Nationwide Roadside Assistance….not on my side so much…

That expression in the first pic was me on Friday night.

SuperVan picked up a nail in a tire while I was rolling towards Philly, lost pressure, and then had a major sidewall blow out. My destination was the G3 concert in Philly…I was meeting friends there.

This is an example of the fine humor of the evening. I was already waiting between two and three hours because Nationwide Insurance’s Roadside Assistance service just botched things over and over again. So finally, the guy with the tow truck calls me to say he was on his way. In fact, he was only 10 minutes away. AWESOME! Thank you Scott, the tow truck driver. But then, during the call, he goes silent, says something incoherent….and then goes, “I just got a flat tire. I have to call for another truck.”

I’m talking to a friend via messenger while trying to warm up in my van. He’s floored; “You can’t be serious.”

Literally, I cannot make this shit up if I tried. The tow truck driver just got a flat tire.”

So, yes, the previous pic is a good representation of me in my van, on Friday at 8:30 pm near the Philly International Airport, right off 95N.

Thankfully I was able to limp the van to an overpass to shelter from the snow and weather. But the tire was done. No amount of fix a flat would have brought that tire back from a 3 inch hole in the sidewall. Plus the tire was literally smoldering because I ran it farther than I wanted to limping SuperVan to the safest spot I could find to do a tire change in a snowstorm. I hated to do it, but it really was necessary. Thankfully, the rim was just fine. 🙂




Note the time stamps in that text conversation.



I actually called Roadside at 8:33, something happened on that call which was not a successful connection after 8 minutes. I tried again at 8:43, and spent 18 minutes on that call.

I’m still stranded under the overpass when I took the GPS pic, trying to help my friends understand where I was located. Note the time stamp.

This was the weather that night.

Through bungled comms with Roadside (like roadside’s automated calling service hanging up on me a few times after I selected a choice I needed from their “menu” and then a canceled service request happened that I never requested)…all of this was followed by the wrecker getting a flat. Let’s see time stamps on how that all unfolded as my friends check on me from the concert via text…

I call Roadside AGAIN at 10:16 because their automated system canceled my service call by accident. However, despite the call being canceled through no fault of mine, I was thrown back into a VERY long queue. I finally got a text from the company with an estimated time of arrival. Again, note the time stamps.

This text has the ETA of the first tow truck (Scott with the flat tire). So then they called for another tow truck.

I was finally on my way again between 12 midnight and 1 am on Saturday morning. (Oh yeah, now I was pissed because I had COMPLETELY missed the concert AND I had been waiting for roadside for over 3.5 hours, in a winter storm.) By the time the second wrecker reached me, I had unmounted the spare, lit magnesium flares and placed a plastic road hazard triangle, taken a pen knife and made fingerless gloves out of a thick pair of wool socks so I could work, gone through my overnight bag and put on more layers to stay warm, and jacked up the van. I was stopped by 1) a loss of endurance due to the cold weather and 2) lug nuts that couldn’t move. Believe me, I searched all over the van to create a breaker bar out of anything I could find. I almost wished I had a drumming gig that night…drum hardware can be an awesome breaker bar in a pinch. No go.

That being said, the second driver arrived not knowing any of the bungled calls and incidents from earlier in the night. He was upset and shocked I had been waiting since 8:30 pm. Clearly that was beneath his standard for service that should have been provided.

Thanks Nationwide. Clearly, you are on my side. #sarcasm #nationwideroadside #nationwide #nationwidefail

Yes, they will be getting a letter from me detailing the calls and what happened. Their service provider for their Roadside Assistance was not up to par last Friday.

That being said…to balance the good with the bad…a shout out and kudos to Walmart Tire and Auto Department in Bensalem. The road hazard plan for their tires is $10. You buy the plan when you purchase a tire from them. So, the tire was a little over a year old. The folks at Bensalem gave me an all new tire for FREE and just charged me a minimal cost for mounting. Bonus; my hometown Walmart Tire and Auto folks took the time over the phone to answer my questions and look up info since I was 4 hours away from home. #kudos

I took the money saved and bought a better lug wrench (with a breaker bar), more flares, more fix a flat and a 2.5 ton low profile jack. Because this shit isn’t happening again. I will own that my tools to deal with the situation were the “stock” tools in the vehicle. I usually upgrade them…I hadn’t done that. That oversight is taken care of.

However, the reaction of the second driver pretty much said it all; you were out here FAR too long once you called for help. That part is NOT on me. #nationwideinsuranceroadside

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