SAFEclear tow truck drivers accused of double billing

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KHOU-11 reports that HPD is investigating several SAFEclear wrecker drivers for “double-dipping”:

HPD suspended three National Collision tow truck drivers indefinitely this week.

Investigators said they towed a vehicle just off the interstate for free, then negotiated a price to move it from there.

The wrecker drivers, HPD says, wanted to charge both the city and the vehicle’s owner — something the contract prohibits.

“You’re going to have, out of the 200-plus drivers, some who feel like they can be under the radar and slip something in,” said Bender.

11 News has learned HPD has suspended the licenses of five SafeClear drivers from three different companies. The owner of National Collision said, as far as his company is concerned, this is only a misunderstanding in a program that has had a lot of changes lately.

“I think it needs to be cleared out how this system is going to work,” said Sam Said with National Collision. “If a customer is taken to a place and he wanted to be moved again, we want to know if it’s going to be one tow or two tows. That’s the biggest issue.”

The city insists the contract is clear and that officers will continue to pull wreckers off the road if they overcharge stranded motorists for doing the same.

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.