Towing company taken off rotation list for failing to pay refund

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 6/6/2016

A towing company in West Virginia is no longer allowed to conduct third-party tows after failing to refund an overcharge of more than $10,000 to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

The Public Service Commission of West Virginia ordered on June 3 that Anthony’s Truck Repair have its third-party towing privileges revoked and for all relevant law enforcement agencies to be notified.

Third-party tows are often referred to as nonconsensual tows since the customer has no choice in which company performs the tow, as well as no opportunity to check prices beforehand.

Anthony’s Truck Repair had been ordered on Dec. 29, 2015, to refund OOIDA $10,067 for an overcharged towing bill from July 2014. After Anthony’s ignored several orders to reimburse OOIDA, the commission opted to remove them from the list of companies law enforcement calls when then there’s an accident.

OOIDA has been working to stop towing companies who have been drastically overcharging truck drivers for services.

“We really do appreciate the Public Service Commission of West Virginia for following through on this one,” OOIDA Director of State Legislative Affairs Mike Matousek said. “Ultimately, they got the correct outcome. I give them props. They did a good job here.

“I think we’ve spread the word in West Virginia that we’re not taking this anymore. If we get an invoice from a company in West Virginia that we think is wrong, we know how to file a complaint now. Hopefully, this will lead to less and less of these type of situations.”

OOIDA Member Ysabel Luna’s original bill from the July 2014 accident was more than $30,000. Among the noted overcharges was a $1,080 bill for traffic control even though the Green Sulphur District Volunteer Fire Department was in charge of the traffic.

After failing to pay, the commission ordered on March 30 that Anthony’s would have its third-party authority revoked if the payment wasn’t made in 10 days. OOIDA informed the commission on May 23 that the payment still hadn’t been made.

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