• Report: #287271

Complaint Review: Westland Car Care

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  • Submitted: Tue, November 27, 2007
  • Updated: Tue, March 31, 2009

  • Reported By:Canton Michigan
Westland Car Care
6365 Hix Road Westland, Michigan U.S.A.

Westland Car Care Ripoff Artists! Charged $220.00 to tow my car 4 miles from an accident site Westland Michigan

*Consumer Comment: Imprecision in the state law

*Consumer Comment: Questionable charges

*Consumer Comment: More to this story

*Author of original report: my car was taken to the impound yard

*Consumer Comment: A lot of open questions.

*Consumer Comment: A lot of open questions.

*Consumer Comment: A lot of open questions.

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't take it.

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Westland Car Care towed my car to their impound yard when it was damaged in a car accident 4 miles away. They charged me $220.00 for the towing and when I called the following morning, I found that the rate would increase $15.00 per day for storage.

I was told that I could sign my title over to them and they would waive two days of storage fees! Where else could one buy a car, even for scrap for $30.00!

When i questioned the owner on the price and integrity of his business, my rate was reduced by $50.00.....even so, it was an incredible rip off and they took advantage of a traffic accident victim (I didn't cause the accident!).

Their fees include charges to process paperwork ($15.00) and some mysterious $40.00 fee for the State of Michigan. I tried to settle my bill with a Visa card and was told I would have to pay an additional $5.00 per $100 charged.

This is the biggest CON. I wonder what Garden City official is benefitting by the partnership with this terribly shady operation.

And yes...I've elevated my concerns to the States' Attorney General's office.

Tomajestic
Canton, Michigan
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/27/2007 10:02 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Westland-Car-Care/Westland-Michigan-48185/Westland-Car-Care-Ripoff-Artists-Charged-22000-to-tow-my-car-4-miles-from-an-accident-s-287271. 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 Consumer Comment

Imprecision in the state law

AUTHOR: An Ounce Of Action - (U.S.A.)

Regarding the $40 state fee: There is a lack of uniformity in this law being applied because the state law is imprecise. As mentioned above the various police departments use different time frames for deeming cars abandoned because the state never provided a definition or guidelines in the law. As a result companies (and I know this company to be one of them) are taking advantage of this inconsistency to charge the fee to all customers, whether the police have reported the vehicle abandoned or not. The state has a website the tow companies are supposed to check to see if the car has been reported abandoned but collecting the fee and remitting the state their share is pretty much on the honor system (a maximum of $40 is allowed to be charged but a flat rate of $25 goes to the state). The question that needs to be answered is are the companies pocketing the money they improperly collect or are they honestly passing along the money to the state? I'll bet most are pocketing the money. The towing manager I used to work with was very, very aware of the 'advantages' of this system.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Questionable charges

AUTHOR: Towmanroy - (U.S.A.)

I'd just like to comment on this report. $220 for a 4 mile tow does seem quite expensive. You have not provided all the information to us though.

You said you called the next day were told that the bill increases $15 everyday. That is a standard charge for storage, usually billed per calender day. So at that time you have a $30 storage bill. Now I assume your total bill was $220. You didnt tell us how many days you left the car at their facilty though.

An accident tow is usually between $85-$125 depending on the contract that was awarded by the city. The storage rate is also governed by this contract. If there is a $15 paperwork fee that usually is a fee charged by the city and collected by the towing company on the behalf of the city.

The mysterious $40 State of Michigan fee is not so mysterious. It was imposed by the state in Oct 2005. All towing companies are required to collect this on any vehicle that has been deemed abandoned. In your defense some companies dont know how to properly apply this fee and collect it on all impounds. It varies by city but usually if you dont claim your car within 24 hours this fee applies. Once the P.D. enters the car in to the computer as unclaimed or abandoned you have to pay.

So I agree that the charge seems high, but it looks like its all on the level. Add it all up and I come up with $210.00 if they charge $125 for the tow. If you left it more than two days well there is the rest of the money. There is no gouging or rip off here. You have been charged standard rates. You would have had to pay that in any city. Taylor has the highest rates in the area. The same tow would have cost you at least $100 more. Your lucky your accident didnt occur there.

A word of advice for anyone reading this. Keep the number for a dependable towing company handy. You will pay a lot less when you call a company yourself. You have the right to call your own company as long as your not getting arrested and your car is not blocking the roadway. If your not in cuffs get your car off the road and call your own wrecker. HAve them take the car home or to your shop of choice. You'll save alot of money this way.

If you cant get your own wrecker see if the police contracted company can tow you home or to a repair shop. Sometimes they will not want to leave their city in which case have them drop it off at the closest body shop. They may still charge you the contracted rate and one day storage but you will side step all the other fees and buy yourself a little time to wait on another wrecker. If your car is damaged you will have to have it towed a second time anyway and you will have to take time to go down to the pound and get it released. You'll save yourself some time too!
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#3 Consumer Comment

More to this story

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Sir,
If your car was towed from an accident scene, and was not drivable the police agency handling the wreck called for the wrecker. If that company is on rotation with that police agency they have to be a ligit company. A rotation wreck will cost more then a regular tow.

By any means you are not telling the whole story. If that man gave you a 50.00 brake you should have grateful. When you purchase your insurance you have the right to include full coverage. If you decline that insurance you are taking a gamble. Some people win, and some lose. People seem to think that wreckers are not supposed to make a proffit from there buisness. There are a lot of hard work, long hours, and cost related issues to running a towing, and recovery buisness. insurance, fuel, equipment, and drivers, dispatchers, taxes. These companies deserve to turn a proffit. Please do not slander this company unless you have facts.

Put foward the towing rates for rotations in that county, or city. What was done to recover your vehicle from the wreck, was there clean up involved such as sweeping glass picking up parts. I am from Florida, and that bill was actually very good. Next time please put the facts up before you bad mouth a towing company.

Thank you
John
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#4 Author of original report

my car was taken to the impound yard

AUTHOR: Tomajestic - (U.S.A.)

Hi---my car was taken to the impound yard on a flat bed truck. It was not impounded because of no insurance, tickets, etc. My record was clean---my car was not driveable from the accident scene. Honestly. I had it towed by Charity Motors the following day to get it out of the yard.
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#5 Consumer Comment

A lot of open questions.

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Why was the car impounded?

Outstanding tickets? Car not registered? Driving without a license or insurance?

There's more to this story.

A car doesn't get impounded simply due to being involved in an accident.
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#6 Consumer Comment

A lot of open questions.

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Why was the car impounded?

Outstanding tickets? Car not registered? Driving without a license or insurance?

There's more to this story.

A car doesn't get impounded simply due to being involved in an accident.
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#7 Consumer Comment

A lot of open questions.

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Why was the car impounded?

Outstanding tickets? Car not registered? Driving without a license or insurance?

There's more to this story.

A car doesn't get impounded simply due to being involved in an accident.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Don't take it.

AUTHOR: Tony - (U.S.A.)

Don't let those bastards get away with it. Call the local news and tell them about it. See if they will do up a story. Talk to the newspapers, talk to everyone, but remember when you do, stick to the facts. One reason they probably thought they could hose you was that they figured insurance would eventually pay for it all. That isn't right either, drives everyones rates up.

Good luck with it....
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