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July 20, 2011

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High price of bridge breakdowns

DRIVERS breaking down or involved in an accident on the city's Donghai Bridge face hefty charges from the only tow truck company in the area, Shanghai-based STV news reported last night.

A motorist surnamed Chen paid the Zhente tow truck company 6,360 yuan (US$984) to take away his car, following a rear-end collision last Sunday on the bridge linking the city and the Yangshan Deep-Water Port.

But a similar service in downtown usually costs several hundreds yuan, STV news cited an expert as saying.

Chen received a handwritten receipt from Zhente listing charges for each service - including 2,100 yuan for cleaning the scene and 1,500 for the dragging service.

Wang Changfa, Zhente's fleet manager, explained that the company charges 60 yuan for cleaning each square meter of space and the accident Chen was involved in covered 55 square meters, suggesting that Chen had received a discount.

But experts said a rear-end accident usually involves only several square meters of space.

The news channel indicated that dragging a heavy truck in downtown only costs around 700 yuan.

Meanwhile, a man surnamed Ni told STV that he paid 3,620 yuan to have a car from his company that broke down halfway across the bridge towed away.

"That was too expensive and there must be something wrong," Ni said.

An official with the price management bureau in the Pudong New Area, surnamed Liu, told STV currently there are no specific rules to regulate the towing service but said these will be introduced in the near future.


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