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RE: [RC] heads up:)/"we've got you covered" if it seems too good to be true, it just might be - Karen Standefer

This is just not my experience  with them and I've had PLENTY!  I had a
"dud" truck for a while.  

On one trip, I had 2 horses, two dogs and two humans.  I was in Grants Pass
and my truck malfunctioned on I-5 only 5 miles out of town.  I was trying to
go to Seattle, but the gal with me was from Portland.  I had a 3 hr 8'
living quarters LOADED.  We called USRider and the first tow truck they sent
couldn't handle my truck/trailer, so we devised a new plan.  We would haul
the truck to the closest GM dealer in Portland, which was actually in
Wilsonville, 228 miles away.  And, they would haul the Living Quarters with
a separate tow truck to Karen's house in Beaver Creek, 250 miles away.  And,
then I would worry about getting back to Seattle from there.  It didn't cost
me a red dime! And, in the end, GM ended up paying my rental car and some
other misc. expenses that I had concerning the whole ordeal.  I don't have a
clue how much the towing costs.  And, it was on Jul 4, so everything was
closed and we couldn't make arrangements with the dealers.  We just had the
tow truck drop it off in good faith that the dealer would fix it when they

Another time my son had my truck when it incurred electrical problems (dead
as a door nail).  My son lives in Texas, I in Oregon, but he was here
visiting.  So, we don't even live together (he has a TX DL).  But, USRider
towed the truck 40 miles back to Medford to the auto repair and never
questioned a thing.  

In addition, they have fixed my son's vehicle on my plan when he was in
Texas.  I called the day he had troubles (he had gone to Austin and his
truck broke down).  They added him really quickly to my plan and then took
care of the whole thing.  

I can't tell you how many times they've towed that truck from my house to
the dealership before we figured out the electrical issues.  If I had been
them, I would have cancelled me!  


-----Original Message-----
From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ridecamp-
owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Laney Humphrey
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 9:41 AM
Cc: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [RC] heads up:)/"we've got you covered" if it seems too
good to be true, it just might be

John Teeter wrote:
just got a call from usRider.com -- we're going to hear a horror
story I
fear. Grains of Salt if you need em ...:)


      John, you couldn’t know it but you gave me the perfect heading
for this
little essay: “heads up.”  As for it being a horror story, you won’t
hear that from me;  that’s for the reader to decide.    However, I’m
sure it was my recent difference of opinion with him that Mr. Cole, the
Managing Member of USRider was referring to when he called you.  I’m
trying to horrify anyone; all I want to do is give the endurance
community a “heads up” about what their membership in USRider is buying
and what it is not.

      Last Tuesday, March 25th, I was returning home from the Cuyama XP
in Cuyama, CA.  I was about 1/3 of the way home when my truck died and
would not start again.  So, full of confidence that my problems would
solved, after all USRider’s slogan is “we’ve got you covered,” I called
and asked for help.  The woman who answered the phone did a wonderful
job in finding help.  She asked very appropriate questions, making sure
me and my horse were safe (we were) and then trying to figure out what
kind of help I needed.  From a previous incident I knew that she was
located far away (in Oklahoma City as it turns out) and probably knew
nothing about horses or hauling or trucks and trailers.  But she was
well trained in googling for help.  She talked with several roadside
assistance companies near me who all told her that my truck’s problem
wasn’t fixable “roadside” and that I needed to be towed.  That meant
finding a tower capable of hauling both my truck and LQ trailer with
horse aboard approximately 150 miles home.  She found one amazingly
close by.  Johnboy’s Towing quoted her a price which she relayed to me.
  It was well above the USRider limit per vehicle so I had to agree to
pay the rest, which I did.  A couple of hours later Dino and I were on
our way home pulled by a HUGE Peterbuilt that purred along the highway
as though it had nothing strung out behind it.  And that with 980,000
miles on the odometer (that right, folks, almost a million miles!).
Dino walked out of the trailer at 9:30 that night, having been in there
since noon.  Fortunately, no harm done.

      OK, that’s the back story.  However, the next morning, the truck
wouldn’t start.  And this is where Mr. Cole and I have differences of
opinion, so, endurance community: head’s up!

      When I called USRider after finding the truck was still needing a
my primary belief was that I still needed help and that’s what I
I was buying with my membership fee.  After all, “we’ve got you
covered,” right?  Well, the operator I spoke with told me that USRider
would not pay to have the truck towed again since it was part of the
original incident and they had already paid out their $400 per vehicle.
  I will shamefacedly admit that I expressed my frustration with the
company in language that a senior citizen raised as a southern lady
shouldn’t use.  As I told Mr. Cole, who saw fit to come on the line, in
my opinion, the company uses false advertising: “we’ve got you
  In my case, they chose to cover me only once and only for $400.

      Small sidetrack: I had also called State Farm where I have all my
homeowners and vehicle insurance.  The agent, without blinking at eye,
said they would cover the balance of my towing charges.  And, also
without blinking an eye, she agreed to pay to get the truck towed to
repair facility.  Now that’s coverage!        And that’s why I’ve been a
for well over 20 years.

      Back to USRider.  Being a curious person just trying to
what I was getting for my money, I called the USRider administrative
office and asked if USRider would have paid to have the truck towed for
repairs if I had waited, say a week to request help.  The answer I got
was “yes.”  Then I asked, “how about 3 days?” “Yes.”  “Two days?” “Yes”
but I got "no" to my next day request.  When I spoke with Mr. Cole, I
asked him the same questions and got the same answers.   “We’ve got you

      Another small sidetrack: during Tevis, 2006, my truck developed
mechanical problems when I was again far away from home.  USRider
me get the problem solved, although it took quite a bit of negotiating.
  As a result, after me and my truck & rig were all home safe and
I offered to Mr. Cole to go over the USRider Service Contract from the
point of view of a member because I believed that there were numerous
ambiguously worded statements.   He not only agreed, but seemed pleased
by my offer.   I spent many hours doing that and emailed 7 pages of
comments to Mr. Cole.  He thanked me and assured me that USRider’s
department was revising the service contract based on what I had
written.  I never heard anything more.

      Now I find myself once again with an interpretation of the extent
services and coverage offered by the Service Contract that differs from
USRIder's.   Under the heading “Emergency Road Services,” the towing
section reads:
      “When your vehicle cannot be started or driven, the vehicle
and/or your
horse trailer will be towed up to 100 miles free ($400 maximum per
vehicle, per incident) to the destination of your choice by one of our
authorized tow trucks.”

      “one hundred miles free ($400 per vehicle…”) – when do the
start, at the beginning of the tow or after the 100 free miles?
According to the phone answerer I spoke with on Saturday, the wording
should really be : “100 miles OR $400, whichever comes first.”  So, the
first 100 miles is only free if it costs less than $400 and the charges
really do start with mile 0.

      “Per incident” is not defined in the above statement but, from my
experiences, USRider does have a working definition: two calls within 2
days for the same vehicle, same issue equals “same incident.”  Would
USRider have covered any other kind of need on my truck except towing
I’d called the next day?

      Enough of picky details (although I’d be glad to email privately
my 7
pages of comments to anyone who’s interested.  Email me privately,

      As those of you who’ve read my book, “Choosing a saddle for
and long distance riding,” know, my purpose in life is to spread good
information around and to help people make well informed decisions.
Hey, I am a retired librarian.  So here, my purpose isn’t to horrify
anyone.  It is to give my friends in the endurance community a big
UP about equestrian focused roadside assistance.

      Another part of the Service Contract we should all keep in mind
under “Definitions.”   In plain language the Primary Member is the
person “named on the application.  An Associate Member can be a spouse
or dependent child.  So far, so good.   In the paragraph starting “the
benefits and services,” it states that “ the motorized vehicle, as
defined, must be operated or occupied by a Member of the Plan at the
time of disablement.” So, I urge USRider members to be aware that your
vehicle is not covered if you are not in it

      Are you horrified?  My guess is that you’re bored.  In conclusion
I’ll say is that if you are already a member, familiarize yourself with
the service contract and if you have questions, call USRider.  And if
you ever need assistance, make sure you understand the extent of
assistance you’ll be getting.  If you’re considering joining, ask to
a copy of the service contract before sending in your money.   And, on
final note, Mark Cole, the Managing Member of the USRider LLC chose to
kick me out, as his way of dealing with our disagreements over
interpretations of the Service Contract  and a friend has told me that
Dave Rabe is having similar difficulties getting USRider to live up to
their service contract.    So, endurance community,  HEADS UP!


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Re: [RC] heads up:)/"we've got you covered" if it seems too goodto be true, it just might be, Laney Humphrey