AARP offers roadside assistance through Allstate. AARP members who sign up for roadside assistance can get help 24/7 if they have a flat tire, need their car towed, run out of gas, have a dead car battery or lock their keys in their car. Members are covered in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.
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I had an awful recent experience with AARP Roadside Assistance on Monday February 18, 2019. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have experienced an issue with getting service from AARP Roadside Service. On Monday, February 18, 2019 just before 10:45 am, 3 of the bolts that connected my tire sheered off and my tire went rolling past me, leaving me on my rotor on the side of a back country road, 8 miles from any gas station or service. I called AARP Roadside Assistance right away for a tow. At that time, I informed the representative that I had a dog, a Border Collie in the vehicle with me that would need to be transported in the tow truck with me. I received a text saying that my tow was supposed to arrive in about 2 hours.
I waited for my tow and 2 hours later received another text that they were looking for a provider. I called in and was informed that the first provider canceled. I informed the representative that my battery on my cell was low and I had no way to charge it. I was told that the new provider would be there in about an hour. The new provider, Merced City towing showed up and would not transport the dog, left me on the side of the road. I called in again and told the representative to send another tow truck that would transport the dog with me and my battery was going to die because I was at 1%. I told them I was hanging up in case I needed to call 911.
Guess what? NO ONE CAME!!! Luckily, my friend in Monterey, CA 150 miles away knew that I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and when he couldn't reach me anymore by cell phone, drove 150 miles to find me. He arrived just after 11 pm. I was stranded on the side of the road for more than 12 hours with NO HELP from AARP Roadside!!! They should be ashamed of themselves, claiming to provide roadside services to AARP members, obviously that would mean elderly because you must be 50 or more to join.
I emailed AARP, AARP Roadside Assistance and Allstate asking them to review the frantic phones calls I made that day so they can explain to me, why a tow company that would also transport my dog was not dispatched and why a 3rd provider was not dispatched in the 12 hour period that I was stranded. My call and their notes, clearly stated that I have a dog with me!!! I will be reporting this incident to AARP, Allstate, and any feedback sites I can to let people know of the issues I experienced! I'm waiting on their replies.
I noticed my tire went flat in the garage. It's kind of tricky changing these tires, so I called AARP for assistance which took forever, difficult to understand the guy. He would ask questions but talked over me. When completed, he told me I would receive a text, being my go between. I waited and waited, finally changed the tire myself. On the thread of the text I wrote, "I won't need service anymore," waited then text again. About an hour or so later I received an automated call from AARP, with options. I picked the one that service has not been provided. I spoke with a man, telling him about the text I received and my reply to the text. He put me on a very long hold, meanwhile the service guy showed up while I was on hold. I sent the serviceman away, I didn't need it anymore.
When the guy on the phone finally came back, he got really angry with me. I tried telling him about the text, what I did and where it came from and he replied, "we would never send a text." The text came from Allstate, but he didn't care. He wanted me to pay $200 in a service call. I just googled AARP and sure enough Allstate is used by AARP. I decided to go with AAA and I won't be renewing with AARP. My wife has had bad experiences with AARP as well. Good thing I wasn't stranded in the snow on a freezing day or this would of been an ambulance picking me up instead.
Please read fine print! ON an annual superior membership they only cover four calls in a year! Normally one does not break down that often but in my case I had series of unfortunate incidents and I have a relatively new car 2008 MB AMG with only 24878 miles. When I called them they said they won't come because I have called them too many times. That was also fine so I said, "Ok. Cancel my membership as my insurance covered it anyway." On January 1st 2019 I get an alert from my credit card company that they charged me $94.00 despite cancelling. They make it really difficult to cancel a membership!
Seeing that the price was very slightly lower than AAA, I paid in June 2018, thinking it would be at least similar. My first call for service was for towing on December 8, 2018, about 2:00pm. They estimated the tow would take 2-and-a-half hours. I told them okay because I needed to get my car to the repair shop, about a half hour away from me, by 6:00. When 5:40 came, I called to cancel the tow. I called for service again on Monday morning Dec 10. They told me two hours. This time they actually came.
Then today, December 17, 2018, I received a letter from them saying I had used my limit of four service calls and that any further service would be at my own expense. Even if they counted the Saturday December 8 call that never came, that would only be two. For all the years I used AAA, they always came in less than an hour and they never told me I had used four service calls when I had only used one and they never told me I had a limit of four calls.
Signed up for AARP in May and need the immediate tow from breakdown to home. Was not issued membership number and told I would need to pay out of pocket, then get reimbursed by AARP. I immediately began requesting reimbursement through Roadside Assistance. They dropped ball throughout summer - they never sent my claim to proper department or filed it in the round file. I kept having to call to find out status of claim. In early September I received an unprofessional form letter paragraph from Allstate saying my claim had been received from AARP, but they had not included my membership number. I immediately sent the form back with my membership number.
Today, September 23, I received letter stating my claim has been denied as it has been over 60 days since the date of service. Yes - because AARP has futzed around all summer over $109.95! Now I am expected to gather all of the correspondence, including postmarked envelopes, as well as any notes I may have taken from phone calls. Well, being that we were in the middle of moving, I made the mistake of trusting AARP, after all, they market themselves as the protectors of senior citizens and their wallets. Ha! I have just enough to prove what has been going on, but I did not copy the most recent Allstate correspondence - I responded and sent the form back to them. And who keeps envelopes? And most mail is no longer postmarked anyway!
I was going to look into AARP for auto and life insurance once we moved. I have also been looking forward to terminating my cellular contract with Sprint and signing up with Consumer Cellular through AARP. Scratch all that. This company is gangster just like all the large greedy corporations claiming they are looking out for our well-being. For roadside assistance, AAA would have been the better choice. Stay away from AARP!
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I wish I had read these reviews before being duped by a "reputable" organization like AARP into signing up for Allstate roadside assistance. I signed up/paid my money in March 2018. It is now mid-September 2018 and I have yet to receive my ID card or the two (2) "free" watches promised as an incentive to sign up. I have called multiple times and each time have been told "it will be another 6-8 weeks". THAT IS RIDICULOUS! I told Allstate today that I either wanted my money returned or that the Roadside packet with watches be sent via UPS or FedEx SO THAT I HAVE A TRACKING NUMBER to verify that it was actually sent. After reading all these reviews, I want to know why AARP hasn't severed ties with this company?
Folks, when shopping for a roadside assistance service, you can believe these one star reviews. Called last night at 8:50 for assistance, father-in-law hit a curb and blew out both passenger side tires. Friendly face on the other end of the line promised a tow truck would be there in 50 minutes. We explained to them that the truck was on a dark road with no shoulder and the driver is a 75 year old disabled vet... while I don’t expect immediate service, I expect timely service, and 50 minutes I thought was reasonable. Received a text from AARP 15 minutes later... Service truck was going to be late, somewhere between 10:40 and 11:00 pm. To AARP’s defense, they did call a few times to see if the tow truck had arrived. When they called we indicated no and they in turn tried to contact the tow company and could get no response. With no response from the tow company AARP told us another 10-15 minutes or so.
This went on and on with calls from AARP until midnight (a full 3+ hours after the first call) when I finally unloaded on the representative and told them in no uncertain terms that I was greatly dissatisfied and they need to get someone out here NOW! The representative explained that they would first have to cancel the initial towing provider (that they could not reach by phone since 9:00) and call a new one which could take longer. My response was, “do what you need to do to get someone out here as quickly as possible.”
Finally at 1:20, a nice fellow (dispatched from AARP) from Colonial Towing in Upper Marlboro, MD showed up for service. He quickly loaded up the truck and was on his way. Even though it wasn’t his fault, he was genuinely apologetic for us having to wait over 4 hours for a tow. Long story short, save your money and patronize a better service like AAA... AARP/Allstate was horrible and left a 75 year old disabled vet and his family stranded for over 4 hours in the middle of the night.
In June of 2017 I purchased a van conversion in preparation for a trip from Florida to California. I was 72 years old and traveling alone. I spoke with a sales rep of AARP's road service who asked a lot of questions about my vehicle which I provided along with the VIN. Two months later, in August, My vehicle broke down in the middle of the Gator Alley Bridge in Alabama. I called AARP Roadside Assistance and was told that they had sold me the wrong insurance and they weren't going to send anyone out to help because my vehicle was too heavy. I was devastated. I had no choice but to call 911 and the bridge authorities sent one of their bridge vehicles to guide me off the bridge, when I was once again alone with a broken vehicle. I had to find a tow company myself and paid over $300 for two separate tows, once to a hotel and then to a Dodge repair shop - I was in a strange state, strange town, on a strange road and completely helpless.
All I have received from Allstate/AARP is a letter apologizing for the "inconvenience" and telling me that my $58 premium will be credited back to my credit card (which they know no longer exists)!!! I can't call anyone because they will not give me a phone number. I've made over 30 phone calls all over the country trying to find addresses and/or phone numbers. I finally found one address in TX, but was told that they "cannot give a phone number." I was defrauded not "inconvenienced" and could have been killed, so this can in no way be deemed "inconvenience." I see many, many complaints similar to mine from people going back many years, so nobody is doing anything about this. Somehow a class action should be brought to put a stop to this.
On 7/12/18 we attempted to get assistance in Pearl City when my daughter's car would not start. We thought it was the battery and requested a jump start. The provider here in Honolulu, Hawaii is Pop-A-Lock who can only jump start the car. Pop-A-Lock service personnel drive a compact car and do not provide services such as battery replacement for a fee (as does AAA) nor are they able to tow the car. For unknown reasons, the service request was cancelled and my daughter texted back to advise service was still needed. One hour later, still waiting and a followup call the service person claimed they called 4 times, circled the area and left for another call close by but would return after completing that call.
An 90 minutes later, the service person calls and claims since he was not able to contact her, the call was marked cancelled and he would not be able to come until he received a new call. He indicated he left to respond to another call in Haleiwa (north shore, 40 minutes away) and now stuck in Lanikai traffic (other side of the island) and did not know when he would be able to come. AARP Roadside service was called again. The operator said she could put up a call but could not request a provider but it would be handled by whoever responded to the call first. Almost two hours later, message rec'd from Pop-A-Lock sent a message saying service person to arrive. My daughter attempted to contact Pop-A-Lock directly, calling 5 times, but the phone was busy and there was no option to leave a message.
In the end, a friend had to be called to pick up a new battery and replaced it. AARP Roadside Service is WORTHLESS!!! DO NOT GET IT!!! Below are my daughter's notes on the specifics: Thursday, July 12, 2018 At 4:39 PM, I called AARP Roadside Service to report that my car battery was dead and to request assistance. After waiting on hold for about 10 minutes, I spoke to a representative who asked for my location and a description of my car, and said that she would send a service provider to help me. I received a status update via text message from AARP at 4:59 PM that said they have confirmed with Pop-a-Lock of Honolulu and that they should arrive between 5:56 PM – 6:11 PM.
At 5:19 PM, I received another text message from AARP that said they received a service cancellation, and to text “service” if I still needed assistance. I had not cancelled, so I texted “service.” At 5:30 PM, I received a call from AARP asking about the cancellation, and I explained that I had not cancelled the service call. She said she would contact the service provider and call me back.
At 5:45 PM, the AARP representative called back and said the service provider had sent someone out to my location, called me 4 times, and circled the location before leaving to respond to another call. I told her that I did not receive any missed calls and that no service provider had come (I was standing next to my car in a parking lot.) She asked me if I was sure that I was standing near my car, and I responded that I was. She sounded like she did not know what to do at that point, gave me the phone number for the service provider, and suggested that I call them myself.
When I spoke to the dispatch center at Pop-a-Lock, the representative repeated the same story of how the service person had called me 4 times, and had left when I did not answer. I explained to her that I did not receive any missed calls, and she said she understands that the area has “spotty” reception. (It does not.) She said that the person assigned to me left to take care of another call close by and should be at my location shortly.
At 6:08 PM, I received a call from the service person who was assigned to me, and he said that he tried to call me 4 times and that I did not answer. I told him that I did not receive any missed calls, and he continued to insist that he called me. He mentioned that my service call was marked as “cancelled” so he wouldn’t come until he received a new call. When I told him that I never cancelled the call, he said that he had left to respond to another call in Haleiwa, was now stuck in traffic, and did not know how long it would take for him to get to me anyway. I told him I would call AARP to straighten out the situation.
At 6:15 PM I called AARP again to explain the situation and ask if they could send a different service provider to me since the current person was stuck in traffic. She said she could put in another request, but the service provider to respond would be whoever responded to the call first. At 6:25 PM I received a text message from AARP that said that the same service provider, Pop-a-Lock, was sending service, and that they were set to arrive between 7:25 PM – 7:40 PM.
I tried to call Pop-a-Lock to request a different service person, since the one initially assigned to me was stuck in traffic. I attempted to call them 5 times over the next 10 minutes, but their phone line was busy, and there was no option to leave a message. By that time, I had been waiting for a total of 2 hours. I decided to call a friend, who drove to me with a new car battery and changed it for me. After I got home, I called Pop-a-Lock to cancel my service call. Ten minutes later, I got a call from the service person who was responding to my service call. I guess the dispatch center had not informed the service person that the service call was cancelled. Poor communication and service!
Updated on 08/01/2018: This is a followup response to earlier post: FRUSTRATING MAIL TOO!!! Got a letter in the mail from AARP Roadside Assistance to let me know that we have used two of our three opportunities (For this year) to call for Roadside Assistance. First of all, we got NOTHING but had placed two calls (which were cancelled since we got no-shows from the Pop-A-Lock, the provider). So the cancelled calls still count!!! WHAT THE **? We have CANCELLED AARP ROADSIDE Service and signed up with the old reliable AAA!! AARP has not yet responded to what POP-A LOCK's excuse was!!! GOOD RIDDANCE to AARP which makes my blood boil every time I start to think about the NON-SERVICE they are providing to poor Seniors!!!
On Feb. 23rd of 2018 my partner and I broke down going up a hill on a snowy back road between 2 and 3 miles from our NW Montana home. I immediately called the AARP Roadside Assistance program, my first ever call after signing up in October of 2017. I had signed up for the service for the sole reason that I didn't want my partner, a cancer patient in active treatment to have to deal with this kind of situation. It was late afternoon on a Friday, and in Mt. that means near dark. The temperature was below freezing. The operator was quite helpful but after an hour was unable to find anyone local to come tow us home. She suggested we leave the vehicle because she thought she could get it towed in the morning. This was not feasible, not only too long and cold a walk for my partner, but also a danger to leave the vehicle on a narrow, slick road after dark as well.
I told the representative that I could not leave the vehicle unattended and that I would walk for help and take care of it myself. She was very apologetic and gave me a claim number and instructions to write up the details and submit a claim for $120 since she could not get help for us. She said she would include all the details in her report as well. I walked home in the dark. I brought jumper cables and a tow rope back in our small car. My partner and I had to roll the stranded vehicle down the hill backwards and use the car and tow rope at the bottom to pull the pickup backwards and forwards until it was turned around, in order to hook it up and tow it home. It could not be jumped and the small car could not tow it up the hill. It took well over an hour and was pretty arduous.
I did as the rep had told me and submitted a claim in the next couple of days to AARP Roadside Assistance. I never heard back. On April 16th I called and asked about the claim. After being passed around and put on hold I was informed the claim was denied because there hadn't been a "proper invoice". I went over the whole situation with the phone rep and she assured me they would be in touch within 2 weeks. I never heard back.
I called again on May 1st and got the same spiel. I got a little cranky and ended up speaking with a supervisor of some sort who said I absolutely would be getting some kind of response in the mail within 2 weeks. I never got anything in the mail nor did I hear from them via the phone. I called AARP to report this complaint and they called Roadside Assistance on my behalf. Within a few days a rep called and said that they would be sending me $60 for my claim. I told that rep the whole story and my frustration at being ignored and then jerked around. I then received a check for $60 on 6/12/2018.
I am not trying to get more money from AARP Roadside Assistance. I am writing this review so that anyone who might be thinking of trying this program has the chance to know beforehand that it is a rip-off. I am surprised that AARP has continued their affiliation with it after all the other negative reviews I have since read.
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