Monday, August 30, 2010

Companies Operating with Expired Licenses

Once again, I have discovered an Austin based company operating with an expired license, with zero oversight by TDLR. It's bad enough that any company operates and stiffs consumers for fees they know should not be charged because they do hold a valid license.

The motoring public and law enforcement have to ban together to stop this onslaught of unlicensed activity, because TDLR has taken no steps to address this issue unless a consumer files a complaint. This complaint driven process is harming consumers on a grand scale, as a State agency, the size of TDLR, cannot keep up with the work load. When TDLR does act, they fine respectable companies for minor issues, but allow unlicensed activity to continue unabated.

This is not what we citizens, taxpayers and consumer expect of TDLR, rather it's expected to protect consumers.

The company in question, is Assured Towing, Inc located at 4416 Brandt Road, Austin, Texas, their vehicle storage facility license expired on August 16, 2010 and continued to charge consumers storage related fees knowing they hadn't the appropriate license to do.

The only solution I see to this issue, is make Assured refund those motorists for fees they collected between August 16, 2010 until their licensed is renewed.

It must be remembered, that for a private property impound to be legal, the vehicle must be stored at a "license" vehicle storage facility.

UPDATE: 8/30/2010 2:02:44 PM Assured has renewed their vehicle storage facility license, but that no way solves the issues of operating without a license for 15 days charging storage related fees or storing private property impounds at an unlicensed facility.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Important Information Regarding Texas PPI Tow Fees - effective 9/1/10

It's official, TDLR (Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations) has posted online, the maximum allowed tow fee charged a consumer and important information regarding the drop fee.

With this information, it's asked that law enforcement agencies educate your folks that deal with these issues on a daily basis, being patrol officers/deputies.

To better understand the drop fee charge requirements, use this video as a reference tool, to educate your LE agency and the public.

These continuing abuses will be stopped when everyone is on the same page of enforcing the law, Occupation Code 2308.

Monday, August 9, 2010

TDLR Commissioners Set Private Property Impound Fee Caps

Earlier, I attended the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations Commissioners Meeting in Austin, Texas. At this meeting, after numerous comments from towing company owners, Southwest Tow Operators, Texas Towing & Storage Association and myself for consumers, the Commissioners voted on fee caps, mandated by State Law.

Effective September 1, 2010, the maximum towing fee for private property impounds are:

Light Duty, vehicles under 10,000 lbs : $250.00, on property drop fee $125.00

Medium Duty, vehicles over 10K but under 26K lbs : $350.00, on property drop fee $175.00

Heavy Duty, vehicles over 26, 001 lbs : $450.00, on property drop fee $225.00

Municipalities who's private property towing fees exceed the maximum fees must reflect these changes. In a way, I consider these fee caps a win win for consumers and the trucking industry who have been gouged in unregulated areas.

A municipality or county commissioners can set rates lower than the maximum fee, but not above.