When you’re stranded by the side of the road it may be tempting to simply call the first towing company you run across. But that’s a bad idea. While most are good, a few are downright scams. What to look for in a towing company? Always choose a wrecker based the company’s experience and reputation. And don’t settle for average – go for someone with a 4- or 5-star reputation. That tells you they’re experts in both getting the job done well and in providing great customer care. Check if they have an unusual number of BBB complaints. Although your inclination may be otherwise, take the time to read their reviews. But keep in mind that some people are never satisfied and an unhappy customer is several times more likely to leave a review than a happy one. And nobody’s perfect.
And of course you need them to be available when you need them without a long wait, especially if it’s a late-night emergency.
For your peace of mind you should be told a reasonable (believable) estimated time of arrival, and double check that they can accept your credit card or bill your insurance company. You might want to consider how they’re handling your phone call — do they sound professional, knowledgeable, and customer oriented?
What Else to Look For
Most importantly, in selecting a good towing company you should make sure that they dispatch a wrecker that’s right for your type, size, and weight of vehicle with all the equipment necessary for damage-free recovery. Plus an operator with the proper class of licensing.
If your vehicle can’t roll due to a bad wheel, frozen transmission, or other damage be sure they’re ready to handle that. They may also need special equipment such as chainsaws or cutting torches to free your vehicle from a tree or lamp post. They may also need winches to pull you out of the mud or off a soft shoulder.
For simple situations, make sure they also provide roadside assistance. You may just need a jump-start or a little help to get back on the road without any towing expense at all!
Tips to Avoid Ripoffs
As in any emergency, keep your cool and pay attention.
- A very low price may not be what it seems. It often excludes further fees. An additional several dollars per mile adds up really quickly! Now most towing companies do charge by the mile, but make sure you know what that rate is and about how many miles you need to go. And always get a written estimate before signing authorization for them to tow your vehicle. If at all possible get a not-to-exceed quote, or better still a fixed-fee quote.
- If anyone other than the company you called shows up, send them away! They may be listening to police scanners and have raced to reach you before your chosen company arrives just a few minutes later.
- Choose a well-established company for their experience and financial responsibility. Good clues are a professional looking web site and a wrecker professionally painted with their logo.
- Be sure they have proper licensing and insurance. Don’t be shy — ask them to show you proof! In Texas that should include TDLR (Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation) licensing.
Of course our 24/7 towing service meets all the criteria you should be insisting on, and more. We make sure that our services provide everything needed for outstanding-quality fast-response towing. And unlike most companies we have heavy-duty wreckers for big rig towing and recovery. Hope this helps you understand what to look for in a towing company.