I own a 1995 Ford Probe and it broke down in December of 2006. I had it at the dealership in Talladega until March 2006. I didn't have the money to fix the broken water pump, so I couldn't get it all the way home (which is 70 miles away from where it broke down). I got it about half a mile away before it starting running hot again, so I parked it in the parking lot of Family Medicine of Talladega. A few stores and one restaurant share the parking lot, but my car was directly in front of the doctor's office. My boyfriend's dad is the doctor there and I got written permission from him to keep it in that lot until I could afford to have it towed home (again a good 70 miles away).
My boyfriend drove by there one day in late March and noticed my car was gone, so I started calling around towing places in town to see if anyone had my car. I called four wrecker services on multiple days due to people being out of the office and not being able to help me. I called Hindman's at least three times to ask if they had my car, because the other wrecker in town said they did not have it. Hindman's would not provide me with any information. They could not even tell me if they had my car after I described it to them and told them my tag prefix.
After two weeks of calling and not hearing back from them about if they had my car for sure or not, I called back in April. I was informed that someone had been there inquiring about my car and telling the people there that they were the owner of it, so the search began again. After a few days more of still not being able to find it, I called back on April 12th, 2007. Finally, I was told that this car was indeed mine and that I owed them a $75 towing fee and $10/day for storage. At that point my bill was around $400. I asked the lady who answered if there was any way we could work out this situation and possibly break my bill down into payments. She said I'd have to take that up with the city.
So, not knowing what to do, I went to the police station where I was told that I owed them a $50 impound fee and that they could not help me on my bill because Hindman's is privately owned. I had permission to park my car at the parking lot, but the police station said that even though it was a private lot, if someone called and complained, they had the jurisdiction to have it towed. I thanked them politely, still not knowing what to do since I had permission to have my car parked there.
At this point, I was thoroughly confused to say the least. Still not having any answers, I decided to drive to Hindman's. When I got there, around 10:30 AM it was way out in the country and was just a trailer in a junk yard of scraps. I went inside and the same lady who answers phones seemed surprised to see me. I told her I was there again because the city had told me that I needed to work out payment with them. She said her brother, Ricky, is the owner of Hindman's, and that I needed to discuss that with him, but he was out of town and would not be back until 5:30 PM. I resigned my search for then.
Later that evening around 6:00, I called back and was told that Ricky was not there. I then called again at 7:00 PM and left a message with a young man, describing that it was an urgent matter. It is now April of 2008, and I still have no answers. I never received a call back. I got the runaround from Hindman's and the runaround from the law. I don't know what to do, and I need my car back (I'd like to sell it!), but the woman who runs Hindman's obviously isn't very competent, as it took about three weeks to find out my car was there, and now it has been a year, and I still don't have any answers.
I also reported this to AllExperts.com and was informed that if your car gets towed, they have thirty days to notify you by mail to tell you this. I never got this notification.