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I just quit Agero

Stuart Wagner

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I quit Agero today!! We towed for Agero for 7 years and the first couple years we did quite a bit with them. The last 2 years they only call us when nobody else will go, but we do medium and heavy with them that pays decent but sometimes they short change you and you spend time chasing your money.  Their stupid background checks were a joke. The final straw was the other week I received an email that they aren't paying for the first 10 enroute miles, yeah that ain't gonna fly. I waited till they were all paid up and dropped the hammer on them. I said disable my account and never call me again. The other night a different dispatcher called  and woke me up every hour for 6 hours straight for an an out of area  winchout, I won't miss that bullshit.  Not once in 7 years did a manager call me and ask how things are going, they never offered me a raise in 7 years so when I called to quit they wanted to send me a blank paper to fill in my rates to see if they can negotiate with me. They tell you they aren't paying the first 10 enroute miles and then they want to negotiate, how about you call me first and talk about. Good riddens.

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Check out our website at:  www.cjwagnerinc.com


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I know EXACTLY how you feel Mr. Wagner And your story is strikingly similar to mine.

My partner and I bought this company from our long time employer 12 years ago. the company was in rough shape from years of mis-management. One of the very first things we did was get on board with Agero. And the first few years, it was great. Truth be told, It really saved our bacon the first few struggling years. For quite a few years, we were the only company in the area working for Agero. One of their purportidly "Primary providers"...

Untill a couple years ago, A "new" company sprouted up in town.. All of a sudden, Agero doesnt call. And when they do, It is for some job thats been waiting Hours or it is way out of my service area. It wasnt just a gradual decline in work, It was a dead drop. We went from doing anywhere from 15 to 30 calls a day for them to NONE almost overnight. Over what turned out to be the "other company" working for about $5 less than I was per job.... Years of dedicated, complaint free service to their customers Kicked to the curb over $5 a call... Talk about loyalty... 

I will admit, At first I was pretty scared.. I thought I was losing a ton of income. Then I sat down and really, Really went over my numbers from the Agero work. My profit numbers were so thin, a bad fart woulda put me in the red. 

I certainly dont miss the multipe 3 am calls for jump starts and flat tires 40 miles away...

What this industry really needs in my humble opinion is MORE companies like you and me to realize these motor clubs are NOT our friends. They need us WAAAAY more than we could ever need them. Maybe this is a sign of things to come. Maybe more companies will kick them to the curb to the point where WE the TOW COMPANIES will tell THEM what we want to get paid instead of the other way around..

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Hey guys. Reading along with you here. I started Apex about 6 years ago. We owned another company not related, and ended up with a tow truck. State  Patrol asked us to jump on as they were very slim on tow providers and I was like what the heck.  I was no Stranger to Towing but I was even less of a stranger to running a business which it seems a lot of guys that get into the tow business are great with running the truck but when it comes to the business aspect of it they struggle.  


AGERO was never really on our radar as the towing was a secondary to our primary income they would call us from time to time and always pay with a credit card. After a while they asked if they could just start sending us PO‘s and I was like yeah OK why not I mean big business won’t rip you off right?   I did a little research and heard some horror stories but I was in an area that was pretty protected there’s only a few tow companies here and we all somewhat work together don’t cut each other‘s throat’s, and for years it seemed OK but then I noticed that we were always short paid when it came to AGERO stuff. And I started adding it up and the contract that we had gone on with was decent in comparison to some of the larger areas with more competition but when it came time to get paid there was always some thing in dispute over miles or amounts or time or some thing so like you said we were always chasing a dollar with them. And it added up to about 15 to 30% of our money wasn’t showing up and we’d have to fight for it they would eventually pay it but by that time I had paid somebody to chase it down and the money that I got from them pretty much went to cover that person’s wages. 

 So we just stopped taking PO’s and started telling them we’re gonna need a credit card. When they acted upset about it and I asked to them "Would you take 30% less of your paycheck!". They said well no, OK let me get your credit card it was really that easy and once I did that we started making more money.  Eventually one of the new reps called me and asked why we weren’t taking their PO’s anymore. I explained it to him, I’m sure it’s not like he hadn’t heard it before. 

But it seems that way with all the Road Club’s, if you sign on with them you give your money away. If you don’t sign on with them you write your own ticket and if you’re in a protected area you can pretty much tell them what you want and they either pay it or they don’t. If they don’t you go back to bed you’re not out anything.  

it seems like people sign on for that before they know better and once they know better they cut themselves off. A lot of the tow companies that I have seen start up since I’ve been in business always seem to think that the only thing they can do to sell the job is to do it cheaper. That seems so wrong to me with the amount of money that these trucks cost, along with the insurance and all the other stupid stuff that goes along with it. Why would you do anything cheaper?  


Long story but I just got off the phone with AGERO over a customer that had been sitting out there for 2 1/2 hours over a flat tire and he didn’t have a spare State Patrol was sitting behind him the whole time and getting upset but when AGERO called me I gave them a price it was a steep price but it was 9 o’clock at night. But they agreed to it and said they would call me right back with a credit card. About 30 minutes later she called back but by that time I had taken another call and sent my driver out on that so they got upset with me because they were ready to pay the agreed amount. But now we weren’t available so that comes back to the loyalty part.


They aren’t any more loyal than you should be to them. They don’t know you and you don’t know them they are not gonna send you a Christmas Card and they could give an F about you. If you never answer the phone again and if you ever look at the billing that AGERO does. You find they bill the customers insurance company full rates and you only get a portion of it they keep the rest. What we do for them for $200 gets billed out anywhere from $400 to $600 to the insurance company and many of the tow providers don’t even catch on to that.

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Your on the right track with what your saying in regards to dealing with Agero or any other motor club for that matter. I also agree with the comment that many can operate and drive a tow truck, but few really know how to run a business. If you dig back in some of the older posts throughout here, you will see where not only myself but many other guys really sat down and went over the numbers of doing work for these clubs and see that the fat checks we get from those clubs are really just smoke and mirrors when the expenses are factored into what was done to earn those proverbial "fat" checks. 


A prime example is a particular company near me that came on to the scene a few years ago like a bull in a china shop. Guy bought the towing side of a local body shop that consisted of two wore out l/d wreckers and a beat to death 550 roll back. He instantly started working for all the clubs he could get to answer the phone for him for basically next to nothing ( Agero kicked me to the curb for him and they werent paying me s#!t so...) Then within a year or so went and bought a few more trucks. ( the bank ALWAYS has Money..) This guy will send his boys out ANYWHERE that these clubs ask and I mean anywhere. I have been told by some of his crew that they are chasing flat tires and jumpstarts 60-80 miles away!!!


Now, I know this owner personally. He used to be a slip-seater for all the local tow companies ( including mine before I owned it ) back in the day. He is blinded by the $4.000-$6,000 check he gets from Agero every month and the "great rates" AAA gives him on equipment purchases. The problem is he is putting out close to that in expenses just to earn it and doesnt seem to realize it. Here we are a few years in and all of his cheap, poorly equipped rigs are pushing 200,000 miles including the newest one ( 2018 ), his guys are poorly trained and run ragged working 14 hour days 6 sometimes 7 days a week and he wonders why he cant keep a staff or why his trucks are constantly down. 


What I cant seem to fathom is how so many tow companies just dont see how these clubs are taking them for a ride. And dont get me wrong, I understand that Motor clubs are businesses and in fact need to make money for their part. I get that. But when a motor club charges a customer or insurance company $200-$300 for a tow then call one of their "preferred providers" who then does the actual job for $25 to hook, $2.00 a mile AFTER you give them 10 free in-route AND towed miles, thats not honest profit.. That's robbery.. 


This industry as a whole is not a particularly fair one... Problem is most times it is the honest, well established tow companies that takes it up the A$$... And on that note, It is These motor club business practices that also promotes the development of the "fly-by-night" companies that give our industry a bad rap. Too many see that cutting corners is the only real way they can get ahead in the game if they depend on these clubs for their survival.

Just my 2 cents on the matter 😉 

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