Don't gouge stranded motorists for towing: Bradley
Published Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:59PM EST
Ontario's Minister of Community Safety is asking towing companies to make sure they do not gouge motorists whose cars were left along a snow-swept highway earlier this week.
Jim Bradley said he was "very concerned" about reports that some tow trucks were charging unfair rates for the return of cars abandoned along Highway 402, where hundreds of cars and trucks became stuck by overnight snow squalls.
Vehicles stranded on the southwestern Ontario highway east of Sarnia, Ont., were removed by private towing companies, leaving some wondering whether the charge to have their car returned were fair.
"People believe they are being overcharged for towing. They show up for their car and find out it is something approaching $400. They are quite concerned about that," Bradley told CTV News on Thursday.
Bradley said that in light of the altruistic response to the situation, with locals opening their doors to stranded motorists and snowmobilers embarking on rescue efforts, he would hope that no one would take advantage of the situation.
"Don't take advantage of people. If you can justify the cost you can, but don't take advantage of people in this situation," he said.
Bradley said there was no evidence of price gouging, only several complaints.
He also said there is very little that can be done about price gouging, stating that it is almost a case of "buyer beware."
People who feel they have been gouged can make a complaint to the Ministry of Consumer Services at 1-800-889-9768.
With files from CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss