N & S Towing Complaint - A really bad towing company

Review by JENQT on 2009-09-18
(414) 476-8697
1719 S 83rd St
Milwaukee, WI 53214

Everyone please remember this towing company, and don't ever call them, . They charge me $155 for 3 miles towing, tow my car to their garage because I don't have cash to pay for them right there. I came and pick up after work( at night), they don't give me my car and said they close (the towing company close after 5pm). And the owner threaten me that "Don't play with me, you will never win"
You cannot even call police they said they don't invoke to something like this..

Don't police there to help you when you need help??
Comments:16 Replies - Latest reply on 2012-12-29
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-09-18:
Most towing companies have a base fee for showing up then it's so much a mile. Although it seems like the guy wasn't very customer friendly.
Posted by Pepper on 2009-09-18:
The police? No.

If your car was towed legally (by legally I mean the real law & not what you feel is legal), then you have to pay the fines.

The cops won't interfere since the company isn't breaking any laws.

In fact, since you're online go look up the laws on towing.

If it's any thing like VA, if you're parked illegaly in a public area you can be towed.
If you're parked on private property, the property owner can request your car to be towed. If you're parked illegally on private property & the property owner doesn't authorize your car to be towed, the police can step in & have your car towed.

you park illegally, you're pretty much screwed
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-18:
If you don't have the money right then, they aren't going to tow the car to your house and wait for you to pay. What did you think they were going to do?

They close after 5. A lot of places do.

The police aren't going to do anything. EVERY towing company I have ever dealt with operated much the same way.

I wouldn't make myself recognizable by acting like a jerk with them. Towing people DO talk to each other. The worst thing you want is to be stuck out late at night and have no towers willing to help you, especially since they DO tow after hours.
Posted by Fufu487 on 2009-09-18:
Obviously they arn't going to release your car until you pay them.... That would be what they are holding your car for. And the police?? they are for SERIOUS emergency issues, don't waste their time with this issue. You will be laughed at for sure.
Posted by Starlord on 2009-09-18:
The dispute over the towing and storage fees is a civil matter, and the police are forbidden by law from becoming involved in civil matters. If they do go to a dispute location, their only job is to keep the peace. They have nothing to say one way or the other about the dispute. If you feel you were towed or charged unlawfully, file against the tow company in Small Claims Court.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-18:
You also should be aware that towing charges after hours are more than during business hours right? And twoing companies can charge what they want.
Posted by Doctor Charlie on 2009-09-18:
I don't get it. They towed your car, since you didn't have cash to them. Then, you showed up at night and they were closed. What did they do wrong?
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-09-18:
i think we need to know why the vehicle was towed.
Posted by JENQT on 2009-09-22:
First, thanks for all the tip.
1. I was not park my car any where illegal.
2. I'm willing to pay for the fee, but I only have my debit card with me, and they didn't want to take debit card, they asked for cash. I didn't have car (my car broke down, that's why I called towing company) to go get cash. I hand them my debit card, the driver get to his car, talked to the owner, and come out told me that they don't take debit card, only cash. Next day I show up at their office paid for cash and get my car, and check my bank, they charged my debit card twice. What is all that??
3. I never act jerk with them, I was really understand when they said I have to pay for $75 for towing and $3/miles. It was three miles that they tow my car to, and they charge me $155. That wasn't what we deal from beginning. I hate this company N&S Towing, and I hate the most the way the owner-Dan, talked to me, you don't threaten people in when they in the bad situation, and they tried to talk to you. I think this guys think he have a company & he can talk to all the other towing company, and he can say whatever he want, because he has my car. I don't believe it is right.
4. I didn't do anything illegal, and I think tow someone car without their permission is WRONG, period
Posted by JENQT on 2009-09-22:
AAA is the best company to call, I called and apply and they come to help me immediately. It's only $80/year. I recomment people to apply for AAA.
Posted by Pepper on 2009-09-22:
ah so you requested they tow it.

yeah AAA would have been the way to go. The first 5 miles are free.

but ... no the police won't make them give you your car back.
sometimes you do have to go out of your way to get something done.

Hell I had to leave my car at sears for repairs once and had no way to get home and my ship was pulling out the next day (on a 2 or 3 day trip)

So I took a cab to the ship after I dropped it off. And when I pulled back in port I had to find my own way back to Sears to pick the car up.

you can bet your bippy that if i didn't have the funds to pay for the repairs i wasn't going to be able to get the car back. and if i'd come by at 10pm they wouldn't be open to let me have the car.

the business has no requirement to provide you transportation or keep open longer just for your schedule.
Posted by Doctor Charlie on 2009-09-22:
I don't get it. You had your car towed, because it broke down. Then, the next day you just went to pick it up. Did they fix your car in the meantime?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-23:
How did they charge your card if they only take cash?
Posted by Diabolical on 2009-09-23:
JenQT, I find it very strange they didn't want to accept your debit card. I worked for an answering service, and four of my clients were emergency tow lines. After hours, especially, they will only accept a credit or debit card to ensure payment. They don't want to waste the gas only to find the customer has fixed it themselves and gone on their way.
Posted by Keith A. on 2010-10-17:
I am the operations manager for a towing company in Oregon. We are also a AAA provider. I've been in the industry since 1996 and with this company since 1998.

Seems I've written that above statement a hundred times in the past three days as I've become obsessed with "my 3 cents" and towing related issues!

I, too, at first thought your car was towed for being illegally parked. But after reading more of the comments, it appears you called for service after it broke down.

Upon arrival of the tow truck, you attempted to pay with a debit card....they don't accept debit cards....and they took the car back to their shop for storage and payment in cash.

Sound about right?

Oh, and the rates. $155 total with a hookup rate of $75 and $3 per mile.

First the rates. Those are industry standard rates and to be honest...about the same as ours.

We charge a $75 hookup for 4WD and AWD vehicles or cars where we can't get the drive wheels off the ground. Say you have a rear wheel drive vehicle and the rear wheels are inaccessible. So a flatbed or dollies are required.

Otherwise, our hook-up is $60. Our mileage rate for retail calls is $5 per mile after 3 towed.

A three mile towed would have cost you either $75 or $60 with us.

BUT...they took it to their shop for "non payment" of services. They probably charged you storage. THAT figure sounds like it's pretty astronomical. Upwards of $50 per day. Which, although high, is not unheard of in our industry.

To be honest, I don't know what their property payments are, their overhead expenses, etc. We charge anywhere from $25 per day to $40 per day depending on the REASON your car is with us.

Accidents that are leaking fluids, etc. are $40 per day. A standard private property impound is $25 per day.

The question of only accepting CASH and then "impounding your car for non-payment" seems to be the crux of the issue.

There are a lot of disreputable towing outfits out there, but being in the industry and NOT knowing either of you, let me address this issue.

When we take a call, we have a pre-printed dispatch card that get all the blanks filled in. It resembles our dispatch screen. We keep a "hard card" in case the computer system crashes. As opposed to just entering everything into the computer right from the phone call. As such, our dispatchers are VERY fast typers!

Besides getting all the basic information: Name, location, vehicle, nature of breakdown, etc. We also ALWAYS ask how you intend to pay for the services today. Typically we throw in, "Do you have AAA, insurance or are you paying out of pocket?"

When the customer says, "I'll be paying out of pocket today." that leads us directly into forms of payment accepted.

Now, I can't answer for this company but if they are like most reputable businesses, they will take many forms of RELIABLE payment. I say "reliable" because maybe they get continually stiffed by XYZ insurance. Or they don't like the high merchant fees from American Express, etc. Or maybe, they won't even accept checks because they have such a high number that continue to bounce.

Still, I find it difficult to believe that they just ASSUMED you had to pay cash and you just ASSUMED you could pay by debit card.

Something was miscommunicated or lost in translation at this point.

Who's fault it was doesn't really matter, it happens. People make mistakes. Nobody is perfect.

However, the way it is dealt with does matter greatly. Otherwise you wouldn't be posting negative comments in this forum.

The price obviously wasn't really the issue because you agreed to the service. The problem is that when you went to go pay, they SAY they only take cash.

We don't do that, but if it were cash you intended to pay with, we would have held your license and driven you to an ATM.

Hello? How hard is that, Mr. Towing Company Owner.

Sorry, being sarcastic here.

So, they don't offer you that option. They tow your car back to their yard for what they call "theft of services". Basically, it's the only recourse a tower has and we've rarely had to enact it.

Yes, we've done a job. Towed a car to a customer's house from out in the boonies (a several hundred dollar job) only to be told upon arrival at the house that they don't have any money. So we take it back to the yard and hold it for payment.

And, you can be sure, when it gets to this point, we don't accept credit or debit cards. It's cash only. It can't bounce and we don't have to worry about reverse charges.

So they take it back to the yard and advise you that it will probably cost money to keep it over night. Maybe even a "gate fee" if this is now a Friday and you want to come down over the weekend to claim it. Again, standard procedure for calling in a supervisor after hours. As most tow companies don't allow drivers to do releases but rely on a supervisor.

They charged your debit card twice? Definitely a mistake. Definitely unprofessional. How this even happened, I don't know. I am confused by all of this and...frankly, it's not overly clear in your description.

Did they make it right and reverse the charges?

I'm losing steam here.

I guess in the end, I wanted to explain how charges work and why.

I do believe there was a huge lack of communication in this case, possibly by both parties.

I would have handled it completely different and in no way do I credit the tow company with professionalism or as a pillar in the towing industry.

But with out knowing the missing "holes" of the story, they acted prudently to assure payment for services.

And even though there are "fly by night" tow companies out there. The actions of the police to not get involved mean they must work frequently with this tower. That isn't to say there is anything shady going on. It could mean they think this tower is actually very reputable.

Again, without the tower on here to tell their side of the story, it's hard to put down any definitive conclusions.

That's it. I'm done for the night. I need to get a life and enjoy my weekend. Not spend it responding to all these towing related issues. But this is fast becoming an addiction. I'll be back...

Posted by TC on 2012-12-29:
I actually agree that this place is a rip off. They make their own hours on when they can release vehicles and try to keep your car as long as possible to charge you storage fees. Don't try to talk to a manager as they are never there when you are. They make it as difficult as possible to get your car out so they can rack up money. Look at other reviews all over the place and you will find the same bad reviews for this place. There are many other tow companies around the area that are pleasant to work with and don't try and cheat you. Avoid these crooks!

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