Gouge Your Eye Out

A customer of mine had a breakdown after closing time and needed assistance. After being rejected by AAA for a tow (he had used up his 4 times) he frantically called around looking for a local tow to drop him in front of my shop. Keep in mind, this is NY during a ridiculously endless set of snowstorms and there was quite a bit of snow still on the ground. He was stuck in more ways than one and couldn’t leave the vehicle with half the front end jutting out of a snow bank into the street. After numerous rejections from various busy tow companies he was told by a company that although they were too busy, they would come if he agreed to pay them the exorbitant fee of $250 to be towed under 5 miles. He was frustrated but felt he had no choice, so he agreed. When the driver of the insanely overpriced tow truck arrived, he refused to even help him push the car out of the snow so the tow dolly could be attached.  After a few swear words by my customer he reluctantly helped him. After 3 hours of sitting in freezing cold weather he towed him to my place and left the car., the misery was over.


When he finally got in touch with me I blew a fuse. $250 for a tow that is under 5 miles even in NYC is completely unacceptable and a clear case of price gouging. I find this behavior really revolting to say the least. If you wanted a premium tow on a cold snowy night then $125 would have been excessive but passable…$250 is gross. I will be assisting him in taking this to the next level, hopefully a refund or a case with credit card company, and at the very least a complaint with licensing authorities.

Sometimes you have no choice but to pay up but please, if you must in that moment, then make sure to follow up later.


Update: He called the main dispatch number at the tow company and went “Cruella” on them and they credited him back $100.


Questions: dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, www.ZPAUTO.com. Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses. www.projectsunlimitedinc.com
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