• Report: #1085719

Complaint Review: National Autow, Inc

  • Submitted: Thu, September 19, 2013
  • Updated: Sun, September 22, 2013

  • Reported By: Nujac — Bartlett Tennessee
National Autow, Inc
2217 Freemont Rd. Memphis, Tennessee USA

National Autow, Inc You Better Have Cash! Memphis Tennessee

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Rebuttle

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I am a self employed automotive technician.  Yesterday evening, I was trying to help out a financially strapped customer that needed a fuel pump put in her vehicle to get her vehicle to my home (so that I could work on it) by towing it to my home using my own tow dolly.  Unfortunately, a mishap took place and I had an accident with her vehicle in tow. When the police arrived, I was informed that I would have to use the towing service that they called instead of my own choice, so that the accident scene would be cleared in a timely manner. Though I was not blocking any lanes of the interstate, and there were no vehicles involved except for my van and the vehicle being towed, I acquiesed and followed the officer's directions. Almost 2 hours later, the towing company arrived to pick up the vehicles.  Now, I have had many vehicles towed in this city due to my line of work, and have never had to pay more than $80 for a tow.  The charge,as mandated by the City of Memphis, is $125, which is suppoed to be for cleanup of parts and fluids related to an accident.  Though there was no such cleanup necessary, I bit my lip and took the gouging.  The police were both friendly and efficient, and only charged me for hitting the guard rail and not an illegal tow.  For that, I am grateful.  But I was a little fuzzy when I was told that it would have to be towed to a storage facility instead of to the repair facility.  I was informed today that it is because I would have to pay the towing fees upfront to have them tow it to a place of my choosing.  National Autow of 2217 Freemont in Memphis only takes cash (unlike every other facility that I have ever dealt with that takes Visa) so both vehicles had to be towed to their storage lot.  Now this was at almost 8PM last night.  When I arrived this morning, I was informed that I not only had to pay for the tow, but for $60 storage which is twice their daily rate, and a $10 processing fee to get the vehicles released. That's $195, instead of the $125 that it should have cost if they took a credit card.  I made the comment "and that's why I hate Memphis" to which I was verbally acosted by the man in charge stating that I didn't have to use them, to which I replied that I was told I had no choice. He proceeded to tell me, with disdain and utter disconcern over what I had been through, that I don't in fact have to use the towing company called by the police, and that the officer was mis- informed.  After speaking with another officer today, I was told that patrolman are trained to handle an accident in this manner, so I don't know who is telling the truth.  He then made sure to let me know that I shouldn't make any waves with MPD because I could get in trouble for operating an illegal towing service, which I don't.  Was this a threat? So what this amounts to is that National Autow is operating a racket in which they are able to secure an extra $70 up front for vehicles towed by them unless you have cash, and then they charge $30 perday storage for not getting your vehicle before 4PM.  Then, after their time limit is reached, they send letters daily to all registered owners of the vehicle that attach more fees for each letter.  If their are 2 owners of record, that's 2 letters.  If their is a leinholder, that's another letter.  As of right now, I'm looking at $570 for 2 vehicles because the insurance company couldn't get out there today, and I am at my limit for cash withdrawals.  Once again, that is $320 more than it would have been to take it where I needed it, because they don't take credit cards which would only cost about $5 to process (which I would have gladly paid).  National Autow is one of the most crooked companies that I have ever had the displeasure to come across, and I am sending this to all news media and social media that I can.

Chuck Milliman 5811 Woodlawn Bartlett, TN 38134 September 18, 2013

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/19/2013 06:36 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/National-Autow-Inc/Memphis-Tennessee-38114/National-Autow-Inc-You-Better-Have-Cash-Memphis-Tennessee-1085719. 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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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company



This is a rebuttal to the gentleman from Bsartlett that was towing a vehicle for someone else and had an accident.

National AUTOW is clearly in the professinal auto accident recovery business and we do this on a daily basis. We tow for a half dozen or more local law enforcement agencies and the rules are fairly similar between them.

One of the first rules is timeliness. There is no way the Memphis Police would allow us an ETA of 2 hours to any scene except under the most unusual circumstances. I can only remember seeing extended ETA's allowed during severe inclement weather and even then, 2 hours is likely excessive.

Bottom line on this statement is that if there was such a delay, the MPD would have called a second wrecker service because the officer has to stand by until we arrive and their rules are fairly strict on this.

Regarding cheaper tows, we often tow for less for retail customers and accept credit cards. The differences are immense. First of all, the timeliness issue. We must respond within 30 minutes and with a long list of equipment, needed or not. We expend a great sum of money and effort to be allowed on the police rotation list. This time and expense is realized by ordinance of the Memphis City Council and their establishmant of the rate of $125 for the tow.

Certainly if your car is broken down at your house or in a parking lot and you call the tow truck, it does not have to meet any of the standards for police rotation including equipment, insurance or timeliness.  For evidence of this look at the original complaint. The author admittedly has no "on-hook" cargo insurance or they might have stepped up and helped him out. We, on the other hand have no choice but to carry that along with commercial liability insurance just to be able to get a permit to even come on the interstate, much less tow for the police.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that this was a police ordered tow, under Tennessee la, it is a "non-consent" tow. This is relavant becuase we do not accept credit cards due to this distinction. I would point out that we generally do accept checks from insurance companies to cover our services.

The fees themselves were fair, reasonable, legal and in line with fees generally charged in this area for such services. Once again, I will point out that the complainant says he can get tows for less and we agree. Unfortunately what he got was an immediate emergency incident management tow and storage.

The gentleman was asked if the MPD had cited him for operating an illegal tow operation which he admittedly was. He stated no and was curious why we asked. He was informed that our position was irrelevant however we pointed out that all of this could clearly have been avaoided if he had called a properly equipped and insured etc tow truck. It was clearly this gentlemans decisioon to utilize his own equipment and take the chance of an accident. Unfortunately, he lost the bet and is now upset with us.

This man has filed complaints with everyone he can find that will listen. Unfortunately, he will not understand what has happened. He has never won any complaint, even with the BBB.

We do applaud him for trying to "help" someone who may be less fortunate. I do say that comes with risks which are his to take if he wishes.

We hold out to offer strictly professional towing and recovery services. We are available with trained and certified operators, high quality late model equipment and proper insurance 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

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