Massachusetts man charged $48,000 for a tow [w/video]

Tow truck operators are right up there with landlords and IRS auditors on the list of professionals you don't want to deal with. A man in Massachusetts has all the more reason to avoid a tow after he was hit with a $48,000 bill, Fox 25 reports.

Joel Ramer and his girlfriend were off-roading in Walpole, MA last week when they wandered were they shouldn't have. They landed in a mud pit on private property. Ramer said it took Assured Collision towing company 12 hours to free his vehicle from the muck. But when he got the bill for the tow, he thought the accounting department must have been off by a decimal.

"When I went to pick up the vehicle from Assured Collision, he'd informed me there was some damage done to the vehicle, but didn't get into details. He also informed me the bill was $48,000," Ramer told Fox. "I thought they made a mistake." The phrase 'some damage' was putting it lightly. Ramer says Assured Collision totaled his Jeep. "Frame is broken, leaf spring is broken, drive shaft is broken," Ramer said.

The itemized bill showed Ramer exactly what he was paying for. Assured Collision charged him $16,000 for an on-scene supervisor. That's $1,250 an hour. The Statewide Towing Association told Fox 25 that the actual industry standard is $175-$325 an hour. The company also claimed that power lines put them at risk, calling it a "hazmat situation." That allowed them to tack on another $5,000 fee for dangerous condition liability insurance. Finally, there was an extra $10,000 fee for an off-road recovery incident response unit.

Insurance won't help with the cost of the tow, so Ramer's broke Jeep is in Assured Collision's hands. On top of the enormous bill and busted Jeep, Ramer was arrested and cited for trespassing on land owned by a utility company and disturbing the peace.

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