we would never give up the service. [smile]​
     
  19. btnh6668

    btnh6668 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Southcoast
    More information you guys may not know about AAA batteries. The batteries themselves are Exide products which are not very good considering the price AAA sells them at. They do not rotate their batteries so the batteries they sell you may be well over a year old. Unlike companies like Interstate Batteries whom rotate the batteries every 6-8 months that is not the case for the AAA batteries. You may also want to take that into consideration if you decide to buy a battery at walmart or auto zone for example.
     
  20. Jose

    Jose Guest

    You know that, and I know that.

    But since 99.9% of the people who pay AAA to bail them out know shit from shinola about how cars work, this scam is one of the easiest to pull off.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page