Some memberships offer perks such as roadside service benefits. However, don’t be fooled by the word “benefit.” Not all roadside service benefits are actually going to benefit you. In fact, some of them might be making you worse off than if you didn’t have them at all. There are not as many benefits to having roadside assistance as it may appear. Sometimes what is offered as a benefit is actually a worse service than you would otherwise have, normally.
Discounted Rates Create Longer Waits
For starters, towing companies receive a VERY discounted rate to offer roadside assistance services. What does this mean for you? It means that it might create really long waits for services due to companies being paid so little by the companies who are offering the roadside assistance. That can mean that some customers are put in a very bad situation, sometimes even harmful situations where they can be left sitting at a dangerous location for hours.
Local Knows Best
Roadside assistance companies generally operate from various locations, usually as far away as in different countries and they can be completely unaware of a customer’s location and geographical needs. This is in opposition to just calling a local towing company, which is going to know exactly where you are and how you need to get out of there.
There are also many areas that might not be covered in your roadside assistance service, so you could end up paying extra for regular service in addition to your roadside assistance plans if you get caught in a bad situation in an area that is not covered by your plan. You can generally find these areas on a geographical map from the company providing the roadside assistance if you aren’t sure whether the area you are traveling through is covered or not.
“Convenience” Is Costly
The costs of roadside assistance, which are paid monthly/annually will far exceed the cost of a tow or other roadside assistance needs such as getting a door unlocked, tire changed, or jump starting your vehicle. So even though it may seem like a deal to pay so little every month, all those costs can add up, especially if you have a nicer car and don’t use the services very often. It can be more cost effective to just take the risk and pay a larger fee once, when you actually need the services, rather than paying small amounts all the time just in case you might need service eventually.
Be Wary of the Fine Print
During winter snowstorms it is very common for a roadside assistance company to shut down services. This is usually written in very small print. So that can mean that even someone who pays all year for roadside service benefits might not actually get to take advantage of them during a real crisis or time of need during an intense snowstorm.
Dealerships are becoming aware of their customers’ frustrations of how long wait times for services are, but needless to say, roadside service clubs are not what they are cracked up to be. So think twice before believing something is better just because it has “benefit” in the title.
Written by the staff at Tiger Towing in Columbia, Mo. Tiger Towing provides fast and friendly towing services around Mid-Missouri.