When you call a tow truck, you expect a professional, courteous driver who puts you at ease and promises to get your car where you need, safely. The last thing you expect is to shed tears over the car that you bought for college and so scrupulously maintained for the last 4 years. Even if it's a 2000 Honda Accord LX. Even though it is an automatic with FWD.
On my way back from the Detroit Auto Show this past Monday, I got a call from my mom saying she was stranded in a friends car due to a flat tire. I decided that since it was on my way home, I would be a good son and rescue my mom, her friend and my elderly grandmother. When I arrived at the scene, a police car was blocking the lane where the stranded car was and I pulled in front. I left my car running, and walked back to speak with the police officer. After a ten minute discussion, where the officer had told me a tow truck was on its way, I started back to my car to back it up for my grandmother.
Here's where the trouble starts: with headlights, heater fan, and radio all on, my car's ignition died. My brother didn't notice since the heater fan was still blowing. At this point, my car will not start at all. No matter what I try, no luck. Okay, no worries, a tow truck is coming, he can give me a jump right? Wrong. The truck's jumper system is not working. The police officer asks if the tow operator can pull my car across the street to a gas station. I am told it will cost me $25, do I agree to this? No problem. My uncle arrives and picks up all the passengers except me and my brother.
The tow operator lifts the other car onto the flatbed, tells me and my brother to get in the truck and hooks my Honda up to the back with the front lifted. Note here that as soon as I agreed to the $25 charge, I had it on good faith that the tow operator would get my car to the gas station safely. We drove to the gas station and the driver starts to back the car into a parking spot. THUD, THUD, THUD. "I wonder what's going on with your car?" he asks me. We both get out and lo and behold, the left half of my bumper is hanging off and completely split at the bottom. He says to me "Your hand brake was on. You should have left it off on an automatic or at least told me. Nothing I can do. I am not responsible." Then he starts to unload the car as fast as possible. Needless to say, I am furious. "Shouldn't you have checked that the brake was off when you put the damn thing into neutral? You basically dragged my car on its new tires (2 months) over 100 feet" I say heatedly. He replies back "Your car is FWD, so I didn't put into Neutral" and shrugs. At this point, I am furious. I should have called the police again, but my mom came out and started asking me questions and in my fury I was blinded and made the mistake of not calling. I told him to give me his insurance info, and he tells me that since he is not responsible, he won't do that, and to add insult to injury, he offered waive the $25 fee. Oh no, I want proof of this transaction and make him charge my credit card (proof of time and date) and get a receipt. I informed him that I would contact his manager in the morning and he took off before I could finish asking him questions. Again, I should have called the police, but mom was pestering me about details. I tucked the bumper in to the cranny of the hole, got a jump from my uncle and drove home. The next day, I called the manager who also insisted that they were not responsible for any damage but would need to see my car. I set up a date for Saturday (due to classes and work). As this is my first time dealing with car damage and liabilities, I ask you guys for help.
Should I take my insurance rep with me on Saturday to the tow facility and should I also maybe take a police officer? What else should I have done or do to prepare for the meeting?