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. tow truck Los Angeles
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?
- If you have insurance or other emergency services, then get the list of approved vendors from them and sort through those.
- If not, it becomes a little more difficult, but most people will do a search and try to sort through the results.
- Find companies that offer 24/7 services.
- Make sure they are Licensed, Bonded and Insured.
- 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.
- Have them disclose a full breakdown of their charges. This includes, travel, miles, hook up, additional towing fees, time of day differential, storage fees, lot fees, etc. They all have a large variety of fees, and you need to know them all. Even if you have a service paying for them, get to know the regular fees, because if for some reason you exceed your insurance or emergency services coverages, you are stuck with the difference.
- Check out all the reviews you can possibly find online about this company. You can be sure that some of these reviews are “less than genuine”, but if they don’t have any reviews or they are all bad, you can move on.
- Ask people you know if they have had any towing experiences, good or bad.
- Pick two companies that you think are the best. Even a good company can be unavailable at times if they have an unexpected rush for their services. In this case you have a back-up.