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Discussion Starter #1
We had a need for a tow the other day. I tried calling the Home Trust roadside assistance number. The call was answered by someone who I could not understand. His English was marginal and it sounded like he was speaking from the end of a long pipe or something. I asked if this was the right number for HT, and I think he said it was, but not sure about that. He then disappeared off line but did not hang up. After waiting quite a while I gave up. I later checked and I had called the correct number 1-877-585-3232.

What sort of experience have others had with HT roadside?

Not having internet on phone, we headed over to a relatively nearby Tim Hortons where I could use the CAA app on-line without phoning (My wife is member). The app knew where we were, listed the cars we owned and asked what type of help we needed. They then gave us time truck would arrive (1/2hr) but it arrived in 15min. Car was towed to our home not much later. Fantastic service.
 

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I had a similar experience with "complimentary" road side assistance from my US insurance. The call center was in the US but I was in AK and this girl could not fathom I was hours away from any physical address that her system could find. So I got the tow truck number from her and called him myself, who immediately understood where I was. They eventually approved but had trouble understanding there was indeed no closer service in AK

In reality I needed a $20 part but they refused to just deliver a small part. These complementary tow services figure you are a captive customer who has no choice but to overpay for any repairs and service they can exploit you for. I intended to do the simple job myself and they claimed this was a liability issue, so I pushed over to the adjacent lot. Anyway the tow truck driver also said that CAA is better than the freebie tows
 

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Well, you do realize that HT does NOT actually have a roadside assistance business right? I mean, they contract their business out to some third party service and that is who you are then going to be dealing with. Any third party call centre based service will vary in the quality of service you can expect to receive. Sounds like HT's third party service isn't that great.

Sounds like m3s's experience with a similar 'complimentary' roadside service was much the same.

The last time I needed a tow, I called CAA and had no problem at all with the service I received from them. I am a believer in the old saw, 'you get what you pay for'. CAA have their own call centre and all they contract out is the actual tow truck that comes to get you.

I'm curious to know agent99, how YOU got home? What I mean is, did you ride in the tow truck seated next to the driver which would be the norm pre-covid19. That is one issue I have thought of that I would not be comfortable with doing. If you break down, how do you maintain distancing and still get home or to a garage for repairs?
 

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When we got our card in March of the year they introduced it, we called and a local garage was dispatched right away and arrive in 15 minutes. The battery recharge did not work so they towed the car to the nearest battery shop. I imagine their service has suffered by outsourcing to a lower cost call centre.
 

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We finally got rid of our automobile club membership when we got our HT card. We have yet to use the HT service. Had a flat on the Coquihalla last year. It was faster to to change it myself. Back on the road in 15 minutes. I believe that we have had the HT card for 3 or 4 years now. So that has been a saving of at least $300-$400 for us.

I had the membership for 20 years. Mainly because I could write part of it off. I was frequently away on business and did not want her to be stuck somewhere with the kids. I still have the card. Even though it is expired it works when making on line hotel reservations. I gave up on their so called rental car discounts when we had the card. Never yet been asked to produce it.

So, in 20 plus years of membership we had one tow (8KM) and one boost. That is it. But...we kept our vehicles maintained. Other benefits. The odd map.

Their latest auto insurance quotes were by far the most expensive of the three we had, as were the last home insurance quotes that we shopped. Folks in the Ft. Mac. building trades tell us that their home insurance claims post fires were among the slowest and poorest to pay out but this second hand hearsay. We are shopping our home insurance this month. Will not even bother to ask them for a quote.

Very pleasant service though whenever we go it. Usually once a year for an international drivers license.
 

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Yea in over 20 years I've used free roadside assistance 3 times. The first time I could have waited for a friend but had the free tow, 2nd time was in Spain and I had a moto-train to catch, 3rd time was in Alaska. It would not be worth me paying for CAA all those years for 3 tows (2 of them I can fix myself now and the other was my first car that was unreliable)

Carry booster cables in your trunk and the spare tire that most cars already have should cover most cases. It might be worth it if you travel a lot where you don't have time or resources to help you out or knowledge of basic repairs
 

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Yea in over 20 years I've used free roadside assistance 3 times. The first time I could have waited for a friend but had the free tow, 2nd time was in Spain and I had a moto-train to catch, 3rd time was in Alaska. It would not be worth me paying for CAA all those years for 3 tows (2 of them I can fix myself now and the other was my first car that was unreliable)

Carry booster cables in your trunk and the spare tire that most cars already have should cover most cases. It might be worth it if you travel a lot where you don't have time or resources to help you out or knowledge of basic repairs
LOL, I always laugh when people talk about any kind of insurance 'not being worth it' given how few times they have had to use it.

Insurance is never about necessarily being 'worth it' based on how many times you use it. You insure hoping in fact to NEVER have to use it. Life insurance, health insurance, home fire insurance, etc. Who wants to have to use it? I hope to never have to use roadside assistance insurance ever again. Who wouldn't hope the same? But being without that insurance when I need it, do I hope for that?

Insurance is interesting in that it is one situation in which you actually want to LOSE your bet. Take life insurance. To 'win' you have to die. Health insurance, to win you have to get sick. All insurance is the same. You cannot evaluate it based on how you would 'win' financially.
 

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Yea I evaluate insurance based on whether I can afford to self insure. I can afford a tow

Companies and individuals often chose to self insure if they can afford the risk

Plus the cost of CAA has to be worth it over the many freebie services
 

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Not having auto club membership can hardly be compared to not having life insurance!

The best auto club like insurance that we have is a good set of long booster cables each car. We used them more often to boost friends,neighbours, or strangers than we have to boost one of our own vehicles. Last winter we had a cold spell. Wait time for an auto club service call was 48 hours or more for several days. Our interest in an auto club membership really started to wane when they put those ridiculous limits on tow distances.
 

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Not having auto club membership can hardly be compared to not having life insurance!

The best auto club like insurance that we have is a good set of long booster cables each car. We used them more often to boost friends,neighbours, or strangers than we have to boost one of our own vehicles. Last winter we had a cold spell. Wait time for an auto club service call was 48 hours or more for several days. Our interest in an auto club membership really started to wane when they put those ridiculous limits on tow distances.
Booster cables are not of much use if your problem is a leaking radiator as my last issue was ian. If you need a tow, you need a tow.

I do agree you cannot compare roadside assistance insurance to life insurance. It is something that as m3s suggests you can consider 'self-insuring' against relatively easily. But I don't know if anyone was comparing them in any case. All I was comparing in my comment was that all insurance is a bet against yourself. That's not comparing one to another.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Saving hundreds by cancelling CAA because owner has HT or similar is valid I suppose - Until, as we found, you actually NEED roadside assistance or tow!

I can repair most things on a car. But not at roadside! Last experience was a total no-start. Clearly the problem was failed fuel pump relay. Easy enough to replace - once you disassemble dash and have a spare! Previous time, it was a crankshaft position sensor on a different car. Again no-start. Easy fix, but needed part. Another time serpentine belt broke on trip in USA - that time it was towed to dealer who got us back on road quickly - at a cost. We had to pay CAA/AAA for the excess towing mileage (not much, considering)

I started this thread in attempt to gather real-life roadside assistance experience from other HT Visa holders. If negative, I may have to get myself added back to my wife's CAA membership. With HT plus Subaru roadside(for newest car), I didn't think I needed CAA. But I was impressed with their service.

Despite what others say, CAA car/home insurance is also the best we have ever had (and we have had several!) as well as being lower in cost than others we checked. It really helps to have a local office and friendly agent we can actually talk to. YMMV, but ours is all good.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Carry booster cables in your trunk and the spare tire that most cars already have should cover most cases. It might be worth it if you travel a lot where you don't have time or resources to help you out or knowledge of basic repairs
Surprising how many newer cars do NOT have a spare tire. Eliminated for weight saving, economy, it seems. You may get a can of air/sealant instead.
 

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Be sure to check the air and condition of your spare Tire. I try to do it twice a year.
I just checked mine after installing summer wheels. It was very low. Car had been in storage but I completely forgot to check this

Surprising how many newer cars do NOT have a spare tire. Eliminated for weight saving, economy, it seems. You may get a can of air/sealant instead.
Some new cars come with stiff heavy "run flat tires" I'm not a fan of those or the messy sealant. I think I would rather rely on the free tows if I didn't have a spare
 

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We had a need for a tow the other day. I tried calling the Home Trust roadside assistance number. The call was answered by someone who I could not understand. His English was marginal and it sounded like he was speaking from the end of a long pipe or something. I asked if this was the right number for HT, and I think he said it was, but not sure about that. He then disappeared off line but did not hang up. After waiting quite a while I gave up. I later checked and I had called the correct number 1-877-585-3232.

Thanks for sharing that. I haven't heard much (until now) about real experiences with the Home Trust road side assistance.
 

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When we got our card in March of the year they introduced it, we called and a local garage was dispatched right away and arrive in 15 minutes. The battery recharge did not work so they towed the car to the nearest battery shop. I imagine their service has suffered by outsourcing to a lower cost call centre.
Curious, which country was this in? I've been hoping the HT road side would work well in both Canada + US.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Some new cars come with stiff heavy "run flat tires" I'm not a fan of those
Those run-flats sound like a good idea. But in practice they don't work out that well.
  • They are expensive to start with
  • They wear out faster than standard tires
  • They are not widely stocked, especially if your size is not common
  • They allow you to drive a limited mileage slowly if deflated (e.g 80km at 80km/hr)
  • After a using them to get to safe location, the tire may be irreparably damaged. Then they will recommend replacement - usually all 4! If on a trip, you find a hotel while tires get shipped from a warehouse somewhere :(
I had a car that had run flats as option. Went with allweathers plus a compact spare that we only carried on long trips.
 

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Surprising how many newer cars do NOT have a spare tire. Eliminated for weight saving, economy, it seems. You may get a can of air/sealant instead.
I don't know when they started not having a 'real' spare tire in cars but when I bought my 2006 Kia Sportage as new, it came with one of those 'compact' spares. Since I actually intended to use the vehicle off-road sometimes, it made no sense to me that a 4 wheel drive vehicle designed for off-road use would have a compact spare.

Fortunately, the SPACE for the compact spare, which is under a panel in the back is big enough to take a full size spare and so I bought a full size spare tire and wheel. The tire store had no interest at all in paying me a dime for the brand new, never used, compact wheel and tire.

To have a run flat or can of sealant, etc. in a 4 wheel drive vehicle would be even more ridiculous to me. So my point is if you buy a 4 wheel drive vehicle and intend to actually do any off-roading, make sure there is at least somewhere to PUT a full size spare. Otherwise, it will take up a lot of space in the back of your vehicle if you want to carry one. New Kias no longer come with any spare at all and as far as I know, there is nowhere to STORE one in the vehicle.
 

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I don't know when they started not having a 'real' spare tire in cars but when I bought my 2006 Kia Sportage as new, it came with one of those 'compact' spares. Since I actually intended to use the vehicle off-road sometimes, it made no sense to me that a 4 wheel drive vehicle designed for off-road use would have a compact spare.
It's just to lower the initial sticker price and also to provide an upselling point at the dealer. Yes, 4x4 vehicles should come with a full size spare but most are never used "off-road". Generally if you get a towing package on the vehicle it will include a full sized spare.
 
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