Common Scams from Disreputable Towing Companies to Avoid

Every industry has a group of individuals waiting for an opportune time to scam desperate and unsuspecting people. That moment when your vehicle breaks down, or you’re stuck in a ditch somewhere or involved in a car accident is when you’re most likely to be a victim of scammers.

Most of the people who end up being scammed or getting poor service don’t take time to interrogate the “professionals” who come to “help.” It’s possible to avoid common towing scams, but you must know how they look like. You don’t have to learn from your own experience. Here are three common tow truck scums you must avoid.

Out-of-the-Blue Towing Company

You get involved in a traffic accident, and within no time some tow trucks arrive at the scene and offer to help. If the tow trucks haven’t been dispatched by emergency services like the police department, don’t agree to their terms. You shouldn’t even listen to them. These are bandit tow trucks always scouring the police radio scanners for collisions and traffic accidents before rushing to the scene unsolicited to offer help. Entrusting your vehicle to these operators might end up costing you thousands of dollars in excess. Always make sure the company towing your vehicle is licensed and carry insurance.

Very Low Pricing

The cost of towing a vehicle varies by situation and location. However, some towing companies usually quote very low prices. It might sound like a good deal since you want to save as much money as possible, but you’ll end up paying more in hidden charges or receiving poor service. Most disreputable companies quote extremely low prices. You better hire an experienced and reputable towing company at a higher cost but be sure of quality service and the safety of your vehicle. Don’t hire a towing company before understanding all the costs.

Information Scammers

Understand that some operators are out here to get your personal details or insurance information for future scamming. That’s why you must verify and be sure they are registered and are in possession of a valid license. Their tow trucks must have a company logo and name with other contact details.

It’s recommended to hire a company that has an online presence and meets the guidelines or requirements of your state to operate in your area. The company should also have proper insurance as mentioned. Ask for proof of these documents. Make sure the tow truck showing up at the scene belongs to the company you contacted. It’s advisable to take pictures of your vehicle as soon as it’s loaded or attached to the truck before the driver leaves. Do everything possible to protect yourself against any damage to your vehicle while being transported or in storage.

Towing To Their Shop Only

Every good tow truck company that has their own mechanic shop will try to upsell you on taking your vehicle to their shop. This is offered as the towing company wants to get your business from your broken down vehicle. Realize, however, that this is your decision and up to your discretion. Deciding whether a shop will be satisfactory for your vehicle can be assessed by determining how the tow drivers handle your vehicle and how they interact with you.

The problem lies within tow drivers who arrive on the scene, hook your vehicle to their tow truck and then proceed to state they only tow to their garage. At times con artists state you agreed to this when you spoke with the dispatcher. This is illegal behavior and you are ultimately in charge of your vehicles destination. Do not fall prey to this too commonly used trick.

Finally, it is important to be educated to understand your vehicles towing requirements so that you can properly advise a towing company who responds to your call which tow truck you will need. Read your owners manual and follow guidelines posted on the inside passenger door to understand whether a flat bed or wrecker are needed for your job. To find further information check out the pro’s at Truck Trend to ensure your investment remains just that- an investment.

Pricing That Varies

Consumers should also be aware that common towing scammers will accept your call, give you a quote over the phone (perhaps without asking proper details that warrant the size or type of the job) and send out their biggest tow truck or an inappropriately sized truck for the job. This kind of scam can happen in many ways. First, the dispatcher does not ask proper details. Second, the driver who responds brings their largest truck which is also the most expensive to run. Third, the driver states either their other truck was tied up in another job, or that your vehicle required extra towing applications and therefore they convince motorists that the job will cost much more than originally quoted. Finally, the tow driver offers to bring you to an ATM so that you can pull out extra money to cover the cost of the tow.

Another situation occurs if you parked inappropriately and your vehicle is going to be towed out of the spot. If you see a tow driver start to hook up your vehicle to their truck, but the process already ensued the driver will tell you they will put your vehicle $80-$200 depending on location. Drivers understand the local laws and are aware of what they can get away with and they exercise their rights whenever the feel they will benefit and you can be scammed.

Being an educated consumer regarding towing practices can keep you and your family from being taken advantage of and scammed. While needing a tow truck is not often a service that one regularly uses it is a service that almost everyone will encounter at one point or another. Being aware will help you make the right decision in hiring a towing company. Our friends at Allentown Towing in Pennsylvania are a reliable and trustworthy company. Check out their website for more details.

Stay safe out there friends!