HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A Henry County man told Channel 2 Action News that a towing company billed him more than $1,000 for a tow after a rear-end wreck involving his daughter's car last Saturday.
Reggie Smith told Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman that his daughter's car only had minor damage and was drivable, but it was leaking radiator fluid, so he wanted to have it towed.
The tow truck company Smith's insurance called was an hour away.
Smith said the Henry County officer at the scene offered to call Bulldog Towing, one of the county's towing companies, which the officer said would get there quickly.
"The police officer said, 'We can actually have someone here within 30 minutes, the wrecker service that we use,'" Smith said.
Little did Smith know, the bill -- which his insurance company ultimately covered -- turned out to be for over $1,000.
"It's not like he had to drag it out of a ditch or if it was flipped over in the middle of the street or anything," Smith said. "They charged 14 miles at $15 a mile."
Smith walked Hyman through the $1,000 bill.
The bulk of the cost was from the $525 accident tow and the $210 mileage charge.
"I never imagined something that high," Smith said.
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Hyman went to address listed on the bill. The sign out front said Wrecker 1. The police department confirmed with Hyman that the county does have a contract with Bulldog Towing, which used to be Wrecker 1. A representative told Hyman that Bulldog Towing only rents space from Wrecker 1. Wrecker 1 says they are separate companies.
There's not much online for Bulldog Towing, but Wrecker 1 has several complaints on the Better Business Bureau's website. Overall, however, Wrecker 1 has an A- rating.
"I just think that people should know that this sort of thing can happen," Smith said.
After Hyman contacted Bulldog Towing, representatives told her there was a billing error and that the new price would be around $700. They said the $300 difference will be refunded to the insurance company.
Hyman spoke to two different metro Atlanta towing companies that told her a job like the one in Smith's case should cost half of the new, adjusted price.
"What really bothers me about the whole thing is I think that this towing company is taking advantage of people who are in a bad situation," Smith said.
Smith said although he is lucky his insurance stepped up, it's important to ask about pricing and options.
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