Bruno Truck Repair-AAA Tow Agent – Ludlow Vermont

Bruno Truck Repair-AAA Tow Agent AAA Tow Agent Leaves Members Dangerously Stranded! Ripoff Rutland Vermont!!

Report- Letter Contents Below Explains: January 18,2007 AAA Northern New England Attn: Tom Kinley PO Box 3544 Portland,Maine 04104 RE: *AAA Member Hardship Complaint*- Hank McGrath {mem.#93495627 0}, Kayla C. Drinwater {mem.#93495627 6} Dear District Management: It is imperative that we share with your office an uneccesary recent “HARDSHIP” experience we have endured as new members of AAA Northern New England. Both,Kayla Drinwater and I(Hank McGrath) are investigative reporters for local news and while travelling in our 1993 Chrysler Concorde with our cameraman,Jason Knight,onto Route 4 out of Rutland(towards NYS)the morning of Saturday,January 13,2007 we hit a large patch of “black ice” and after numerous WILD turn abouts while barely missing traffic on either side and behind us our vehicle left the road and down a small embankment several feet below. Noone was injured,the car seemed ok,we were just stuck in semi-frozen mud. The weather was wet with slight freezing rain off and on and very cold temperatures. We immediately relayed calls to both the Vermont State Police and AAA with the help of several people who stopped and witnessed our distress. About a half an hour later a tow truck from Bruno’s Truck Repair in Rutland,VT arrived,we were easily winched out in a couple minutes. The driver worked rather quickly without ever talking with us or asking our membership,etc. (Never even said “hello” or asked if anyone was hurt). Then had me sign a reciept. I started the car right away and noticed steam comming out and the temperature gauge was about on “H”. The tow driver was about to drive away(!) when I immediately ran to truck and asked if we could be towed to a local car repair shop and he asked where…I stated “L&D Automotive on Howe St.,in Rutland”,which was less than 5 miles away. The tow driver stated that that would be an additional service with a charge to us BUT he could get the charge waived by his boss if we towed the car to Bruno’s Truck Repair in Rutland,VT. I replied nicely that I would like the car towed to L&D Automotive and if he could not could I be towed to the AAA parking lot which is right on N. Main St.in Rutland less than a couple miles away… He said “he could not tow us to any other BUSINESS but Bruno’s Truck Repair without charging us nomatter how close it was and that Bruno’s could have us up and running in no time”. I then asked in a good tone if maybe the tow driver could tow the car (with the female reporter safely in the tow truck cab)several hundred feet to the turnaround ahead and bring the car back to the entrance of route 4 right down the street. He said he could tow the car but not anyone else,that we would have to walk back towards the entrance and then cross the roadway to the car on the other side. Given the option of having them walk against the traffic,the ice-rain and the sheer possibility they would be hit by any other vehicle comming towards them and hitting ice at 65 mph – I WAS LEFT SPEECHLESS! Upon the request to tow to the turnaround I had already graciously given the tow driver $15.00 cash with only $53.00 left between the three of us. He drove away leaving us and our disabled vehicle there on the side of the highway and,himself,took the very same turnaround up ahead back to Rutland a quarter of a mile down the highway. Again,I can assure you there was no ill feelings or disgruntled behavior. This all just happened quickly as I have explained – all in a matter of maybe ten minutes at most. With the car already overheating and possible further damage to car by driving it,as well as both weather/road conditions extremely icy and dangerous,we made our way several miles to the next exit with flashers on and prayers! We took the West Rutland exit and immediately pulled off into the Price Chopper nearby,spoke with management for permission to leave the disabled vehicle in their parking lot and made our trek on foot in freezing rain and icy conditions to Rutland where we eventually made contact with a friend,Jody McKirryher,who resides in Ludlow,VT(30 miles away)and who made the dangerous and troublesome drive to pick us up! The very next day(Sunday)we called AAA in Rutland,VT. to leave a messege of the circumstances and to complain about the tow truck operation which conflicts with AAA agreement and membership. The following day(Monday) we recieved a call from Mr. Ron Brooks of the Rutland,VT. AAA office in response to our complaint. He was extremely helpful,concerned and gave us immediate assistance by having us call T&D Services,Ted & Dixie Sheloski,2402 West Rd.,West Rutland,VT.,(802)235-2432 – For an immediate tow from Price Chopper in West Rutland to where we needed the car. We had fear the car could still be incidently towed from the parking lot,especially after such inclimate weater and a snow storm comming so we had to call Price Chopper management each day(for three days). Mr. Brooks did not hesitate to be concerned nor to doubt our circumstances regarding the Bruno’s service. He said he would delete our Bruno’s Tow Experience from our AAA records. Throughout,he relayed calls to us and to T&D Services to insure our resolve as we ventured to return during more below zero weather to the stranded vehicle. But,it does not end here… Upon our arrival to the Price Chopper in West Rutland (seconds later and moments after we had called the L&D Services tow driver that we were almost there) a flatbed from Bruno’s Truck Services arrived into parking lot,slowly drove at an angle towards us and then slowly passed us staring at us hard as we did not acknowledge him. He turned around and parked in a large open space about two parking isles from us watching us. We felt both intimidated and concerned. How did they know our car was there? Why did they arrive? To tow our car out of there to some station because we complained about them a half an hour before?! Or were they attempting to steal another companies tow? Moments later after we cleaned off the heavy glaze of ice from the car,T&D flatbed arrived as did a T & D company truck with the owner,Ted Sheloski. They immediately got out to help us,talked with us,comforted us,explained the service to us and even apologized for AAA as your representative. We instantly felt gratitude and appreciation for their professionalism and friendliness! We immediately pointed out the Bruno’s flatbed two isles away which at that very moment we all looked started to drive away around the back of Price Chopper and onto the main road. The T&D staff calmly explained they have suffered serious problems with Bruno’s literally stealing tow jobs and other unethical difficulties from Bruno’s against T&D Services and other small companies. They assured us that Bruno’s practice is not acceptable and that although T&D has only worked with AAA for about a year now they are proud to be working with AAA and that they give the customer and AAA member the kind of service they would personally expect if in the same emergency situation. Our car was taken by T&D flatbed to a residence about 7.2 miles away at no extra charge with an excellence of service your AAA Northern New England office would be proud of! Kayla Drinwater even rode in the flatbed cab to show the driver the exact drop off locale and our troubles created by the poor and suspicious service of Bruno’s Truck Repair in Rutland,VT. was instantly lightened because of the sincere service of T&D Services. Mr. Brooks of AAA in Rutland,VT. called us the very next day(Tues.16th)to insure all is well with us which we deeply appreciate. At present,because of low personal funds,we have decided to have our friend,Rick(a mechanic),repair our vehicle during the days that follow and will seek out possible use of a friends vehicle to complete our reporting tasks,as well as our local tv documentary productions…We were unable to take advantage of AAA car rental offers because of our funds restricted to the immediate car repair. That is the gist of our experience and although we have no qualms with AAA(Thanks to the fine service of T&D Services in West Rutland and the guidance and assistance by Mr. Brooks of AAA in Rutland)-We are prone to begin reporter notes for an investigative segment on Bruno’s Truck Repair of Rutland,Vermont. We thank you and your office for taking the time and concern with the membership service issues in question and would appreciate your positive reponse on the AAA experience. We also would like to stress the concern for the safety of other members who may suffer these same circumstances and risk to their safety and well being that Bruno’s may cause in their greater interest to “make a buck” over and above the service to AAA members…attempting to profit at the cost of a members terrible hardship! Last but not least,PLEASE acknowledge the fine service of Mr. Brooks and T&D Services of West Rutland. They have pulled through for AAA and changed the course of what could have been a more disasterous membership experience. Respectfully yours, Ludlow,Vermont AAA Northeastern NewEngland Members Hank Ludlow, VermontU.S.A.

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