Say NO to unknown TOW companies!!
Today I want to address a growing concern in the greater Ottawa region. Over and over I see people in a position of distress being taken advantage of, due to a lack of legislation in Ottawa when it comes to tow trucks. Customers are having their vehicles towed to places they don’t know by drivers that don’t leave any contact information or business cards, all in the name of making exuberant amounts of money for phantom charges. Often times when it comes to collisions, the two truck drivers count on the fact that your insurance will be covering the bill so they feel they have a blank cheque to charge anything they want. Worst part is, as soon as the vehicle is on their truck, the customer/insurance is at their mercy.
The following points are important when dealing with a collision where your vehicle must be towed.
- Never let a company you don’t know or wasn’t recommended touch your vehicle, no matter what story they tell you.
- The vehicle is yours, you dictate where and when the vehicle is towed.
- You insurance does not have direct contact with the tow companies and would NOT rather go see it at their compound. Again this is just a ploy for them to charge storage.
- If a tow truck tells you a shop is closed and they cannot bring it there but that it must go to their compound first, tell them you will find another company to tow it then. Vehicles are towed in after hours all the time.
- Unless circumstances are extreme never have a tow truck drive you home, insurance will not cover it and you will be stuck with a random cost (usually over 100$).
- If police are around talk with them to make sure no tow trucks touch your vehicle until your preferred company shows up.
- If under EXTREME circumstances (accident is on the highway and vehicle must be moved for safety) Insist the vehicle be taken to the shop of your choice, NEVER the tow truck compound! If this is not possible make sure to get the full name of the driver, the phone number of the company and the address of where they are taking it.
- Always take pictures of your vehicle at the scene of an accident, this way when phantom charges of “clean up” and “winching” and “dollies” are added to the invoice, your pictures can be proof of fraud.
- If you are forced to let a tow truck take your vehicle due to safety issues, always remember to take the badge number and full name of the officer to cover your interests.
Here I will leave a list of reputable tow companies that are honest and reliable if you can’t get a hold of a Highland Auto Body CSN employee.
All Star Towing – (613)761-8379
Atwill Service Centre – (613)744-5644
CAA Towing Service – (800)-222-4357
Hopefully legislation comes soon as the aggressiveness of charges and the creativity of scams is growing by the week.
Your friendly neighbourhood auto body shop.