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Should I Tip a Tow Truck Operator for AAA Services?

 

During a Recent Service Call, We
Ask AAA

tow truck

The short answer: if you are using the American Automobile Association, we were told that you do not need to tip. However, according to the postings we've received from our readers (see below), this is definitely an issue where people have differing thoughts.

We recently called AAA and asked a service representative about tipping for emergency roadside services such as replacing a flat tire, towing a car, or jumpstarting a battery.

"You don't need to tip," the representative told us.  Auto service personnel are paid for their work and tips do not make up part of their compensation.  "Tipping is not expected and it's a rare person who tips."

We were told that we can choose to tip if we want, perhaps for difficult circumstances or exceptional service.  Considering how quick and routine services have become, though, it's not surprising that tipping is uncommon. 

  
 
Like to contribute your own two cents?  Contribute your advice.
 

One of our readers writes:

Comments: I currently work for a AAA affiliated company, and can tell you tips are very much appreciated. As a matter of fact a few of our drivers receive a decent amount of tip per day. Having a great attitude, a calming/reassuring demeanor, and being courteous goes a long way. Also I have only recently started towing and companies pay very little, its just a rat race to the cash calls day and night.

One of our readers writes:

Comments     i used to work for a AAA certifed company,if you are not driving a truck that says only AAA service you are getting paid correctly, if you are driving for a tow company that does AAA calls chances are you are getting paid by commission from the tow company,and lets face the truth how many friends do you have working for a towing company? probably none, because you have to work your ass off all day long doing a hard job rushing everywhere, getting late calls, fighting over calls trying to make a buck, . most tow companyies are own by greedy scumbags.I have been in the towing industry for a fifteen years, got into repoeing for better employers and better pay.
To make along story short it the pay sucks.

One of our readers writes:

Comments        Sadly as a company owner and Professional operator I would have to agree with the above comment, our industry is full of people that probably should not procreate. What i'll do so that you can make your own decision is break down the pay scale for you, #1 most operators are commission, generally 25-30% of the pre tax total, the average AAA call pays the company $30 which means $10 for the driver before taxes. For private companys an experienced light duty operator is worth anywhere from $12-18 per hour, now i'm sorry but in my eyes $12 is not enough for me to risk my life on the side of the road at 2 AM because you can't change your own tire. Tow operators are killed at the rate of one per week while providing service, still think you shouldn't tip?

One of our readers writes:

Comments        Should I Tip a Tow Truck Operator for AAA Services?---["You don't need to tip," the representative told us.] I strongly disagree with this answer...If you feel that the "Auto service personnel" did an exceptional job, A tip is most always very apprieciated!

One of our readers writes:

Comments        As a company driver who provides AAA service I would just like to add that $30 may be the pay for a 10 mile tow but road service such as tire changes only pay $12 with I would receive 25% Do the math! For a brand new Civic not so bad but for a 10 year old SUV or Mini van with the tire rusted under the vehical that service could take me 45 minutes. . . not to mention on the side of a freeway! Flashing Lights? Move over a lane, save a life

One of our readers writes:

Comments        Holy Cow! I worked at a Mobil Station on Cape Cod while in college in the 1950s. Whenever I went on an AAA service call I was pleased when someone gave me a buck or two. So I tip - although $1 has become $10 - whenever I have to call AAA. More if the weather is bad or, for example, my car has to be flat bedded.

One of our readers writes:

Comments   I agree that when the service is quick and simple (such as opening a locked door), tip is not necessary. But one time, the serviceman had to tow my car for nearly a hundred miles at 3 A.M., and he definitely deserved a huge tip.

One of our readers writes:

Comments I am not sure it is that beneficial for towing companies to haul for AAA. I live in Huron, TN and just started my own towing business. If you think of fuel costs and truck wear and tear. AAA really does cover all that in a short tow. Costs of our trucks are not cheap. Tipping sure doesn't hurt and yes it is very dangerous hauling cars or trucks from the side of roads. Changing a tire is even worse!

One of our readers, a tow truck driver, writes:

Comments I drive a tow truck for AAA we do a lot of work for them the owner of my company gets a bonus for us doing a great job but we don't see that. The  pay is low for what we do and the hours we put in.Changing tires,towing, gascalls and lock outs are a service so you should tip if your happy with the service.We did not break your car we just want to help and make it easer on you.if your driver  helps you and is nice to you should tip him. You tip your milk man, paper boy, your water delivery driver and cab drivers for their service when they are getting paid for it.

One of our readers writes:

Comments This may have been rare but in my case I had a flat tire on a major highway around  4 oclock on a sunday I called AAA a private guy came, changed the tire did a great job. Ioffered him a tip and he declined.

One of our readers writes:

Comments The AAA tow guy created his own tip today by stealing $3.50 from my car!  The joke was on him though, it was Canadian currency!  OK, it is still ~$3 US, but at least he has to spread the change around and can't buy a cheeseburger at my expense all at once.

One of our readers, a former tow truck driver, writes:

Comments        AAA does not pay the driver's well to begin with and most drivers would rather run cash calls than AAA any day of the week. Let's do the math here. A AAA Tow for $30 which on average will go around 10 miles. So the driver made a whole $7.50. Now a cash call for a 10 mile Tow would run any where between about $90 and $130 give or take a buck or two. So a driver who is at lets say 25% would make between $22.50 & $32.50 that's running a cash call. Now if you we're a Tow Truck driver which would you rather run? AAA or a Cash call. I thought so. So for you people that are using your AAA card for your Towing needs the driver's would give you AAA customer's alot better service if you would slip them a $5 or $10 tip. Plus if everyone would start to do it you would more then likely see way better response times getting to your vehicle. So next you give AAA a call think about it. But if by some chance you happen to get a driver that's just being a butt head. Well then don't tip him or her. And yes I drove Tow Truck for 11+ years and Tips and very much appreciated.

One of our readers, a tow truck driver, writes:

Comments        I have also been at a company who pulls for AAA and it is a joke. You are expected to climb out of bed in the middle of the night for chump change. AAA has certain companies who brown nose and they get paid more just because they have loans through AAA. I refuse to work for AAA for less than $3.00 a mile for Towing and a hook up fee of not less that $25.00 for in-route miles and loading the vehicle. Now all I am called on tthe crap calls while the brown nosers get all the calls that would pay any money. And what a hassle to close a call. It use to be easy and now it takes an act of congress just to get your money. They fight you on your miles in route and your miles towed just because they have a computer that keys the miles. They don't keep in mind that you can't get your rollbacks and big  wreckers in a lot of the roads and pig trails they show on map quest. My trucks are not moving for a crap no money call. So when you have to sit and wait 2 hours on a service truck remember that AAA is a cheap skate and don't won't to pay the good services. They won't good service for crap pay. If we would all work together AAA would have to give us all a raise. Equal pay for equal work and service. How long would you want your wife and child on the road late at night.tips do make a difference and so does customer support for more pay from AAA.

One of our readers, a tow truck driver, writes:

 In my experiences with driving a wrecker for AAA and doing cash calls, I have come to notice that there are 2 kinds of people: those who tip, and those who don't. Most rich people with fancy cars do not tip, and expect you to baby their expensive cars, while broke people in trailer parks give you $10 tip for jump starting their 89 Ford Tempo. The rich people also expect faster service... Of course their are exceptions to both cases, but I think in general, people get rich by being stingy. Here's a TIP for all you AAA members who don't want to wait on I-75 for 3 hours: Call the tow company and let them know that you intend to tip the driver. Is $10 too much to pay to get out of a bad situation fast? Chances are your entire years membership fee costs less than 1 cash tow, so tip your drivers or get left stranded.

 

 

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