There are questionable practices circling in the world of the service industry out there today, and the tow trucking industry is no exception. A majority of these practices relate to overcharges, bait and switch tactics, and false statements that your vehicle needs a tow when it doesn’t. To ensure you don’t fall victim to a tow truck scam, it’s important that you know your tow truck rights. This quick guide will outline your rights and the operator’s responsibilities to you.
Yes, it is. In 2017, the Ontario Government introduced new laws to strengthen protections for consumers. In Ontario, many municipalities have by-laws that license towing companies, but the City of Ottawa does not have a regulatory regime in place, so it’s up to you to know your rights and protect yourself.
Some “Chasers” will often race to a scene to win business and then convince a motorist their car needs a tow when sometimes it does not. This practice is illegal in Ontario. A tow truck driver cannot approach a motorist within 100 meters of the scene of an accident on city roads unless they have been called by the motorist or the police.
Bait and Switch tactics are present in the world of towing, and occur when a consumer unknowingly signs a form that approves a mechanical or bodyshop repair work order for their vehicle. Their vehicle is then towed to a shop where the repair bill is inflated and the vehicle is kept until the insurance or vehicle owner pays for the specific services. In the worst case, if the motorist does not pay, the repair shop can enforce the Repair and Storage Liens Act and sell their vehicle.
Some tow truck drivers are paid a referral fee by vehicle repair shops to tow vehicles there. Other repair shops own and control tow truck companies to ensure they get the majority of the business. Some of these shops inflate repair bills and because of these operations, some insurance companies won’t work with these businesses, potentially putting you on the hook to pay for the fees to move it elsewhere.
Know your rights in Ontario!
For detailed information on all of the towing regulations, visit the Consumer Protection Ontario website here.
At Alliance Towing, your safety is our number one priority. We complete each job with our customers’ experience at top of mind. Regardless of your situation, you can rest assured that when you call us, you will receive the most professional, detail-oriented treatment in Ottawa. Our friendly staff follows all the Laws and Regulations to protect your rights at all times.