Saturday, April 13, 2013

#1 Consumer Complaint: Vehicle Damage

At a time when wrecker drivers are being trained on the proper techniques of towing vehicles, complaints regarding damage is on the increase from consumers.

The towing industry repeatedly advertises "damage free towing" and automatically denies their wrecker driver could have damaged a vehicle. Yes towing equipment has been modernized to tow a vehicle without damage, but the initial hookup to a vehicle, is when the majority of damages occurs.

The bulk of consumer complaints I have taken, happened when a vehicle is towed without the consent of the owner, otherwise known as private property impounds. Drivers get in a hurry and damage vehicles, then state the vehicle inventory the damage they caused, is prior damage. But tell that to a new vehicle owner who just bought the vehicle that was damaged and they will be be fuming.

Now, the hard part comes when consumers seek the insurance information on the towing company who may have damaged their vehicle. Towing companies are reluctant to furnish this information, so a claims adjuster can determine if the damage was indeed caused by the wrecker driver.

Therefore, I have suggested in writing to the TDLR that the insurance information, including the policy number with a valid phone number to file a damage claim, be included as a required document that must be provided upon request, when paying for a towing service.

It's issues as this, vehicle damage, refusing to provide insurance information and refusing to provide the name of the person who authorized the removal, that make consumers not trust the towing industry.