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Just curious as to how others handle towing fees.

 

Example:

Customer called me today and said they needed to have their vehicle towed to my shop. They informed me that the belt had some off and the radiator is leaking. The customer was at work, but had left keys in the ignition before he left. Do I go ahead at the first opportunity to give him the cost of towing? Do I take a credit card number down??? I don't usually ask for credit card information or money down before performing repairs, so it doesn't feel right to ask for CC info for towing services. Do you roll this into the cost when you quote the repairs?

 

Also, is their any sort of special deal you can work with local towing companies? Are these folks I should be sending pizzas for lunch to earn their recommendation or handing them 3-5 business cards when they drop cars off? Still new to this end of the business (in other words, treat me like a dummy and assume I know nothing). Any advice and/or scenarios would be helpful or things to look out for. Vehicle walk arounds, etc.

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I try to Jog the customers memory at some point that they may have towing on their cell phone package, insurance , credit card,etc. Excludes me from all towing issue liability while it was being towed to me.If not a organize the tow up front to a limit of my cost $100.00 as long as it comes to us.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We also offer a towing service. We don't ask for money upfront but we do inform the customer upfront that there would be a towing charge. We add the towing fee in the final invoice.

 

My question is should we type up a form for the customer to sign giving us permission to towed their vehicle and that we are not responsible for any damage while is being towed to our shop. We don't have any insurance on this service in case something was to happen to the vehicle while it being towed.

 

What do you guys suggest.

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Towing companies can be a great source of referrals. You should absolutely take care of them! Offer coffee and pop every time they are in. Most of all, train your staff to be nice to them!! They will take cars to the people they like.

 

As far as towing fees go, we mark them up between $10 and $20, and add the charge to the invoice. When we call the customer to discuss the repairs, we will go over the towing cost at that time, but have never asked for money up front. In my opinion, AAA road service is the best value for a road service plan. We recommend that to our customers.

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I always ask the customer "Do you have AAA to avoid the cost of towing?" If the answer is "No AAA" then the customer has been told and is now aware that there will be a charge for the tow. If the answer is "Yes, I have AAA" then I suggest they call AAA and provide them with the phone number if needed. If the vehicle is being towed to my shop then I do not ask for credit card info or pre-payment. If it is going anywhere else and I don't "know" the customer then I would ask for credit card info or pre-payment.

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
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