TOWING LAWS INFORMATION

FEDERAL:

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/05/565.asp

STATE OF OREGON:

http://www.doj.state.or.us/releases/2007/rel062507.shtml

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Beaverton Towing scam part II

Didn’t hear anything back from the TV news investigators.  Guess I’ll have to email the other stations in town.  Didn’t hear back from code enforcement in the mayors office either.  I called back and got voice mail and left a message, then headed out with my camera.  Took pictures of all the signage and lot and buildings and where my car had been parked.  Well SURPRISE!!!  A sign had been moved to face right where I had been parked!  ummmm hummmm….. Someone is trying to cover their ass bases!

I had parked my car (on the STREET!) and sat to wait and see what transpired.  My intention was to catch anyone who unwittingly parked there and warn them of their impending doom.  A couple of cars were already in the ‘hot zone’, but nothing I could do about that. 

A little after 11am along comes the tow truck driver.  He waves and smiles when he sees me.  I wave back.  He circles the lot.  Gets out and walks to one of the stores, then comes back to hook up and tow a BMW convertible.  I go over to say hi.  Recommend he SERIOUSLY look for another job because he seems like a really nice kid and he should not be working for CROOKS like this.  He IS trying to get another job, needs to write a resume and doesn’t know how.  I tell him to search on the internet and give him a pep talk about interviews and tell him that SINCERITY and HONESTY and the willingness to work hard are more important to a prospective employer than an impressive resume.  People can ‘fake’ a good resume.  You can’t fake good character.

I head back to my car, get my camera and take a few pictures and then notice that an older SUV has pulled up to the tow truck and two irate men are waving their arms and yelling at the young tow truck driver.  “There’s my sign!!!”  I walk over and ask the men if they were aware that this lot was for the restaurant only.  TODAY the kid (tow truck driver) is sayng that it is ALL the businesses ‘over there’ that contract for them to tow.  I tell the two men that my car got towed yesterday and encourage them to complain to the Better Business Bureau and City Hall.  The owner of the car assured me that he would.

They were being pretty tough on the kid and asked him to call his supervisor.  I whispered that the supervisor was a real jerk and the kid was much nicer to deal with.  The kid was on a walkie talke and cell phone.  The car owner was on his phone.  The car owners friend was asking me to explain to him that he can’t tow their car and I explain I am just here for moral support,  but had I been here when they parked, I’d have warned them.

The BMW owner says he owns several 7-11 stores in Portland and he KNOWS towing laws and sign codes and their signs are NOT to code and he cannot be towed.  The kid says my supervisor says I have to tow you if you won’t pay the $100.00 drop fee.  The car owner does not know what to do.  I suggested he call the Police and report he was having an altercation with a tow truck driver.  He does call and gets put on hold.  The car owners friend (in the SUV) has left (don’t know where to) and the BMW owner is still on hold. 

Teh BMW owner is ranting about how they (tow truck driver) are getting rich by towing innocent people.  The tow truck driver shrugs and shakes his head, and I REALLY don’t think HE is getting the money, but the owner of the towing company sure is getting rich.  The driver probably only makes an hourly wage. 

For some reason in all of that, and something that I missed, the tow truck driver says he has been told he can release the car, no fee.  The BMW owner is still pretty mad.  I remind him it cost me a hunderd dollars yesterday!  I ask him for his business card and give him mine and again encourage him to report this SCAM to City Hall and the BBB and anyone else he can think of and to let me know if he thinks of anyone esle I can complain to.  The tow truck driver leaves without addressing the other car that was parked in the ‘hot zone’.   BMW guy  takes some pictures with his cell phone; I shake his had, wish him luck and leave.   

SO, what the BMW driver was saying is that according to the towing company he contracts with for his stores is that the towing signage has to be at eye level, between 4-6′ up from the ground.  And most of these signs are on low stakes in the ground.  I had guessed that he may have had a legitimate gripe since they let him off without paying the drop fee I was charged.  Either way, I figure I can argue they let THAT guy off and I SAW it happen and ask for my money back!

I stop at City Hall first.  The guy I had talked to yesterday was not there.  I ask that they let him know I stopped in again.  And ask if maybe I should talk to the Police department.  The young lady tells me there is nothing the police can do about signs on private peoperty.  But I’m thinking there are all kinds of SIGNAGE RULES for businesses in the city and I was just looking at a phamplet about it while I was waiting to talk to her.  I really should have just asked to speak directly to the mayor!  But I thought that I’d be able to get my money back when I stopped at the towing company office.

So I go to the towing office, the driver is there and I say hi to him by name and I can see him thinking “OH $h!+!!!”  (I guess he gave up on that lot for the time being!)  I show the lady behind the counter my receipt from yesterday and say I just saw him let this guy (showing his business card) go without paying the drop fee and I want my money back.  The lady says that’s because that man was in the restaurant.  I said the restaurant was not open yet and I want my money back.  She refuses.  I leave pretty steamed.

Get home to a message from the guy in the mayors office, he says he does not know of anything they can do.  I guess my next step is to file a complaint with the BBB and call the BMW driver and ask if he was in the restaurant.  I’m hoping he will help me out with the truth, since I was there to TRY and help him today.

The thing is, Beaverton Towing is ACTING AS IF they are protecting those businesses from people who should not park there.  I sincerely wonder if those businesses know how UNSAVORY this practice is?!?!?  Because IF they REALLY wanted to keep people from parking there, they would have more explicit signage saying “For patrons of XXX only”.  As it is the signage is nebulous, and those who park there are not intentionally parking where they should not, we simply do not KNOW!!!  Which makes it easy for Beaverton Towing to keep their little (BIG!) money making scam going!

Stay tuned for pictures!  We’ll see what happens next!