Consumer Power — Three New Tow Truck Driver Friends…..

by John Watts on April 5, 2012

I hope this first Thursday in April finds you doing well. Can you believe how fast this year is going?

Let me tell you a story of the past few days with meeting three tow truck drivers.

On Saturday night my family was driving into town when our van lost power and started smoking on the interstate. I got the call, jumped in my car and picked up my family at the local police station. I wish I had pictures of my kids in the back of the police car — useful blackmail information. :)

I then met the tow truck driver who informed me that the engine had “blown up.” Nice. Not what I had planned on.

Then Tuesday evening I was leaving my office at night and heard an odd sound. I pulled into a parking spot in the parking deck, got out and there it was. A completely flat tire on my new vehicle.

Let me say this — I drive cars a long time. My van has 230,000 miles. My car has about 250,000 miles. So at the end of the year we bought a new vehicle — Honda CRV.

I was thinking “How do I have a flat tire on my new car?”

So I called AAA.

They showed up. Very nice man.

“You have the thing to get the wheel lock off?”

I respond in a very intelligent way “What’s that?”

He says, “Oh, you have to have it or we can’t get your wheel off to put the spare on.”

“Nope, never heard or seen that.”

He answers “OK, it should be in your glove compartment box. It will be a package.”

Suddenly an image floods my mind. The day after I bought the CRV I found this odd package in the glove compartment box. Like any good man, I did not read the instructions because I could tell it was something dumb that I did not need taking up room in my glove box.

So I put it in the garage.

I tell the guy “Oh, sorry, that’s in my garage.”

He tells me “You have to have it or I’ll have to tow your vehicle.”

I call my daughter and ask her to get this for me and bring it to me. We live 30 minutes from my downtown office and my family was 30 minutes away from the house.

I bid farewell to the tow truck guy and wait.

The package arrives, I thank everyone, I call AAA and they send someone else out to meet me.

I get a call from “Sugarland, Texas” but I ignore it as I want to keep my phone clear for when AAA or the tow truck guy calls me.

Yep, that was the tow truck guy’s company calling. He’s looking for me in the deck.

I go to the deck and he is not there. Turns out he’s in the wrong deck. The towing company argues with me about it and insists that I’m in the wrong deck and the driver is in the right deck.

I admit it is 11 something at night. I’m a bit annoyed. I’m tired. But I’m pretty sure I haven’t forgotten where I park my car every day for the past however many years.

I meet the guy — he is nice and fixes my tire. I drive home on the donut tire.

Here’s why I’m telling you all of this — you never know what is going to happen. So we have to adapt and roll with it.

Old vehicles break down. It happens. Never at a convenient time but it happens.

Bad consequences come from assuming and not reading the instructions or the rules. “I’ll never need this” as I tossed the wheel lock into the book case in my garage…. :)

This is why we want to be prepared. Why we talk about credit reports, debt collectors, foreclosures, scams, etc. So we will be prepared.

For the person who has never been late on any bill and suddenly you have a dozen collection accounts that are not yours. Know that there is help.

If you are dealing with collectors — understand they may call your neighbors or threaten you or take other illegal action.

When the “unexpected” happens — we need to figure out the solution and then learn.

Glad I had AAA.

Oh, and I’ve got the wheel lock next to the spare. It’s not going anywhere!

Have a great rest of the week….

John Watts

Here are three new articles we have on Alabama Consumer.

What To Do When A Foreign Collector Harasses You Over A Pay Day Loan – a growing problem and a good excuse to put the funny “This is Peggy” commercial in an article….

Winning Through Intimidation — Debt Buyer Lawsuits In Alabama

What Questions To Ask A Debt Collector When You Talk To One On The Phone


John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
301 19th Street North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203

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