I have unfortunately been a victim of a Tow truck company here in Bonita Springs. I have now been towed by this company twice from my condominium.
The first incident was 6/8/09, I had a truck parked in a guest spot away from all the buildings. I did not put a 'Guest Pass' on this vehicle, so it was towed. I called the company, Xtreme Recovery and Transport Inc. of Bonita Springs. They very rudely told me CASH ONLY $201. So I had to go to the ATM and was there promptly. When I arrived, they tried to tell me it was going to be more. I told them that I had brought what they told me to bring and thats it. He said alright. I paid the $201 and got my vehicle back. Yes, I was mad and upset that they would tow my vehicle, but I got over it.
The second incident was this past Monday morning 7/27/09. I again had borrowed the work truck to move some stuff. This time I hung my Guest Pass on the rear view mirror so it wouldn't be towed. Monday morning when I went to leave for work, the truck was gone! So I called them and asked them why and they said 'No commercial vehicles allowed period' and once again rudely told me CASH ONLY $201. I was not happy at all. The nature of the tow will become irrelevant at this point. When I get there they said '$236.00' I told them that they had said $201 on the phone. His answer for that was that it was the night dispatcher and she didn't know the correct amount. I had no choice, you can't argue with these people. They are very confrontational and like to bully people. I reluctantly paid the $236 and went on my way.
The following day, out of curiosity, I began to look up the rules and regulations of the towing world. It was not easy finding this information. I eventually came upon Statute 705.07 which states the laws regarding towing. I also got a copy of the Wrecker Service Charges and Storage Fees as set by the Lee County Commission from the Lee County Sherriff's Ofice. I began to see discrepancies in the amounts that they had charged me. Turns out that each tow should have cost me $100.00!!!! I called Xtreme yesterday morning about 10am or so to ask about these discrepancies. The girl that answered said that it looked like there was a overcharge but her boss was going to have to get back to me with an answer. No one returned my call all day. I decided to just stop up there after work. I was going there to make sure they had a copy of the fees allowable by law, as well as a copy of the agreement they had with our Condominium's Property Manager to tow vehicles from our property. I pulled up and began to get out.
Before I could even close the door, a man began to approach me and said 'Can I help you' I said who I was and the documents I wanted to view and also wanted to discuss the overcharges. He quickly became very upset and rude and accusing me of things like harassing his secretary and bugging his office people. He began almost yelling at me to call his lawyer and leave. At this point I called the Lee County Sheriff's office and told them what was happening. At this point he was yelling at me to leave his property or he would have me arrested for trespassing. I got in my vehicle and backed out of his driveway and sat on the side of the road while I finished the call with the LCSO.
The police officers showed up and first talked to me and I explained to them what had happened. At that point the officer informed me that because I did not call them at the time of the crime, they could not do anything about it. All four Officers were in agreement that I should have been charged $100 for each tow. So after that they went back to talk to this gentleman.
Several minutes later, the Guy walks over with a bill of sale type paper and asks me for my name. At this point I am thinking, oh good, he is reimbursing me for the overcharges. He hands me $50.00!! At that point, with two officers standing there and this guy, I said 'So I should have been charged a total of $200 for the two tows, but was charged $437 and there is nothing that can be done?" They all said 'Yup'!! I can't believe this injustice. How many people just pay these made up fees and don't know any better.
Bonita Springs, Florida