News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Wrecker services should abandon 2-tier pricing plan

Most of us have driven a vehicle since age 16 and never had to call for a wrecker. But when a motorist needs a wrecker, it's most likely in an emergency situation.

Wrecker services provide a valuable, if not critical, service to our automobile culture. And for that they should receive fair pay.

But should local services indulge in two-tier pricing? Should they charge motorists involved in a traffic accident more simply because the shaken up wreck victim can't recall the name of a wrecker service?

That's apparently what happens here. If police call one of the 10 services enrolled in a rotation plan, most of the companies charge more than if the owner calls for a specific one. In some instances, not knowing the name of a company may cost a motorist twice as much.

And how about people passing through town? They are at an even greater disadvantage for not knowing whom to call.

While the wrecker companies don't work for the city and the rotation system is fair, perhaps the city should at least look into the inequity of two-tier pricing.

If making a profit is the motive for the present pricing, perhaps the companies could simply increase their fee and have a standard price for rotation calls and for motorists who happen to recall the name of a local company.

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