BBB advises consumers on what to do if their car is towed
AUSTIN, Texas - Sept. 28, 2012 — In the past 12 months, Better Business Bureau has received more than 4,000 complaints nationally against towing companies. BBB advises consumers to know the laws and pay attention to where they park to avoid costly towing ordeals.
Consumers most commonly allege that their car was towed even though they were legally parked. BBB also receives complaints alleging damage to vehicles during the towing process and additional, unexpected or misleading fees added to the final bill.
Under the Texas Vehicle Towing and Booting Law, a towing company may remove and store a vehicle only if the parking facility owner:
1. requests that the towing company remove and store the vehicle; or
2. has a standing written agreement with the towing company to enforce parking restrictions in the parking facility.
Additionally, an unauthorized vehicle may only be towed if proper signage prohibiting unauthorized vehicles is conspicuously visible to the driver; is permanently mounted on a pole, post or permanent barrier; contains the days and hours of towing enforcement; and contains a contact number that is answered 24 hours a day so the owner or operator of a towed vehicle can locate his or her vehicle.
Consumers who have their vehicle towed should consider the following BBB tips:
· Contact the towing company immediately. The towing company’s contact information should be displayed on a sign in the area where you parked. Retrieve your car as quickly as possible. Many towing companies include a storage fee based on the amount of time a vehicle remains in their facility.
· Inspect your vehicle before leaving. Make sure there is no damage from the tow and any items you had in the vehicle are accounted for. Take pictures for proof in case you need to fill out an incident report.
· Ask for a detailed receipt. All fees rendered for towing and storing your vehicle should be itemized in writing. Review them carefully and ask for clarification before you pay.
· Know where to turn. Consumers who feel their vehicle was wrongfully towed can file a complaint with BBB and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.
Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748. ###