Tuesday, April 1, 2008

WHAT?!! They don't accept CREDIT CARDS?!

This excellent story by Darcy Pohland, WCCO, informed me of another maddening issue here in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the "Abusive Non-Consent Towing Capital Of North America."

Some tow trucks won't even take credit cards. Do I dare make a pun about it?

I do. Incredible.

The profile about Pohland is more interesting than most, and I'd urge you to click on it to read an inspiring story.

Mpls. Considers Putting Cap On Towing Costs

It's something every driver dreads and hates -- getting towed. Minneapolis city leaders are getting so many complaints about high towing fees they are considering putting a cap on how much towing companies can charge.

It's a highly charged issue on both ends of the tow and it comes with snow every winter.

Angry drivers lined up at the impound lot paying to get their cars back after getting towed.

During a Minneapolis snow emergency, drivers pay $138.

Any other time, towing fees range from $220 to more than $300.

"These fees that they are charging for towing is excessive I believe ... we barely can afford it," said Carlos Quezada.

Quezada's car was towed from an elementary school parking lot last Saturday.

(I've said it before, and I'll put it into the text of this story in red letters. All over the nation, non-consent towing targets those of modest income who lack political power)

It cost $260 to get it back from wrecker services.

"They don't accept credit cards or checks," he said. "I don't carry $260 in cash my wallet."

Now the city is considering regulating towing fees. Rapid Recovery strongly opposes the proposed cap of $156 to $234.

"That would decimate all the towing businesses that do private property impounding," said Rapid Recovery co-owner Jared Gruett.

Rapid recovery voluntarily dropped their fees from $285 to $240 for a tow.

"A cap would eliminate our ability to react to market forces," said Gruett.

Rapid Recovery accepts credit cards but as not all companies do. That would also change under the new proposal.

The council is also considering eliminating or limiting hidden fees too.

(More detail needed, here! What are some of these "hidden fees?")

No comments: