Bexar Towing rounds up complaints about damaged vehicles

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Getting towed isn’t much fun—especially when you later discover that your vehicle has been damaged in the process.

BBB has received 24 complaints about San Antonio-based Bexar Towing over the last three years. As of May 15, 2013, the company did not respond to 10 of those complaints and failed to resolve one complaint.

Consumer complaints received by Better Business Bureau allege Bexar Towing causes damage to their vehicles. Consumers further allege that Bexar Towing does not respond to their inquiries concerning compensation on repairing the alleged damages.

Susan Simpson of San Antonio said Bexar Towing made an unauthorized tow and damaged her vehicle in the process. She said the company has not responded to requests to pay for the damage. “They did $600 damage to our bumper,” she said. “We sent it to our insurance company and there was a $500 deductible.”

Another consumer, Michael Vasquez admitted he was parked in an illegal spot, but said Bexar Towing caused between $3,000 and $4,000 damage to his vehicle by towing it improperly. He said he had to pay $600 out of pocket, including the towing fee and the deductible. “My pickup is an all-wheel drive,” he said. “They towed it with two wheels. You can’t do that. It has to be towed on a flatbed. The rear end was ripped up and the differential was messed up. The transmission was damaged.”

Vasquez said he tried to get Bexar Towing to pay for the damage to his vehicle, but was unsuccessful.

Towing companies are often one of the most complained about industries within BBB. In 2012, BBB received 2,814 complaints about towing companies nationwide. Common consumer complaints include allegations of vehicle damage, unauthorized towing and overbilling.

In the state of Texas, towing companies must have a permit from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. In order to perform a non-consent tow on private property, a towing company must show that the tow truck used is equipped to tow light-duty or heavy-duty vehicles according to manufacturer’s specifications. The permit also requires the company to have at least $300,000 of liability insurance for the tow truck and at least $50,000 of cargo insurance.

Consumers who have their vehicle towed should consider the following BBB tips:

  • Contact the towing company immediately. The towing company’s contact information should be displayed on a sign in the area where you parked. Retrieve your car as quickly as possible. Many towing companies include a storage fee based on the amount of time a vehicle remains in their facility.
  • Inspect your vehicle before leaving. Make sure there is no damage from the tow and any items you had in the vehicle are accounted for. Take pictures for proof when you pick up your vehicle in case you need to fill out an incident report.
  • Ask for a detailed receipt. All fees rendered for towing and storing your vehicle should be itemized in writing. Review them carefully and ask for clarification before you pay.
  • Know where to turn. Consumers who feel their vehicle was wrongfully towed can file a complaint with BBB and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. To check out a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.