January 22, 2005
G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
General Motors Corporation
8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214
Dear Mr. Wagoner,
I am writing you this letter on behalf of my grandmother. She recently purchased a new Cadillac from our local dealer. The salesman advised her of the On-Star option and having seen the media blitz on television thought that at 68 years of age the option to be well worth the extra costs involved.
This is not however one of those fabulous testimonials, this is just the opposite! This is where your company is opening it's self up to a lawsuit, along with the On-star company brand, Cross Country Automotive Services and Roadrunner Roadside of Sacramento and its Independent Contractors.
My Grandmother had the unfortunate luck to run over a piece of debris in the road at 9pm after returning home from the church dinner. The result was a flat tire.
She felt comforted by the knowledge that she had the On-star system and used it to call for help. The dispatcher assured her that help was on the way and would arrive in 30 minutes or less.
She gets a call back 35-40 minutes later on her cell phone asking if the service provider has arrived by an automated system. She selects the "NO" option and is placed onto hold awaiting an dispatcher; however, do to high call volumes, she waits for 10 minutes before a dispatcher comes on line. The dispatcher calls over to the company "Roadrunner Roadside Assistance of Sacramento" only to find that they are running behind and her wait will be another 45 minutes.
Two and one half hours later a man pulls up behind my Grandmother in a beat up old car. This scares my Grandmother who calls me. The man comes to her window while I am on the phone with her and knocks on the window identifying himself as being from Cross Country Motor Club and that he is there to change her tire. He is not wearing a uniform, but dirty street clothes with holes in his jeans. I advised my Grandmother to stay in the car as I am now in my car driving to meet her. She releases the trunk latch to provide him access to the spare tire. I here the man say to my grandmother "Lady you need to come get this shit out of your trunk, I can't get to your spare tire!"
I tell my Grandmother to tell him to just leave, and to advise that driver that her Three big grandsons were on the way and they would help her. When the man hears this he tells her that he is going to get paid now since he has already jacked up the car, so he might as well finish the job. Against my wishes my Grandmother exited he vehicle to remove the items for the church potluck from her trunk and sets them down on the side of the road.
Would it really have been too much trouble for him to assist her and take the crock-pot and Tupperware out of the trunk himself?
She told the gentleman that she was on her way home from a church function, his demeanor changed and according to my grandmother he was a little more pleasant, but then began to share with her that he was going to church also, that it made him feel better about himself and looked especially good to his PROBATION OFFICER. This is scary to say the very least!!!
When she went to get back in the car the driver told her that it was safer for her to wait on the shoulder of the road with her stuff. ( Sounds unsafe to me! )
The man had the spare tire on and was tightening the bolts when I arrived. I was shocked to see the quality of help that was sent. The mans front windshield was all busted up, and the car was late 70's early 80's beat up looking with nothing to identify that he was with a GM roadside assistance, On-Star, Cross Country, nothing!!
I asked the man what company he worked for and he told me that he was in business for himself. I asked him who Cross Country was? He told me that they were a clearinghouse for Auto Manufactures and Insurance companies. That Roadrunner hires people like him to run around in there own cars to do jumpstarts, tire changes, unlock cars and deliver fuel.
When I asked him why they did not provide him with a truck so people would know that he was with a AAA service, he said that he was an independent contractor, and that he put rub on letters on the side of his car, but that they came off.
It is very frightening to think that with all the money spent on her new car, with all the money invested in advertising the On-star product, that your company decided to save a few dollars and work with Cross Country Automotive Services and Roadrunner Roadside of Sacramento. In checking with the Insurance Commissioners office and the State to file a complaint it appears that Roadrunner Roadside is not even licensed in California!
These two companies obviously do not share your same standards for excellence! We have no idea why this man was on probation- DO YOU??? Would you like for your Grandmother, or loved one to have this type of experience??
We will not recommend or use On-Star ever again! My Grandmother has enrolled in AAA's Roadside Assistance program where the standards of excellence and service still mean something!
I felt somewhat better after AAA advised us they do not use Cross Country or Roadrunner Roadside, but feel that there is probably a bigger problem or news story here. How many other people have had this same experience. How many other insurance companies subject themselves and their customers to Cross Country and Roadrunner?
I felt compelled to share this experience with you in hopes that you could investigate and make changes so that your customers would not have to deal with CROSS COUNTRY who has no standards when it comes to selecting companies for assistance and Roadrunner Roadside that has NO STANDARDS, NO ACTUAL EMPLOYEES and hires those who probably could not get employment with a LEGITIMATE COMPANY.
We have decided for our safety and piece of mind not to wait for you to fix the problem, but to go elsewhere and warn others to do the same!!!!
Cross Country Automotive Services One Cabot Road Medford, MA 02155Phone: 781-393-9300Fax: 781-395-6706
KCRA TV 3One Cabot Road Medford, MA 02155Phone: 781-393-9300Fax: 781-395-6706
FOX40 News, KTXL FOX404655 Fruitridge Road Sacramento, CA95820-5299News Fax (916)739-0559
United Press International,1510 H St. NW, Washington, D.C.20005
UPN 31 KMAX News Room500 Media Place, Sacramento, CA95815
Council of Better Business Bureaus4200 Wilson Blvd, Ste 800Arlington, VA
KOVR TV 132713 KOVR DR West Sacramento CA 95605(916) 374-1313
California Department of Insurance Consumer Communications Bureau300 South Spring Street, South Tower Los Angeles, CA 90013
KXTV News10P.O. Box 10Sacramento, CA 95812-0010
Sacramento County Business Licensing Unit- Fraud Division P.O. Box 508Sacramento, CA 95812-0508