Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Something Interesting...and a bit ironic


Okay, so you may be asking yourself why I--on this blog--would have an image promoting the American Automobile Association (AAA). Well, to answer that I have to tell you a brief story. If you've been to this blog before you likely know that last year I voluntarily gave up car ownership. Not a big deal; I'm not the only one doing this. Anyhow, I let my membership to AAA lapse. Why, I thought, would I need this, and it would save me the membership fee each year. Well, a few months ago--about a month after my membership ended--I received my phone bill in the mail and noticed it was $12 higher than usual. After cursing to myself like a cranky old man about the cost of things and how prices keep going up, I called the phone provider. It turns out (and I vaguely remember hearing this at sign up) that I get a discount on my phone bill each month if I'm a AAA member...$12 to be exact; the AAA membership is $57 annually, less than half the amount of my annual discount from my phone provider. I've also been traveling frequently to NYC for classes this past year; it turns out that each way on Amtrak I save $6 if a AAA member. In short, it's as if I am being paid to be a member. After realizing this I of course paid my membership. Normally I wouldn't blog about something like this, but this is from a company that promotes automobiles...well not exclusively. Check out this 30 second video that I just came across today. Pretty cool. Anyhow, just a thought to all my car-free/car-lite brothers and sisters in the blogosphere...it may actually be worth your while to be a member of an automobile club and still not drive. I'm jus' sayin'...



Urban Simplicity

6 comments:

Jesse said...

AAA does do a lot of lobbying to lower funding for transit, bicycling, and pedestrian infrastruction, though. I decided I didn't want to support them, so we changed our auto club membership to the Better World Club, a group out of Portland, OR that advocates and donates to environmental and green transportation causes instead of lobbying against them.

I haven't actually had to use their services yet, so I can't vouch for how well they provide towing, etc., compared to AAA, but I feel better knowing that my money is going to a company with similar values to mine.

https://www.betterworldclub.com/

adventure! said...

What Jesse said. Yeah, AAA is doing a few bike-positive things right now, but this does not negate their decades of lobbying for automobiles and auto-centric infrastructure. Just saying.

If you want to get a 10% discount on Amtrak and support an organization that lobbies for things you believe in, I urge you to check out the National Association of Railroad Passengers.
http://narprail.org/

Joe said...

Jesse...thanks for the info.

Joe said...

Adventure!...thanks, also.

Anonymous said...

Hello Joe, The Canadian sister organization to your AAA is CAA and we also have some bike repair services, i.e. emergency flat tires etc. with our membership. Also not to forget if you do a lot of travelling, the CAA card will often get you a discount at hotels and restaurants. We figure we get our annual fee back easily without even trying. Thanks for bringing the subject up! and no I have no financial interest in promoting CAA/AAA!

Joe said...

Anonymous...thanks. I saved $144 on my phone bill last year and about $48 on Amtrak travel. AAA membership cost $57. So it's easy to see why I opted to re-sign up. I'm also impressed at the roadside bicycle service. After a quick search I see they they do offer that in the States but only a few of them (CA, WA, and OR I believe). I did see that Better World Club (which Jesse mentioned previously) offers bicycle roadside service as well, though I'm not sure if they do in my area. Thanks again.