Saturday, December 27, 2008

Towing Tops The Gripe List At West Virginia University, Morgantown Photo

According to a recent article in The Charleston Gazette, click here, college students in Morgantown usually have three main areas of concern: parking, TOWING, and landlord issues.

Their student government is speaking up for them at the state legislature, trying to have influence on legislation...

These student leaders have proposed that tow truck drivers should be required to take some other form of payment besides cash and, oh gee, stop operating on "a policy of intimidation and fear."

I don't know. Sounds like asking for a lot.

The article cites the example of a female student who was (apparently) shaken down for $150 cash, and the driver wouldn't show her the towing company's rates. This sounds very similar to a story I documented in Minneapolis, click here.

Also, storage fees for the first 24 hours after an impound is "killing" students, according to Jason Parsons, student body president.

Notably, this is the first West Virginia story to hit my blog. These student leaders just put their state on the Towing Utopia map.

1 comment:

Dusty said...

My car was recently towed in Morgantown and everyone from my alumna mother and uncle to coworkers warned me that towing companies will jack up the rates at will unless threatened with the law. Our car was towed on Aug. 27th and we were only notified on Sept. 1 (the accusation was 'abandoned vehicle,') and tomorrow we will hopefully retrieve our poor Honda.

I found some guidelines on towing law ( ) and have them printed and ready in case the tow company plans to overcharge us (from what they quoted my fiance, they do,) but are there any other rights of which I should be aware? Would it be a bad idea to walk in with a pocket camcorder running (They videotape us, seems only fair to do the same,) or a cellphone pre-dialed to the regulatory body? My mother actually warned me not to go without at least two men present (I'm a 23-year-old female,) and the whole thing is, frankly, terrifying.

Also, would it be a bad idea to create a modest advertisement stating the actual law (specifically, maximum charges,) regarding towing and run it, at my own expense, in the student-run paper? I get the distinct impression these towing companies could be seriously hurt or even put out of business if students and other non-locals knew exactly how much was an overcharge and exactly to whom complaints should be filed. The whole thing reeks of the predator, and as a rule, I don't hold with that.