If your vehicle breaks down while traveling, you may want to consider calling a towing service like Oklahoma Towing Service to help you get back on the road. While the majority of towing outfits are reliable and honest businesses, there are companies that prey upon stranded drivers. Known as predatory towers, these companies employ a host of strategies to take advantage of vulnerable roadside situations with one thing in mind: to extract as much money as they can from you.
While most localities have laws governing towing, towing scams still seem to find victims. How do you spot these types of businesses to avoid becoming a victim? Read this week’s blog post to find out more.
If you do break down on the side of the road, do not allow a towing company to take your car unless you called them. While it might seem like a huge relief when the tow truck shows up if you didn’t call them it is likely a scam. A spotter for the company probably saw you and your vehicle and notified the tow truck driver. If you hand over your keys and allow them to take your car, you could find yourself paying exorbitant fees to get it back.
Parking Lot Towing Scams
Another common towing scam is for tow truck companies to illegally tow cars parked in shopping center parking lots or on private property. This is also called satellite or patrol towing. Again, using a spotter, a tow truck driver will tow vehicles which are illegally parked on private property. This can be the parking lot of an apartment complex or in a paid parking spot if time is expired. The vehicle owner then must pay storage fees, the cost of towing, and other fees to retrieve their vehicle.
Fees, Fees and More Fees
Along with the towing and storage fees, some towing companies will add on release fees, gate fees, and other fees, many of which are illegal. These predatory towing companies work under the assumption that customers need their cars and trust the towing company. In fact, most people will pay all the charges and fees without a thought. This is why it is important to know your rights when it comes to predatory towing.
High End Vehicles
Another frequent towing scam is to target vehicles that indicate the owner may have the resources to pay. These towing operators don’t want the beat up older cars. They also don’t want the very expensive cars such as a Porsche or Mercedes because they don’t want to be responsible for any damage. Instead, they concentrate on the newer model, average consumer cars.
You Have The Control
Towing companies cannot insist on taking your vehicle to a certain location without your consent. A good towing service will ask where you want your vehicle towed and only suggest a place if they’re prompted by you.
You should also ask about fees and charges before you allow the tow truck driver to attach your car to their truck. Better yet: ask for a contract. and an itemized list of all fees and charges and get the price in writing before your car is towed.
Well, there you have it. The bottom line is: If you break down, it is important to never hand over your keys to a tow truck operator that just showed up. You could end up with more than just a repair bill.
Need a Tow Truck In Oklahoma City?
In need of a reliable tow truck service in the Oklahoma City area? Look no further than Oklahoma Towing Service.
Located centrally in the heart of our proud city, we go through great pains to ensure we are where you’re at in the shortest amount of time. How do we do it? Through a fleet of versatile trucks, 24-7 availability and trained professionals – we’ve got the tools, and know-how to make it happen. All at prices that are extremely competitive.
Feel free to give us a call at (405) 456-930 and one of our knowledgeable Oklahoma towing service reps will gladly help to get you the answers you need.