AAA membership restored following Call 12 for Action inquiry

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) – Frank Homen has been a AAA member since 2003, so he was surprised to receive a letter notifying him that his membership was going to be terminated.

“We have determined that your road service usage is excessive and because of that, your membership will be cancelled, effective 04/01/18,” the letter read.

“They have down that I have called 14 times in the last three years,” Homen told Call 12 for Action.

He concedes his calls average more than the four allowed roadside assistance calls a year.

But Homen says – at least a couple times – he’s called for his wife, who has her own membership. He believes he must have used his account number for his wife’s service calls.

“I don’t think I abused the system,” he said. “I’m paying for something they’re going to penalize me for using.”

Lloyd Albert of AAA Northeast said because of privacy, he could not discuss the details of Homen’s membership.

But after Call 12 for Action’s inquiry, Homen said AAA decided not to cancel his membership. Instead, his membership is being downgraded from AAA Plus to AAA Basic, and Homen says he is only allowed two calls for roadside assistance in 2018.

“I’m on probation!” Homen laughed.

Homen says he had no idea his membership could be be canceled or downgraded. He is sharing his experience to remind all consumers to read the fine print for any service.

In AAA’s case, the terms of service were spelled out on the company’s website.

“We may determine that Road Service usage is excessive,” the policy stated. “We reserve the right to impose surcharges and/or Road Service limitations, downgrades of a Membership type or cancellation of your Membership, without prior notification.”

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.