I don't often take on confrontation, but for the sake of my husband who does so much I decided to take on a challenge. I have been a member of AAA (the Auto Club) for 53 years. Don't scratch your head too hard pondering this, please. I promise I am not sensationalizing for blogging purposes. I even have a pretty gold membership card with my name on it and it says 53 years as a member. Yes, I am a very loyal member, so loyal that I was a member for over 20 years prior to my birth. And I've always been very happy with them. That is until last week... Ben's car, the convertible that holds a very tender spot in his heart has had running troubles for the last year. Basically, it hasn't run. Well Ben has nursed all of its ailments only to now find that it has a dead battery. Not a little bit dead, a completely dead, can't even jump start it battery. This should be relatively simple compared to the other work he has done, but it isn't! The battery is buried deep in the recesses of the machinery. Apparently, according to Ben, it is in the wheel well, making it very difficult to access and change. I knew I could solve this problem for him! As a AAA member I'm entitled to battery changes. They bring the battery truck to your residence, you pay them for the new battery and they will change it for you. So, I called last week... the driver came out and proceeded to give it a jump start. No, no, no, that is not what I told the Roadside Assistance people that I wanted. Ben came in and told me that the driver told him they don't change batteries. Confused, I immediately called AAA back. The person on the phone put me on hold for what seemed like an eternity to research the situation. Finally, coming back to tell me that there are no companies contracted in the Tehachapi area to provide this service, because we are considered rural. They were sorry but there was nothing they could do.
After a weekend of pondering it, I decided this just wasn't acceptable. I have been a member for 53 years! Does that not entitle me to some kind of "special" treatment? I can't imagine that they have had many members as long as they've had me, do they really want to risk losing me? So yesterday, with all the determination I could muster, I called back. I held firm to the idea that it wasn't my fault this promised service wasn't contracted in my area. I've been paying my dues for 53 years to have NATIONAL roadside assistance. I spent an hour and a half on the phone with them. All the while Ben was telling me not to worry about it, he will just change the darned battery himself. NO WAY, by this time it was the principle of it! At one point they told me that I could upgrade to the "plus" membership. "No," I told them... the membership I have has been all I've needed for the last 53 years and it should be all I need now! Finally, at the end of the 90 minute conversation they conceded. I was so proud of myself. They will waive the towing mileage restrictions that my membership has and will tow the car to Bakersfield or Lancaster, where I can get someone to change the battery at no additional charge.
I won the battle! However, then I realized that I may have won the battle, but ultimately they won the war. Now, I will have to ride 45 minutes in the cab of a truck with a tow truck driver to get the battery changed. That can't possibly be considered a win for me, can it?