Hiring a towing company is not something that most of us prepare for. When emergency arises, we pull out our phone, hit up google and select the top selection on the page. That may be how you landed here, right? The truth is that we should all have a pre-determined towing company of preference when those emergencies arise.
We have created a list of 10 things to take into consideration when selecting your preferred towing and roadside assistance company.
Choose Your Towing Company Proactively
In our experience, most complaints we hear about previous towing experiences arise from one of the following.
- The cost was too high or more than represented.
- Truck operator was too rough with my vehicle.
- Truck operator was unprofessional.
- Truck operator was late.
- Truck was in bad shape.
If you have found yourself thinking any of these, you are not alone. Choosing your preferred towing company today will help alleviate these pains the next time you find yourself int he unfortunate situation of needing a tow.
What Do They Stand For?
First and foremost, seek out what they stand for. Do they drive low prices? Do they strive to have the best quality trucks out there? Do they emphasize care and professional service? Regardless of what they stand for, you need to make sure they align with what you are seeking. We cannot tell you what that is. All we can say is that you need to look at it for yourself.
Customer Satisfaction is a Strong Indicator
You may have noticed that most of the complaints above were directly related to customer satisfaction. It may seem like a daunting task to know who truly has the best service out there. However, there are a few things you can do. You can check on any social media pages like a Facebook page, look at any reviews on Yelp! or Google, or check with the BBB.
We also suggest you keep in mind the ratios of complaints to compliments. If ten people receive phenomenal service one may tell about it. On the other hand, treat one customer poorly they will tell ten people. If you see one complaint to ten compliments then that company likely satisfied 99 people while only 1 became upset. That's not a bad ratio. More importantly than bad reviews is how these companies respond (or don't respond) to those bad reviews.
What is Their Level of Professionalism?
Think of professionalism as the vibe you get from the company and employees.
- Are they kind on the phone when you call in?
- Are they timely?
- Are you confident in their ability?
- Are they groomed well and is their dress appropriate?
- Is the truck clean?
- How will they treat your car?
These questions are important because they probably won't take care of your car if they don't take care of their own trucks, appearance, or communication. If you are able to successfully find a professional service that fits your needs then you are further increasing your chances of having a good experience the next time you need a tow.
What Organizations Do They Belong to or Service Regularly?
This can be a good way to learn more about the level of service they provide. Most trade organizations require a level of service to be maintained to continue as a part of that trade organization.
Organizations that require frequent towing are another way to ensure you are hiring a well respected company. Ask if they service any local jurisdictions or vehicle fleets.
What Kind of Equipment Do They Use?
With today's technology, you will find a multitude of towing configurations. Some are designed for small, front wheel drive passenger vehicles, while some are designed to pull commercial vehicles out of a ditch. Understanding some of the various truck configurations and whether your towing company has the best option for your vehicle is important.
Some questions to ask are:
- What is the year, make and model of your truck or trucks?
- How often do the trucks receive maintenance?
- How often does the tow equipment on the trucks receive maintenance?
- Do you have your own technician, or do you hire someone else to maintain your vehicles?
Asking these questions can give you peace of mind when your vehicle regrettably breaks down.
What Forms of Payments Are Accepted?
This can be easily forgotten when you are in a pinch. Nothing can be more frustrating than getting a tow and not being able to pay the operator because you don't carry cash or a check book, and they do not accept credit or debit cards. Be sure to ask up front, or you should plan to keep some cash in your car for the rainy day.
Choose A Towing Company Close to You
This may seem obvious, but remember that towing companies can advertise anywhere. The last thing you want is to have your car towed to a lot 75 miles away. Not only will you have to drive all that way to get it, but that mileage will be added to the tow. Save yourself some money by ensuring you use a local company.
When you call, also make sure you know your exact location. Most smart phones have a map system within them. If you do not have a smart phone, however, look at the cross streets and use landmarks to communicate your location. this will help the tow truck operator find you quicker and make your experience better.
Do They Offer Any Other Services?
The last thing we suggest is that you don't utilize a company that is just a towing company. Roadside assistance, auctioning and secure vehicle storage are other convenient services that a well rounded towing company will likely have. For example, when you call LW's towing and we arrive on scene, if we can jump start your car or unlock your door we will. In this case, no tow will take place.
If a tow is indeed needed, we have state of the art vehicles and a police protected storage facility should we need to pull the car to our lot. But that is just an example.
If You Find Yourself On The Side Of The Road…
In the event you do find your self on the side of the road, here is a quick list of questions to ask before you hire a company to come to your aid.
- What is the year and make of your tow truck?
- Are you members of any particular trade organizations?
- Do you accept my insurance (if any)?
- What kind of payments do you accept?
- How long will it take for your truck to get here?
- Can your driver call me when he is near?
- What will it cost in total, including tax, to pick-up the car at the location and deliver to the destination of your choice?
Hopefully, you are reading this in the comfort of your home, and not on the side of the road. If you are on the side of the road, we regret that you are in this unfortunate situation but would love an opportunity to help.
We hope this helps you in preparing for the inevitable. We all know this will happen at some point, we just do not know when. By preparing ahead of time, we can lessen the blow.
Please let us know what you think of this article in the comments below.