Key to the City Roadside Assistance Review

Here is a complaint (finally resolved) on KTTC – Key to the City Roadside Assistance ( program which has been featured on many daily deal websites across Canada like WagJag, SwarmJam, Groupon with a deal:

$48 for a One-Year Membership to the Roadside 24/7 Peace of Mind Emergency Assistance Program from Key to the City (a $149 Value)

So far, the customer lost this membership cost, a lot of time, and ~$300 on alternative help because this company refused to help when they were needed the most. Some more details below.

It was a beautiful Sunday on Sept 18, 2011 until Key to the City Roadside Assistance darkened it…

Our car had an unexpected breakdown in Toronto Distillery District, and could not be started. We had so called “peace of mind” – Key to the City Roadside Assistance which was valid since August, 2011 with expiration date in almost 11 monts:

Key to the City - Policy

So I called their 24-hour emergency phone line at (888) 922-3557, described the situation and asked for help – towing to my repair facility. But the representative informed me that the policy has been cancelled! No reason, just cancelled. I’ve asked many question to figure out why, when, who, what should I do… But the verdict was the same: “Your policy is cancelled, we will not dispatch any truck for you“.

It was a Sunday. So basically they told me to stay at the street overnight until their customer service reopens on Monday, and maybe they will figure out what had happened to the policy.

The first expense was for a taxi – $60. I had to send my family home first to keep them safe, because I could not imagine how everything ends up.

Key to the City - Ticket Receipt

Then I’ve tried to figure out the reason of a breakdown – unfortunately no luck. All car repair shops were closed as well. And I had to search for alternative help in order to get towed North. While I was away from my car, I got a $30 ticket for parking on a permit street which I’ve already paid at Toronto Parking Tag Operations. I went there in order to dispute it, but they could not cancel the ticket because it was on a permit street (as they explained).

Key to the City - Ticket Receipt

Finally after several phone calls the tow truck has been dispatched and the guy did everything right and professionally. Thanks a lot to him!!!

Here is a towing bill for $180:

Key to the City - Towing Receipt

So, the total expenses due to Key to the City refusing their own valid policy were $270 + a lot of wasted time.

I’ve contacted the company the next day after the incident. They replied with apologies that the policy showed “cancelled” because their system was being upgraded.

I don’t know… It is a real system involving customers time and money, and it is so unreliable?!

However they asked me if I still need a truck (yes, I’m living at the street for two days…) or used another truck company, so I can send them bill for reimbursement. I did send all these three receipts to Key to the City. But have not been reimbursed yet. It is October 17, 2011 now – almost one month after the incident. I’ve sent them reminders, they used to reply initially but with huge delays, now they don’t reply since Oct 12…


We will definitely post updates if the customer receives the reimbursement.

The reaction from the merchant looks very similar like time killers from other companies like Gladius International, The Butchers, etc. The reason could be waiting for deal companies to transfer money to the merchant, or preparing future deals with more deal companies.

Trueler does not accuse “Key to the City Roadside Assistance” program in any kind of fraud or scam yet, let’s wait for resolution of the above case and

if anyone already had experience with them, please share!

Let’s take a closer look at the company:

  • There are absolutely no reviews on “Key to the City Roadside Assistance” company in the Internet
  • They offer 24/7 roadside assistance. It’s not true: the customer had to wait overnight until open hours on Monday at the street in order to talk to representative who is able to dispatch a truck
  • Unlimited service calls for towing. It’s not true. From their policy which they send after purchase there is a statement: “Roadside Assistance service is limited to one (1) use in any 72 hour period during the twelve (12) month coverage period”
  • They have just re-designed their website. For more deals? They have time to do this, but don’t have time to work with upset customer?!

We need more experience. Please share! So far, this company does not look good at all. I would avoid it.

Update as of Oct 19, 2011

After reading this post, Key to the City assured customer that cheque has been mailed on Oct 19. This is the summary of conversation between customer and roadside assistance:

Sep 18 – Breakdown in Toronto. “Key to the City” roadside assistance refused to honor valid policy because it showed “canceled” in the system
Sep 19 – Customer: sent information about the incident to “Key to the City”
Sep 19 – Roadside: sorry for inconvenience. Provided Ottawa phone number to contact them
Sep 19 – Customer: asked to figure out what happened and resolve issue by e-mail
Sep 20 – Customer: sent reminder since no responce
Sep 20 – Roadside: apologised. Informed that it happened due to “system upgrade”. Offered customer to send tow bill for reimbursement
Spe 21 – Customer: sent bill and receipt
Sep 23 – Customer: sent reminder since no responce
Sep 28 – Customer: sent another reminder
Sep 29 – Roadside: promised to send cheques on Oct 3-4 (begining of the week)
Oct 12 – Customer: no cheques received. Send a note asking to check
Oct 12 – Roadside: Will check, and get back to the customer
Oct 14 – Customer: sent reminder since no responce
Oct 17 – This article has been published on
Oct 19 – Customer: sent another reminder
Oct 19 – Roadside: informed customer that cheque was in Oct 19’th mail

One month already passed… We will post an update if customer receives reimbursement from the company.


Oct 24 – The customer received a cheque from Key to the City! With reimbursement for towing, taxi, and ticket.

25 thoughts on “Key to the City Roadside Assistance Review”

  1. Looks like key to the city has a new provider to provision there service, 100% working and 100% now satisfied. I recommend getting this service to everyone who had complaints for sure would be satisfied with them.

  2. Key to the city on top of my refund gave me a free year of a best auto membership they have that covers any car im driving, that made me really very satisfied. This company only need to be on top of things like they did with me and honestly no to offend anyone who had complaints but they were well spoken,polite,wanted to help my issue and just honest business trying making things right just making a living like you an me. Special thanks to key to the city, my hat is off to you for fixing the issue.

  3. I spoke to Key to the City. They resolved the problem in a a professional way , refunded me for all expenses and i decided to keep the membership and give them a chance. Had i waited a little longer they would of showed up. Key to the city is actually very good because of there professional way of taking care of my issue wich in reality was just to make sure they have my membership on file. The proboem was im in canada and the provider was in the states wich caused some confusuion. I will try KTTC for another year and im sure it will work out fine.

  4. Hi everyone, I got KTTC and regret it, i am a member and tried using the service 2 times, they didn’t come 1 time so i had to pay $100 towing out of pocket then another timer had to call another source. Both times they couldn’t find my policy both times they had to look for it for over 30 min then finally got it both times but i never ended up gettting the service they took way too long to come waited over 1 hour then another provider passed by ended up paying them. Do not I repeat do not ever get this service you will live to regret it. I have been calling and complaining left messages but no one ever responce ,i just want re be refunded and paid back.

  5. Today I received an offer from Rogers Mobile Offers, and I decided to do a bit of research on KTTC and found Trueler. I have read so many online reviews of various companies and I have always read them with a “grain of salt”. I have to say that the immature attitude of the KTTC exec closed the deal and I will *not* be purchasing a membership.

  6. I side with the website, Tueler, simply because of the timing when KTTC decided to issue the re-imbursement check. It certainly could be a coincidence; however, the summary of contacts suggest that the company had to be hounded by the customer. Coincidence that the check was issued after Tueler got involved??? Personally I think not. I went to the Tueler webside because I also was considering KTTC’s $45 Kijiji promo. I’ll go with CAA, too. Thanks Tueler. As for KTTC, my advise would be to have your “executives” respond a little more quickly with refund checks in future if you want people to trust your service. And, by the way, I also cancelled the Kijiji daily promo emails. If these are the kind of vendors they’re promoting, thanks but NO THANKS.

  7. I came to this site not to discuss other companies …
    I simply didn’t like how the attitude was created by one review…Regarding resolving this problem nobody would know
    the reason…Maybe it toked some time to check everything and to approve… You know how insurance company works … Sometime it takes month to solve problems…
    And one more thing, when everything is good no one tells about it…In place of the author of this post maybe I would do same thing we don’t know all the facts.
    Time will show.

  8. Hi Roman,

    If you have complaints about other companies you had problems with, you are welcome to post it on this website. Preferably with proofs. Do you have some?

    No one is perfect – agreed. But the whole point of this complaint is not that accidental problem happened to KTTC’s provider on the breakdown day, but the fact how KTTC responded. Reputable company should resolve it quickly and make things right. But “Key to the City” did not do anything (except for promises) until this review appeared in the Internet, i.e. for a month… It shows company’s attitude to one of their customers. Possibly they treat customers differently… Take a chance… It’s your choice.


  9. As I said no one is perfect …
    And believe me other companies also had problems, but they where not posted …
    If I where in place of this customer I also would have bad opinion, but if we look abstractedly we understand that opinion of multi client company can’t be made only from one opinion…

  10. I don’t think we can call the problem resolved in full. The customer wasted a lot of time and nerves on the breakdown day and after that paying for ticket and trying to get some response from Key to the City. He was not compensated by KTTC for it…


  11. Hi…
    Today I bought Silver Package from Key to the City…I payed for it 45$+tx they have now discount on all their packages.
    I didn’t used their service before but I think that opinion to company can’t be created only from one review in internet.
    And in any case problem was solved. As I understood this is growing company maybe they doesn’t have so big experience like CAA but believe me that there are no perfect companies.
    So I will stay with them…Will see what will be in future…

  12. I am glad that I did internet research before buying KTTC membership. I guess you get what you pay for. It really seems worth paying the higher price to CAA. Thanks Trueler!!

  13. First and foremost, I agree that much of the back and forth, he said, she said in the above emails is childish and immature. I see a web forum (trueler) presenting “facts”, not without a little sarcasm and attitude, and a company executive trying to defend, not without a little sarcasm and attitude, his/her company.

    Bottom line, issues arise, mistakes are made. I believe that the situation that befell the gentleman in question was indeed unfortunate. However, I also believe that Key To The City tried to rectify the situation as best they could. I am not taking sides, but I must admit that I am a member of the KTTC club and I have had no issues to date. I have an old VW Jetta and it has had to be towed on a few occasions and I have been pleased with the service I recieved from KTTC. I didn’t really want to get involved in this discussion, but I guess I felt KTTC was being slammed a little hard. It seems that only those that have negative things to say are posting on this site. I just wanted to post my positive experiences and hope that others who have benefitted from this service will, perhaps step forward and do the same.

    In the end, any intelligent and conscientious consumer will do their due diligence. Thus coming to an informed decision. Do your homework, research, call KTTC as the executive in question offers. I will not suggest that this site is not valid, but I would suggest that anyone who is thinking about purchasing this product, not rely solely on this site alone for information.

    Thanks to Trueler for providing this venue and allowing for discussions such as this to occur. Also, thanks to Key To The City for providing me and my family roadside assistance and so much more!

  14. Thanks to the person who highlighted the issue faced by him from KTTC. I was planning of buying their membership as I saw an attractive deal on a website, but I guess its worth to pay the higher price to CAA.
    Thanks buddy for being properly descriptive….

  15. Why would someone chose “key to the city” over CAA that has North American Coverage? and unlimited service calls (as far as I know?).
    And a 24 hour service line VS one that is open business hours?

    You can usually get trip cancelation from your credit card- I have just travel insurance through Visa and it is $60 for the year for any trip 14 days and under- not trip cancelation, but can add that as an extra.

    I have had to use my insurance twice in the US- and never any issues finding a doctor…actually Visa found one for me!

  16. My family and I are driving to Walt Disney World in March from Toronto. I wanted to purchase this deal to save a little extra money. All the extras offered such as…
    * Everyday show and save

    * Restaurants & Bars
    * Sports & Recreation
    * Health & Beauty
    * Automotive
    * Services
    * Major Attractions

    * Exclusive on-line shopping
    * Travel benefits and discount
    * Key-find program
    * Deal buys (purchase gift certificates at 50% off!)
    * Monthly contests
    * Automotive Service Discounts
    * Medicine discount card (save 50% at over 51,000 pharmacies Nationwide)
    * 24/7 Roadside Assistance, North American coverage, including

    * 24-hour dispatch emergency towing service
    * 24-hour dispatch emergency road service
    * 24-hour dispatch extraction & winching
    * 24-hour dispatch emergency delivery of supplies
    * 24-hour dispatch tire service
    * 24-hour dispatch emergency battery service
    * 24-hour dispatch lockout service
    * Map routing service
    * Trip interruption coverage (I really like this)
    * Towing distance included in SILVER package – 15 miles/25 kilometers per tow
    * 4 service calls per year
    are very tempting. However, after reading this complaint and having had a bad experience with product from a “coupon” site already, and the fact that I will be traveling with young children out of Country, I have decided that I too, will stick with CAA.

  17. @Calgarian: The cheque has been received after a big hassle as stated at the bottom of this post in “Update” paragraph.


  18. Do you have any updates on this? Was the cheque ever received? KTTC has another promotion on Kijiji Deals and would like purchase, but if they have not sent a response, that would deter me from buying as it would show me poor customer service.

  19. Key, you write: “We handled all calls we received as best we could.”

    I had previously been tempted to purchase your service but, after reading how you handled the above situation with your stranded customer, as well as observing your snarky, childish attitude in your conversation with Trueler, I am glad I did a little research on your company before buying.

    You seem quite immature and, if this was your “best” service, it is quite pathetic. I am inclined to think that not just a few of your other customers have also had substandard treatment at the hands of your company, so I will stick with tried and true CAA.

  20. We already came to the source – the customer. In most cases business and customer have different views on the situation. “Anyone can write anything they like” in the Internet – it’s true. And you are not an exception, by the way. But here are the facts:

    1) Roadside assistance representative on Sep 18 advised the customer to call to the customer service in order to figure out why the policy was cancelled and provided the number, and also advised that it was most likely closed because it was Sunday. However the customer tried to call on that day. The call has not been forwarded anywhere.

    2) Thanks for sending cheque and apologies to the customer, even after a month… Sometimes later is better than never. We will update when cheque is received. You was assuring customer that compensation is on the way for a long time already…

    3) Key to the City was aware of the problems with roadside assistance provider for at least one month, but sent a note to the customers to use different 24-hours emergency assistance line only now – Oct 20. So, the customers had to deal with problematic provider for over a month. Did I miss anything here?

    You’ve chosen really bad providers and suppliers for roadside assistance, compensation services, call forwarding, customers notification system, since you had multiple issues with them which affect customers. It may easily happen again in future (I hope it won’t). Your existing and potential customers should know what has already happened.


  21. Correction in above (second to last)paragraph:

    We have been in business for 6+ years, partnered with major corporations and businesses. Like I said, sometimes unforseen problems arise and you deal with them as best you can.

  22. In response to Trueler,
    Why are you even assuming you know what happened even though you were never any part of the circumstances. As I said, we forwarded all lines from our head office to our phones. Unfortunately, if people phoned the provider and were not given our head office number (as they were instructed to do), then we could not help them. As previously mentionned, there was a situation with our provider that was unforseen (as are most problems…you don’t expect them to happen). We handled all calls we received as best we could.
    In response to the fact that the cheque went out after reading your post, don’t flatter yourself, the cheque was already in the mail. The delay in the processing occured because we were assured by our supplier that cheques were going out earlier. Unfortunately, with problems also come more headaches.
    As previously mentionned, and as discussed with the customer in question, there was never any intention on our part not to compensate him. We understand that he may have run out of patience waiting for his cheque and we have already apologized for that.
    We have been in business for 6+ years, partnered with major corporations and businesses. This seems to be a ve Like I said, sometimes unforseen problems arise and you deal with them as best you can.
    Our main concern is our customers and their safety and satisfaction. We are sorry for the inconvenineces that this customer suffered. We have rectified them.

    As previously mentionned, if anybody has any issues or concerns, they are welcomed to call us at 1-877-554-5450. The problem with the internet is that anyone can write anything they like. Please, if you have concerns, come right to the source and contact us by phone. We will be happy to speak to you.

  23. @Key to the City:

    1. There is absolutely nothing slanderous in this information. It is an experience of your customer

    2. The customer has not received any compensation yet. One month passed after that incident though…

    3. The cheque has been mailed only on Oct 19 (as you assured the customer – see update in the article) right after you read this post, right?

    4. You wrote in comment: “As a matter of fact, we went as far as having all phones forwarded on weekends and evenings to a company executive to ensure that all issues and problems were handled immediately”.

    But it’s not true… Why do you say that? Key to the City 24/7 emergency phone line refused to provide any service to the customer leaving him at the street.


  24. We were very dismayed to see this post on your website. Without any investigation or communications with us, you decided to post slanderous information about our company and our service. We are absolutely responsible for the unfortunate situation that occured with the above customer. A situation which was discussed with the customer immediately after it happened and he was assured that he would be compensated for his expenses and unthinkable inconveniences.
    Unfortunately, an unforseen and unexpected situation that was totally our of (Key to the City’s control)arose with our provider and we were unable to reverse the problem immediately. The customers cheque has been mailed out and he has been compensated in full.
    Upon learning about the problems occuring with our old provider, we immediately embarked on a road to rectify the situation. Of course, like anything, this did happen overnight. However, during the time that we were rectifying our situation with our old provider and esablishing a new provider, Key to the City took every possible measure to ensure that all members were helped out with any roadside problems that arose. As a matter of fact, we went as far as having all phones forwarded on weekends and evenings to a company executive to ensure that all issues and problems were handled immediately.
    In response to one of your comments about our website being redeveloped, this has absolutely nothing to do with any of the roadside issues. This website had started to be redesigned long ago,by a third party website contractor. Keeping up with the populations expectations of internet websites takes continuous improvements in order to provide the best of service and user friendliness. As a matter of fact, our new programs offer more savings, values and programs to our valuable customers than ever before, and this will always be improving as we continue to strive to provide additional services for our Key to the City members.
    We hope this clears up any misgivings, issues or concerns about Key to the City and our roadside program. We have absolutely nothing to hide and would be pleased to take any calls from anybody with questions or concerns about this…or toll free number is 1-877-554-5450.

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