Damage caused by towing truck

Discussion in 'General Subaru Discussion' started by Rusty, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Rusty
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    Rusty Member

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    Tonight i visted a friend who lives at university commons (off 94 and Huron) and during my short visit there the security guard tried to have my car towed!
    They called Gopher Towing, luckily i came out while he was still lifting the rear wheels into their towing devise. to get him to "drop" my car down i had to pay them a hundred dollars!!!! (i decided to use my credit card so that i can protest payment and file a dispute though wellsfargo, reason fallows)

    This isn't even what makes me angry, i understand that they my require parking permits there and i may have been overstepping for parking there for maybe a half hour. WHAT PISSES ME OFF IS THAT WHILE LIFTING MY CAR THE TOW TRUCK CRACKED MY UNDERSKIRT!!!!!!
    i have pictures of the of the "stinger" 's barbs / arms resting on possibly my oil pan and plastic under my car. it is now loose and or cracked! :eek4: i was recently under my car, and know that it was not loose, the plastic skirt or what ever holds it is now cracked as a result from his actions. I took pictures of the tow trucks arms resting on it as well as it being loose, also i took down the trucks license plate, truck number and the the drivers name.

    In addition to cracking this plastic piece while he was lifting my rear wheels he was using a poll to jack the rear up into the air and onto the ski's or w/e. While he was doing so you could see it twisting the wheel! there was plenty of torque being exerted on it, while he was doing this my car was IN GEAR with the parking break on! (putting tons of pressure on the whole drive train i assume)
    In addition to wondering what possible damage could have been caused to the car while he was torquing on one of the wheels while it was in gear, what can i do to fix it or prove that it was them that caused it?

    The security guard claimed that i was improperly parked without a permit. there are posted signs about them using a towing company but no information about needing permits. However in the area where the security guard told me guest parking was allowed there was no signs saying so, or what provisions have been made about the parking lot and their grounds for towing. (I'm going to have a talk with them in the morning about that also)

    In the morning i plan on calling my insurance company, a auto repair shop to document damages and possibly a lawyer about further action for fixing and getting payment for all damages.

    From how i see it this is damaged caused by a moving vehicle, in addition to charging me for providing no services! ITS WRONG.

    Any opinion's / prior experiences with damage caused by tow trucks / avenues i can pursue them from would be greatly appreciated. Also if any one has / knows of a good shop near here where they can take a look and document damages at would be great, i'm not very familiar with shops near the U.

    thanks you!
     
  2. gran0393
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    gran0393 Well-Known Member

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    my gf used to live in that place and they have a bunch posted up about needing a permit right as you drive in. if it is the place i'm thinking of, you will end up paying the fee and unless you fight REALLY hard you won't receive a penny for damages as you were illegally parked on their property. the only thing you might get is the use of a 2 wheel tow truck on an awd car but since they dropped it instead of towing it that probably won't work either. your best bet is from now on park on the west side of huron on the street and hope your bumpers stay safe
     
  3. carl
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    carl Well-Known Member

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    it doesn't sound like they were towing it 2 wheeled. You can use a standard tow truck with dollies to tow awd or 4wd cars/trucks which is what it sounds like they were doing
     
  4. pksublime
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    pksublime Well-Known Member

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    i used to live there, and there are plenty of signs saying it is a permit only lot, and there is one spot by each entrance door for guest parking 30min max for people. what i always had my friend's do was park on the street behind the complex (27th Ave SE) or on Essex, Fulton or Erie all have parking that you can easily find in the evenings.
     
  5. Bullwinkle
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    Bullwinkle Well-Known Member

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    Well, first off, I'm fairly sure it is illegal for them to charge you money without actually performing a tow.

    Sure, the tow company wants that cash for being on site, but if you arrive at your car before it is removed, you can demand that it be put down. In all honesty, if a tow driver demanded that I pay to get my car off the truck, I'd probably call the police.
     
  6. gran0393
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    gran0393 Well-Known Member

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    once the car is hooked up to the truck they can charge you a drop fee. which is major bs but thats the way the tow world works
     
  7. Rusty
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    Rusty Member

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    a drop fee is what he charged me for, its total BS, and i did threaten to call the cops for both causing damage to my car and for charging me for providing no service, the whole towing industry is a sham.

    he said i either pay him a hundred bucks to drop it or pay 270 to go get it from impound later. Its disgusting that they can even touch your car without the owners authorization, incorrectly parked or not.

    Also now that i think about it dolly would probably best describe what they were using to raise the rear wheels.
     
  8. Bullwinkle
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    Bullwinkle Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I am aware that charging a drop fee is common, but I can't find anything in the Minnesota statues that allow that. I'm not a lawyer or lawmaker, though :(.

    Here's Minnesota's "Towing Authorized" statutes. There is a section regarding damages, but it appears to be applicable to folks who were towed illegally (ie, not lawfully according to the statutes).
     
  9. dmoo
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    dmoo Well-Known Member

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    parking there is rough, my GF lived in that area for 3 years

    good luck w the claim. Read signs everywhere you go. their only job down there to make money is tow cars.

    drop fee's are legit as far as i know of. and if its just that stock plastic skid plate thing that is loose, i would consider my self lucky it wasnt more.
     
  10. aqua
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    aqua Well-Known Member

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    i use to work for the impound lot in saint paul and from what i know for SURE they can't charge you to drop your car. they have to take the car because its hooked up already. they can get fire for asking for "a drop fee"
     
  11. Ninjaplease!
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    Ninjaplease! Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Nate. From reading the statute, the damages can only be recovered if the damages occured while being unlawfully towed.

    Also, there may be issues with the fact that you were never technically towed. Im guessing if the guy isnt supposed to charge a drop fee, the paperwork was tossed before he got back to the shop, and he told his boss that when he got there the car wasnt there anymore.
     
  12. Rusty
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    Rusty Member

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    here's the think about the drop fee, i got him to write it down on their billing sheet, and he had to call into their depo and give them my credit card number. its written on my bill sheet for a drop fee of 105 bucks.
    i'm thinking of filing a disagreement though wells fargo to try to remove the transaction.
    hey Aqua i've dm'd you about more info.
     
  13. Rusty
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    Rusty Member

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    towing laws

    GOOD NEWS!
    the most notable of towing laws from what i have found. (i'm not a lawyer) they cant charge a hundred bucks to drop your car if anything at all. (max is 15 dollars)

    http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cou...ocs/Ch-349-Class-A-Towing-Ordinance-Amend.pdf

    city ordinance read second page 349.270 regarding how much they can charge and what types of payment they must be able to recive.
    what the city charges and what types of payment they recive, (the guy said he would not take check, but the city says they must)
    http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/impound-lot/releasing-your-vehicle.asp

    below is how to access the full list of ordinances
    http://library1.municode.com/default-test/home.htm?infobase=11490&doc_action=whatsnew

    search for fee or drop or drop charge if you want to learn more.

    349.185 states the size of the letters posted on the tow vehicle. also how much they can charge and when.

    349.185. Posting drop charge. All licensees who engage in the business of towing vehicles from public property shall post on each service vehicle in letters not less than two (2) inches high and appearing in a legible manner as follows:
    FEE TO DROP VEHICLE BEFORE LEAVING BLOCK:
    Nov. 15 to Apr. 1--$15.00
    All other times--$5.00
    (88-Or-197, § 3, 10-28-88

    also in section 349.80 they refer to what must happen if the owners of the car comes to claim in while they are taking it away.

    349.80. Fixed service fee, Class A. When the owner or operator appears before the intended vehicle is hooked on the joist and the wheels thereof raised from the ground by a Class A service vehicle, the service vehicle operator shall allow the vehicle to leave without payment of a fee or towing charge. When the Class A service vehicle operator has a vehicle on the hoist and the wheels thereof raised from the ground and the owner or operator thereof appears, the service vehicle operator shall release the vehicle upon payment of a fixed service fee or drop charge, and give a receipt for such payment. (78-Or-018, § 2, 2-10-78; Pet. No. 251179, § 249, 12-29-89)

    regarding damage section 349.175
    (c) Prior to performing a Class E service, the driver of the Class E service vehicle shall complete a form provided by the City of Minneapolis towing coordinator which shall contain a physical description including any body damage on or in the impounded vehicle, the vehicle's license registration plate or vehicle identification number, the ordinance violation tag number or other evidence that impoundment was ordered by a duly authorized person, an inventory of all personal property contained in the vehicle which is open to view, the name of the Class E licensee, the Class E license number of the service vehicle and the Class E driver permit number of the service vehicle driver;

    that is all of the information i can find for now, i'm guessing i will need more. but the summation of what i found leads me to belive that they improperly charged me for the towing drop charge. :biggrin:
    also my wheels where not compleetly off the ground, the guy was still lifting them up when i came out. that can be the differenace of paying 5 or 15 dollars. :yumyum:
     
  14. idget
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    idget Lift your shield and for sure lose my number. Staff Member

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    Are towing laws different between city, state, and private property?
     
  15. snbrd4evr
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    snbrd4evr Well-Known Member

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    That's my only concern for you. Were you on public or private property? Because that's what will matter. If someone parked in the middle of my yard (private property) I can tow their car and they can't cite me these laws because I'm just getting it off my property.

    On a side note, I talked to my insurance company a while ago about an improper tow (awd) and they said it would be the towing company's fault and they would go after them for it. So there is some good news.
     
  16. aqua
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    aqua Well-Known Member

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    snbrd4evr;675619]That's my only concern for you. Were you on public or private property? Because that's what will matter. If someone parked in the middle of my yard (private property) I can tow their car and they can't cite me these laws because I'm just getting it off my property.

    its not if he was on public or private property its the so call "drop fee" the tow guy charge.
     
  17. snbrd4evr
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    snbrd4evr Well-Known Member

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    If that's the case though, this statute (or whatever it's called) is useless because it states public property has to post it and it doesn't mention private. I'm pretty sure you can post whatever you want (within reason) for private property, like a $100 drop fee for example.
     
  18. Rusty
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    Rusty Member

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    i spoke with a lawyer who said that that statute was created for drop fees in general and has been proven in other cases, also there is a amendment to it that is not document because it was a re-write or something like that. basically they can not charge more then 15 bucks and zero in all cases if any wheels are still touching the ground.
    in other news i tried calling them again today. i was conveniently told that no manager was available today after i told them that i was calling to voice concern about their practices. :emo: lol their are all a sham in my book.
    as i have said before we should all be outraged that with out my permission they can subject my car to actions that may damage it internally or externally.
    torquing on the wheels with it in gear to lift it on to dolly's can potential chip a gears tooth (or worse) in the drive line with out any outward signs of damage.
     

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