To Tip or NOt to Tip?
Hopefully you haven't had much experience with tow truck drivers.... because that would mean you have a car that runs great and you haven't gotten in any/many car wrecks.
But it also means you likely aren't sure what the tipping etiquette is when you do call a tow truck.
Like most service businesses, tipping is appreciated but not required. And in the tow truck industry not only is it not required but it is not expected. That's not to say, though, that the drivers don't appreciate a tip. They certainly do! And, of course, like other service businesses, the tip should be based on the level of service. Great service = great tip. Lousy service = lousy/no tip.
Some people feel like the prices charged by tow truck services are so exhorbitant that it doesn't warrant a tip. But more often than not it isn't the tow truck driver that sets the fees; it's the company he works for that sets the prices. And the tip isn't going to the company, it is going to the driver who provided you with roadside assistance.
You can read more here about tipping a tow truck driver from the perspective of both drivers and tow truck customers.
The other thing to consider is that the cost of operating a tow truck is pretty significant -- especially the insurance and maintenance. And these are two areas you don't want your tow truck provider to skimp on. So the rates charged need to cover the company's high out-of-pocket costs. At Smitty Big Towing and Recovery we are proud to be among the most affordable tow truck services in St Paul-Minneapolis. We certainly don't skimp on our truck maintenance and insurance coverage, but we do keep a tight handle on other expenses so that we can pass the savings on to you, our customer.
If you do decide to tip your tow truck driver, we recommend you tip with cash. Why? There are a few reasons.
1. To ensure the tip goes to the driver. At Smitty Big Tow we guarantee the full tip goes 100% to the driver. But if you use another tow truck company, that may not be the case. The drivers may be expected/required to pool their tips and share them equally at the end of shift, much like many restaurants to. If the tip is on the credit card, the driver has no control over whether or not he shares the tip.
2. When you tip in cash, the driver can take the money home that night. If you tip on the credit card, the driver will likely have to wait until the book-keeper completes the books at the end of the week or month before the driver gets the tip. And then there's the chance of human error - getting the right tip amount to the right driver.
3. Tow truck companies (and all companies that accept credit card payments) have to pay a fee to the credit card company for each payment processed. Some tow truck owners deduct that fee from the tow truck driver's tip, thus reducing the amount of tip you intended for him to receive.
Of course, many people don't carry cash these days. If that's the case, then, by all means, add a tip to the credit card. If the driver is worthy of a tip and you don't have any cash on you, it's better to add the tip to the credit card than to not tip.
What services to tip for.
Let's be realistic. If you've been in a life-threatening accident, no one expects you to tip the tow truck driver.
But if you've called a tow truck because you've locked the keys in your car, you've run out of gas, you need a flat tire replaced on the side of the highway with cars whizzing by, your battery died in the mall parking lot and you need a jump start -- these are all services that deserve a tip.... IF the tow truck driver is courteous, professional, helpful, timely, etc. You know; the qualities that make any service professional worthy of a tip.
In the end, it is completely up to you whether or not to tip a tow truck driver. In our experience about 50% of consumers do tip us for our superior customer service. Whether you tip us or not, at Smitty Big Towing and Recovery, we strive to provide you with exceptional customer service in the hopes that you will refer us to your friends, family and colleagues.