ED Magedson – Founder
Bill's Towing1210 S Sprague Ave Tacoma, Washington United States of America
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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