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mike
July 20th 03, 05:37 AM
I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.

I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
about "out of the box" ideas?

Thanks for any help.

TomTom
July 20th 03, 05:41 AM
I'm not sure about the laws in CA, but in at least one state you can call
the police non-emergency number and the police will have the towing firm
release the car to you without paying as I believe it is illegal for the
towing firm to hold the car. You can then deal with the "bill" that the
towing company sends you later.

If you paid with a credit card maybe you could dispute the charge with your
credit card company?


"mike" > wrote in message
om...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?
>
> Thanks for any help.


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TomTom
July 20th 03, 05:41 AM
I'm not sure about the laws in CA, but in at least one state you can call
the police non-emergency number and the police will have the towing firm
release the car to you without paying as I believe it is illegal for the
towing firm to hold the car. You can then deal with the "bill" that the
towing company sends you later.

If you paid with a credit card maybe you could dispute the charge with your
credit card company?


"mike" > wrote in message
om...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?
>
> Thanks for any help.


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Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
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Carol
July 20th 03, 06:01 AM
Although $120 may sound excessive to you, you must realize that the towing
company must pay for someone to be *on call* 24/7, they have a tow truck
that must be purchased and maintained and insured, an impound lot that must
be purchased and maintained and insured, probably some type of office...that
must be purchased and maintained and insured, at least one driver who must
be paid wages, an employee to run that office and do the multitude of
paperwork that each and every towing job entails, business license fees,
vehicle license fees......I could go on and on, but I think you get the
picture. I'm not sure about CA, but towing companies in my state are
strictly regulated by the state and must pass periodic inspections of their
premises, equipment and paperwork and, IF a tow is requested by a law
enforcement agency, that agency actually dictates the amounts charged for
towing and storage. Most towing companies also use that as a guideline for
the charges for private tows. The *normal* minimum charge would be a flat
fee for the tow plus one day storage. I'd pay it and be more careful where
I parked in the future!

Carol


"mike" > wrote in message
om...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?
>
> Thanks for any help.

Carol
July 20th 03, 06:01 AM
Although $120 may sound excessive to you, you must realize that the towing
company must pay for someone to be *on call* 24/7, they have a tow truck
that must be purchased and maintained and insured, an impound lot that must
be purchased and maintained and insured, probably some type of office...that
must be purchased and maintained and insured, at least one driver who must
be paid wages, an employee to run that office and do the multitude of
paperwork that each and every towing job entails, business license fees,
vehicle license fees......I could go on and on, but I think you get the
picture. I'm not sure about CA, but towing companies in my state are
strictly regulated by the state and must pass periodic inspections of their
premises, equipment and paperwork and, IF a tow is requested by a law
enforcement agency, that agency actually dictates the amounts charged for
towing and storage. Most towing companies also use that as a guideline for
the charges for private tows. The *normal* minimum charge would be a flat
fee for the tow plus one day storage. I'd pay it and be more careful where
I parked in the future!

Carol


"mike" > wrote in message
om...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?
>
> Thanks for any help.

Nick Pine
July 20th 03, 02:18 PM
Carol > wrote:

>Although $120 may sound excessive to you, you must realize that the towing
>company must pay for someone to be *on call* 24/7, they have a tow truck
>that must be purchased and maintained and insured, an impound lot that must
>be purchased and maintained and insured, probably some type of office...
>I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

Yeah. They are low-life greedy *******s. Orta be hanged, like horse thieves.

Nick

Nick Pine
July 20th 03, 02:18 PM
Carol > wrote:

>Although $120 may sound excessive to you, you must realize that the towing
>company must pay for someone to be *on call* 24/7, they have a tow truck
>that must be purchased and maintained and insured, an impound lot that must
>be purchased and maintained and insured, probably some type of office...
>I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

Yeah. They are low-life greedy *******s. Orta be hanged, like horse thieves.

Nick

Joe Agro
July 20th 03, 02:22 PM
> Anyone have any ideas what it would have been in NYC?

NYC is easy... You simply don't ever see the car again. <grin>

....Okay. Seriously... I'm in a suburb and 129 is the single day towing
rate for a motorcycle... Then it's $30-60 a day until you pick it up. The
"city' must be even higher IMHO due to lack of space.

Regards,
Joe - VROC #8013 - '86 VN750 - joe @ yunx .com - 973.571.1456 24/7

Ask me about "The Ride" on July 26: http://www.youthelate.com/the_ride.htm

$0.03 bargain: http://tinyurl.com/9sz6
"Bubbalicious" > wrote in message
...
> "Carol" > wrote:
>
> >Although $120 may sound excessive to you,
>
> In California........I would have expected the towing fees to be in excess
of
> $500. I though it was a deal.
>
> Anyone have any ideas what it would have been in NYC?
>
>
>
>
>

Joe Agro
July 20th 03, 02:22 PM
> Anyone have any ideas what it would have been in NYC?

NYC is easy... You simply don't ever see the car again. <grin>

....Okay. Seriously... I'm in a suburb and 129 is the single day towing
rate for a motorcycle... Then it's $30-60 a day until you pick it up. The
"city' must be even higher IMHO due to lack of space.

Regards,
Joe - VROC #8013 - '86 VN750 - joe @ yunx .com - 973.571.1456 24/7

Ask me about "The Ride" on July 26: http://www.youthelate.com/the_ride.htm

$0.03 bargain: http://tinyurl.com/9sz6
"Bubbalicious" > wrote in message
...
> "Carol" > wrote:
>
> >Although $120 may sound excessive to you,
>
> In California........I would have expected the towing fees to be in excess
of
> $500. I though it was a deal.
>
> Anyone have any ideas what it would have been in NYC?
>
>
>
>
>

Don K
July 20th 03, 03:44 PM
"Dennis P. Harris" > wrote in message
...
> On 19 Jul 2003 20:37:50 -0700 in misc.consumers.frugal-living,
> (mike) wrote:
>
> > I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
>
> well, maybe you've learned your lesson about parking on private
> property? i don't think that the charge was excessive at all.
> if it was my parking lot illegal parkers would pay a lot more
> than that. btw, the charge can be anything the parking lot owner
> and towing company want it to be in most states.

Go back to the parking lot and see if there are any signs posted that
unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense. Then
look up the local laws to see if they are in compliance.

I think a posted sign is required in many jurisdictions and it has
to meet certain standards of wording, size, etc.

Don

Don K
July 20th 03, 03:44 PM
"Dennis P. Harris" > wrote in message
...
> On 19 Jul 2003 20:37:50 -0700 in misc.consumers.frugal-living,
> (mike) wrote:
>
> > I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
>
> well, maybe you've learned your lesson about parking on private
> property? i don't think that the charge was excessive at all.
> if it was my parking lot illegal parkers would pay a lot more
> than that. btw, the charge can be anything the parking lot owner
> and towing company want it to be in most states.

Go back to the parking lot and see if there are any signs posted that
unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense. Then
look up the local laws to see if they are in compliance.

I think a posted sign is required in many jurisdictions and it has
to meet certain standards of wording, size, etc.

Don

Joe Agro
July 20th 03, 03:53 PM
I've always wanted to thank the folks who put up those "No Parking - Car
will be towed at owners expense" signs. After all, anyone who owns private
property AND will pay my towing is really nice. :)

Regards,
Joe - VROC #8013 - '86 VN750 - joe @ yunx .com - 973.571.1456 24/7

Ask me about "The Ride" on July 26: http://www.youthelate.com/the_ride.htm

$0.03 bargain: http://tinyurl.com/9sz6
"Don K" > wrote in message
...
> "Dennis P. Harris" > wrote in message
> ...
> > On 19 Jul 2003 20:37:50 -0700 in misc.consumers.frugal-living,
> > (mike) wrote:
> >
> > > I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> >
> > well, maybe you've learned your lesson about parking on private
> > property? i don't think that the charge was excessive at all.
> > if it was my parking lot illegal parkers would pay a lot more
> > than that. btw, the charge can be anything the parking lot owner
> > and towing company want it to be in most states.
>
> Go back to the parking lot and see if there are any signs posted that
> unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense. Then
> look up the local laws to see if they are in compliance.
>
> I think a posted sign is required in many jurisdictions and it has
> to meet certain standards of wording, size, etc.
>
> Don
>
>

Joe Agro
July 20th 03, 03:53 PM
I've always wanted to thank the folks who put up those "No Parking - Car
will be towed at owners expense" signs. After all, anyone who owns private
property AND will pay my towing is really nice. :)

Regards,
Joe - VROC #8013 - '86 VN750 - joe @ yunx .com - 973.571.1456 24/7

Ask me about "The Ride" on July 26: http://www.youthelate.com/the_ride.htm

$0.03 bargain: http://tinyurl.com/9sz6
"Don K" > wrote in message
...
> "Dennis P. Harris" > wrote in message
> ...
> > On 19 Jul 2003 20:37:50 -0700 in misc.consumers.frugal-living,
> > (mike) wrote:
> >
> > > I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> >
> > well, maybe you've learned your lesson about parking on private
> > property? i don't think that the charge was excessive at all.
> > if it was my parking lot illegal parkers would pay a lot more
> > than that. btw, the charge can be anything the parking lot owner
> > and towing company want it to be in most states.
>
> Go back to the parking lot and see if there are any signs posted that
> unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense. Then
> look up the local laws to see if they are in compliance.
>
> I think a posted sign is required in many jurisdictions and it has
> to meet certain standards of wording, size, etc.
>
> Don
>
>

Carol
July 20th 03, 04:52 PM
"Nick Pine" > wrote in message
...
> Carol > wrote:
>
> >Although $120 may sound excessive to you, you must realize that the
towing
> >company must pay for someone to be *on call* 24/7, they have a tow truck
> >that must be purchased and maintained and insured, an impound lot that
must
> >be purchased and maintained and insured, probably some type of office...
> >I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
>
> Yeah. They are low-life greedy *******s. Orta be hanged, like horse
thieves.
>
> Nick
>

No, they are business people..... just like doctors, lawyers, policemen,
frycooks at McDonald's......they have families to support just like the rest
of us, and they provide a needed service. If you break down on the highway
and need your vehicle towed, you call a tow truck. If you chose to break
the law and the police call that tow truck, then YOU'RE the one with the
problem.

Carol

Carol
July 20th 03, 04:52 PM
"Nick Pine" > wrote in message
...
> Carol > wrote:
>
> >Although $120 may sound excessive to you, you must realize that the
towing
> >company must pay for someone to be *on call* 24/7, they have a tow truck
> >that must be purchased and maintained and insured, an impound lot that
must
> >be purchased and maintained and insured, probably some type of office...
> >I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
>
> Yeah. They are low-life greedy *******s. Orta be hanged, like horse
thieves.
>
> Nick
>

No, they are business people..... just like doctors, lawyers, policemen,
frycooks at McDonald's......they have families to support just like the rest
of us, and they provide a needed service. If you break down on the highway
and need your vehicle towed, you call a tow truck. If you chose to break
the law and the police call that tow truck, then YOU'RE the one with the
problem.

Carol

Don Klipstein
July 20th 03, 07:39 PM
"mike" > wrote in message
om...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?

$120 seems about usual to me for illegally parking on private property
(in Philadelphia). Sometimes I saw as low as $75, maybe 10-15 years ago
and in nearby suburbs.

- Don Klipstein )

Don Klipstein
July 20th 03, 07:39 PM
"mike" > wrote in message
om...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?

$120 seems about usual to me for illegally parking on private property
(in Philadelphia). Sometimes I saw as low as $75, maybe 10-15 years ago
and in nearby suburbs.

- Don Klipstein )

Ned Flanders
July 21st 03, 05:46 AM
(mike) wrote in message >...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?
>
> Thanks for any help.

Go to the courthouse, find the name and address of the owner of the
lot and stalk them until you can place a tow away zone sign next to
their car, then call the police--instant karma right back at them:)

Just joking,

Ned

Peale
July 21st 03, 04:19 PM
(mike) scribbled furiously in
om:

> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?

Unfortunately, this is about average.

Back in 1995, I had the displeasure of getting into a car accident on the
highway. The car was totaled, but I was okay, not even whiplash.

The car was down a slight embankment. When the towtruck arrived (it was
literally within 1/8 mile) he took one look, and said he couldn't use
that truck, he'd have to go get the flatbed.

Three minutes later, he arrived with the flatbed. Charged me $210 for
towing 1/8 mile, because he had to 'use two trucks.'

--
MAME - It's what's for dinner!
http://www.tombstones.org.uk - meet the alt.games.mame regulars!
http://www.pealefamily.net/tech/mame/ - My Own MAME site.

Deadend
July 21st 03, 07:55 PM
(Ned Flanders) wrote in message >...
> (mike) wrote in message >...

Bezerkeley parking sucks and the fees for being hauled out of a
private lot sucks. I have never had more parking and ticket related
problems in any city than I have had than in Berkeley, so I
sympathize. I have come to realize that in many areas (The Shattuck
corridor, Telegraph Ave., etc.,) it is either better to just take
public transportation in, like BART right to Shattuck, and leave the
car at home, or if that isn't feasible, to just pay to park. I hate to
pay to park, but I must admit, low cost paid parking is available in
many of the congested areas of Berkeley.

Regards,

Deadend

Christopher Green
July 21st 03, 08:03 PM
(mike) wrote in message >...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?
>
> Thanks for any help.

That's not an unusual rate for California. There are some formalities
that they must observe, such as accepting credit cards and releasing
your vehicle promptly when you tender payment. But the charge isn't
"excessive" if it isn't more than the rate negotiated between the
towing company and local law enforcement. Vehicle Code 22658(i)(1).

--
Chris Green

Jim Helfer
July 21st 03, 09:47 PM
I think that this is a racket. What seems to be happening here in
Pittsburgh, is a business owner will put up a small "No Parking" sign, but
leave no gate or chain across the entrance. Poeple going to clubs park
there, and get towed. The towing company kicks back some money to the
property owner. A particularly criminal towing company may burguralize your
car, if there is anything valuable in it.

Jim



"mike" > wrote in message
om...
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?
>
> Thanks for any help.

Vince
July 21st 03, 11:24 PM
"Jim Helfer" > wrote in message
...
>
> I think that this is a racket. What seems to be happening here in
> Pittsburgh, is a business owner will put up a small "No Parking" sign, but
> leave no gate or chain across the entrance. Poeple going to clubs park
> there, and get towed. The towing company kicks back some money to the
> property owner. A particularly criminal towing company may burguralize
your
> car, if there is anything valuable in it.
>
> Jim

THAT'S A CROCK OF BULL!!! How long do you suppose a towing company could
stay in business under those circumstances? That's just a stupid
response...get a life.

V.

Gary
July 22nd 03, 03:09 PM
Even if there are kick backs it shouldnt matter. You were told not to
use there property and you ignored it. The lot wasnt yours to use.
Just because someone doesnt dead bolt there front door doesnt mean you
can come in. Just because someone doesnt have a chain on there parking
lot doesnt mean you can come in.

"Jim Helfer" > wrote in message >...
> I think that this is a racket. What seems to be happening here in
> Pittsburgh, is a business owner will put up a small "No Parking" sign, but
> leave no gate or chain across the entrance. Poeple going to clubs park
> there, and get towed. The towing company kicks back some money to the
> property owner. A particularly criminal towing company may burguralize your
> car, if there is anything valuable in it.
>
> Jim
>

Tsu Dho Poster
July 22nd 03, 03:42 PM
"mike" > wrote in message news:3
> I stupidly parked in a business lot where I thought no one would mind.
> My car was towed. The towing firm charged me $120 to release the car.
> Incidentally, this was in Berkeley, Ca.
>
> I thought the charge was excessive even though I was in the wrong.
> Anybody got any ideas on anything I can do about this situation? How
> about "out of the box" ideas?
>
"out of the box" idea: Move to Atlanta. They capped it at a mere $95 as
an act of compassion. Stupid people deserve a break, I guess.

Would it be OK if someone parked in your driveway??? If not, how much
should the fine be....??

Chloe
July 22nd 03, 11:25 PM
> > > I think that this is a racket. What seems to be happening here in
> > > Pittsburgh, is a business owner will put up a small "No Parking" sign,
but
> > > leave no gate or chain across the entrance. Poeple going to clubs
park
> > > there, and get towed. The towing company kicks back some money to the
> > > property owner. A particularly criminal towing company may
burguralize
> > your
> > > car, if there is anything valuable in it.
> > >
> > > Jim
> >
> > THAT'S A CROCK OF BULL!!! How long do you suppose a towing company
could
> > stay in business under those circumstances? That's just a stupid
> > response...get a life.

The towing company doesn't actually have to be dishonest, or not actively
so, to be part of a con scheme. Several years ago I was going to a club to
hear a show and I paid to park my car in an abandoned service
station--assuming I was giving my money to someone who had the authority to
collect it. I didn't think about demanding a receipt, and none was offered.
I came out at the end of the evening to find my car had been towed. I
quickly discovered I really had no recourse, since whoever had taken my
money either didn't have the authority to let people park there, or the
people who did had a nice scheme running whereby they either collected
multiple parking fees or kickbacks from the towing company. I won't park on
private property like that now, even if I think I have permission and have
paid.

Don Klipstein
July 23rd 03, 12:37 AM
In article >, Peale wrote:
>
>Back in 1995, I had the displeasure of getting into a car accident on the
>highway. The car was totaled, but I was okay, not even whiplash.
>
>The car was down a slight embankment. When the towtruck arrived (it was
>literally within 1/8 mile) he took one look, and said he couldn't use
>that truck, he'd have to go get the flatbed.
>
>Three minutes later, he arrived with the flatbed. Charged me $210 for
>towing 1/8 mile, because he had to 'use two trucks.'

In Philadelphia, you are better off with AAA or with a towing company
that you know well and trust or is recommended by a trusted mechanic. If
you crash there, sleezebag towtruck drivers are likely to arrive. The
fine print in some of their towing contracts requires that you get your
car fixed in their garage or else pay some outrageous fee.

- Don Klipstein )

Peale
July 23rd 03, 01:59 AM
(Don Klipstein) scribbled furiously in
:

> In Philadelphia, you are better off with AAA or with a towing company
> that you know well and trust or is recommended by a trusted mechanic.
> If you crash there, sleezebag towtruck drivers are likely to arrive.
> The fine print in some of their towing contracts requires that you get
> your car fixed in their garage or else pay some outrageous fee.

Well, after the crash, I was really dazed. Within about two minutes, an
off-duty state trooper was there, said he'd already called for a patrol
car and a tow truck. At that point, it was out of my hands.

--
MAME - It's what's for dinner!
http://www.tombstones.org.uk - meet the alt.games.mame regulars!
http://www.pealefamily.net/tech/mame/ - My Own MAME site.

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