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Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

  1. #1
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?


    Last week I had to go to North Carolina for work. I parked my car on a side-street that has no time restrictions, meaning overnight (or longer periods) parking is fine. There were no signs suggesting a parking ban was coming.

    Unfortunately, when I got back several days later, my car was not there. I called Waltham PD, and my car was towed as they were performing street sweeping a couple days after I left. I don't love that part, but whatever.

    I got my car back a couple of days ago, as the car was in storage at the tow company's facility. That facility was less than a quarter mile from where I was parked, and the tow fee was a cool $232. As you can imagine, I am less than thrilled by this. (I also have a $25 ticket from the city...)

    Where this gets interesting is that the Mass. General Legislature actually covers how much tow fees can be. Without getting into the nitty gritty of it, a few of the charges from the tow company are against the maximums specified by the MGL; the company charged me about $100 more than the law says they're allowed to.

    Has anyone ever tried contesting something like this? It's a relatively small amount of money but the idea of paying $232 to tow my car 400 fucking yards doesn't sit too well.

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  2. #2
    xxaarraa
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    I had something similar happen to me in Southie. Truck was towed nose down which fucked up my yaw and TC/ABS sensors in the front. Cost me $350 at a Toyota dealer to remedy once I got the truck back. Polite requests for a refund went unanswered. So I walked into the Southie police station and filled out a simple police complaint, took a copy to tow company and walked out with a check for the amount.

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  3. #3
    Lifer Jayspeed's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    232 sounds like a lot. If I remember right is was 100 to get your car from street cleaning. Cash only which makes it shady. Plus a 50$ ticket. This is during the Big Sweep times here.

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  4. #4
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    Call the Attorney General's office, they can advise you how to proceed and it's free.

    Very, very shady dealings with tow companies in general. BTD charges $90 plus $15 a day, while private operators charge more like $140.

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  5. #5
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    Quote Originally Posted by xxaarraa View Post
    I had something similar happen to me in Southie. Truck was towed nose down which fucked up my yaw and TC/ABS sensors in the front. Cost me $350 at a Toyota dealer to remedy once I got the truck back. Polite requests for a refund went unanswered. So I walked into the Southie police station and filled out a simple police complaint, took a copy to tow company and walked out with a check for the amount.
    The balls on this guy! Seriously though, nice job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayspeed View Post
    232 sounds like a lot. If I remember right is was 100 to get your car from street cleaning. Cash only which makes it shady. Plus a 50$ ticket. This is during the Big Sweep times here.
    This place was cash only, exact change only.

    $90 as a tow is fine, but the extras they packed on top of it don't look kosher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Call the Attorney General's office, they can advise you how to proceed and it's free.

    Very, very shady dealings with tow companies in general. BTD charges $90 plus $15 a day, while private operators charge more like $140.
    I wasn't sure if I should just write them a letter and ask for it back (which I'm sure they would ignore!), or go to the City directly. I'll call the AG and see what they say. The law is surprisingly precise for what they can and can't charge...

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  6. #6

    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    Geez wtf...they tow instead of just ticketing?

    I have gotten about 5 street sweeping tickets in LBC at a whopping $50/pop...but as long as I keep paying them off they just keep ticketing. Once you're up to 5 unpaid the boot and tow truck comes out...

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  7. #7
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    Something tells me the hardball approach is the only way to get positive results. I don't see playing nice working with the tow company. They don't usually speak that language.

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  8. #8
    Lifer snwbrdr435's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    My first car got destroyed by a tow company, awd towed with only the back wheels on the ground. Whole drivetrain got fucked up. Trying to get them to cover anything was a huge pain in the ass. I was even parked exactly where I was suppose to, the tow company just didnt have an updated list of plates for that particular lot....

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  9. #9
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    Liar Liar - YouTube

    Pretty much sums up my dealings with tow companies.

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  10. #10
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    Might wanna take a look at the mass consumer protection act
    93b demand letter, in particular

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  11. #11
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    many years ago (early 1970's) I worked for a towing company in Burlington, VT. We ended up owning several vehicles due to people not wanting to pay towing and storage fees, usually they were clunkers not worth the accumulated fees, but some were decent vehicles.

    although we had a city contract, we also had contracts with several private lots, one was especially lucrative, a home for the elderly adjacent to the county courthouse & unemployment & ss offices, all of which that insufficient parking

    I felt no remorse, as the parking lot had 2 huge "no parking except tenants & guests all others Will be towed" signs, either side of the driveway. We sat in the lobby playing pool and watched people park and walk across the street rather than into the building we were in, We even once towed a US Marshall's car.

    it was easier to tow back then, most vehicles were rwd, lift it with the wrecker and either remove the drive shaft or unhook the shift linkage and put it in neutral, or slide a set of dolly wheels under the axle that was down

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  12. #12
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    I ended up getting the unlawful part of the storage fee back. Wasn't too much of a hassle in the end...

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  13. #13
    Lifer NPDCPA's Avatar
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    Re: Challenging the cost to have a car towed & impounded?

    Everyone loves a happy ending!

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