UPDATE 8/9/11: Allstate tracked me down to make things right. They are refunding my payment and explained that things don't normally go this way. What an impressive response.
It should be called "Allstate's Roadside Torture". And, I should have just googled "tow truck" ... I would have saved a lot of wasted time. I need to rant, badly.
My wife is pregnant and stuck in a parking lot. She calls the number that Allstate gives us for roadside assistance and can't even get past the first robo-bot operator. So she calls me for help. So, I call Allstate's well-promoted "Good Hands Roadside Assistance"... this is how it went.
I call the phone number the publicize for the service (1-800-255-7828). It is answered by a machine that wants me to speak what I want. So I say "roadside assistance." "You want coporate?" replies the machine. No, "I want help". Not working, so it offers me a directory and of course there is no roadside assitance options. After some very unfruitful back and forth with this annoying bot, it sends me to an operator.
The nice foreign operator would like to validate my policy. He needs my name. Then my SSN last four. Then he needs to validate every other peice of information he can find. Gotta check my zip and address and phone and email address. Seriously!? I need help. And these are the things you want to ask me about?
When he finally finishes with his 20 questions, THEN he tells me I need to call another number. Call 1-877-248-1266. Great ok. Thanks for that.
Now I am on to this new number. And a new game. First I get a message about adverse weather conditions in my area... I live near Seattle and it is the middle of the summer. What adverse weather conditions? You mean the 70 degrees and overcast? Is this causing havoc on your systems? Now after explaining that I need help to a new telephone operator, he also tells me I need to call a different number. This is a joke, right? Nope, I have to call a new number: 1-877-266-7561.
On to the third operator. Now I am having fun. Now I need to give him my credit card, phone number, email address, home address, zip code and whatever else he could come up with. After 10 minutes of divulging personal information he can finally could get me assistance. He puts me on hold and then finds someone that can help within the next 50 minutes. 50 minutes?! I am in the middle of a urban shopping center and 50 minutes is their timeline? I am not in the mountains or in some rural community, I could understand, then. I guess it is the best they can do because of all this crazy weather (sarcasm).
I will NEVER use Allstate's roadside service again. EVER. And Allstate needs to try their own service before they sell it.