DOJ: News Release

Bullock Reaches Agreement with Glendive Towing Companies to Reimburse Customers, Reform Business Practices

HELENA – Attorney General Steve Bullock announced today that his office has secured thousands of dollars in a settlement with two Glendive towing companies that had allegedly charged customers exorbitant rates for substandard service.

Bullock’s Office of Consumer Protection has reached an agreement with Joy’s Glendive Service/Montana Dakota Towing that will reimburse two consumers who had asserted that they were bilked out of thousands of dollars. The towing companies, who have admitted no liability in the settlement, have agreed to reform the way they do business. The two companies share the same space, management and employees.

“It’s great to see that these consumers are being repaid and those companies will no longer be allowed to gouge customers when they’re in a crisis,” Bullock said. “The vast majority of companies doing business in Montana — whether they’re in big cities or rural towns — do right by their customers and their communities — but those that don’t, should and will be held accountable by the state.”

One of the victims had a semi owned by her company break down near Glendive. The towing companies told her they would tow the semi that day and their services would cost $285. The towing companies did unauthorized work on the semi that caused further damage and then refused to release it unless Beecham paid $1,957. Under the settlement, Beecham will be reimbursed $4,305.28.

Another victim had mechanical problems with his RV outside of Williston, ND and an independent RV Emergency Service company sent Joy’s Glendive Service/Montana Dakota Towing to his location. The motor home was improperly towed to Glendive causing loud scraping, extreme heat to the axles and eventually a blown out tire. The tow companies did unauthorized work on the RV and refused to release it to Peterson unless he paid $5,368.75. Peterson will be reimbursed $7,521.46.

The payments to Beecham and Peterson also include reimbursement for other out-of-pocket expenditures, including meals and hotels costs that were incurred while they were stranded.

On top of the restitution being paid to the customers harmed and a four-month suspension from the Montana Highway Patrol’s local rotation system, Joy’s Glendive Service/Montana Dakota Towing from this point forward agree to:

  • Clearly post their prices for towing services and provide customers with a price sheet prior to towing a vehicle.
  • Post prices for shop rates and services.
  • Provide consumers with written estimates and receive written authorization to perform repair work.

As Attorney General, Bullock oversees the Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection. Consumers with complaints or questions can contact the Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500.

Documents:
•Copies of the affidavits filed by the two victims – Beecham and Peterson
•Assurance of Voluntary Compliance signed by the District Court in Dawson County

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