Predatory towing is a general phrase that is commonly used to refer to those practices unethically carried out by the relevant companies in an attempt to illegally increase their income. Examples of these methods are the use of spotter to tow your car immediately you leave, excessive fees for the towing process and subsequent storage, or illegal side deals with the store owners to increase the revenue. Each of these practices translates to the misuse of the rationale of towing, and the unfair treatment of the car owner. Therefore, you need to understand how you can deal with the problem and avoid unnecessary costs by applying the following five steps.
Ensure you contact the involved company directly
After realizing that your car was towed, do not hesitate to call the towing company. The phone number can be indicated on a signpost, or you can request the space owner. Ask them how they charge if you believe the agents are being unfair with the required fees. Notify them the amount you have been billed, and if they assure you that those are their rates, challenge them. You can quote several mitigating circumstances as stated by the law, such as: you only packed for less than an hour, there was no sign to prohibit parking, or the fee is unreasonable. Then, threaten them that you will seek legal action if they do not cooperate to find a fair solution to both parties. Do not forget to inform them of the clause you would present to the court for misuse of towing power.
Get conversant with the basic local parking and Towing laws
If you understand what is legal or illegal regarding the towing activities, you will be in a better position to deal with the issue of predatory towing. Mostly, the perpetrators capitalize on the lack of knowledge from car owners to misuse their mandates. If you find it hard to understand on your own, contact a local attorney to interpret them for you. Ideally, learn about reasonable rates, acceptance of credit cards, profit sharing, the importance of having a valid towing permit, warning signs, the maximum chargeable time of one hour and the unconditional release.
One of the most efficient ways of collecting evidence is through taking explicit photographs of the towing area. Capture where your car was parked; whether the place was marked or there was a sign. You can also find a witness. This will help you present a strong case in court if you believe you were charged excessively.
File your case in a Small claims court
After consulting with your lawyer, file your complaint in court. Provide the evidence you collected at the towing scene and request the magistrate to force the company to compensate any excessive fee that was charged. Remember you must present the case in a nearby court to where the agents live.
Let the Better Business Bureau learn about the incidence for records update. You can also spread the information on mainstream media and social networks to help potential victims understand the unethical towing company. Moreover, if you find it useful, give negative reviews on the company’s website.