Driven to despair by ‘thieving’ towing company
I WAS involved in a car crash in the early hours and was in such a state I agreed to let a tow truck driver at the scene tow my car, instead of a truck driver from the towing service approved by my insurance company.
I could not find the 24-hour emergency assistance number and just wanted to get home.
I knew I would have to pay to have my vehicle towed and two days’ storage until my insurance company arranged collection of my vehicle.
When I called my insurance company, it told me the company I allowed to tow my vehicle was asking R11 500 to release it.
I am outraged. Is this “normal”? What justifies that amount?
The invoice reads: salvage: R4 350, roll-back: R1 500, recovery: R1 500, storage: R1 750, security: R650 and admin: R900. To tow my vehicle to my insurance company a further R850. These amounts blow my mind.
My insurance company needs my car to assess the damage, but these sharks won’t release it until the amount is paid in full.
My insurance company says if it has to pay for it, I will have to repay the money. I can’t understand how the towing company can get away with this. What can I do? I escaped with my life, but now have an exorbitant amount to pay because a drunk driver went through a red light and smashed into my car.
The crash occurred at the intersection of Porterfield Road and the R27 in Bloubergstrand and my vehicle was towed to Gie Road in Cape Town – about 4km.
R11 500 for this. No way. I am not the only person to fall victim to the thieving of towing companies. I’ve just learnt that salvage means recovering a car out of a ditch, but my car was on level ground.
Recovery is the same thing. Roll-back is when the vehicle is put on a flat bed.
I watched my vehicle being towed. How can they charge for services that were not rendered?
Apparently this company has been involved in a few legal disputes.
Georgie: Atkins approached the police for assistance to recover her car, but was told she would need an interdict. The tow truck driver acted illegally – the costs were not disclosed and the company is effectively holding her car to ransom.
To my mind, this is criminal and the police should be intervening.
I asked the National Consumer Commission for assistance in the matter, but it had not responded by my deadline, despite promises to do so.