MT. MORRIS (WJRT) - (12/15/16) - A Mid-Michigan man whose car was smashed in the 40-car pile-up on I-75 over the weekend says he's been hit again - with a big bill.
He feels a towing service took advantage of the situation and gouged him.
He paid $440 by the time his car was towed back to Mt. Morris, but the bill would have been higher if he hadn't complained and negotiated a lower price.
Snow squalls caused whiteout conditions Dec. 10 and sent about 40 cars and trucks smashing into each other near Holly. One of those was driven by a Mt. Morris man.
"When I went into the ditch, I broke the front tie rod on my car and I broke my rear rim," said Thomas Waskiewicz.
His car was not driveable and two trucks from two nearby towing services responded to the crash site. Waskiewicz ended up being towed by Armstead Automotive, near Holly.
"The one guy I talked to told me it was $100 to pull me out of the ditch and then $120 to hook me up to the truck. And then, like, $4 a mile back to the tow yard," Waskiewicz said.
After the weekend, Waskiewicz went to Armsted to have his car towed to Mt. Morris. The bill was much more than he was expecting.
"So when I got back in there on Monday, they pulled up everything and it was almost $450 and that wasn't including their lot fees of $35 a night," Waskievicz said.
Plus, it would cost $170 to have it towed from Holly to Mt. Morris.
Waskiewicz feels the towing company took advantage of the situation.
"It's gouging, is all they're doing with it," Waskiewicz said.
Waskiewicz says if you find yourself in a similar situation, don't be afraid to ask the competition for lower rates.
"If I had known that I could call other tow companies to come do my stuff, then I would and I wouldn't have all those fees and extra stuff," Waskiewicz said.
ABC12 News spoke with a manager at Armstead Automotive, which towed the car. She said they had no comment.
Michigan has an anti-gouging law that prohibits prices that are "grossly in excess of similar services."