LAKE STEVENS, WASHINGTON -- I was visiting Lake Stevens for the 3rd time - competing in a local triathlon. I (along with 2 other vehicles) parked off the street in a neighborhood (same place I've parked for the previous 2 years). After the race, I was surprised to see all the vehicles had been towed and new signs posted on the fence of the residence (NO PARKING along with the towing company's contact info. Not only did he admit to posting the signs after we had parked there, but he charged us $540 to have it released back into our possession. That is OUTRAGEOUS! For just a half a day, this is what he charges. After arriving at his place of buisiness, I come to find two other athletes (one vehicle) waiting as well. These two young ladies confirmed that there was no sign when we had parked there. We then called the police, which was a local city policeman who apparently knew the owner of the tow company personally, and he explained that there was nothing the police could do - basically [snip] knows what he is doing and he can charge whatever he likes. I am an honest man, have been all my life. I am willing to accept my penalty whenever I do something wrong. However, this is absolutely highway robbery in small-town America, and I will be getting a lawyer to dispute. You cannot post a sign after-the-fact and then tow. On top of that, doesn't $540 sound a little over-priced. Beware!
VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA -- Our car was towed from a gas station (yep, my daughter should not have parked there). The staff would not release the car to me the next day even though I am the (1) wife of the owner and 2) had proof that I am a registered driver. My husband picked up the car the following day and disputed the bill. He was told that if he didn't like it, they could lock up and he would need to deal with someone else. (isn't this extortion?) I have filed a complaint with the BBB and will pursue this.
If your car is towed by them, have the police accompany you and better yet, your attorney. Trust me, you will need it. We paid $322 for 1 day of towing and service.