There are many examples of the difference between small town life and the city. It boils down to treating people like neighbours instead of strangers and that extends into business dealings.
Exhibit A is this outrageous tow charge my son got stung with while attending university in Waterloo, ON.
For the high crime of parking in an underground parking lot overnight without a parking permit, a 19-year-old student was soaked with a $1,039 bill.
The explanation by Code Yellow Towing is interesting and the last line is hilarious:
“Our company was called out to 328 Regina st at 9:25 am on Jan 5 2018 once we had arrived to this location; the vehicle was located in the underground parking garage in the far corner close to other vehicle in a very tight spot. The First Truck of $230.00 called for a second truck to assist with special proper equipment so no damages would occur to the vehicle cost of $180.00. City bylaw doesn’t allow us to open vehicles to remove e breaks or to put the vehicle in neutral so we have to use special equipment called go jacks cost $85.00 and dollies to have all 4 wheels off the ground in order to successfully remove a vehicle without damages from an underground in a tight spot. Due to low clearance of 2 meters and this underground a truck wasn’t not able to fit into this garage 2 employees has to push the vehicle with the go jacks and dollies out of the underground garage from its tight spot this cost was $380.00 for both employees and their time spent onscene the vehicle also had to be winched out of the garage once it came close to the ramp. Once we had safely extracted the vehicle from the underground garage illegally parked with our authorization we load the vehicle and brought back to our storage facility which costs $65.00 per calendar day and only charged $45.00 per day. Our office closes at 5 pm and charges a $50.00 after hour release fee applied also didn’t charge. This is not towing, this is recovery from an underground parking lot, bylaw officers are on scene the entire times to oversee this operation with no damages.
It is unfortunate that the vehicle inconvenienced so many people due to an improper illegal park.”
I like the last little dig … “inconvenienced so many people due to an IMPROPER illegal park.”
Apparently there is a proper way to illegal park.
Regardless, it appears to me they were all paid handsomely for their inconvenience. We’re talking about an hour of work on a slow day. Could have been quicker had you sent the right truck with the right “special” equipment so there wasn’t two trucks at the parking garage neither could enter.
But compare that to my friend’s experience involving Bedard’s Towing of South River. He took a late 3 a.m. OPP police call to a secluded, back-woods road east of Powassan. My buddy’s daughter had lost control of her SUV and slid into the ditch during a snowy part of December a week or so before Christmas. She was coming off a long shift at her restaurant job and was picking up two friends that had been at a party near Chisholm.
Bedard’s Towing brought her and the car back to my friend’s place in Corbeil, a long haul from South River. The total bill was $453 by the time he pulled into my chum's driveway sometime after 4 a.m. And he returned the next day with a $60 refund after realizing he used the wrong mileage.
Let me recap: Code Yellow of Cambridge lamely justifies mid-morning predation during a “recovery” mission in the harsh elements of an underground garage and charges $1,039. Bedard’s Towing in South River rescues a young driver in the middle of the night and a long way into the rural countryside during snowy driving conditions and charges less than half that … plus voluntarily drives 30 kilometres to return $60 because he added wrong.
Shame to say, that's pretty well the reputation of most city slickers south of here but I'm proud to know there's still a small town outlook alive and well in this corner of Canadian paradise.
P.S. Not all southern Ontario businesses are like this. I bought two used cars off a Kitchener, ON family-based operation Central Automotive Service that treated me like a customer they wanted to keep. Any issues I had they dealt with straight up. Of course, the owner has a relative up in Cobalt, so that must explain it. LOL