Evil marketing

I’m all for clever marketing. You want me to watch your ad, open your letter, or click on your email: do something funny or unique.

But don’t lie. Don’t try to trick me. That just pisses me off even more. Especially when I get evil marketing from a company I love, like AAA.

AAA has one of the best services in the world. They are a company I deeply trust for roadside assistance and auto insurance.

AAA falls on my short list of awesome service companies alongside Apple, Amazon, and American Express (funny how they all start with “a”).

Their marketing department doesn’t have the same principals the rest of the company does. They are trying to boost their quarterly numbers without realizing they are hurting the company’s reputation.


This letter came to me in the mail. AAA made it look official and important on the outside. Inside was an application for life insurance. “Use this to hold your Certificate of Coverage“. Ummm, it’s a brown envelope.

Car talk – AAA is the best

1. My dad got a new license plate. BK♥SACH. His name is Bal Krishan, but he goes by BK. šŸ™‚


2. A few weeks ago someone scratched my car in the parking lot. She was super nice, left a note on my car, and ultimately paid for getting it repaired. Unfortunately, I think she was expecting a $100-200 bill for some basic touch up, but it ended up being about $600. Body work is never cheap, since they have to pound out the dent and then repaint much of the car to make the paint match.


My car is now 8 years old and doesn’t have a single scratch, dent or mark on it. The paint is still silky smooth and looks perfect.


Thanks to the person who paid for the repair! And if anyone is looking for a body shop in SF, check out Karry’s Auto Body. They are super nice and do great work.


3. AAA car insurance costs half of Geico, for me. I just got my own car insurance policy for the first time. It was actually a great experience overall. I went with AAA since my parents have been using them for years. AAA turned to be cheaper, *nearly half the price of Geico*. I wonder why you don’t hear about AAA car insurance more often?


Not only were they cheaper, but super friendly and easy to deal with. Very smooth transaction. In the past I’ve had to make 2 claims with AAA for insurance. Without getting into details, bottom line is the incidents were not my fault, AAA cut me a fat check to resolve the issues, and I walked away happy. I couldn’t have had a better experience.


4. Low deductible comprehensive is worth it. Insurance is usually very complicated. I feel people rarely know what is or isn’t covered, and what the ramifications are for making a claim. In particular, comprehensive insurance. You can make a comprehensive claim for things that break on your car that aren’t related to a collision, wear and tear, or manufacturer’s defects.


There are more restrictions, but the interesting things it can cover are: replacing a windshield after a rock cracks it, dent repair from a shopping cart in the parking lot, and quoting from the AAA handbook “loss caused by other than collision and includes…missiles, falling objects…” Really glad I’m covered if a missile hits my car! I got a $100 deductible for comprehensive since it wasn’t much money at all!


A few months ago I was driving around, minding my own business, when I apparently ran over something on the road. No idea what it was, but I got a flat. No, I got 2 flats. No, it *destroyed my wheels*. Long story short, it was a stressful experience, but at the end of the day I was towed home, repairs were done, AAA picked up the bill. Amazing. Here’s a shot of my broken wheel. Intense:




5. AAA plus towing services will save your ass. Many years ago when I had an Audi A4, I broke down in Kettleman City, half way between LA and SF. I was on my way to SF. Audi’s policy is to tow you to the nearest dealer, so I was towed 200 miles to home. Perfect. Since then I’ve always had AAA “plus” which tows you 100 miles. If you break down somewhere, you sorta just want to be taken home so you can deal with it your way. Rather than being towed to the nearest gas station, getting a hotel, rental car, etc etc.


6. Skip the DMV line. AAA does it for you. I went to the AAA office today to renew my car registration and update my address. There was zero line, they were super friendly, and I got it all done in seconds. Many people don’t realize AAA does DMV services for you. Why deal with the DMV if you don’t have to? We also picked up some free maps while we were there.


AAA services are worth every penny. I would pay 3X how much they charge now, in a heartbeat. It just takes one unfortunate incident and you’re glad you have them taking care of you.