Get towed, not conned.
Get towed, not conned.
Tow trucks – if ever there was a grudge use of a service, this is it. No one ever wants to have to make use of a tow truck, but sometimes it is unavoidable.
What is unfortunate is that amongst the reputable tow service companies out, there are some devious sharks who are out to con you or take advantage of you. These individuals or companies will dupe you into paying far more for a their services thant you should, and they do it in a number of ways.
Here are some examples:
When you are in an accident, they rush to the scene to be the first one there. Then they pressure you into making use of them, telling you that you need to unblock traffic or something along those lines. You let them hook your car up to their truck, they tow it away and you find out it's going to cost you a fortune to get it back.
The less honourable tow truck services out there charge exorbitant storage fees for your car. Between the time that it takes for they tow it and your insurance company agreeing to pay the repair bill and the tow truck delivering your vehicle s it to the workshop, a bill of thousands can rack up.
"We're on your insurer's list, we promise!"
Your insurance company will have a list of accredited towing services that they trust and that they will pay for. If you use one of these, you most likely won't have to pay anything for the tow.
If you use an unaccredited towing service, your insurance probably won't pay. If they do, they might pay a small portion of the overall cost.
The problem is that the dodgy towers know all of this, so they try to play you. It goes like this:
You're in a crash. You're unsettled and not thinking straight. A tow truck driver runs up to you, acting concerned. He says not to worry, he will sort it all out. He asks who you are insured with and says he has their claims centers number. He makes a call and hands you the phone. The guy on the other end, from the ‘claims center’, says that there is no problem – 'such and such' towing is on their system and you can go ahead with the tow.
Later, you find that the 'such and such' towing is actually NOT accredited. What the dodgy tow truck driver did was phone his mate who was in on the con.
You then get stung with an inflated bill that insurance won't cover.
What to do?
If you need a tow, make sure you organize it through your insurance company in the event of a crash or if you have roadside assistance with them, in the event of a breakdown. Make sure that you save the number of your insurance company's call center in your phone, and make the call yourself on your phone. It could save you thousands!
Also remember that all new Toyota and Lexus vehicles come with a roadside assistance as part of their warranty.