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Old 06-23-2015, 07:15 AM   #1
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Angry Good Sam Roadside Non-Assistance

We have had Good Sam membership and roadside assistance for 13 years, and never had to use it, until this past weekend. We found out just how pitiful their roadside "assistance" really is when we had two tire blowouts on I-64 in Virginia while returning from a week of camping last Saturday. We sat on the side of the Interstate for over 3 hours after the first blowout, while the provider was trying to get payment from Good Sam. The provider finally called us on cellphone and said three separate credit card numbers provided by Good Sam were no good, and we would have to pay $114 on our personal card for them to come out and change the tire. We did that, and they put the spare on. 20 miles further, the tire right in front of the 1st blowout disintegrated, so we were stuck again with no spare. We waited for and hour and a half, and Good Sam called and said they had searched in a radius of 80 miles, but could not find us any tires, primarily because no one had any 16 inch tires. We finally limped along the shoulder to the next exit, and found a parking lot where we stayed with no air or electricity in 95 degree heat. Stayed there all the way through Sunday and into Monday morning with not a single word from Good Sam. Finally used our GPS to find that there were 3 tire shops within 2 miles of us, and the first one we called had our size tires in stock. With the aid of a kind local resident, we had 2 tires installed and on our way home. We arrived home Monday afternoon with still not a single word from Good Sam.

Bottom line - Good Sam so-called roadside assistance was absolutely useless to us, and they left us stranded for 2 days with no help. And we found tires within 2 miles that they said could not be found within 80 miles. On top of all that, we now have to fight them to try to get the $114 back that they were supposed to pay.

Therefore we want to warn our fellow campers out there that Good Sam Roadside Assistance wasn't worth the scrap value of the membership card to us. Nuff said.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:25 AM   #2
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Thanks for the story. I was looking at GS RA for our upcoming trip but was wondering how reliable it really was, especially compared to CAA (AAA in Canada), considering that it is priced similar.

Any Canadians have any recommendations for roadside assistance (with RV coverage) for when traveling in the U.S.? I'm thinking I just do what the OP ended up doing and using GPS to find tire shops if needed.

I also bought one of those ramps that should make changing a TT tire pretty easy.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:34 AM   #3
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No experience with GS's coverage, but my experience with AAA or any of the other roadside insurance plans is marginal at best, at least when compared to using your own efforts to resolve a problem. With GPS and cell phones you can find most of what you need yourself and save yourself a lot of time. Family has had a lot of experience in IN with AAA with winter related slide off's and cold AM starting issues. Guess what, when it snows and its cold, there are a ton of other members out there with the same problem. You'll wait for hours or even be told they won't be able to get someone out until at least ????.

I will continue to rely on myself for getting from point A to point B and just try to be as prepared as I can be. That includes staying out ahead of tire issues, checking wheel bearings, and being reasonably self reliant for most stuff.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:06 AM   #4
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If you belong to RV NET Marcus has a thread that you use to let him know about it.

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Good Sam Roadside Assistance
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:34 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear of your experience with GS tinlizzie23

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmward View Post
Any Canadians have any recommendations for roadside assistance (with RV coverage) for when traveling in the U.S.? I'm thinking I just do what the OP ended up doing and using GPS to find tire shops if needed.
I also bought one of those ramps that should make changing a TT tire pretty easy.
I just recently purchased a membership with Coach-Net. Price was very comparable and when it comes to blow outs, there was no limit on calls I believe.

Basically it came down to the nuts and bolts of what I wanted. I have roadside assistance on my Toyota Tacoma, but it only covers the truck. I also have roadside assistance via my StateFarm insurance, again, only for the truck. So basically I am covered for my truck.

When I looked at GS. I quickly found out that I didn't really want to participate in a GS Club Group where they get together for all sorts of things. Not that I'm anti social, but It's not what I'm into. I dropped a car club I belonged to for essentially the same thing. Just got tired of the same ol, same ol after a while. Mind you this GS Club membership thing is an extra cost as well.

Then I looked at GS for the discounts. Being Canadian, not much value there unless I want to order from Camping World. Not many around here, one on the west coast I think. So again, a benefit I won't gain much from. Including Flying J's.

That leaves the aspect of RoadSide assistance only. Well, it was a simple choice. If I buy GS, I get all sorts of fringe benefits I can't use unless I vacation in the US all the time. I don't, lots to see here in our own beautiful country, but I do take the odd excursion south.

Coach-Net is an RV roadside assistance Program. That's all they do. Period.
That's what I want, that's what I paid for. They also have a terrific APP for my Android Phone where I can dispatch a call for help from it and they can use my GPS to locate me.

I spent hours researching, flipping back and fourth between GS and Coach-Net. In the end I just asked myself.

"What do you want" Roadside assistance, or Roadside assistance with benefits I can't utilize anyway. I chose to go with the company that is 100% focused on Roadside Assistance.

That said, you can and will find negative feedback on both. It just comes down to what you want I guess.

Good luck.

My Wife, Daughter and I are getting ready for a 3 week vacation where we'll be heading out to NewBrunswick, NovaScotia, Grand Manan Island, and then head home via the US side from Maine back through Vermont and NY states. If I need Coach-Net, I'll let you know how they actually work out. Hope I don't need them.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:22 AM   #6
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I'm really sorry to hear this happened. I'll be dropping AAA and joining GS RS next month so this is good to know.

I had a really negative experience with AAA earlier this year. Bear in mind that we've been with AAA since 2002. The short story is that they did not disclose that I was not covered for something. When we got a tow and arrived home, I was on the hook for $500 of something I could have avoided. I got reimbursed for some of it, but then they berated in a letter saying I should have know better about my coverage.

So I did a lot of research and comparison between AAA, Coachnet, and GS. Keep in mind that each has 3-4 levels of plans, from basic to "premium" services.

One thing that's really important to me is the ability to get towed where I want.

Coachnet does offer unlimited towing. However, they will only tow you to the nearest authorized service center. If you are 75 miles from home and the nearest service center is 5 miles, that's where they take you. That's not acceptable to me. If I'm close to home, that's where I want to be towed. Coachnet will however tow any trailer you are towing.

AAA RV allows you 100 miles anywhere you want, and will take you even farther but you're on the hook for anything over 100 miles. AAA will only tow a travel trailer. They will not pay to tow a utility trailer. AAA is made up of various state clubs and a national club. They do not play nice together and badmouthed each other to me when I was making calls trying to get my issue straightened out. Not acceptable. More over, each club has different rules and plans. And the national club claims they are not responsible to know you coverage when you call the 800 number. Also not acceptable that I was berated for not knowing my coverage. I pay them to tell me when I call.

GS allows the same towing as AAA except it's 200 miles! GS will tow any trailer as part of the plan.

Bottom line is that in my research all 3 have about the same number of online complaints. My decision to move from AAA to GS is based on the coverage that GS offers, the tongue lashing I got from AAA, and the infighting of AAA's clubs.

Who knows, I may change again next year...
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:16 AM   #7
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I have Coach Net and have had to use them only once to change a tire. After about a 45 minute wait, the tire was changed and we were on our way again. So far, so good.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:13 AM   #8
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Sorry you had a bad experience. I have had exactly the opposite experience having had GS road service for 12+ years and used it many times.
They all contract with the local providers so the difference is the service they provide you on the phone. Mine has always been excellent. Sure sorry you had a bad weekend!
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:47 PM   #9
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I've had GS since the '80's. Used them a bunch of times, NEVER had a problem. Many times they went out of their way to help me. The problem the OP had may have been related to the operator he was in contact with - some people have bad days and they take it out on everyone. That said I'm happy, and sticking with 'em!
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:00 PM   #10
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The issue perhaps being with the provider is a good point. The biggest complaints I've seen against roadside assistance is wait times. But that's not the motor club's fault. If the provider is having a busy day, you have no choice but to wait.
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:06 PM   #11
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Rv.net seems to always have someone complaining about GS lack of service. I have AAA but have not had to use them on the Rv I had or the trailer I have now, so I can't comment on them yet. I guess you already learned this, but next time look around on the internet/gps if you get an answer you don't like. You shouldn't have to since you are paying them, but sometimes you have to.
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
If you belong to RV NET Marcus has a thread that you use to let him know about it.

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Good Sam Roadside Assistance
Putting this stuff out on a public forum must make the management of these companies cringe. And Grumpy gave some good advice. Write letters to these CEO's in their corporate offices and put them on notice. Burn the phone lines to these guys. The experiences described here are just horrible!
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:34 PM   #13
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Sounds like they really did you guys wrong , Start writing letters and tell every one of the poor service ! when you pay for a service you Exspect that service to work ... sorry that they didn't full fill what you have been charged for all these years .
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:15 PM   #14
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The issue perhaps being with the provider is a good point. The biggest complaints I've seen against roadside assistance is wait times. But that's not the motor club's fault. If the provider is having a busy day, you have no choice but to wait.
My dad owns a towing and repair shop. He refuses to do business with any motor club. Years ago he was a AAA affiliated business. He dropped them due to nonpayment. He would send them a bill for a certain amount and they would send him a check for the adjusted amount or what they thought the service was worth.

Now he gets phone calls all the time from different road services for people that are broke down. He turns down all the calls. Sometimes he gets calls for people over 100 miles away. The reason for that is the road service starts calling the closest tow truck and when they refuse the call, they call the next closest and work there way out.

So sometimes your wait is because nobody in the area will take the road service payment.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:13 PM   #15
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I reckon it is time to buy a spare tire, pack all the tools and jack stands, and practice how to change those tires before we actually start out on a trip. That is, if you are physically able to do it. Some of these companies need to go out of business.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
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The issue perhaps being with the provider is a good point. The biggest complaints I've seen against roadside assistance is wait times. But that's not the motor club's fault. If the provider is having a busy day, you have no choice but to wait.

Doc - the issue here is not with the provider - Good Sam told us they searched unsuccessfully in a radius of 80 miles for 16 inch tires, and then we found them within 2 miles after giving up on GSRA two days later. And then GS never bothered to call us back on Monday morning to see if we had solved the problem or not. They just dumped us out of their system for no reason.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:51 AM   #17
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We've called GS 4 times (2 x dead battery, 2 x blowout). 3 excellent results, 1 poor. They have a grade of 75 at the moment.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:59 AM   #18
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Well, we just purchased a reduced price 3 year contract with good sam roadside assistance. Had coverage on the vehicle with my insurance company and recently lost a water pump. Had them tow me to my service shop at home about 30 miles. Towing bill was $250. Insurance company reimbursed me $50. Good Sam would have reimbursed total I do believe. Guess we will be finding out if I have any problems starting now as I will use GS for future issues. Wish me luck!
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:09 PM   #19
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We've had AAA+ for 12 years or so. Found out if you have TV problem with TT in tow, they won't pick up the TT too. I guess they leave it there? Maybe send another tow truck, and YOU pay? We dropped AAA when they advocated to raise NYS gas tax by .12/gal to fix up roads!! I think we already pay tax to do that! Anyway, that was the last straw for them, Haven't had to use GS services yet.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:29 PM   #20
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If you ever have to pony up to have a tt towed anywhere you will be looking for some coverage.
My understanding is with AAA, you have to have a rider for rv's. $$$
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