How do I protect myself from a bad towing company?
Like many stressful decisions, it’s best to have a contingency plan prior to the emergency. When your car breaks down, it’s frustrating for a number of reasons. When the traffic is rushing by you, the danger of being stranded on the road, the pressure to make an expensive decision on the spot and the interruption of your schedule definitely gets you feeling the pressure of a stressful situation.
When you’re forced to make a difficult decision under pressure, the likelihood of it not being your best decision goes up. So, for the same reason you have a spare tire and a jack in your trunk, you should do your shopping for a reputable towing company in your home town before you need them.
Unfortunately, the towing industry has more than its fair share of shady individuals. The need to shop around ahead of time is important. You may be surprised at the number of companies you’ll find that are actually the same company just using a different business name, phone number and website. These are things that you might not be able to short through with an elevated stress level and only your phone in hand.
If your insurance offers towing or you have emergency services, you may be tempted to go with whatever services they suggest, however a little effort on your part will help you sort through those options in advance and you will also know the process necessary when something happens. This will be even more important for members of your family that are not fully aware of the necessary processes to use the insurance or emergency services that you have paid for.
There are a lot of horror stories about bad experiences with towing companies. Stolen property from your vehicle, extra damage to your car that was not there before and the most common is hidden charges that where not mentioned at the time of the tow.
Where do I start?
1. If you have insurance or other emergency services, then get the list of approved vendors from them and sort through those.
2. If not, it becomes a little more difficult, but most people will do a search and try to sort through the results.
3. Find companies that offer 24/7 services.
4. Make sure they are Licensed, Bonded and Insured.
5. Find where their yard is located because you will most likely have to go there to get your vehicle. Try to pick one not too far from your daily travels.
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