AAA incompetence and Mass state police

I just gotta share this. I am a member of the Quebec affiliate of the Canadian Auto Assoc, which has a cross-agreement on road service with the AAA. I got a flat in northern Mass a few weeks ago. Since I am 72 with a heart condition, I called AAA. I had just seen a sign that I was 13 miles from Barre, MA. The computer I dealt with understood Massachusetts, but kept not understanding Barre (pronounced like Barry). Eventually I got through to a “human”, so to speak. I described my location pretty exactly, but she could not find either Barre or Route 122 on her maps. Try it on Google maps; if it takes more than five seconds, I would be surprised. They kept calling me back to try and find my location. No luck.

Finally, about 2 hours later, I decided to change it myself with the poor equipment that came with the car. I got the nuts loose and the car jacked up about half way when a state trooper drove up and asked our problem. (I might mention that several other people stopped and asked to help including a teenager on a bike.) Anyway, the trooper said he would put on his flashers to protect me. When I had the car about halfway up he came over and asked if he could finish the jacking. I gratefully accepted his help and removed the lugs, pulled the bad tire off and got out the spare. He mounted the spare using his far superior wrench while I undid the jack. That was just as tedious as doing it up in the first place and when I was about halfway through, he took over while I put the dead tire away. At some point, while I was distracted he even put my luggage back in the trunk! After I was back on the road, he followed for about five miles, presumably to make sure I was ok.

Two hours later I got a phone call from a garage owner in the town north of where I was asking if I still needed help. No thanks!

I wrote this up (not the part about the trooper, although I sent an account of that to the Mass state police headquarters) and sent it to AAA and a copy to CAA. Two weeks later I have no reply from AAA, but I got a call the next day from the CAA. The woman I spoke to found Route 122 through Barre in no time. Finally, in recompense, she sent me card good for $25 at a local convenience store good for either gas or merchandise! That’s service!

So I guess I have seen the best and the worst. Incidentally, the trooper remarked that he hoped that if this happened to his parents they would find someone to help out.

Are you sure you were in MA that sentence seems to indicate you weren’t maybe that why they couldn’t find you. :wink:

I’m from central MA and this isn’t uncommon. It’s a very nice area with a strong sense of community.

Plus, town cops in MA are ass. The State Troopers are almost always awesome to deal with, unless you’re caught be an idiot.

Yeah, maybe you were actually still in Canada?

A State Trooper changed a tire for my dad in a thunderstorm once.

Many years ago a New York state trooper changed a tire for me (the only place I could pull off the road was an exposed narrow median). When he was done he asked for $20. He was pissed when I explained I had little cash on me.

I didn’t get arrested though, so that was a plus.

People must be nicer in Georgia - my dad tried to tip his trooper and the guy wouldn’t take it. We wrote a nice letter, of course.

AAA can be hit or miss. A few years back, I was on a Scout trip in Shenandoah National Park (in western Virginia) and one of the other parents locked her keys in the car. It took quite a while for me to convince the AAA operator of our location, she had no clue where we were. Ultimately turned out to be unnecessary as another mom found a coat hanger and solved the problem that way.

I too have had a policeman stop to help with a tire change when I was a) waiting for AAA and b) starting to change it myself. I was very grateful.

And the AAA / CAA coordination is generally a good thing, notwithstanding your experience. They saved our bacon one time when our car died near Niagara Falls (I’ve told this tale here before. I wonder if they got bulk rates; there were two US-based Dodge Caravans dead in the same parking lot that evening, both waiting for CAA assistance. The other car couldn’t be sorted out, we were lucky that ours could).

When you type Barre, MA into Google Maps, the pointer lands right on the corner of MA-122 and Mechanic Street. I wonder where the mechanic was?