Sunday, September 30, 2007

Eff the Towing companies: Or, why does our life suck???

Okay, so check out how sucky our weekend (my birthday weekend mind you) has been.

Aaron needed to go to the store to get a few things for the party that we were having on Friday around 5:40ish, after he had woken up a bit and did some things around the house. He comes back about three minutes later saying that he thinks that his car was stolen.

I go down there with him and we drive around the apartment complex twice trying to find the car. Nope. So, by this time it's RIGHT at 6 o clock, so we rush to the front of the complex just in time to stop the girls in the office and tell them that we think that his car was stolen. Jackie (the assistant Manager) was like "Actually ... I think that it got towed." I immediately said "Why?" and she said "I'm not sure ... probably that you were parked in a handicap parking spot.

Let me stop right here and say that Aaron NEVER parks in a handicap parking spot. In fact, he usually parks really far away ... and parks on the street before parking in the handicap parking spot in our complex.

Back to Jackie: She says "I think that they take pictures ... I can give you the number to the towing company to talk with them and if they do not help you out ... Kristen will be back in the front office tomorrow at 10. So they leave ... without going back in just to get the towing slip so that we can know what the heck happened and why they would tow our car. So, we get back to the apartment and Aaron calls the towing company. They say that the pictures are in the night drop box. So, we drive all the way down to the towing company thinking that the pictures are in the drop box. Well ... they were in the APARTMENT COMPLEX's drop box ... not at the towing company. Plus, Aaron couldn't get his car out anyway because the car is in his mom's name (who lives 2 1/2 hours away mind you) so she would have to drive all the way up here to get the car out.

We drive back to the apartment because it was time for people to start arriving and figure that we'll just have to go down to the office and see what they say in the morning. Also, we wanted to look at the pictures and see what in the hell actually happened.

Aaron had to go to work that night (so of course he had to use my car) and he got back at 7 and went to sleep. I went down to the front office at 10 am and sat in the front and waited for ten minutes because the girl was late. She gets there and is like "Sorry, I'm like 10 minutes late". Very politely I say "No big deal ..." So she's like "What can I help you with?" I tell her the story and ask to see the pictures ... she gets it for me and sure enough .... Aaron is parked NEXT to the handicap.

Here's the back story: When we first moved here the handicap spot was the second spot away from the sidewalk. So, the maintenance people painted over the spot with gray paint and then placed a pole with a handicap sign in front of the parking spot NEXT to that spot. Since then (Which was a good seven or so months ago) people have been parking there because it's no longer a handicap spot.

I show the girl the picture and I'm like ... "See, this isn't in the handicap spot at all ... it's obviously been painted over!" She's like "well, I don't know ... I haven't been here very long." I was like, "Well yeah but we've been here for a long time ... I remember when they painted over this spot and moved the handicap spot to the next spot over." She was like "Well I can't do anything about it ... you'll have to call the towing company." So, I call the company and tell them that we've seen the picture and that we weren't parked in the wrong and that they towed our car illegally and we would like it back. They tell me that can can't get the car back until the manager gets in because they have no authority to release a car without us paying for it.

The front office still wouldn't do anything ... by this time I was freaking mad, so I yelled on the way out "THANKS SO MUCH FOR NOT HELPING US AT ALL!" Aaron's mom was on the phone with me and said that she was going to be on her way out there so that she could see what she could do since she was the owner of the car. I get back in the apartment and start telling the people that stayed the night after our party what happened. I'm basically LIVID ... Aaron wakes up and realizes that they aren't going to give him his car back. He gets so angry and can't go back to sleep. He tried to go down and talk with the lady but she basically said the same thing. She wondered why it took us so long to find out that our car was towed (Um I don't know ... because he works NIGHTS and sleeps during the day), and refused to call in the manager so that we could speak with someone that obviously knew more than this girl.

Aaron's mom gets there and calls the towing company, who says that they are going to try and get a hold of the manager but they doubt that it will matter because he usually doesn't answer the phone on the weekends because he's off of work. Then we called the police to see if we could file a report because our car was illegally towed and if you ask ME ... that's pretty much stealing!!!

The police man arrives very quickly but tells us that he can not do anything because we live in a gated community and the towing company has a contract with our complex ... therefore this is a civil matter and the police can not help us. He was very nice though and said that if they wouldn't give our money back to let him know and he would be sure to report them.

We went BACK down to the complex with a contract that basically said that we were going to pay the fee but that they promised to pay us back after we spoke with the manager and he realized that the towing company is in the wrong. (This is something that my BIL, a lawyer, said to try and get so that we can have documentation of what we paid) Well, of course they refused to sign anything. We sat there for the longest time trying to decide what to do and finally decided to pay it and Shaw said that we would just have to sue them if they didn't give us the money back.

Well, Aaron gets his car and pulls it into the front of the parking lot and we start smelling some serious gas. We look and OF COURSE ... there's a freaking gas leak. The fuel line has a hole in it and that was DEFINITELY not there before it was towed. So we go back to the front office and she tells us that there's nothing that she can do about it.

We called the police to file a report .... after waiting two hours .... the cop gets there and says that because it probably was not intentional we can't do anything. But she also says that we have a good case (After seeing the pictures) and that we definitely needed to get our money back as soon as we could ... apparently they do this all the time and a lot of people just pay the money and forget about it. She said that we needed to go to small claims court to take care of it if they didn't settle it.

Then we had to wait for anothe tow truck (from our insurance) to come and take the car to a chevy dealership out here. When they get there ... we get the guy to look at the fuel line and he said that it looks like it was done because of carelessness from the towing company. We have his information for him to testify if we need it. So they tow it off and finally we are able to go home and hang out with the guests of our party.

It was four hours of stress ... just sitting in the freaking towing company parking lot .... in a NOT very good part of town.

P.S. That picture is of a car that was parked where Aaron was parked ... OBVIOUSLY not in a handicap and that spot is painted over with Gray paint.


Aggie said...

Write a letter of complaint to the community that have the contract with the towing company and the towing company itself. Put it in writing and basically they have to deal with it. Tell them you will take it to the small claims court if they don't repay the towing fee and meet the cost of repairs to the fuel line as it was careless/wilful damage. Then if you don't get satisfaction ... do it. Show them you mean business as you have a clear cut/proveable case.
All else considered, I hope the party went on to be a blast and that you had a good birthday after all.

Mrs. Amanda Doiron said...

I’m SO sorry honey.
I hope it all works out and Shaw is able to help yall (hopefully you won’t need him to though) …
Call me later and let me know what’s going on now that everyone’s back in the office and you’re going to be getting some answers …

O … and Happy Freaking Birthday!

Amanda Leigh said...

wow.. what an awful thing to have happen. I hope everything gets worked out.

Happy birthday!

Christy Jo said...

Let me know as you know updates