Report: #203684

Complaint Review: J & J Towing

  • Submitted: Sun, July 30, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, January 23, 2007
  • Reported By: Austin Texas
  • J & J Towing
    8509 Burleson Rd Austin Texas
    Austin, Texas

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I live in an Apartment Complex that has a vacant lot next door for parking. Up until a few months ago the parking lot had a sign that said you must have a permit to park there or you will be towed. The sign, however, has been down for at least six months (I can only assume at the request of the apartment complex).

Anyway I parked there in a borrowed car because mine with the permit got into an accident. I had only parked there for about an hour before my car was towed by JJ Towing. I was unable to ask the apartment complex for a new permit because it was the weekend and there were no spots anywhere else. This is a moot point however as there was no longer a sign stating it was illegal to park there without a permit.

On top of that JJ Towing charged me for two days of storage even though they towed it at 11PM and I picked it up at 11 AM the following day. This is ridiculous, JJ is abusing their power and someone else should be awarded the contracts for around Campus at UT.

Austin, Texas
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/30/2006 09:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Complaints should be directed to TxDot

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

All complaints or questions about stored vehicles should be directed to The Texas Department of Transportation, Motor Carriers Division at 1-800-299-1700 (Option 3 , then 1 for public assistance). These instructions should be printed on your receipt if you asked for one or were given one (not that you shouldn't have been given one but they are human and could have forgot, been busy, etc.).

The $50 fee is charged to verify your legal address with TxDot to send a certified letter to the owner and/or lienholder of vehicles accepted for storage. The fee covers the cost of obtaining the information directly from TxDot(no it isn't free) as well as to cover the cost of mailing the letters (currently $4.64 per letter to post office plus paper, envelopes, manpower to produce, etc.). The fee is regulated by the state.

You also may want to formally complain to your property management company. They are responsible for choosing an impound company. They determine how often and under what circumstances the tow truck driver removes vehicles. I am not positive, but I think they are also responsible for providing and mainting the signs. You can ask TxDot for clarification on that when you call.

Unfortunately, you parked on private property (not owned by you) and are at the mercy of the owner of the lot(or your property management company). They contracted with the towing company to remove all vehicles without proper identification with no exceptions. Or at least that is my guess. However, if any mistakes were made by the towing company, TxDot should help you reach a resolution.

Best of luck.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Illegal Towing in Texas

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

You should contact Texas Towing Compliance at, these people helped me recover 3 times what I paid to get my vehicle back. In addition, you should call the Austin Police Department at 512-974-5750 and file an offense report for an illegal tow. Illegal towing is a criminal offense and you should file charges against the wrecker driver that towed the vehicle and property manager that authorized the towing.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Use the appeal process on the back of the receipt

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

After you have your vehicle towed, and you think it was towed illegally, set up a court date with the phone number listed on the back of the sheet they gave you at J&J.

My roommate was towed from The Croix in west campus, because there were confusing signs around from different companies. He was refunded the towing fee, picture fee, and court fee. You need to take pictures ASAP of the lack of signs, and argue strictly that there were no signs telling you that you could not park there.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Michael, complain to your property manager.

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

In this day and age there is no excuse for not having video security at apartment buildings. Get a petition going to buy some cameras and volunteer or get someone to be on call in case of a car break-in . All's it takes is to pull the disc out of the machine and give it to the cops.

BTW, getting your address and information from your number plate takes about thirty seconds. The police work with us, not against us. Also, a lot of cities sell the information for a yearly fee to licensed companies, including phone numbers and reverse phonebooks.

The "cardboard box" is for good reason. Vandal-resistant, cheap, saves space, and does the job. The only equipment needed is a telephone, a computer, mace and a shotgun.
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#5 Consumer Comment

you think you had it bad?

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

I had a lot worse.

My car door was open. Someone broke in to steal my parking permit. My car was towed right in from of my apartment.

I went to pick up my car the next day. Yes they charge an extra day for storage. I do that I do not know why.

Then they charged another $50 dollars for official letter. This is the weird part. They would need to know my address just by knowing my license plate. How are able to do that? Does anyone know? Must of called the Police for the information, because they sure don't seem to have the resources to find out themself. Cmon their office is a cardboard box in the middle of nowhere outside Austin.

It cost me $262 towing + $100 parking permit.

quite expensive for accidently leaving my car door unlock in front of my apartment.
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#6 Consumer Comment

This is what could happen.

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

In court, the tow company could say that you removed or had someone remove their signs. Or course you will deny it. Then you'll be asked if you had permission to park in the lot. You'll have to say that you did not have permission to park that particular vehicle there. Does the "lot next door" actually belong to the same owner as the complex or were you in fact trespassing on someone else's property? It would be best if you have the answers before appearing before a small claims judge. I think the person you have to sue is the owner of the vacant lot, the towing company was only his agent. Then he would have to sue the tow company for trespassing and causing him all this trouble.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Take pictures

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

As soon as its daylight, I'd take A LOT of photos from all angles clearly showing the lack of sign. Have someone hold up a newspaper to show the date so that no one can say that they are really old pictures. I wouldn't be surprised if that sign goes right back up so get the photos quick. Complain to the apt complex and demand they settle the charges with the towing company or work something out with them. Take them to small claims court if need be.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Texas towing laws

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

I just read that its a law in Texas that the towing company must inform the PD within 2 hours of the car being impounded. Perhaps a trip to the local PD might help. You could at least insist that a report be filled out and that would better arm you in front of the rental office and/or small claims court.

I also read online that people who feel they were illegally towed should call the Consumer Protection Division at your state's AG (Attorney General's) office.

Where I live, when some important politican's car was illegally towed, he called the mayor's office and got results ('course he was an important politician) :--)
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