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US Rider Service - Bad Experience

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  • US Rider Service - Bad Experience

    So I have been a US Rider policy holder for a few years now; I initially signed up based on the positive reviews I saw here on COTH.

    In the hopes of saving someone else the challenge and inconvenience I've had with them... I will offer my experience here.

    I called them late this morning to arrange for towing for my vehicle to a service center which is 4 miles away. The vehicle was dead /had multiple warning lights lit on the dash so I felt a tow service was the best way to get it into the service center.

    The US Rider rep told me they would have a service provider out to my location within 2 hours. That was around noon eastern. I'm in GA and it's pretty hot here, but they stressed the need to have someone with the vehicle at all times until the service provider arrived. OK, fine. Just short of 2 hours later, I got a text saying that the original service provider canceled, and another service provider would provide towing instead... within the next 2 hours. Sigh. Just short of 2 hours later, that provider called to say they would be there "in 45 minutes" ... which was pushing 5pm. I called the 800 number to explain that the service center closed at 5, but would stay open a bit later to receive my car IF it was going to be there by 6. The rep assured me that there would be no problem; someone would be there by 5:15. Well, it's now 5:45 and I just got a call from the tow truck driver. He's at least roughly an hour away currently, in rush hour traffic.. There is no way he will be here anywhere near the promised time.

    Calls throughout the day to US Rider have been met with nothing but disinformation. The reps have been polite but basically useless. Their claims about getting updated information "directly from the service providers" have been completely inaccurate. I've been stuck here with my vehicle for more or less the entire day, getting the runaround.

    I wish I had just called a normal towing service and never wasted the $$ with US Rider
    Last edited by Lucassb; Aug. 3, 2016, 06:09 PM.
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.

  • #2
    I have heard similar stories. I recently had to use them and had to wait an hour for a tow truck to show up, only to find out they were just down the street and not doing anything.

    I think the biggest issue for US Rider is, they are a national company servicing multiple states from one central location. They do not know how close or far you are from where their service providers are and tend to call them in order on their list regardless of where they are which can backfire as it did in your situation.

    I think their database needs to be updated and enhanced in terms of contacting providers who are closer to the location where the call comes in. I made the same comment to them when I filled out their survey suggesting the database be updated. Sorry you had a bad experience.
    "Do what you can't do"


    • #3
      Sorry you had a bad experience. Ive never used US Rider but have had bad experiences with AAA. Similar to what you described. Something that should have taken an hr or 2 ended taken 5. I was in a very populated area in a hospital parking lot so the emergency entrance was opened after dark so I had somewhere to wait. And it was all about the stupid battery in the truck. It seems to depend on the actual provider of the services.


      • #4
        I had a terrible experience with AAA the only time I needed them and I was not even pulling a trailer that day, so have been carrying US Rider since.

        Now you say they are incompetent?

        There is no one else out there that will handle trailers, I don't think.


        • #5
          Perhaps it has something to do with the area or ? I'm in Northern California, SF Bay Area. I've only used my U. S. Rider Insurance once, and while it was a 3 hour wait, they SAID it would be 3 hours, and arrived more or less on time, were quick and efficient in loading my disabled truck on a flatbed, hitching trailer to back of flatbed, whereupon I reloaded my horse and they took him "home," then took the truck to my mechanic. And yes, AAA will not do anything if livestock is involved.


          • #6
            I've called them 5 times and had one bad experience so far. I had a situation where I wasn't sure if my vehicle (towing horse trailer) was safe to drive back home. I had a doctor's appointment which I thought I'd barely make if the tow truck really showed up in the 45 minute time frame I was given. So at 30-35 minutes I called the provider directly, whereupon I was told that US Rider never actually told them to dispatch a truck. Luckily, I made it home OK with my vehicle and made my doctor's appointment.

            So my advice is, before you wait too long for someone to show up, call the provider and verify they are coming!

            Actually, there was one other time that they were outside their time frame. I called the provider and he hadn't left his area by the time he was supposed to be at my vehicle. So I'll say 1.5 bad experiences.
            That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...


            • #7
              In the age of smart phones I will just take my chances with google search.


              • #8
                Out of the 4 times I've called them I had one bad experience. That was when my car broke down in the state forest and I had no cell service. The ranger called US rider for me. They said an hour and we waited
                2 hours and left the car there. Luckily my brother got a ride to his car at the beginning of the hike and he drove me home. I think it would've gone better if I had had cell service since I could've called to check in. I did call on our way home and they were very nice about it. In the end I drove up with my truck and towed the car home myself as I didn't want to deal with waiting for the tow truck in an area with no cell service all over again.


                • #9
                  I had 1 really bad experience (they charged me tons of additional money for a relatively small tow, insisted that was a requirement of the tow truck that they couldn't waive, then when I later called for explanation said they had thrown out all their paperwork and had no record of any recent service calls).

                  And one mildly bad one (really incompetent tow truck driver).

                  But I also had 4 decent ones.

                  Around here (DC metro Virginia) they contract with a lot of the same garages as AAA so I think the experience is fairly similar. (I understand that AAA has different rules, but the actual providers are the same) And there are always some good, some bad there.

                  I keep them because they will tow trailers, even loaded ones, and because their tow range is so much greater than AAA, but either way you can have a crappy experience, especially if it is caused by the contracted garage.


                  • #10
                    I had a nearly identical experience to the OP's a little more than a year ago, in a busy metro area of Pennsylvania. I finally just called another towing company myself, and my vehicle was being towed 15 min later. I had used the service once or twice before, but for a battery jump, and that was fine. I no longer have a truck and trailer, so do not use US Rider.


                    • #11
                      I've only had to call them once (thankfully) and it wasn't a great experience. Our truck broke down while hauling a trailer with one horse. We were stuck at a highway rest stop. First I called US Rider and they said they would send a tow truck to bring our truck to a mechanic and also a separate tow vehicle to haul our trailer/horse back to the barn, and that it would all be covered so no cost out of pocket.

                      Then my husband thought he had fixed the truck so I called to cancel the tow.

                      Turns out the truck still wouldn't work so I called them back and got a different representative, this one told me they could send the two tows but that it would cost us almost $400 out of pocket. I asked why I was getting different information this time than what I got 30 minutes ago and she basically told me "I have no idea why they would have told you it wouldn't cost anything in the first place" even when I asked her to double check that she was looking at the same tow company that I was quoted for the first time.

                      So we ended up borrowing a friend's truck to haul our trailer home and US Rider sent a tow truck to bring our truck to the mechanic. When the tow truck driver arrived I rode to the mechanic with him. Super nice guy, we got to talking and he told me he could have towed our truck AND trailer home on one rig, and it would have cost the same amount of money as just towing the truck, but US Rider never even asked him or mentioned that we had a trailer in the first place.


                      • #12
                        I have been a member since 2008, and actually used them for the second time yesterday. My car died at the local grocery store. They told me they could have someone out to tow it within two hours. The tow truck got there within an hour and a half. US Rider continued to text me and keep me informed throughout the whole process. They even texted me the name, phone number and contact person of the tow company that was dispatched to meet me and the car.

                        Make sure you let them know what you experienced so they do not continue to contract with crappy service providers.
                        "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


                        • #13
                          I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I've had my personal car (not truck or trailer) towed twice by US Rider in the last two weeks. One time I was very rural (lucky to get cell service) and the local tow guy showed up on time and I had it towed home. Next time I was 2 miles from the service center when my car died again. Tow guy made it in the time specified. I've been happy, but I know I'm at the mercy of their local tow providers (though that is no different than AAA).

                          I took my chances with no emergency roadside assistance for a couple years, but then had a $200 tow and got US Rider. For me it has covered the yearly fee. I hope you find something that works for you, very frustrating!
                          "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty



                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks, guys. Interesting to see so many similar experiences.

                            What I figured out was that once the "service providers" learned it was only a 4 mile tow, the came up with all sorts of excuses about why they couldn't actually come tow my car. After 7 pm one of the original service providers called me back and said they could be at my house in 25 minutes and would take my car to their "secure storage location as required by my insurance company." Translation : they would do it if they could get paid for two tows (once to their storage facility which is quite a distance from me and further from the dealer and a second time, tomorrow, to the dealer + the storage fee.) I declined.

                            A friend came over after she got home from work and we got my car jump started and over to the dealer. By then the shop was closed but they will look at it first thing in the morning. I told US Rider I expected my membership fee to be refunded. Taking money for services that you don't provide is basically theft, in my book.
                            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                            • #15
                              I've used my US Rider several times. A couple of vehicle lock outs and once to tow my Jeep home when I lost the serpentine belt. But the time we lost a tire on the horse trailer is the one that really made me thank my lucky stars we had US Rider.

                              We were traveling in a convoy up to Regionals at Devonwood in Oregon. There were a total of 3 truck/trailer combos. I was in the first truck, and we noticed the trailer on the 3rd truck had a blowout. We were stuck on the side of a very busy highway in warm weather with fully loaded horse trailers. I offered to call US Rider because I was the only one with any kind of roadside assistance.

                              I was worried they'd make a fuss because the trailer w/the blown tire didn't belong to me or was even the vehicle I was with, but they didn't even ask. After making sure our horses were safe and confirming the type of repair we needed (just needed the spare tire put on) they told us someone would be there within 45 minutes. And they were. The horses were suprisingly calm and the gentleman who responded to change the tire was very nice and worked quickly.


                              • #16
                                I've never had to use my service. *touch wood*

                                But honest question, what do you do if you need a trailer tow and don't have US Rider? Just keep calling tow services until you find one who says they will do it? How common is it for tow companies to agree to haul a horse trailer?

                                I've read a number of complaints about their service, but the way I see it, they are still the only company that will "guarantee" roadside assistance when horses are involved. It's frustrating that US Rider doesn't seem to have the extensive network to avoid snafus, but what is the alternative? AAA won't consistently cover anything with horses involved. You might be able to twist their arm into changing your trailer tire if you have the RV coverage, but if your truck dies with horses in tow, you are safe to assume you are on your own. For every one person who says AAA helped them with their horse trailer, there seems to be ten more who say they were turned away.
                                Last edited by Texarkana; Aug. 4, 2016, 07:29 AM.
                                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
                                  I think the biggest issue for US Rider is, they are a national company servicing multiple states from one central location. They do not know how close or far you are from where their service providers are and tend to call them in order on their list regardless of where they are which can backfire as it did in your situation.
                                  With the easy access to all kinds of mapping systems right on the average smart phone there really is no excuse for them to not know pretty much right where the person calling is located and right where the service station is located.


                                  • #18
                                    Sounds like they (and we) are pretty much at the mercy of the local providers, some great, some not. As is AAA. We actually have both--AAA because we use their insurance, and USRider because I've witnessed first hand that if you're hauling, AAA doesn't know your name. Would be interesting to call both in a non-hauling situation and see who comes to my rescue first. Fingers crossed I won't be in a position to do that!

                                    Have to agree that with today's technology, if they can't figure out in seconds which provider is closest to you, they are missing the boat.


                                    • #19
                                      I had a similar experience with USRider's. Though I don't think the blame fell on USRider's at all.

                                      I killed my truck battery by keeping my trailer lights on while unloading horses at 1am up in Calgary. I freaked out because a) I had a dead battery at 1am in a place I didn't know at all, b) because I was in the middle of a large showgrounds that I wasn't sure a tow truck could find me in and c) because I was in Canada and it is, after all, called US - Rider's. Turns out they do respond to calls out of country (phew!).

                                      I called it in somewhere around the 1:30am timeframe. They hopped to it and found a tow company willing to come out to me. The time estimate was 2-3 hours. After a haul from hell that took an extra 7 hours plus a jack-knifed trailer while maneuvering around the dark showgrounds that punched out one of my back windows, it almost reduced me to tears when they said it could be 4:30am or later before they got to me. But the USRider's guy gave me the tow truck company's contact info and I was able to get in direct contact with the dispatch gal for the tow truck company. She said that they had a bunch of activity they were responding to and that yes, the 3 hour estimate was correct. The tow truck driver showed up around 5am.

                                      So I guess all I can say is that in your situation I would have asked for the tow truck company name and would have called them directly immediately. In my case they relayed exactly the same information to me as they did to the USRider's rep. It wasn't USRider's fault that the tow truck company was slow or that they had other calls to respond to.
                                      Flying F Sport Horses
                                      Horses in the NW


                                      • #20
                                        Whoa, stuck for hours staying with a vehicle in August (in GA, too, I think?) - that's brutal!

                                        Haven't had to use the services yet, knock on wood, but we have Trailguard