WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - It's a list meant to recognize reputable businesses, so how did a notorious company that's under investigation end up on that list?
We were contacted by a couple of tow truck companies saying the MVP Program is a "joke". They say it's just a way for the county to get more money and not a way for customers to get better service.
"For a government entity to kind of strike out in this direction is kind of a brave new world for us," said Palm Beach County's Director of Consumer Affairs Dennis Moore.
He says the county wanted a way for people to find companies known for quality customer service in several business categories including towing.
"They do not have a handle on it. They are trying. They only have one full time person policing in the industry for the whole county, which is a huge county," said 'Jim' who wishes to keep his identity anonymous.
'Jim' owns a towing company and has worked in the industry for 25 years in Palm Beach County. He says the fact that Kings Wrecker Services was on the list until last week is proof the county needs more help regulating the industry.
'Jim' says he's afraid of push back from the county and Kings Wrecker, so he asked us to remain anonymous. "They can make my life a mess."
'Jim' claims Kings has been a thorn in the side of the towing industry for years. Recently, sheriff's investigators swarmed Kings impound lot with search warrants. Also, the county recently suspended their license.
No one at King's could be reached for comment, yet they were listed right along with other towing companies who paid $150 to gain MVP status with the county.
The MVP program is another way for the county to get more money from operators. They also started charging more for licenses this year. "In the towing industry, it's a small industry and we all know who the bad people are on the list in the towing industry," said 'Jim'. "And when you are on the list with a company such as that, it just makes it into a joke."
"That shouldn't be. I'm embarrassed frankly that that's still there, because we took them off because of some of these difficulties here," said Dennis Moore.
Moore removed Kings as soon as we brought the issue to the attention of consumer affairs. He says the MVP program essentially works on the honor system, and this was just an oversight. Also, he says, they are improving the MVP and the regulation of the towing industry including background checks on drivers.
Still, towing company owners, like 'Jim', say that's only a start. "I think that they need more help."
Consumer affairs has removed kings from the MVP towing list. They also said they'd check the other MVP list for other businesses that shouldn't be listed.