10G Towing and Recovery is the latest towing company catching heat for price gouging in metro Detroit.
TV news reports say it billed a pair of drivers involved in a snowy Sunday pile up on I-696 in Farmington Hills $9,000 and $4,000 to retrieve their vehicles.
Kellie Rockwell, who was hit with the higher bill, breaks down the costs for Fox 2:
(The bill) included "a $375 Covid charge," she said. "Five hundred some dollars for storage, $2,100 to hook it up."
Rockwell says she only used that towing company because they showed up right after first responders did, and she thought wrongly, they were with Michigan State Police.
"Our insurance company said to use the tow truck drivers that police had on-site," she said.
Timothy Vanhaverbeck reportedly was told he'd have to pay $4,000 to get his car back.
Michigan business records show the company was incorporated last month — just in time for peak snow season and a series of Super Bowl Sunday pile ups that involved more than 100 vehicles. It was registered by a Ryan Wolfe with a Troy address, though a bill shared with Deadline Detroit indicates the company has a location in Redford.
Though Vanhaverbeck and Rockwell reportedly negotiated lower bills with help from their insurance companies, they'll both still have to pay several thousand dollars to get their cars back, Fox 2 reports.
Rockwell told the station she'd been in contact with Michigan State Police, who were investigating, but a spokesman for the agency said Saturday that it had not heard from her and no investigation was open. The agency said it recently filed a complaint about another tow company, but that they generally don't find towing operators criminally liable.
There's little by way of state laws to prevent tow operators from preying on drivers, but it's recommended that would-be customers approached by a company they did not call check if their insurance company sent them or if they're contracted with a police agency.