The towing industry has had some bad actors that gave the business a bad rap, which it later managed to mend and improve through advancements in technology.
The most famous bad actor that gave towing companies a bad reputation is a notorious towing company in Chicago named Lincoln Towing Services. This company was widely reported to have tormented Chicago car owners for decades, as it was only in 2018 that its license to operate was revoked by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).
To have an idea of how the Lincoln Towing Services operated in Chicago, checkout a 1978 American comedy movie entitled “Towing,” which recently came out for streaming on Amazon Prime. The movie loosely depicts the misdeeds and strong-arm tactics of the company. Although it strays from the real story as it only took two barmaids to bring down the movie’s dishonest towing company.
In truth, despite the more than 831 violations cited by the ICC, the company managed to get off the hook after a Cook County judge overturned ICC’s ruling. The court allowed the notorious towing company to continue operating but under a new name “Protective Parking Services.” Nonetheless, the company is now acting with more caution as its license is still under probation with the Illinois regulator.
How LTS/Protective Parking Services Operates
Lincoln Towing Services (LTS) was organized in the 70s as a relocator that renders car-hauling services mainly for the protection of property owners against illegal parkers. The company also has contracts with parking lot operators to help them enforce parking rules and regulations. LTS tows and relocates a parked car to its property and hold it in storage, until the owner of the vehicle pays the company its hefty fees for holding the relocated automobile in the company’s parking area.
Since relocating is LTS’ main line of business, it does not provide roadside assistance. Unlike the new breed of towing companies that offer help by rendering services like refuelling, battery charging, tire replacements or jump starting a stalled vehicle. Today, if a car bogs down while in a public road or along the highway, there are towing companies that provide vehicle owners with help instead of worsening their current dilemma.
Advancements in Technology that Helped Towing Companies Improve Their Services
Nowadays, if a business wants to survive competition, its business model should be consumer-centric. In order to do so effectively, many have adopted new technologies that allow them to offer quality goods and services. Towing companies are no different, especially those looking to improve their reputation as customer-oriented entities.
In understanding that not all customers needing immediate assistance can pay in cash, most towing companies have set-up payment systems that enable them to accept payments by way of online or mobile banking technologies.
Yet one of the most important technology-based improvements that enabled towing companies to remove the bad actor stigma, is the ability to receive, as well as relay information about the problem that needs addressing.
Through their website or mobile app and office software, modern day towing companies are able to easily collect information about the vehicle and its problem. Doing so helps the dispatcher determine the kind of assistance needed by the customer, whilst enabling their trained technicians to arrive at the site with the right equipment.
If the problem requires specialized mechanical repair services, the towing company will provide towing service to where the owner wants his vehicle to be delivered; usually to a car repair shop. In some cases, when the car owner is not a resident of the area and is only passing through, the towing company will refer the car owner to a trusted auto repair shop that can immediately attend to the car problem.
As an aside, readers might like to take note that in San Jose, California, a company simply known as Towing Services ( http://towing-services.com/ ) is always ready to provide 24/7 roadside assistance and towing services for any type and size of vehicle, including tractors and trailers.