One of Detroit's most reviled towing companies no longer has license to operate in the state of Michigan — but is it still working in disguise?
That's the question posed by Fox 2's Rob Wolchek in his latest report on Breakthrough Towing, a company whose alleged predatory practices last year drew a barrage of negative media coverage and a class action lawsuit. The Better Business Bureau amplified complaints, and Triple A and Midtown businesses cut ties with the company. Breakthrough didn't renew its business license this year.
But the company doesn't seem to have gone away completely. Wolchek's report suggests it may have simply rebranded as Magic Towing.
Breakthrough and Magic's owners deny this, but Wolcheck provides plenty of clues that the companies are linked. With help from accounts provided by people recently towed by Magic, he finds:
- Magic's phone number is the same as former Breakthrough Towing owner Michael Dickerson's cell.
- Magic drops off cars in the same lot previously used by Breakthrough and has customers get them through an office that still bears Breakthrough's signage.
- Magic tows cars from a Midtown strip mall parking lot that previously contracted with Breakthrough and still has its signs up.
- Magic charged at least one man $395 cash to get his car back — the same as Breakthrough's standard tow fee.
The eight-minute piece below is a Detroit TV masterpiece and very much worth a watch. The best (or worst) part is that Magic, just like Breakthrough, is employing the same clumsy and apparently predatory practices that got Breakthrough its bad rep.
Wolchek shows Magic towing with help from what seems to be a spotter and recounts an incident in which a tow truck driver crashed into the vehicle of someone he was supposed to be coming to help.