Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Roses and Razzberries rationale

I shot a RAZZBERRY into the air. It fell to earth, I knew not where.

Excuse my waxing pathetic there, and my deepest apologies to Longfellow, but a lot of times when I send out Roses or Razzberries – be it in the magazine or on the radio – I never know if anyone is listening (or reading).

And then there are times when I am made all too painfully aware of the fact that, yes, someone is listening. And they are not happy about it.

Take this RAZZY we gave out on a recent radio show, for example:

A tow truck driver in Troutville, Virginia gets a big, fat RAZZBERRY from OOIDA member Steve Pina.

Steve was hauling a load of insulation not long ago when the load shifted and came loose. He stopped and called for help. The police called for a tow truck. Steve was billed for more than $1,600 – $450 an hour for a wrecker that was never used and $100 an hour in labor for the two men driving it. Plus fuel and a fuel surcharge.

Steve said he was billed for 2½ hours of work, when the men were only there for a little over an hour. He asked if he could pay the bill in installments and the towing company refused and called the police, threatening to impound the truck. The police were no help, either, telling him to shut his mouth and get his stuff because they were impounding the truck.

Pretty outrageous stuff, right? Well, I got several calls wondering why we didn’t give out the name of the towing company and that’s a good question.

The answer is, not that we doubt Steve’s claim, but being journalists we have to verify it. And we get so many of these kinds of Razzberries that we just don’t have the manpower to verify them all. But every once in a while, one comes along that’s so outrageous it needs to be said.

Now, if Steve himself wants to shout the name of the towing company from the rooftop or, say, post it in the OOIDA member’s only forum, well, who am I to stop him?