Sunday, June 22, 2008

Predatory Towing Scandal In Memphis, Tennessee

The "Fox 13 Problem Solvers" in Memphis, Tennessee blew a predatory towing scandal wide open, exposing a shady outfit towing cars 30 miles to Byhalia, Mississippi (pictured above) without permits to operate in Memphis, much less charge $100 more than the law allows...

The towing company had a dubious arrangement with an apartment complex, it appears, and news coverage shows an intimidating security presence there as well as an outrageous surplus of parking spaces.

According to Fox 13, the company was towing cars 30 miles (45 minutes) from Memphis, Tennessee to Byhalia, Mississippi, a backwater community with 706 people (as of the 2000 census) with a median household income of $26,618. Its greatest claim to fame appears to be that novelist William Faulkner died there of a heart attack. One can't help but think of the desperate, down-and-out characters of Faulkner's greatest novel, "As I Lay Dying."

Naturally, Byhalia police intimidated and roughed up the news crew while the camera rolled. I wouldn't expect anything less.

The Byhalia-based company, BFT Towing, was charging $225, which is $100 more than the Memphis ordinance allows. They were not licensed to do business in Memphis and, furthermore, were using unmarked tow trucks in violation of another Memphis ordinance. To put the rancid cherry atop the reeking sundae, it turns out Memphis has yet another ordinance prohibiting vehicles from being towed outside of the city limits. That would include, you know, to a little town in a neighboring state.


Now the City of Memphis wants answers and is initiating an investigation. Memphis wants to hear from anybody who got towed in the City of Memphis--at any time, for any reason--by BFT Towing of Byhalia, Mississippi.

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