Originally Posted by _dgw_
Our 2002 Mercedes C230 needed roadside assistance twice. Both times for flat tires. Each time the wait was 20 minutes. I said asked the first guy why this was so much faster than other experiences I've had. "Uh yeah, this is Mercedes . . ." Okay then.
I'm still extremely disappointed that smart doesn't have the same unlimited roadside assistance plan that Mercedes has on all their vehicles.
Three things: Proximity, priority, and cost.
Proximity, because if you are in the middle of nowhere, you will need to wait until a wrecker can actually drive the distance to you;
Priority: Most any roadside service worth talking about will start the conversation with "Are you someplace safe". If they don't, and you need immediate assistance because you are stuck in a busy intersection, you may just have to wait until they are done with the flat tire in the parking lot.
Cost: The smart is supposed to be an economy
car. If you want premium services, you have to pay for them, either in a fee of some sort (like a subscription), or as a built-in on the price of your car. You pay the price for a Benz, there is enough over-head added into the cost to keep up those high-end dealerships and premium road-side service. You pay for a low-end car, do NOT expect people to fall all over themselves to help you out - there isn't any money in it, and most people are not that charitable.
With AAA, I have had long waits (couple of hours), I have also had relatively short waits (45 minutes or less). For $60 a year, I don't expect a mobile machine shop to follow me around, waiting for a breakdown. But for that service, I have had vehicles moved many miles, have had my daughter bailed out of a flat tire situation on a rush-hour highway, have gotten vacation planning assistance, get a 10% discount at every hotel I stay in - I ain't *****ing about an hour or so wait for that price...