When you’ve had a binge, it’s impossible not to feel stressed: you’re in shock, there’s traffic building up behind you, and all you can think about is getting your car off the road and out of there. Then, if you are in Brisbane then out of nowhere, a tow truck in Brisbane driver arrives to relocate your car, and you’re relieved to the point of hugging them.
But should you just take the first tow truck in Brisbane that shows up and trust that they’ll take care of you? We’ll go through what to do, what to avoid, and what the restrictions are when it comes to a tow truck in Brisbane.
Do not let some of the shady towing businesses or a tow truck in Brisbane take your or the situations’ advantage. We are here to help you understand the difference between a shady towing business and a genuine towing company.
Which insurance companies pay the costs of lodging and transportation following an accident? Is one of the most commonly asked questions, we have tried to cover that question and many more in this article.
Here is everything you need to know to hire a tow truck in Brisbane after the accident:
- What should I do if I need a tow truck in Brisbane?
Make contact with your insurance provider. Call your insurance company before you do – or sign – anything. They may be able to arrange a tow truck in Brisbane for you and provide you with information on what to expect.
Make sure your cover is in order. Towing coverage varies by insurer, and you may not be covered if you need to be towed. It’s a smart idea to examine your policy’s limits by looking over your product disclosure statement.
Don’t put your signature on the dotted line. Never sign a towing authority form that is blank or incomplete. Make sure it includes the towing charge as well as the full address of where the automobile is being towed to.
Pay attention to the small print. A towing authority form’s terms and conditions should always be read. If something looks fishy, don’t sign it; you might be agreeing to more than you bargained for.
It’s entirely up to you. You get to choose where your tow truck in Brisbane takes you.
Please take your time. Ask the drivers of a tow truck in Brisbane to take the car to your house if you need more time to think about your options. You won’t have to pay storage fees, and you’ll be able to make a decision when your thoughts are clearer – albeit you may have to pay for two tows.
“While most tow trucks in Brisbane are safe to use,” an RACQ representative explains, “if you have a crash and your vehicle is not drivable, we urge you to phone your insurer as soon as possible and allow them to organize the tow truck.” “You don’t want to be caught out of money because your insurance company has a limit on how much they will pay for towing after a collision.”
Remember that harassing or coercing you into purchasing products or services is illegal, so don’t let anyone pressure you into accepting a tow if you don’t want to.
- Always pay attention to the little prints
Any shady variations from regular practice in tow truck documentation will be buried in the fine print, so make sure you read everything thoroughly. (We know it’s difficult while you’re still trembling from the automobile accident, but five minutes of reading time could save you months of pain.)
Many states have regulated state-issued forms, so be wary of anything that seems more like a brochure or a contract than a standard form.
“Except for the regulated towing authorization paperwork, do not sign any documents at the scene of an accident. Only pertinent information regarding the vehicle and contact information should be collected on the form, and you should receive a copy “Campbell Fuller, general manager of communications and media relations for the Insurance Council of Australia, agrees.
- How to Avoid Being Scammed
Some tow trucks in Brisbane take advantage of your panicked state after an accident by convincing you to sign shady paperwork while you’re distracted and unlikely to read the fine print. This is referred to as ‘carnapping’ in the industry.
Along with granting towing firms authority to haul your vehicle, some of these contracts include particularly unpleasant clauses, such as obligating you to choose a specific repairer who would charge you (or your insurer) exorbitant repair or storage fees.
“If you become locked into charges that exceed what your insurer covers under your policy, you may be left footing the tab,” explains an RACQ spokeswoman.
- Shaddy on a whole other level
Unwitting drivers sign paperwork authorizing unscrupulous lawyers to act on their behalf in one especially horrific scam that takes scamming to the next level.
Nicholas Logan, a Victorian lawyer, was found guilty of misconduct in 2017 for his role in a fraud in which not-at-fault drivers were persuaded to sign documents authorizing him to sue the at-fault driver for exaggerated repair bills.
Victims are frequently unaware of the scam until they are summoned to court. Logan attempted to charge a victim’s insurer more than $10,000 for $4300 in repair work in one example.
- Logan pleaded guilty to seven counts of misconduct and received a two-year suspension from practising law.
“I signed away my life”
- When CHOICE member Kieren had an accident in 2015, it made an already difficult day even worse. “I signed my life away to a nasty towing firm that demanded outrageous storage costs immediately after a head-on collision,” he adds.
According to Kieren, the tow truck driver entered the inaccurate date on the towing authorization form, resulting in his only having 48 hours of free storage instead of the 72 hours he is entitled to in Queensland. Kieren was then charged $66 per day in storage fees. (In Queensland, storage fees for accident towing are not regulated, however, storage fees for cars removed from private parking lots are only $25 per day.)
When he went to have his vehicle taken from the company’s holding yard, he was told that he could only move it with the help of the towing company’s workers, which meant that the wrecker he’d hired to take the vehicle away couldn’t get in. This meant he’d have to pay the firm even more money to have his car taken to the wrecker.
According to a spokeswoman for Transport and Main Roads, there has never been a regulation necessary for the same operators of tow trucks in Brisbane to be utilized for a subsequent haul from a holding yard — but there are no rules prohibiting it either.
Even if the corporation didn’t exactly break the law, it discovered cunning ways to extract as much money as possible from an unwary victim, even within the confines of a regulated industry. This is why you should always double (and triple) check everything before signing anything.
- What exactly is the situation in my state?
Because the accident towing sector is governed at the state level, the rules differ from state to state. Fees are capped and standards are followed in some areas, but there is little oversight in others, and shady businesses continue to fleece customers.
We looked at the laws and regulations in Australia (or the lack thereof).
- Deals with the devil
Standover tactics, ties to organized crime, and murky backroom agreements are all part of the tow truck in Brisbane’s industry’s past.
Most states have strengthened regulations, but Western Australia is still the wild west of accident towing, with no fee regulation and accusations of overcharging.
In most other Australian states, ‘spotter’s fees’ are prohibited, but in Western Australia, firms openly offer awards of up to $200 if you report a crash.
The towing industry isn’t exactly squeaky clean, even where things are more regulated. In 2017, a NSW police officer was fired for providing accident tip-offs to a towing firm in exchange for money, and a 2014 investigation of the NSW smash repair industry discovered that tow truck drivers make dirty agreements with smash repairers to ‘capture’ jobs from not-at-fault drivers.
In 2017, a tow truck company in Brisbane gave a spotter’s fee to a Sydney business owner, and we spoke with him. His company was located near a busy crossroads with a high rate of car accidents.
“One day, a driver of a tow truck in Brisbane came up to me and said, ‘If you see a crash, contact me and I’ll give you fifty bucks,” says the author. Jake (not his real name) expresses himself.
Jake alleges he called the driver seven times but was only paid $50 each time, despite the towing company garnering up business each time. The final straw was an accident involving two cars, which he reported but was not reimbursed for despite seeing the towing firm load both cars. Jake says, “I haven’t phoned them since.”
Based on these incidents and examples that we have discussed, we can conclude one thing for sure, that there is such a thing as tow truck scammers. But it does not mean that you can not trust any of the towing services in the state. Austow Towing services is one of the most known and respected names in the industry. For any situation you can surely contact us and we will take care of the rest.