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Tri County Automotive and TowingTowing problems

I recently got into an accident on the turnpike. It was not involving any other vehicles, I ran over a semi tire that was in the middle of the road. I was going to call AAA but the florida trooper had called to get us a tow after looking at the fluid leaking from my car. When the towing company got there, they hardly said anything to me at first. They started hooking my car up to the tow truck and I started asking them questions about what they were doing and what it was going to cost. The towing company told me that they had to tow me because it was classified a crash. I was on the phone with my dad, and he asked to speak with the tow truck driver, but the driver said he was busy. My dad then asked me if it was AAA. I told him that they had a sign on the side of the tow truck that distinguished they were AAA certified. I was not from the area but when I requested them to drop me off at an auto shop that was 2 miles from where I had the accident, they said that they could only drop me there is I could pay $104 in cash. Well then I asked if they took credit cards, and they said they did, so I offered to pay using a credit card, and the driver said that would be fine. All the while, he did not ask me if he could tow my car, NOR did he answer directly any of my questions about how much it was going to cost.

So I thought that it would be fine though just getting it dropped off where I wanted. However, as we were driving, the driver tells us that his boss said he wasn't allowed to drop us off at thee autoshop. We told him that we had the credit cards to pay, but he again said his boss said no. He said he had to drop us off at the service plaza 12 miles up the road. At this point I asked him if there was a mechanic at the service plaza and he said no, and that they would have to take my car back to their lot in Fort Pierce. So I asked, "Will it be free assuming I pick it up in the morning?" He said yes, so I asked the same question again and he assured me yes. And he said if I was to leave the car over night it would be $ 26 dollars a night. He told me that he "knew it was hard to understand" and that even he gets confused sometimes.

As we got to the service plaza, his story changed. He said that in fact he meant "FREE" as in "Insurance" when referring to how much it would cost to pick my car up. In fact it was going to cost me $140 dollars the next morning! He said that he thought that we didn't have money, that was why he didn't take my car to the auto shop I had wanted, and then he tried to offer to drive it back there, but I would have to pay $280 for the trip to the service plaza and then back in the other direction. At this point there was nothing I could do but let them take my car at least till the next day.

I was able to get my grandparents to go pick up my car to tow it home. My car is registered to my grandma so when I called the towing company they would give me no information about it whatsoever. My grandmother had to ride down with my grandfather to get my car released. When they got there, Tri County Automotive and Towing charged my grandparents $455. The break down was:

Hookup- $110.00
Mileage- $75.00
Time on scene -$156.00
Storage- $78.00
Administration Fee- $36.00

We should have been charged less than $200 (based on the little information the company gave me). Then when I proceeded to call and complain, the lady who answered mocked me and said that she couldn't even tell me the mileage rate because the car didn't belong to me. At that point my grandparents were still in the parking lot, but she lied and said they had already left.

My dad contacted Florida Highway Patrol and they told him that they only work with AAA contracted companies, and that all these towing companies follow AAA's policy of the first 50 miles free. When I checked the AAA website, Tri County Automotive and Towing was not AAA certified or approved. In reality, we should not have been charged anything, and my car should have been towed where I wanted it to be towed.

Responses

  • My
    MystikaI427 Jun 29, 2010

    AAA has nothing to do with Florida. The state has their own rate sheet. But about the talking to you, it didn't matter if he asked to tow your car or not. The trooper ordered the removal of the car, therefore, even if you said no he was still towing the car. The state doesn't wait for AAA or motor clubs. Also, since the wrecker already has orders to tow, he was trying to do his job quickly. We don't have time to discuss towing rates or anything until after we've loaded the car and signed off with the trooper. Even if we did stand there and talk to you, it's $20 every 15 minutes, so it's in your best interest to save the questions. Crashes, DAV, and calling a wrecker yourself are totally different from each other. I don't know if FHP can release their rate sheet or not to the public. I wouldn't see why not.

    0 Votes
  • Bo
    boo41 Nov 22, 2013

    Tri-County towing are one of the biggest thieves on the Treasure Coast area. They legally over charge and steal from honest hearted citizens. They tow for FHP and the local sheriffs office. The owner makes sure that he keeps a personal relationship with the officers so they won't find him at fault for any of his wrong doing. He does this so that he can over charge and do all kinds of illegal stunts knowing that NOTHING will be done about it. Tri County are some of the biggest crooks there is! You can't call on the Sheriff's office to do anything about it because they protect him. If you are reading this I would not let Tri-county towing touch NOTHING!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chuc Jun 30, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    They are a bunch of liars as well, did damage to my son's car, then denied they did (there was no noted damage on there invoice) and my 18 yr old son witnessed it! Off to court we go! Bunch of dishonest thieves, do not deal with them!

    0 Votes
  • Su
    Susan Ward O'Dell Feb 05, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    They are nasty to deal with, when i asked if I could get something notarized to get by son's car because he was unable to get it, they said no, we hen I called back to ask again if there was anything I could do, they were again nasty and said in their records I had already been told no. As it turned out, all I had to do was get a power of attorney. They all need a course in customer service, there is a nice way to talk to CUSTOMERS.

    0 Votes
  • Fl
    Florida Speedy Transportation Feb 12, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    *****SCAM ALERT*****BEWARE******* On 02/11/2016 One of my drivers got a flat tire on the Florida turnpike close to Fort Pierce Fl.We are a small transportation company based out of Longwood fl. Minutes later a tow truck from Tri County Automotive @ Towing came up to him and offer help.I talked to the driver over the phone and he mention he can call his boss and fix my tire, I asked how far was his shop, and How much will it be?he said close to five miles and maybe $200 .I said go ahead tow my truck and fix my tire .They towed my car hauler and truck to the rest area in the turnpike not even 3 miles from where my truck got the flat tire.I called the the company and asked whats going on ?. how much it will be for the repair of the tire ?. They never gave me a answer.Never wanted to give a price or a estimate of the charges.They trick me into bringing the truck to there shop 35 miles back from where my truck got stuck and then they told me the bill was $1387.44.They knew i will say NO WAY I WILL LET YOU HAUL MY TRUCK 35 MILES FOR $1065. AND THE REST OF THE MONEY FOR CHANGING A TIRE AND I HAD THE TIRE.THIS CHARGE.IS THE WORST SCAM EVER.They literally hijack my truck and made me pay.I had no choice .Stay away form this place.

    0 Votes
  • Wh
    Why come? Aug 29, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My vehicle was recently involved in a MVA in St. Lucie County. Tri County was the reporting towing company and my vehicle was towed to their facility and housed there for four days. After day 2 of my vehicle being there, I called to request permission to be able to come and retrieve some personal items from my vehicle prior to it being sent to the mechanic shop. After my arrival, I was greeted and told that I could walk over to the fence and a staff member would be the one retrieving my items from my vehicle and giving them to me. The employee that was sent back did start off by bringing me items that I requested but much of what he brought me was small mail items that could have waited. I began to ask for specific items that I knew was in my car and the helper would go to the specific area but would say that he didn't see it. I insisted that I was on my way the morning of the accident to mail off one of the items so I was sure it was in the trunk. The employee insisted that the brand new jumper cable box, which was still in the box (cost $120.00) was not in the trunk. He also denied that a taser, which stays in the door of my car, was also not there. I left bothered and confused. I immediately went inside and spoke w/ the front desk staff who stated " it must not have been in there". I called the office more than 5 times and requested to speak w/ the owner or a manager who could offer me assistance. I was placed on hold for over 35 minutes, promised call backs and never heard from any one with any authority. All I asked was that they review their camera footage and see who went to my car w/o authorization because I am speculating that the less than honorable looking worker that they sent to my car- went back and took my items. After all of my efforts failed, I reached out to the Ft Pierce PD, which was an absolute waste of time. The officer who responded, immediately began to question me regarding my son's record (which he does not have), the nature of the accident; was he arrested, whether I paid my tow/storage bill, what kind of work I did, did I have another vehicle... (all of these questions prior to him even taking a report). He then stated " I know the owner personally and if it is okay with you I will call him to see if we can gain some resolve civilly) I agreed because all I wanted was for some action to be taken at getting my items back or at least to make sure the theft didn't go unpunished or unreported. The officer called as he promised and after him and his friend (owner of the business) had a very long conversation he proceeded to question me as to whether my son took items out the vehicle. I stated "no" since I picked him up from the scene I know he only had his wallet, the accident report and his hat with him. The officer then stated "Well Tony is willing to meet you have way and offer you $50.00. I became very angry by this because of the officer's condescending attitude and his apparent bias. I then told the officer I would like to make a report since they seem to not care about theft at their facility. Begrudgingly, the officer finally took the report. I picked up this said report the other day and it was not a surprise that the officer wrote and closed the report in one sentence stating that he could not prove that my items were ever in the car. The sad part is the county continues to allow them to keep their contract even after they have received so many reports of ongoing issues from this company.
    I am disgusted by this business' lack of professionalism and by the officers poor use of his authority. As a veteran, this sort of behavior and the officers lack of civil respect, saddens and truly grieves me.
    SLC PD- Just do better.

    1 Votes

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