Living a Life of Chaos (kitashla) wrote in bad_service,
Living a Life of Chaos

Bad Tow Service

And wondering what sort of legal recourse is available.

Back story: We live on a short (less than half of a mile) road that ends in a cul de sac. We live towards the end. A bit ago, the transmission went out on our van while we were leaving for work one day and it rolled down into the cul de sac. (The road is downhill all the way down.) We couldn't get it back up the hill the 20 feet up into our drive way and due to financial difficulties, couldn't pay to have a tow truck tow it back into our yard. One of our neighbors happen to have some friends and offered to tow it for us and we were just waiting for our schedules to mesh.

Well, one of our neighbor's boyfriends (who doesn't live at her house, nor owns property on our street or anything else) just called a wrecker to come take it away. (Note: The van was not blocking anything. Driveway, view or anything else.) This is a separate issue all together.

The wrecker pulled down into the cul de sac, hooked up our van and began to tow it away. Husband catches the van as it's driving away. He gets in his car and follows it up the road to ask them where they are taking it. The old man that is driving the tow truck tells my husband he doesn't need to know. Husband asks if he could just pay them the money to pull it into our driveway. Old man says no. The younger of the two tries to tell my husband where they are taking it, but the old man shuts him up, and drives away.

Obviously, my husband follows the truck to figure out where it is going. The man proceeds to drive all over the city trying to lose my husband before finally pulling it into his yard. Yeah, it's a little po-dunk towing company.

Husband turns the car around and asks the guy, once again, what was needed to get the car back, who called it in to have it towed, etc. The old man won't tell him. Tells him to leave. My husband explains that he needs to know what it would take to get it back again. At this point, the old man runs in his house and comes back with a baseball bat, threatening my husband with it. (Note: Husband isn't on their property. He's just sitting in his car on the street. He ran out in his pajama pants and without shoes, so it's not likely he's going to be doing much fighting. *snicker*) He explains to older man that he would have been more than happy to pay just to have it towed to our yard like he explained before they had even left our road.

At this point, the older man throws down his bat, tells my husband that he doesn't need a bat for a "little fucker like you" and pulls a knife out of his pocket. Husband pulls away. He circles back a few minutes later and the younger nice guy is out there alone and apologizes for the behavior of the old man, saying that he's "on edge". He tells my husband that it will probably be $120 for the tow and $20 for every day they have it.

So, now what? We don't have the money for that in the first place, especially since we tried to stop them and have them do the shorter job of towing it a few feet and paying them up front. Our van wasn't on private property and we'd already discussed it being there with the neighbors who were most affected. The most it was blocking off was a couple of trees (we live in a very rural area). What was the deal with the old fucker refusing to give us the location of the van if he wasn't going to try to pad the bill probably more. (Keep the van for a few days and then mail us some sort of bill with that couple of days added to the bill that we couldn't even contact someone to get it.) Not to mention the threats of violence?

The bigger issue is that the van isn't in our name, but in a friend's name and we don't want her to have any issues and problems because of this.

Edit to Update

Just got off the phone with the sheriff. It's not a criminal matter because the towing company was called by someone. However, it is a civil matter. The sheriff told us to go file a civil suit against the company because what they did was wrong, and sue them to get the car back and the cost of filing the suit ($40) and we will probably win. But we were assured that we were not in the wrong in this matter, which is what we were most interested in.

BTW, I love you guys. Every single time I've wondered about something, you've always come through. Thank you so much.
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