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MrsTow

Billing a customer that used a Motorclub for services

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So tonight, Agero contacted my company and ask if we could do a winch out of a stuck vehicle in the forest. Agero was told that we could use our off road recovery equipment but we charge different rates for this service then the contracted rates with Agero.  Agero contacted the customer and let them know our hourly rates and told the customer they would have to pay the difference that Agero wont cover.  The customer agreed. We drove 2 1/2 hrs to do this job and the customer knew how long it would take us to get there and even asked us to stop and get them water. We get to the entrance of the Forest and called the customer and found out they called out another off road recovery company in the area and that company was currently getting them out. Even tho we were on time! I contacted Agero of course because now 5 hours of time will be wasted to/from because of this person. Agero said the would pay the GOA fee. The GOA fee is not close to our hourly rate! Has anyone ever billed a customer that went through a motorclub, but agreed to rates of the towing company, then calls someone else?  Where can I find the rights towing companies have? Heck, do we have any?

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Hi Mrs. Tow ... I'm of the mindset that sets travel and time distances to be closer to my biz office. One thing that's consistent with new biz owners is they want to take all calls and satisfy everyone. At some point these long range calls come back to bite you. Your passion to help serve is admirable, but at the risk of being stiffed for these specialty services. Know this about customers ... while they'e stuck, they'll take the time to find someone cheaper than you maybe closer to you. The auto clubs oftentimes don't have control over the free will of their members. When the member knows your price, they'll use that to bargain with other tow companies in the same manner a disgruntled tow truck driver will ask anitger tow company for a job, learn the wages, and then come back to ask for a raise or quit. I don't like to be the bearer of bad tidings, but fishing for prices and then canceling out is a common practice. In this case, take the GOA as something for nothing ... tower's rights ... what's that? I salute your solid effort, but at some point, I think (for me anyway) working closer to home makes better sense and accept two lesser paying jobs that are closer to home versus the big score that get's away.       R.


Randall C. Resch

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Any service within 45 miles, Tows any distance out, if we got out and pick one up and return then nothing over 100 miles. But we have stretched it to 125-150 before. General when it gets to crazy we get a card number from the member/customer. I'd say you went way over and beyond, best you're going to see is the GOA to cover your fuel. The Lessons we Learn from being Burned. What is that Burn me once shame on the Motor Club, Burn me twice shame on ME.

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We have had every motor club (except aaa) take advantage of our generosity and eagerness to help people in need in similar ways just like that. They will even get the supervisor on the line who PROMISES to pay the extra amount but when you submit it they send you the regular fee and claim nobody can authorize the amount in which you had agreed upon. Sorry it happened to you but that seems to be the way it goes.

 

ALSO customers in need will call every company that will respond to them and not bother to cancel the in route companies when the first one shows up. This is an incredible waste of resources and time.

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So true! Thank you for your thoughts. I enjoy the responses from everyone... it makes me want to pull my hair out less! I'm learning to chuckle a little more when dealing with motor club's and customer's. LOL

 

Nicole

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Agero is on our BLACKLIST for doing same thing.You dont have towers rights.Depending on what state you live in you have business owners rights.Technically both Agero and customer are responsible for your fees.You were doing what you were contracted to do in good faith and are owed money for this.Your service wasnt cancelled and you did go to scene as contracted there is not a goa here.Always collect from Agero in advance.We have gotten paid when legal action was started.If it is a substantial amount you might want to get a lawyer that deals in business law.


Kevin's American Towing Service
Ph: 631-654-8811

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When you signed a contract with Agero, and or any other motor club you agreed per contract on how you are to be paid and for what services you are to be paid. It is a business transaction. Nobody at Agero is authorized to make exceptions to the contractual agreement. They do have a credit card to pay for exceptions. They are not your friend, or ally. They are merely a low bid, low budget client.On a good day.

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Sadly, they got you. As time goes on you will get a feel for these situations. MUST get a cc up front and run it for at least what you would get for a goa before saddling up and heading out on it. Explain to the customer there will be two separate charges on their card at the completion of the service totaling the amount agreed upon. Explain that this is done to cover your expenses for dispatching your resources. If there is no cc available then its better to cut bait and walk then risk sending your man power and equipment out for nothing. The only towers rights you have are your own. Keep that in mind.


There are Tow Truck Drivers, Then There is Towing and Recovery operators...... Which one are you??🤨

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On 11/30/2019 at 7:39 PM, MrsTow said:

So tonight, Agero contacted my company and ask if we could do a winch out of a stuck vehicle in the forest. Agero was told that we could use our off road recovery equipment but we charge different rates for this service then the contracted rates with Agero.  Agero contacted the customer and let them know our hourly rates and told the customer they would have to pay the difference that Agero wont cover.  The customer agreed. We drove 2 1/2 hrs to do this job and the customer knew how long it would take us to get there and even asked us to stop and get them water. We get to the entrance of the Forest and called the customer and found out they called out another off road recovery company in the area and that company was currently getting them out. Even tho we were on time! I contacted Agero of course because now 5 hours of time will be wasted to/from because of this person. Agero said the would pay the GOA fee. The GOA fee is not close to our hourly rate! Has anyone ever billed a customer that went through a motorclub, but agreed to rates of the towing company, then calls someone else?  Where can I find the rights towing companies have? Heck, do we have any?

What do you mean with " billing a customer for using a motor club service?" What is the correct way of getting paid and doing business in the tow world?

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Hey Mr. Tony ... these long-distance calls are typically problematic. Whenever, "time and arrival", are present factors, the customer usually will look for another company in the same case as what happened to Mrs. Tow. Nobody wants to wait 2 1/2 hours if they can find someone more local or at rates that are cheaper than yours. It's my policy to not take calls out of the area for those reasons. I prefer to keep my truck's local to respond to local work. If you accept calls out of the area, get payment up-front via credit card and obtain an authorization number from the CC company. As you are a new tow biz owner, I know you want to take every call you can get, but learn quickly that auto clubs don't have control over a customer's actions once the 3-way conversation is completed. As far as the actions of the customer, you have nothing in writing to prove the customer made any contract or arrangements with you, even though you have a dispatch record or phone call. If you can get paid the GOA from Agero, at least you got something for your time and effort. Good luck trying to bill the customer as they'll stand firm that your company took too long and they found another company that was closer. If that's the case, trying to sue them in small claims will take you more time, effort and frustration to collect from them. These are live and learn scenarios that every tow company goes through as part of the learning curve of this industry. The previous comments are good comments. I'm confident this will up your education in the lessons of not getting paid and make you think twice when auto clubs comes looking for a favor.     R.


Randall C. Resch

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Ohkay but the way your are saying your statement is so familiar to several senerio  i been thru.  And i know its just my mind doing its things and telling me did they tell her and wheres the privacy between me and them. But i gotta caught myself and stop thinking that way. Yes im new but i can learn quick cuzz i will see all there moves. Specially if someone really try so much to act like they dont know act stupid.   My thing is ill let you do it i can wait my turn dont get mad when i do it to you. I had a few shop doing that to me. I been surviving with out them for a while i been alrite with it. What i have i like to keep. I only have one truck but its mines and paid for to. I know that when dealing with AutoBody Shops dont get paid from them well in California it is. You can correct me if im wrong. I read that on the tow article.  but they to smart or maybe to greedy slick whatever. I told them bro you trying to much on your hustle to much wrote i bet you i can top it. And you wont ever saw it coming. Do you know what im trying to say. I  hate it when you wana be nice to someone and they still wanna dip in my pate telling me im doing you favor. my response to them you did not put noting on my truck you washout there hustling with me all the things i been thru.  Thank you for your response. And please tell me more about situation in the tow world. And i will gladly tell you more about mines. I got some good ones to share.

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Once got a call from ODOT Dispatch for a customer 85 miles away in the snow zone off the highway called  in by snow plow driver 

customer asked him to call him a tow . We responded and of course no one there, a do gooder stopped and pulled them out  .

Took awhile but I got  a copy of their log and the licence plate number to ID the customer . Sued him in small claims court 

judge said pay the man !

 

Sometimes its not about the money , moneys just a way to keep score.

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This is a great lesson on the value of time. While GOA's shouldn't be thought of as, "the cost of doing business", these types of calls are the reality of the industry. I believe each call has to be evaluated based on its details as well as factoring the possibility the motorist could be gone. Accordinly, may I ask what your GOA fee was at small claims? How much did the court award you? Now, playing the devil's advocate, consider the costs of filing, certified mailing, other preparation costs, the cost of fuel to run around and the total time the process took you? Consider your worth per hour and your vehicle's wear and tear while you drove back and forth to the courthouse, while you sat awaiting trial, parking, fixed costs, like insurance, rent, power, utilities, any business that was lost to fight small claims, and the wear and tear on you personally? How many calls went away because of a need to defend the principal of right and wrong?  And then, if the judge says, "pay the man", how long did it take to collect? Accepting these kinds of calls are risky where special consideration must be given when taking the chance of not being paid. Even large companies can't afford to lose payment for calls that are potentially snoozers. And, what about the judge Judy who later says ... "You didn't provide any service, judgement for the defendant?" Small claim's court is a 50-50 proposition where sometime's you win ... most the time you don't. If a company has 5x GOA calls a month ... that's a really hard hit. It's a fine-line in choosing what call to take and what call should be turned down.     R


Randall C. Resch

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There is No way I could justify traveling 40 miles let alone 85 miles for something as trivial as a winch out. Are you charging in route mileage to this call? I would assume It was a relatively easy winch out if some dude with a pickup and a rope pulled them out and sent them on their way. Lets do a basic break down on this with the info provided. you got 1-1/2 of travel time at the very least if not more due to weather, 3/4 of a tank of fuel again at minimum. Even if the casualty was still there, you throw a line on him and pull him to the roadway, what do you charge for a basic roadside winch out? As for around here we charge $100 for basic light duty winch out service. It wouldnt have been profitable even if the casualty was still there. Again I am just going off of the information available. Maybe there were other circumstances that made this job more profitable to attempt. Please dont take this as I am bashing you. What I am trying to do is point out that you have to look at the big picture before running out on these types of situations. Not only to the original poster But, any new guys out there on this forum who may read this. I do hope that your taking them to small claims was a simple process and you collected. As Mr. Resch stated, It is generally not even worth the effort.   


There are Tow Truck Drivers, Then There is Towing and Recovery operators...... Which one are you??🤨

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As Grumps' points out ... these comments AREN'T intended to bash anyone, only to take a closer look into issues that could make companies more efficient, productive and profitable. As my Dad always said ... "When plowing the fields, you're bound to turn-up a few turds."     R.

Edited by rreschran
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Randall C. Resch

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2 hours ago, rreschran said:

This is a great lesson on the value of time. While GOA's shouldn't be thought of as, "the cost of doing business", these types of calls are the reality of the industry. I believe each call has to be evaluated based on its details as well as factoring the possibility the motorist could be gone. Accordinly, may I ask what your GOA fee was at small claims? How much did the court award you? Now, playing the devil's advocate, consider the costs of filing, certified mailing, other preparation costs, the cost of fuel to run around and the total time the process took you? Consider your worth per hour and your vehicle's wear and tear while you drove back and forth to the courthouse, while you sat awaiting trial, parking, fixed costs, like insurance, rent, power, utilities, any business that was lost to fight small claims, and the wear and tear on you personally? How many calls went away because of a need to defend the principal of right and wrong?  And then, if the judge says, "pay the man", how long did it take to collect? Accepting these kinds of calls are risky where special consideration must be given when taking the chance of not being paid. Even large companies can't afford to lose payment for calls that are potentially snoozers. And, what about the judge Judy who later says ... "You didn't provide any service, judgement for the defendant?" Small claim's court is a 50-50 proposition where sometime's you win ... most the time you don't. If a company has 5x GOA calls a month ... that's a really hard hit. It's a fine-line in choosing what call to take and what call should be turned down.     R

I was paid the full amount of my claim plus filing fees sheriff service cost administrative fees for a total of over 650.00 . 

Have never lost in court , the man with the most documentation wins ( I'm a liar , your a liar ) after 50 years in this business

(" I know a thing or too because I've seen a thing or too " ) You need to know when to pick your battles . As I stated sometimes it's not about the money.

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