TEMPE, Ariz. — A Valley company is getting ready to launch its new smartphone app nationwide in the coming months.
Tow Deals is a Tempe-based company that its CEO and Founder Joey Poliszczuk said is like a cross between Travelocity and Uber, but for tow trucks.
The smartphone app uses a phone’s GPS signal to locate tow trucks or other roadside assistance providers nearby, then instantly provide a price quote to the user. From there, people can choose the quote that fits their budget and call for service.
“Every towing company has the same problem, all over the board, when they get a call they’ll get two questions: ‘How much will it cost me to go from here to here, and how fast can you get here?'” Poliszczuk said. “You give them the price … and then the customer will always say, ‘OK, I’ll call you back.’ They (then) call the next towing company in line and they call three or four and a time, then they get their average price and they either go for the cheapest one or the closest one.”
Poliszczuk said the app eliminates the need for people to call around and compare prices by displaying a range of options and companies in one application.
Poliszczuk, who has been working in the towing industry for about six years, said it’s a useful tool for tow companies as well because it cuts down on the number of calls simply for quotes and will help bring more business to the companies that decide to list on the app.
Users can call for any number of different roadside services, such as a broken down car than needs to be towed, needs a jump-start or a tire change.
One of the services Poliszczuk said he expects to be most useful after the app’s launch is a quick and easy way to call for a safe ride home if someone has had too much to drink.
“It’s just one big red button, you push the button and it’s like the emergency broadcast signal, it sends it out to all the towing companies,” Poliszczuk said. “Then towing companies pick you up and take you home and they charge a credit card so you don’t have to worry about anything.”
Similar to AAA’s Tipsy Tow, it allows people to get a safe ride home and not have to find their vehicle the next day, but the Tow Deals service is available year round while Tipsy Tow is only available on major holidays, Poliszczuk said.
Similar to Uber or other ridesharing apps, Tow Deals stores a user’s credit card information and payment is settled between the tow company and the user once the job is completed, Poliszczuk said.
Tow Deals makes its money off of the service providers by taking a cut of $5 or 10 percent, whichever is greater, after a job is completed.
“Anytime (service providers) collect payment from the customer itself is when we charge them,” Poliszczuk said. “Each and every time they do the call and connect with the customer, we know how much they charged, how far away they were, we know if they arrived on scene via the GPS, so we can actually calculate and say ‘OK, this call was obviously completed’ … and then that’s when we’ll bill the tow company.”
Service providers do not have to pay anything to be listed in the app and have their price quotes and location show up to users, Poliszczuk said.
Currently, Tow Deals’ service is up and running on the company’s website, TowDeals.com, but the smartphone app, with GPS capabilities, will not be available until January or February of 2015.
Poliszczuk said Tow Deals already has 20 service providers covering Phoenix and Los Angeles, and there are also providers in parts of Illinois, Texas and Florida as well.
Poliszczuk said his company’s current focus is on increasing the number of service providers so that Tow Deals can have comprehensive list of providers and meet user demands when the app is launched.
The app will be available on both Apple and Android platforms.