Towing & Road Assistance
ASHLAND, OREGON -- On 06/20/2014, my rear tires on my SUV sank in mud, in front of the Hyatt Lake Resort. I needed to be winched, NOT towed, only a few feet.
Called Ashland Tow& Repair on 06/20/2014, and asked if they worked with Farmers Insurance which I have a roadside assistance policy with. The female dispatch said she would look the number up and call me back. Then went on to say that a phone call is really not necessary, as it is customary for customers to pay up front and get reimbursed from the insurance company. I asked the dispatcher what the cost would be and described in detail what was needed.
The dispatched said as much as $250.00, in shock I asked how they could justify that large of a charge and she explained that they charged $5.00 a mile both directions. No other charges were mentioned by the dispatcher. I told her to hold off until I spoke to my insurance directly, as the last time I used my roadside assistance they paid the driver directly.
I called Farmers Roadside Assistance who said they do not work with Ashland Tow & Repair and that they would dispatch a truck and that it would be there in approximately 90 minutes. They also said that the first hour the service vehicle was there would be taken care by Farmers Directly, anything over the first hour would need to be paid directly to the driver.
In 90 minutes an Ashland Tow Truck arrived, I greeted him in the parking lot. He told me that Farmers Insurance had dispatched him. He told me that they said I was to pay for the assistance out of pocket and that Farmers would reimburse me. I believed him as he did get there exactly 90 minutes from my call to Roadside Assistance. I told him that his female dispatcher had told me as much as $250, I asked him to do me a favor as I only had $200 cash on me.
Again the bulk of the charge was supposed to be paid directly by Farmers. He then went on talking about “extra charges”, although no mention an exact amount, but that it was going to be more than $200.00.
I told the Ashland Tow Driver that on I would pass on his services if he wanted more than $200 Cash. The tow driver then said I had to pay him, I told him that I did not dispatch him and that I was not responsible for his 22 mile drive to Hyatt Lake. He then said, fine I can take $195.00.
The Ashland Tow Driver winches me out of the mud, I then went to pay him at the truck. I attempted to hand him $200 in cash, he the said that the $195 he agreed to was just for the winch. He then went on to write a bill for $525.00, which I had to use an emergency credit card to pay. I thought about refusing, but decided to take it up with Ashland Tow directly.
I was charged, a mileage charge 22 miles one way, round trip charge $220.00, Hitch Charge $195.00, Extra-Man Charge $75, and finally a charge to clean his winch wire/chain $35.00.
I spent Monday 23rd, Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th on the phone with the various employees and the owner and his son, who acted like they were shocked with the charge but failed to return phone calls. On Wednesday the 25th, I made the final call to Ashland Tow to agree on a refund and was under the impression that they had no intention of refunding the over charge.
Spoke with 3 other Tow Services in the Southern Oregon Area, all said, I should have paid between $200 to as much as $300.