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October 31, 2011

Allstate’s Free Lifetime Membership in Roadside Assistance

Filed under: Autos — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:00 am

Wow, what a seemingly great offer from Allstate: call to get a quote on car insurance and you will get a free lifetime membership in their Roadside Assistance program. MrConsumer could stop spending over $50 a year for AAA membership!

Here is their TV commercial:

If you could not read the fine print disclaimer in the ad, a visit to Allstate’s website reveals the true nature of this auto club offer.

*MOUSE PRINT:

So what you really get for free on an ongoing basis is a phone number to call for a towing service.

Thanks, Allstate.

• • •

11 Comments

  1. I have worked for an insurance company 10+ years and I must say that Allstate have reached an all time low on this one. They are really not providing you with any coverage but created a fictitious free “membership” with no benefits for the sole purpose of advertising and attracting applicants who will eventually cancel their policies as they realize they’ve been duped. Those “good hands” must be desparate.

    Comment by Peter — October 31, 2011 @ 8:27 am
  2. but it does sound like at least the first tow is free?

    Comment by John — October 31, 2011 @ 9:25 am
  3. I wonder how much does the Allstate company make off each tow or even to start a battery???

    Comment by Richard Ginn — October 31, 2011 @ 1:41 pm
  4. Please clarify, Edgar. Are you taking the position that one should reasonably expect free towing et al for life by virtue of requesting an insurance quote?
    Or are you saying that the offer is essentially worthless because anyone could obtain a towing price of $75 in the open market? ($50 for other services)?
    Having paid full-price for a tow in my pre-AAA days, I can appreciate the benefit of relatively reasonable contracted rates, especially considering no commitment on my part. Certainly free-for-life roadside assistance would be amazing, but common sense tells me that is an unreasonable expectation.

    Edgar replies: I am saying that one might believe you were getting an AAA-type plan, and that instead of paying $55 for it a year, you were getting something just like it free because you gave the company an opportunity to sell you on their auto insurance policy. I just saw a revised ad last night on TV, and instead of hiding the fact that was a fee for service plan, they now disclose it in huge letters.

    Comment by Todd — October 31, 2011 @ 3:11 pm
  5. And they already offer this for NON Allstate customers as well. https://goodhandsroadside.allstate.com/ghrs/ghrweb/common/home It’s free to join no matter who you are. This is not to be confused with Allstate Motor Club http://www.allstatemotorclub.com/amc/login/AMCWelcome.faces which is more towards what people would expect after that commercial.

    Comment by Ron Hall — October 31, 2011 @ 10:54 pm
  6. I don’t know about “there,” but “here” $75 won’t get you towed to the other end of the block. And the first time I saw the commercial I said it was bogus.

    Comment by Bob — November 1, 2011 @ 5:51 am
  7. Okay, after reading the “Terms of use” I discovered the benefit of this membership. To sum it up, depending on where you live the price you pay for the service is fixed.

    BENEFITS: Tow up to 10 miles, jump start, tire change, lockout service & fuel delivery (up to 3 gallons included in service price).

    COVERAGE AND BENEFIT LIMITS: $75 for a tow up to 10 miles; Additional $3 per mile after first 10 miles; $50 for other service related events (i.e. jump start, tire change, lockout service & fuel delivery (up to 3 gallons) in all 50 states for most passenger cars and light duty trucks (see below). Not available in Canada or Puerto Rico or any other country/jurisdiction outside the 50 states of the United States. Additional terms and conditions may apply.

    VEHICLE ELIGIBILITY: Non-commercial use passenger automobiles and trucks not greater that 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight at the rates stated above. Service is available at a higher price for motorcycles, medium and heavy duty trucks and recreational vehicles.

    Comment by Peter — November 1, 2011 @ 8:40 am
  8. Thanks for the info! I didn’t have to read the fine print. I guess I’m psychic, because when I saw this commercial I said, “Yeah, right”

    Comment by C. Harold — November 1, 2011 @ 5:42 pm
  9. I tell my kids this numerous times, There is no such thing as a free lunch”. That’s all you have to know about ads like this and life in general.

    Comment by C. Harold — November 1, 2011 @ 5:47 pm
  10. THANKS for uncovering a big insurance scam on the public—ALLSTATE should be ashamed as they have made the insurance fraud here!!! AAA is worth the annual fee. THANKS

    Comment by Jake Raskiny — November 19, 2011 @ 1:58 pm
  11. If you shop around, you can find lower priced roadside assistance than the allstate pricing. If you have auto insurance, it is worth it to pay the few dollars extra a month, or even add it to your cell phone plan. Most of your credit cards offer the roadside assistance as a perk to the cardholder. Above all you can also consider a Roadside Assistance Motor Club like AAA or Cross Country. Paying Allstate a per use fee is not very reasonable, and you would pay less with a monthly service.

    Comment by Paul Brown — January 29, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

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