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KCMO seeks to crack down on towing price gouging

Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 19:26:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One man is furious after being charged nearly $1,000 to get his car towed. His complaint is just one of many we have received from viewers through the years.

Bryan Barry is the fleet compliance manager at the Kansas City Transportation Group who oversees Yellow Cab, 1010 Taxi and Z-Trip.

"Usually the first guy that shows up usually is not the nice guy," Barry said.

Earlier this month, one of their Toyota Scions was in a wreck on I-35 near Antioch.

"Not always--are we able--is our tow truck company that we work with able to respond right away," Barry said.

So the Missouri State Highway Patrol had Platinum Tow from Liberty, Missouri haul away the damaged Scion because the driver was taken to the hospital.

The tow from the crash site to Platinum Tow's lot is about 10 miles.

The next day, the cab company was in for a surprise.

Platinum Tow wanted to charge them more than $1,000 to get the car back.

"I 100 percent believe this was price gouging," Barry said. 

Ultimately, Platinum Tow knocked $50 off the bill bringing the total to $981.25. 

41 Action News went to their lot at 151 N Stewart Road, Liberty to ask about the charges. The office was closed.

41 Action News called Platinum Tow, and the man who picked up the phone doesn't remember the tow. We asked how much they charge customers for towing; he also didn't know.

"This goes on a lot more than what you think, and we feel like something needs to be done about it," Barry said.

City leaders now want tow companies that operate within Kansas City, Missouri to provide a list to the city of their prices.

"At least that way everybody would know on record what those fees are," said Jim Ready, Regulated Industries Division Manager. "It doesn't say what those fees have to be, it just says they have to have those fees posted for the customer and then we would have to be informed, as well as KCPD, be informed of those fees.” 

41 Action News called a number of tow companies to see how much it would cost to haul a car from Power and Light to UMKC — about six miles.

Many of the companies said they charge about $65 to $75 for a hook-up fee and about $3 for every mile.

All City Tow: $55 for hookup and $3 per mile

Almighty Tow: $65 for hook up and $3 per mile

Arrow Tow Services: $65 recovery and $3 mile. There is a dolly fee for all wheel drive.

Class tow: $90 flat; no mileage charge

Hook N Book: $70 

Overland Tow Service: $75 recovery and $3.50 per mile

Penn’s Tow Services: $75 recovery and $3 per mile

Recovery Tow Service: $65 recovery and $3 per mile

Santa Fe Tow: Around $110

"I mean, things like this happen and it's usually not cheap," Barry said.

The Public Safety and Neighborhoods committee will take up this issue at their meeting Wednesday at 10 a.m.