- Report: #744402
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: southwest auto tow
southwest auto tow11211 Goodnight Ln dallas, Texas United States of America
southwest auto tow Southwest Auto Tow, Dallas, Dallas County, Noncompliance towing, Texas Towing Law, Chapter 2308 Section 2308.252. dallas, Texas
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You are entitled to an appeal in small claims court, but you better have all of your s**t in order because the hearing is in front of a Justice of the Peace (ie, a "judge" who is not required to have a law degree and who is an elected official). As elected officials, they are recipients of campaign contributions from towing companies, so you are going into a situation where you are heavily disadvantaged: No way a judge is going to rule that a towing was not justified in towing your car when the person sitting across from him/her - the person who towed your car - also writes checks to the JoP's re-election campaign.
On your receipt from the towing company are instructions on how to file an appeal. The company that towed you is also telling you how to appeal it? How nice. I wasn't suspicious enough, apparently, but you will be after reading this: The instructions provided by the towing agency are purposely misleading, omitting key elements, and providing only the bare bones minimum of what the state requires they disclose. Do you think they'll give you the correct instructions?
Here's how I got scammed: The towing agency's instructions told me to provide in my appeal "the address of the towing company that towed your car." Fine, seems easy. It's written right there in big font across the top of the page. So I put down their street address. However, the law states that I need to put down their mailing address - which is a tiny little PO Box hidden in the upper left-hand corner, OBSCURED by the credit card receipt over which they conveniently stapled over it. See what happened? The tow companies abide by the disclosure laws and instruct you to provide the course include a HUGE street address. They neither tell you which address to include or not to include - regardless, they specifically don't tell you to provide their mailing address, allowing you to fill out the form correctly. See the ambiguity? And even then they still hide their mailing address under a stapled-on receipt.
When it came time for my hearing, the tow company requested a pre-hearing motion for dismissal because I filled out the form incorrectly - which, technically, I did not fill it out correctly. The tow agent cited the Texas statue granting us the right to appeal, which states that I was to supply a *mailing*, but instead I entered the street address. The owner took my paper and peeled back his stapled-on receipt to show the address I should've used. GOTCHA! Check. Mate.
They used their instructions to mislead me, then cited the Texas statute's instructions to infer that I mislead the court. They've got a great system down: Make campaign contributions to all the JoPs. Tow cars whenever they feel like. Provide vague instructions on how to file an appeal. Then get the hearing dismissed on a technicality that no one will ever catch beforehand.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/23/2011 11:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/southwest-auto-tow/dallas-Texas-/southwest-auto-tow-Southwest-Auto-Tow-Dallas-Dallas-County-Noncompliance-towing-Texas-744402. 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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