Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Feeding off tragedy

Truckers bringing blankets to people in need. Others running to get help, calling ambulances, and just generally bringing news and comfort to those in worse straits. Those are the sorts of things that give you warm fuzzies even in the midst of a bad situation like the multi-car pile-up on I-90 this Sunday. Those are the sorts of things I saw.

And so it is especially disconcerting when you then hear about people taking advantage of the situation, working hard to ruin those silver linings.

Channel3000 is reporting that a number of the people effected by the crashes on Sunday are being bilked out of large sums of cash by the towing companies.

Keslie Werner, of Monona, wrote that she was appalled at an even higher towing charge. Werner said her family boarded a bus after being stuck for six hours, only to have their car towed to Prairieland Towing in Sun Prairie."When my husband called, the person answering the phone stated that the charge for the tow was $695," wrote Werner. "After explaining that his car had no damage, he was told that the owner agreed to reduce the fee to $200."
No damage to your car, forced to leave it on the road so that you can spend the night in a warm bed instead of the cold interstate, and the damn towing company is still trying to charge you hundreds of dollars? That's just dirty pool.

If you're not going to comp the tows, the decent thing would be to at least offer a substantial discount. That Werner's husband was initially told it would cost nearly $700 for the tow is unacceptable. Had he not mentioned that the car was not damaged, they would have happily fleeced them. Profit over people is never acceptable. Not only is that bad morals, it's bad business to boot.

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