CAPE CORAL, Fla.-A Cape Coral towing service is being investigated for 'double dipping' on calls after it dropped a woman in a Publix parking lot to respond to a higher paying call for service.
May 28th, Pink Wesorick was driving on Cape Coral Parkway when her car broke down. Wesorick called AAA and about 45 minutes later a tow truck operated by K & W Towing arrived. Wesorick and her friend were in the cab of the tow truck, with the driver headed to a repair shop on Pine Island. Suddenly, Wesorick said the driver got a call and within minutes he pulled over and dropped her, her friend and her car in a Publix parking lot at Pine Island Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway.
"[He] looks at us and says ‘I have to drop you off,'" Wesorick said. "Well what do you mean you have to drop us off? He says 'I have another call.' My girlfriend and I looked at each other like what, what is he talking about?...Truck came off and there we stood in 92 degrees in a parking lot with a car that doesn’t work, no air conditioning."
Wesorick called AAA who contracted with the service K & W Towing. Meanwhile her friend called the owner of K & W Towing Kenneth Kalies.
"She says you can’t drop us off. He said I can do whatever I want and with that he hung up...He was rude!"
Wesorick and her friend waited in a nearby restaurant until AAA sent a tow truck from a different company. After her experience, Wesorick tried to contact AAA to file a complaint. After several unsuccessful attempts she called WINK News Call for Action.
WINK News found K & W Towing abandoned Wesorick to answer a call from Cape Coral Police Department, which pays more per towing service than AAA. K & W Towing is one of 14 companies that contract with the city police department. The police department contacts a different towing company every time there is an accident that requires a tow. WINK News obtained the tow rotational policy, which states the company must respond to a call "within a reasonable time," roughly 30 minutes or the department "may cancel the request for service and use the services of another participating wrecker operator."
K & W Towing owner Kenneth Kalies told Reporter Lindsey Sablan he prioritized police calls because it pays more money. Kalies refused to speak with WINK News on camera, but claimed he told AAA his driver would ditch a customer if the police department called. Kalies said AAA said it was fine. Below is an excerpt of an email he sent to AAA.
"When the call was dispatched to us; K & W, We advised the dispatch that we were NEXT for Cape Coral Police Department Rotation. The Dispatch representative in essence begged for us to do this call. They were well aware that the Police Rotation would take precedence over this call."
AAA Spokesperson Angie LaPlant wrote the below response.
"We were not aware that K&W Towing would abandon our call for member services should a call from the police rotation come through. After an internal investigation and meeting with K&W Towing, we have cancelled our contract with them. It is important for our members to know that this cancellation will not affect our service response time in the Ft. Myers community.”
LaPlant would not confirm the amount AAA paid Kalies per tow but did say it was less than the $150 Cape Coral pays.
K & W was removed from AAA's contractor list after the incident with Wesorick. AAA reimbursed Wesorick for two years membership. At the time of this story being published, K & W Towing was still on the Cape Coral Police Department's rotation.