Saturday, March 13, 2010

SXSW Towing Scams Expected in Austin

 #1 Tow Fee Scam in Austin, nothing should be charged here

Every year in Austin, the South by Southwest Film & Music Festival bring thousands of people to our city. In addition to this event, the UIL Boys Basketball Finals are held which bring several more thousands of people with their vehicles to Austin.

The primary scam scheme being when a wrecker driver is caught by the owner or operator hooking up their vehicle, demands an "on-site" drop fee to release the vehicle, when not allowed. The City of Austin regulates the fees that wrecker drivers can collect, which is $50, only if the vehicle is full prepared to transport. That is the issue a majority of motorist haven't a clue what ready to transport means, and yes, we have wrecker drivers who collects fee they are not allowed, or provide a consumer the required written receipt. Most vehicle owner or operators offers to pay to not tow their vehicle, unaware they shouldn't be charged anything.

 City regulated fee of $50 for "Ready to Transport"

The citizens of Austin and many visitors can be assured, if they file an offense report for a wrecker ordinance violation, something the City of Austin has failed to alert potential victims of these types of towing scams, they have a right to call 311 and file a report, which is investigated by two detectives.

Many have asked me why do I care.

I care because based on history of private property impounds (towing), I know there are towing company owners, who do nothing but private property impounds, that bribe parking facility owners/managers/operators and employ wrecker drivers who are nothing more than criminals, who risk their freedom for an extra few dollars.

It gives the appearance of a "cat and mouse" game, as when a wrecker driver knowingly tows a vehicle in violation or accepts payment which is not allowed. The mindset of these individuals who repeatedly take advantage of consumers for financial gain, is their chance of being caught is slim, in most cities across Texas, their chances of getting caught are zero.

But, here in Austin, the chances of being arrested for the same criminal fraud, that happens elsewhere, like San Antonio, are higher, as potential victims have a source of illegal towing scam information in Austin thru Texas Towing Compliance.