towing companies are the devil

This morning I got a call from a friend, and I had to help him and another friend retrieve a car that had been towed and impounded. He needed me to help cover part of the payment to get it out of holding from the towing company. They take you to the cleaners.

First you have to pay the police certain fees because your car was towed. Then you have to pay the towing company a towing fee, which in this case was $130, plus a $55/day storage fee. So this guy's car was towed yesterday, and today to get his car back he had to pay the towing company alone $185. So I get there and my friend has cash to pay, and I am planning on paying the remainder of what he owes on my credit card. The woman, which had taken several minutes to even come help us despite the fact that we were the only "customers" there, informed us that they could only take one form of payment.

"No problem," I said. "I'll take the cash, and put it all on my card."

"Jeremiah Perdue?" she asked, looking at my card.


"You're not on the registration for the car."

"Yes I know, it's my friend's, he's right here, you have his driver's license so you know it's him."

"We can only accept payment from the registered owner."

"What? Why?"

"It's company policy. It's to avoid unauthorized payments."

"Well it's clearly authorized, he's right here and you have his ID, I'm right here and you can see mine. So why can't I just pay it?"

"We can only accept payment from the registered owner. We've had worse situations than this before."

"This isn't a bad situation. We're both standing right here and there's nothing unauthorized about this."

"Well it's company policy sir."

At that point I said fine and left to get cash for my portion of the fee. I was so aggravated. I had to go to a liquor store across the street and pay a stupid $1.69 transaction fee to retrieve the cash.

But seriously, those tow truck places are ridiculous. They charge you an initial fee to tow your truck and then $55/day for a car, more if your vehicle is bigger. They've got a bazillion different fees they charge you - and if you don't get your car right away the fees very quickly pile up. I'm all for personal responsibility and not getting your car towed - but the way this whole system works is completely jacked up. Poor people are screwed over big time by it, or people who just don't have enough cash at the moment. The whole thing seems completely unjust and just typing about it now I want to start a crusade against the unfair "business" practices of tow companies. As Michael said, I'm surprised the employees don't wear masks, because they're robbing you. What a racket.

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