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Eva888

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#300659 26-Sep-2022 11:19
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Had to pick up the Grandchild yesterday from the airport at 3.55pm flying unaccompanied from Oz. We parked in Lyall Bay and watched the Qantas land. It usually takes almost an hour for them to deliver the child to us so wasn’t rushing.

At 4pm tried to start the hybrid car. The ready light would not come on. Started the process again, nothing. Turned it off a few more times and tried, still nothing. Went through the sequence slowly nothing. Malfunction lit up but promptly disappeared before I could read why. Panicked, called the other daughter to race to the airport.

I call AA. Am greeted by a long recorded spiel about covid and wearing of masks and how they may be late as short staffed because of covid...on and in it dragged, then to press 1,2 or 3 etc for various options. Then more options, then key in card numbers, then date of birth in correct sequence, then more talking. I’m feeling exasperated. I keyed in my phone number when asked.

Meanwhile it’s taking so long...I am concerned that the phone battery would die and I won't be able to talk with airport or know if daughter arrived. I hung up thinking they have my number now so will call back.

That call lasted 7 minutes until I ended it early. If you put a timer on and wait you can see that’s a very long time. They never called back.

It was difficult to hear all the instructions as cars were going past and once I got to the numeric screen couldn’t put the phone on to speaker so was going from ear to hands. (Bluetooth was off).

Am I right in expecting that a service I pay for in emergencies should have an easier way to talk with a human. Many older people would have a real problem both with hearing and carrying out the instructions. Example husband has essential tremor which worsens under stress and impossible to key in anything precisely while shaking so much.

I tried the car again at 4.25 and this time the universe took pity and it showed Ready. No idea what went wrong but now hate the car even more. Got to the airport in time to meet the child

A call to my garage would have been easier so I intend to let both subs expire and will take it up with AA when I have time. You used to be able to get to a human easily and it was a pleasure to call.



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gzt

gzt
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  #2972978 26-Sep-2022 11:30
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The AA thing warrants a complaint.

The car issue sounds like you might have been sitting there a while with the lights on or aircon on or something like that. You gave it a rest for a while and it got back enough juice to start. Generally when this happens it's time to replace the 12v battery same as any other car. An auto electrician or battery place can test and advise replacement if needed.

 
 
 

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k1w1k1d
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  #2972984 26-Sep-2022 11:53
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I have been an AA member for 45 years and called them out a couple of months ago, for only the second time.

 

I also had issues with the complicated phone system. Must have got it right as the guy turned up after about 15 minutes. He said they have a few complaints about the phone system.

 

 


scuwp
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  #2972986 26-Sep-2022 12:03
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I appreciate that in a time of some anxiety it can seem like an eternity, but don't think 7 minutes is long at all by todays standards. Complain if it makes you feel better, but it won't achieve anything and arguably borderline being a bit of a 'Karen'.    

 

I assume you are using a smart phone, so could have saved yourself a lot of anguish but using the app to log a callout rather than trying to speak to a person.   If you have it set up before you need it, it is super simple and quick.  

 

I am pleased it all worked out for you.   

 

  





Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity - Robert J Hanlon





k1w1k1d
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  #2972988 26-Sep-2022 12:17
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Didn't realise they had an AA Roadservice app. Have installed it and hopefully it will be easier to use than the phone system if I ever need assistance again.


SirHumphreyAppleby
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  #2972989 26-Sep-2022 12:17
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Absolutely, you should complain. Their new prompt system is inflexible and takes far too long. Battery life is a finite resource, mobile data isn't reliable everywhere and I'm not installing their app.

 

I called the AA last year, went through the long drawn-out process of doing via their phone prompts after which it finally gave me an option to talk to someone. I had planned to tell them it wasn't an urgent job, but given the time the call had already taken and the length of time I needed to wait to speak to someone (I don't recall if it was 'you're nth in the queue, an estimate wait time etc.), I decided not to bother and just let it remain urgent.


lxsw20
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  #2972990 26-Sep-2022 12:20
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I get there may be a preference to call, but does AA have an app?

 

My Suzuki has roadside assistance via AA and I just had to fill out a form via the Suzuki app to get AA our when I was too lazy to change a tyre myself. It was quite late at night but between loggin the job and him coming out I think it was about 40 mins total.

 

 

 

 


Dingbatt
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  #2972991 26-Sep-2022 12:22
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As @gzt suggested above, it may be time to get your 12v battery checked. I had a similar problem with my hybrid Camry on the odd occasion that disappeared once the 12v battery had been replaced. Because the battery is essentially only used to operate the traction battery’s relays and run the accessories you get less warning than in a conventional car where you would hear it struggle to crank the engine.

 

It is disappointing the AA was so difficult to get through to. I’d hazard a guess they are ‘short staffed’ like everybody else. The only problem I see with a direct emergency number is an individual’s idea of what constitutes an emergency would vary so much that it would end up clogged.





“We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science technology. Carl Sagan 1996




  #2972995 26-Sep-2022 12:33
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i dont think it warrants a complain, as you just seemed to be flustered and stressed in the situation you were in which didn't help things.

 

Try using the app in the future, took me less than 30 seconds to setup just now, and when your stressed in the future it will be time well spent.

 

what was your battery percentage?


Delphinus
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  #2973007 26-Sep-2022 13:38
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I personally wouldn't rely on AA for emergency service. If you were that close (Lyall bay) I would have just called a taxi to get to the airport, picked up the child, then dealt with the car when you had more time and less pressure.


Batman
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  #2973008 26-Sep-2022 13:40
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In a full EV a dying 12V battery would do this sort of nonsense. Not sure if that's the issue here.

scuwp
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  #2973010 26-Sep-2022 13:53
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It must also be mentioned that there are other breakdown services.  If the AA service isn't to your liking you can take your business elsewhere.   





Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity - Robert J Hanlon



kiwifidget
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  #2973013 26-Sep-2022 14:05
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Often these automated press a number response systems have an unmentioned option, press 0 at the start to go direct to a person or into a queue to speak to a person.

 

It's worth a crack.





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BlakJak
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  #2973130 26-Sep-2022 15:39
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Hybrid basically means battery assisted ICE. So you have the ICE issue of requiring the 12v battery to start. It being a hybrid is irrelevant at that point.. if anything you likely need to have more care with a hybrid as the 12v may not get as much engine runtime and may be needed to start the ICE more often if you're regularly dropping into battery only mode (start/stop trips).

 

 

Couldn't hear? Shut the doors to your car. Still couldn't hear? Take a walk. Just a few minutes could've taken you far enough from the road. Couldn't put the phone into speaker mode once the keypad was up? That was you not knowing how to toggle the keypad on/off on your phone. You getting flustered is not AA's fault.

 

To be clear - you were under some pressure and so getting flustered is normal. But realise you had other options and that you being flustered wasn't AA's fault.

 

 

I have one of these in my car, it's saved me several times in the last few months as my 12v battery is on its last legs. https://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/p/sca-sca-12v-800-amp-4-cylinder-compact-jump-starter/546744.html - having one and knowing how to use it is a great option that can save you needing to wait an hour for roadservice.

 

I also have regular jumper leads in case a friend or a member-of-public can provide me with jumpstart assistance. Or on the odd occasion i've helped others (though the battery jump starter is far easier and a bit safer).

 

 

I'm an AA member too, but knowing how to get myself out of simple jams gives me a lot of confidence and reduces my stress levels when i've been in the same position as yourself.

 

 

I think I may have used the AA app once, as an alternative to sitting on hold. Agree that being on hold is annoying and indicative of under-resourcing, but also, 'it happens'.

 

 

edit: obvious error in the first sentence, doh




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Eva888

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  #2973131 26-Sep-2022 15:39
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Thanks for the responses. I had been parked with the radio for about 15 minutes so maybe that was a factor. Great if I need a new battery! I don’t know what the level is and not sure where to look.

Trust me 7 minutes of typing instructions into the phone and listening is a long time...one of the instructions was to type in the licence plate. How do you type the letters when you only have a numeric pad to type on while on the phone, add to that I couldn’t remember it without getting out and looking. Haven’t had the car that long.

I’ve hardly ever used AA last time had a flat tyre on a road curve on a hill and apart from getting the wrong city, they were great, talked to a person with very little prior faffing around and just a couple of clicks to get to the right place, easy and that’s how an emergency service should be.

My take is that I am paying for a service to make having a breakdown easier to deal with so I will complain. This was frustrating and especially now when all covid measures have gone, listening to a very long spiel about covid wasn’t useful. I think we all know what to do by now and that staffing may be affected.

Sometimes you just can’t see the forest, duh...why didn’t I think of getting a cab @Delphinius.

The pleasure of seeing the child after such a long time though was immeasurable.

BlakJak
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  #2973133 26-Sep-2022 15:45
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Eva888: Thanks for the responses. I had been parked with the radio for about 15 minutes so maybe that was a factor. Great if I need a new battery! I don’t know what the level is and not sure where to look.

Trust me 7 minutes of typing instructions into the phone and listening is a long time...one of the instructions was to type in the licence plate. How do you type the letters when you only have a numeric pad to type on while on the phone, add to that I couldn’t remember it without getting out and looking. Haven’t had the car that long.

I’ve hardly ever used AA last time had a flat tyre on a road curve on a hill and apart from getting the wrong city, they were great, talked to a person with very little prior faffing around and just a couple of clicks to get to the right place, easy and that’s how an emergency service should be.

My take is that I am paying for a service to make having a breakdown easier to deal with so I will complain. This was frustrating and especially now when all covid measures have gone, listening to a very long spiel about covid wasn’t useful. I think we all know what to do by now and that staffing may be affected.

Sometimes you just can’t see the forest, duh...why didn’t I think of getting a cab @Delphinius.

The pleasure of seeing the child after such a long time though was immeasurable.

 

 

The long spiel is probably just an artefact of the stuff they would've had to have up there several months ago, and they havn't adjusted to the change in covid alert levels yet. My take is that you should give them feedback but i'd soften the complaint. You were inconvenienced and got frustrated listening to inane intro stuff, sure, but i'm betting it was more simply the fact that they had no agents available to take your call so you were listening to their equivalent of 'hold music'.

 

 

As for typing in the license plate, perhaps they should've been clearer, but you can use the Letter Map on many phones https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_keypad#Letter_mapping and they can coarse-filter against your caller ID and figure out really quickly if it's the car they have on file for your membership. I'm not sure if that's what they're doing, but it's possible.




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