Monday, May 10, 2010

Roadside Assistance On Your Smartphone

Roadside assistance service is something every driver needs and many probably already have in the form of a telephone membership.  But, now there is App for that!  The service has been updated with GPS location capability.  Allstate Roadside Services in partnership with BMW have developed what appears to be the first personalized smartphone application. The Roadside Assistance smartphone App is free to download and works on iPhones, BlackBerries and Android phones.  In fact, it comes as a free service with new BMW’s but can also be purchased for an annual subscription on used BMW's.

For the consumer, this means an expedited handling of an inquiry, especially if in an emergency.  Unlike a regular phone call where you might be hanging on the line and have to explain the problem and your location, the smartphone App has an easy menu interface so the driver can immediately log the issue with a few keystrokes.  For example: “out of fuel”, “battery”, “flat tire”, “locked out”, “mechanical”, “accident”,  etc.

In addition, the GPS technology determines a callers location and connects to the nearest available service provider.  With VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) already registered into the system, it makes for quicker diagnosis by the service provider.  Once the inquiry is logged into the system, the driver even gets an ETA transmitted back. 

Other features of this App include concierge services as well as keeping the customer informed with service reminders from BMW.  Other roadside assistant providers such as AAA, also have a smartphone App but only available on the iPhone at present.

If you are reluctant to purchase a smartphone, this application alone makes it worth the consideration.  


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