Towing

Tiny
CAMERON REAM
  • MEMBER
  • 2017 ACURA CL
  • 2,400 MILES
I had a tow truck driver try to find and tow me out. He did not find me. I cancelled him through insurance another group of truckers got me out. Now the first one is trying to get some money out of me. Do I owe him money even though he never found where I was or got me out?
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Sunday, October 16th, 2016 AT 4:30 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Complain to your insurance company about it they will probably get rid of him for towing.
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Sunday, October 16th, 2016 AT 4:37 PM
Tiny
CAMERON REAM
  • MEMBER
But can there be any repercussions for ignoring his phone calls? Or just ignoring it?
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Sunday, October 16th, 2016 AT 4:40 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Put yourself in his shoes. Do you work for free? Who's fault is it if he cannot find you from your description?

Most business people would not charge you as a customer courtesy in hopes you will remember them the next time you need their services, but any employee cannot make that judgement call when it is not his truck or business. He has to answer to his boss as to why there are more miles on the equipment. Anyone who gets woke up in the middle of the night, gets dressed, stumbles out into the cold night to come to your aid, then searches all over but cannot find you deserves to be compensated. If the boss took the call, then called an employee to make the run, you can be sure the employee is going to paid whether the boss charges you or not. You cannot do very much for free before you are out of business.

You also have to consider how much time you spent waiting. It can easily take a hour to get to where they are needed. Tow trucks do not move as fast as police cars. If some good Samaritan pulled you out, and that is why the tow truck driver could not find you, he did everything in his power to assist you, and he should be paid. They are usually pretty conscious of the clock and how long it takes them to get to you. Also, they want to get you handled as quickly as possible in case another call comes in. If they were on another call while you called in, they should explain that they will be there as soon as possible. If the driver only offers a generic, "I am on my way", then takes more than about an hour, the wrong thing to do is call another company before making contact with the first one. It sounds like from your description that you let your insurance company do what you should have been doing. That is to call the towing company yourself. Had you done that simple task, (assuming you were not in unfamiliar territory), the driver would have had a callback number to get additional directions from you. If you do not know where you were, it is unreasonable to expect the tow truck driver to know.

If a representative from your insurance company made the call to the tow truck driver, there is no way you can be expected to make the call to cancel the run when someone else comes to your aid. You should contact your insurance company again so they can cancel the call. Then the dispute is between the towing company and your insurance company. I am sure they have provisions in their contracts that cover these types of things. One of those provisions might be that they only get compensated for "completed" services. Your incident would not qualify as "completed", and if the towing company has too many of those "freebies", they may elect to not work for your insurance company. There are already a lot of instances where only one or two are willing to do jobs for an insurance company because they are treated so poorly. Remember too that insurance companies always pay a substantially lower rate than you or I would for the same service. If you had to work for half of your regular pay, you would not be real enthusiastic about it.

I do not know what a reasonable compromise would be, but it seems this should be argued between the towing company and your insurance company. Ignoring phone calls is not going to solve anything, especially today when everyone has a cell phone glued to their ear all day long. I would return the call, and provide the name of your insurance company, and as a courtesy, the contact number or name of the representative you talked with. This is an even better strategy if you never originally contacted the towing service yourself.
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Sunday, October 16th, 2016 AT 7:07 PM

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