AAA “Restructures” Ohio, Trucks Now Come From 45 Miles Away

Better World Club Editor Now Just Recycling Old Articles With New States Written In

Remember all the way back to February, when we reported on AAA’s tow service restructuring in California?

Restructuring is an inevitable part of corporate life, so we are not being critical of AAA for doing what it needs to do. However, the impact of that decision on stakeholders is critical. The restructuring resulted in AAA Northern California retaining contracts with a few larger companies rather than many smaller ones. Towers and members alike were concerned that fewer providers traveling farther distances would affect service, although a representative of AAA Northern California denied that there would be a noticeable difference.

Now, the same restructuring is happening in Ohio. Two towing companies in Ashtabula County have had to lay off employees after being removed from AAA’s primary service provider list. Mike Phillips, a contractor with AAA for 19 years, explained to Better World Club staff that he was given only 24 hours of notice, and that his business has decreased over 80%.  Customers of Phillips Towing are concerned that a trusted local business will now be dispatched only if the new primary contractor, located 45 miles away, is unavailable.

While we understand that AAA may need to cut costs, there are several obvious issues their stakeholders would like to see them address. First, the environmental impact of sending tow trucks a longer distance; second, the longer wait time that AAA customers in the area will experience; and third, the lack of fair treatment towards local service providers (24 hours’ notice?).

The attitude of AAA in both California and Ohio seems to be that if nothing is said, no-one will notice. Call us naïve, but shouldn’t there be more disclosure from a company that claims to be informing the nation about transportation?

October 17, 2012.

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