Saturday, May 31, 2008
Abusive Non-Consent Towing ROUNDUP For May, 2008 (Yee-Haw!)
Hopefully, I can keep up with all the many incidents which happen on a month-by-month basis. The idea is...
If I can't blog about it in detail, I can at least throw in a short description and provide a link, to document the common patterns. There are SO MANY common patterns, one of which is the tendency of towing companies to hire some really rough people, like ex-convicts with auto theft convictions.
Oh, by the way...here is a nice link to information about "Rocky Mountain Oysters."
Just in case you wondered what those cowboys want with that little calf, pictured above.
Favoritism alleged in Carmi, Illinois
In Carmi, there is a situation where a tow truck driver is also a city alderman, and his daughter just happens to be a police dispatcher. Click here to read the article.
There are allegations of favoritism when it comes to the "roster," a tactic many cities use to determine which towing company is called to the scene of accidents and impounds.
A crowd was gathered for the city council meeting and at one point an alderman asked, "Do you believe police are picking a favorite?"
"Yes, we do!" the crowd said, in unison.
Citizens still out of luck in Fayetteville, Arkansas
The city government weeded through a bunch of applications and picked one towing company to use for police-initiated towing. City fathers sounded a cautionary note, as reported by the local press in this article, saying...
"Fayetteville Police Department cannot control tows occurring on private property such as Dickson Street businesses, University of Arkansas parking lots, apartment complexes, residences, etc. This is where a large majority of citizen complaints originate, and once again, we want the public to understand this towing contract will not and cannot resolve those issues. Those type of complaints should be made to the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board."
A long, ugly history in San Antonio, Texas
Texas Towing is being dropped early from its 7 year contract with San Antonio, due to "longstanding failure to meet performance standards" according to this article.
The article is quite valuable because of its links in a "sidebar" to the whole ugly history of the dispute. This messy controversy is the subject of a separate blog entry. I was married in San Antonio, Texas, and even thought that didn't work out so well I still love that place, and I care what goes on "deep in the heart of Texas."
Gouging students in Georgia (A matter of record)
Statesboro, Georgia voted to raise the fee for non-consent towing a little bit in light of rising gas prices. In the course of discussion, a lot came out in front of a reporter about how the previous price was a response to local towing companies "gouging" students.
Tow trucks charge "whatever" in Escambia County, Florida
Only when a citizen was outraged over a $500 towing charge did Escambia County, Florida, start to take a look at the fact towing companies were free to seize cars and charge whatever they liked, according to this article.
Escambia County isn't some kind of backwater. This county includes the city of Pensacola. You have to wonder how many places in this country have no regulation at all, and citizens are getting gouged until somebody talks to their city council or county commission.
Oops, just a MISTAKE in Fort Worth
A woman shopping found her car being towed, and asked how much to release the car. The driver said he had to take the car. Turns out this is contrary to a Fort Worth ordinance. If the driver shows up, the towing company must DROP THE CAR WITH NO FEE.
The company, Excalibur Towing, is refunding the woman's money, according to this article.
But I wonder how many other "mistakes" were made like this?
A commenter to the article named Andrea McLaughlin of Dallas, Texas says she has also had problems with Excalibur Towing.
But no mistake in Dallas
Meanwhile, Dallas has decided to authorize towing vehicles discovered to lack auto insurance, according to this article.
Towing predators snarling at each other in Florida
In Martin County, Florida, tow trucks are coming from neighboring Palm Beach County and St. Lucie County to seize illegal cars, according to this article. But Martin County towers can't go into St. Lucie because of an ordinance.
The towers are crying foul, according to this article, and wanting an ordinance to "protect" them from the other towers. What about protecting the rest of us from them?