• Report: #822396

Complaint Review: Bill's Towing

  • Submitted: Fri, January 13, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, January 13, 2012

  • Reported By: StolenBimmer — Tacoma Illinois United States of America
Bill's Towing
1210 S Sprague Ave Tacoma, Washington United States of America

Bill's Towing Student Car Taken by Shady Towing Company While Away, Kept A Secret Until Sold & Melted Down!!! Tacoma, Washington

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: The Truth

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On May 13, 2011, I left my 1985 bmw 325 in front of the house I am currently renting around 2pm as I was driving back to Chicago in friend's car(have friend as witness). My good friends/roomates would be returning 10 days later after I left it there, but had gone home for family and to gather belongings. Two days later the car was flagged for abandonment, breaking both clauses of the tacoma auto abandonment policy.

Tacoma Municipal Code Section 11.05.230 prohibits parking or storage of any type of vehicle on City right of way for more than 7 days. An abandoned vehicle is a vehicle that has been left on city streets for an extended period and may have one or more of the following conditions.

* Is unused or inoperable
* In a state of disrepair
* Major components missing
* Has flat tires,
* Has expired or missing license plates

The car was in amazing condition, barely 125k on it, fresh paint, and reupholstered interior, but it was obviously a student car. Had Michigan plates with U of M emblem as it was registered in Michigan, and also a U of Puget Sound parking permit. After car was flagged 5 days ahead of the law, it was picked up by Bill's Towing a week later.

     I spoke with the officer who flagged it and he said it was not obstructing any laws, nor did it look abandoned but was simply doing his job (didn't know if it was there 15 min or 15 days). Now this might seem passable to some extent, but what did it was the one notification, which was sent to my campus mailbox. Once again, the car is registered in Michigan, any tow company, by law, must notify the address the car is registered to, not the one that won't be checked for 3 months. 

    Now two laws dodged may seem to some who really give the benefit of the doubt kind of passable, but again I received no notification until July 9th after I had gotten back from camping for a while from my roomates asking me where my car was. At this moment my heart sank. I called a couple other friends, whom I had given keys to see if they moved it, but nobody knew what had happened. I started calling every tow company in tacoma and finally came upon Bill's and the female manager told me she had seen the car....but had sold it two days prior to a scrapyard after keeping it past the thirty day policy. Needless to say, I flipped a sh*^. I demanded she give me the name of the scrapyard, but all I got was her repeating dodgy policy, stating that only she could call the company and it was the only if the buyer so willed to call me back that I could speak to him. 

    I told her to call me back when she found out his intentions. Not surprisingly, I received no call for nearly an hour and began calling each scrapyard I could, eventually tracing it to one about 70 miles away (Lacey Auto Recycling), who have been known to part out cars, not just scrap. They told me yes, they had bought the car from Bill's at auction, but just the car...no parts...They couldn't give me much info, but the man i spoke with even said he didn't know why he had to crush such a nice car ("That's the nature of the beast man").

     I have a lingering suspicion that those parts didn't just get thrown away, and that a bump in a paycheck may have been in it for whoever nabbed the car. I called the woman at Bill's back and when I told her I talked to the guy she paused and said..."So What?!" I told her this whole situation didn't sound too legal, and she started scrambling reciting policy, I also asked why I received no call about the car as I would have gladly payed the storage, towing, and fees they could throw at me, to which I heard "Cause' we don't call...son." Every other towing company I have dealt with has called my phone or sent it to the proper address, as that is what registration is for, to keep track of it.

     I loved this car more than I can ever say. My mother bought it new in stuttgart in 1985 and ferried it back to Chicago. I have had some of the best memories of my life come from that car and would have done anything to keep it had I known in advance. I hate to think that something that meant so much to me was going to be recycled steel and beer money for the towing crew, and in the shadiest way possible. I have broken laws here I can work with in small claims court and am currently in contact with an attorney in Seattle, but if anybody has any info or a similar story, please let me know as a class action suit of 2 or three people will more than likely pull in a large sum of cash from the company and city. IF ANYONE HAS BEEN SWINDLED BY BILL'S TOWING, PLEASE GET IN CONTACT WITH ME FOR A BIT OF JUSTICE!


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/13/2012 03:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bills-Towing/Tacoma-Washington-98405/Bills-Towing-Student-Car-Taken-by-Shady-Towing-Company-While-Away-Kept-A-Secret-Until-S-822396. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

The Truth

AUTHOR: Bill - ()

This vehicle was "tagged" by the Tacoma Police Dept on May 17th, 2011 for extended parking. Which is usually done when they have recieved complaints from neighbors about a particular vehicle.

on May 24th, 2011 at the request of the Tacoma Police Dept we (Bill's Towing) impounded said vehicle.

We requested registered owner information from the Tacoma Police Dept. Yes, the plates were Michigan license plates but were registered to a Tacoma address. We sent out a 24 hour notice to this address. In the state of Washington we must do all contacting by mail and are not given phone numbers or are required to notify by phone the impound of any vehicle.

When the vehicle was not redeemed with in the 120 hours (given by Washington state law) before the vehicle is declared abandoned and processed as such. We then began auction process. Department of Licensing in Olympia was notified by requesting an abanoned vehicle report on 5/29/2011. Due DOL having to request this information from Michigan DOL the process takes a little longer than usual. Once receiving registered owner information a 2nd time (which again was a Tacoma address, the same one we had received originally). We then sent out a certified letter on June 9th, 2011. This certified letter was signed for on June 10th, 2011.

When still no one came to claim the vehicle it (the whole vehicle) was subquently sold at our public auction on July 6th, 2011

We do have ALL paperwork to prove these dates.Let me ask you this????? From May 13th, 2011 untill July 9th, 2011 while you were out of state & then camping....you NEVER once checked on your vehicle? 3 months from our account that you just "assumed" your vehicle was perfectly safe?

Please....if you are going to file a report against a Company....please have your facts straight before posting!

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