My family lives near Chicago, but my dad is originally from Virginia. We drive out to VA once a year to visit his family. Since we've made this trip so many times, we're quite efficient. We now always do the trip in one day. One year we drove out for about a five day vacation. We couldn't leave until the afternoon, so we decided to split the trip into two days. The first day is uneventful. We arrive at the hotel, sleep, and get up early the next morning to take off. Only to find that the power steering on our minivan is broken and my dad can barely turn the car back into the parking lot. we call Chrysler and they come to tow our car to a nearby dealership. My dad goes with them, and the rest of us go back to the hotel, where the people are kind enough to give us back our room while we wait.
A few hours later my dad returns with the car, saying it was a simple error that they fixed. We're all quite happy, and take off. After driving for about two hours, the power steering breaks again. We pull off the highway and stop at a little gas station. Once again we call Chrysler. They inform us they're sending out a tow truck, and it should be there pretty soon. After waiting for an hour or so, we called back. The person on the phone informed my mother that the tow truck should be there any minute; it's in southern Illinois. Um, what?! We were in Pennsylvania! My mother tells the woman this, and everything seems to be corrected. More time passes. The gas station closes. we decide to call back again, since we're beginning to worry we won't be able to get the car to a dealership before it closes. we are informed that the only way they can get a tow truck to us is if we have a zip code of where we are. No, the exit of the highway and nearest towns won't help at all. they need a zip code. Of course, we have no way of finding the zip code! The side of the road has no zip code marked on it, you'd think ROADSIDE assistance would know that.
My parents stay on the phone for ages, getting shuffled from person to person. By this point it's about 6PM, and we're really worried all the dealers will be closed. My mother tells this to the woman on the phone, who says, "why would they close so early? It's only 3!" Yes, in California it is only three. But we're in Pennsylvania. Finally we just give up and find a different tow truck company to tow us. We ended up making it to Virginia the next day, but we missed seeing one of my uncles who could only come in town for one day.
Possibly the worst service of all was their reluctance to reimburse us for our tow. (our car was still under warranty). It took an 'angry lawyer letter' from my dad for them to send us a reimbursement for the tow and the hotel (since the car should have been fixed the first time we took it in). I understand that shit happens. Cars break down, your family vacation gets shortened. It happens. But sending a tow truck to the wrong state, and then refusing to send one to the correct place because you have no zip code on the side of the road? bad service.