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Old 10-30-2010, 09:43 AM   #51
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Here's a tip for selecting a tow company... Use a AAA preferred vendor... even if you aren't using AAA.

AAA publishes towing manuals for their vendors, and requires periodic training. Preferred vendors must pass audits. I have seen a lot of towing outfits that provide zero training, and employees have no incentive to get training because most tow operators are paid on commission. On that note... tip #2: Select a company that pays drivers hourly, not on commission. Hourly drivers will be more likely to take a time to it right. Many AAA preferred vendors pay hourly for this reason. On the flip side, commision-based driver will tend to provide unnecessary services, because of the extra fees attached.

The broken flatbed is a pretty big indicator of general incompetence, and the cylinders would not have broken if proper loading procedure was followed. If they can't operate their own flatbed correctly, I wouldn't put money on them doing other steps correctly either.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:29 PM   #52
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Good inside info on getting towed. What if you don't have AAA? I use the road service provided by my insurance carrier, Allied. It mimics AAA but is cheaper and basically unlimited in terms of the # of tows. I've used the service twice and was impressed with the quality, the driver was very skilled and knowledgeable. Do you contract to provide service to any other road service companies?
Thanks for inside scoop.
Chris
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:06 PM   #53
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Ford's Roadside Assistance (5 years or 60K miles under warranty) is provided by "and/or through" Cross Country Motor Club, Inc. I've never heard of them. Can anyone provide a reference?
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:38 PM   #54
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

For what it's worth, the tow company that I ended up with was AAA approved. I had more of a problem with AAA. I called several times to initiate the tow and each time, I was very clear that I was broken down on a dirt road and my vehicle weighed over 10,000 pounds. They were not concerned about that, only that I wasn't with the vehicle even though as I explained each time, had I been with the vehicle, there would be no way for me to contact them. Upon hearing that, they said I had to be connected directly to the "supplier" and proceeded to transfer me first to a company that said they couldn't arrange a tow for the morning if I was calling the night before, then the next morning, to a tow company in Desert Hot Springs that didn't service Death Valley. Finally, I got a phone book and called the only AAA approved towing service listed in Pahrump which was the company that I used. Again, I was very explicit in that I was on a dirt road and my vehicle weighed over 10,000 pounds. They gave me their AAA station number and said to call AAA back and tell them to use this company. Once we broke the first tow truck, and we called AAA back, then they said that the tow was not going to be covered by my membership since the vehicle was over 10,000 pounds. I was resigned to pay for the tow myself and we left to get the bigger truck. Once back in cell phone range, I got a hold of Jay Minto at Towne Ford and he reminded me that my warranty included towing through Ford Roadside Assistance. The operator tried his best and was careful and not rushed and still mistakes were made. These operators have to deal with so many different scenarios that I can't really blame him for everything. Had I been more knowledgeable about what was required, things might have gone smoother. Unfortunately, the best way to gain this knowledge is from experience. Hopefully those reading this won't have to go through what I did.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:00 AM   #55
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Thwaites
Good inside info on getting towed. What if you don't have AAA? I use the road service provided by my insurance carrier, Allied.
Chris
You should be able to request the tow company you would like to provide the service, so just do a local search to find out who the AAA providers are, and request one of them through Allied.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:10 AM   #56
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2cool
Ford's Roadside Assistance (5 years or 60K miles under warranty) is provided by "and/or through" Cross Country Motor Club, Inc. I've never heard of them. Can anyone provide a reference?
We also service Cross Country tows. Honda and Onstar also utilize cross country. With Cross Country, you can also request a specific provider (see my post above).

We typically provide a higher priority to AAA customers vs Cross Country Customers, because AAA never raises questions about charges billed, and pays on time. Cross Country doesn't always pay, so we actually reject about 20% of the Cross Country requests we are sent (either because we are busy with higher priority customers, or we suspect Cross Country may not pay all the charges). That said, I think they are trying hard to get us to do more of their tows, since they upped our rates billed to them by a substantial about, so we will certainly be giving them higher priority going forward.

Just keep in mind that regardless of who your Roadside Assistance is through, the quality of your service is entirely dependent on the actual service provider.

Google comes in handy here. Type in a Towing Company, and look at the overall rating and read some of the reviews.
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