ETAs – “Estimated” Time of Arrival

Jan 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Geri Roskopf's Blog

Does the following sound familiar?

5:30 p.m. Received a call from the local police department inquiring about the cost of towing a vehicle with a car fire. They stated the owner was also trying to make arrangements with a motor club. No phone call back.

7:30 p.m. Received a call from the vehicle owner wanting to know if we could come and do the tow.

8:00 p.m. Received a call from the tower doing the motor club call. He wanted to know if we were picking up the vehicle and how long would it be before we got there. He was informed that my driver was already picking up the vehicle, which ended up coming to our yard.

The next morning, the owner called and said she notified her insurance company about the car fire and they would be sending out an adjustor. I was curious about what happened the night before. This is what she told me: A passing motorist flagged her down because he saw fire coming from under her vehicle. Her parents told her to call their motor club for the tow. When the towing company did not show up after the given ETA, she called the motor club again and was informed that the towing company they sent called them and said they couldn’t do the tow for another couple of hours and wouldn’t be able to store her vehicle anyway. When she asked why they didn’t call her back to inform her of this, the motor club said it had another towing company coming from a town about 30 miles away. That’s when she decided to call us.

We have all had circumstances where our ETAs have been affected — weather, traffic, etc. — and it’s frustrating for me to see the police department let a motorist wait several hours for a motor club, but if we are running a little behind they call and want to know our ETA. I also understand when the police department calls, they are concerned about safety and quick clearance. But let’s be fair when it comes to expectations about ETAs in situations like the one above. After all, the E means Estimated.