Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Predatory J&J Towing Targeting College Students, their guests & Nurses

The following is an email from a tow victim:

Hi, Pat,
I got your Email address from googling towing law and reading  I’m following the advice at the bottom of one of the pages, that says, “Go back to the parking lot you were towed from to take pictures of the towing signs posted, then email them and the documents you were given at the storage facility to”
My son lives in Austin, at University Estates on Crossing Place, just off Riverside.  Every resident is issued a single parking sticker when they move in, which for him was 2½ years ago.  He has never owned a car.  He gave his sticker to his girlfriend, so that she could come and go at will.  This is a huge complex, with ~25 building units and hundreds of parking spaces.  Most parking spaces have no markings whatsoever; these are for residents.  Certain spaces are labeled “visitor” in paint on the ground, very often faded, at the entrance to the space, not on the curb.  There are relatively few of these, and they’re in seemingly random places.  There is only one sign regarding towing, and it’s on the automated front gate, which, by the way, is usually wide open and often does not work at all.
My son came home to Conroe for Spring Break, and at the same time, my daughter went to stay in his apartment for SXSW.  Since the parking pass is a sticker, not a mirror hanger, it can’t be moved from vehicle to vehicle, so she didn’t have it.  She did her best to choose visitor spaces, but again, they are in random places and the paint is often faded.  She parked in a spot she believed was a visitor spot, but discovered Wednesday morning she’d been towed in the night.  It cost $193.30 to get it back, which she was finally able to do Wednesday afternoon.
On Friday night, having made more effort to make sure she was in a good spot, she got towed again, after parking without incident in the same spot Thursday night (and different from Tuesday night).  It was at the end of a short row of several spots, the first few of which are marked for visitors.  It was raining in Austin most of the week, and she was trying to see these labels on the ground in the rain at night.  She parked at about 10:pm, and when she happened to come out at 11:30pm she discovered she’d already been towed a second time.  At 7:30 in the morning she called the towing company, J&J, to confirm they had her car again.  They told her that she had until 11:18am to get there or they’d charge her more.
For the second time in three days she had to beg a ride from a friend to get to the lot, and barely made it.  The three male staff were very rude and obnoxious to her.  Two of them ignored her altogether.  The one in the transaction window told her he didn’t care if she waited all day, saying “I get paid to sit on my a$$,” and walked away from the window in the middle of their exchange.   While standing right there in the window she called their main number, and watched the same guy answer the phone and jeer at her.  He eventually came back, but made a point of playing on his cell phone and ignoring her demands for help, till she went off on him.  Of course she was very angry, and admittedly her behavior would be considered rude and hostile in any normal business transaction – but it’s a different matter when her car was basically stolen and held for ransom twice in three days.  This second time they charged her $214.95, including 2 days’ storage, 12 hr and 18 min total but crossing the midnight line, when it was the fool in the window who’d deliberately delayed dealing with her.  She asked for any photos the company might have taken, but the guy refused to give her those.
The first time she was towed, I called the management office of the property, and spoke to some woman who identified herself as the “property manager and owner agent.”  She was utterly unhelpful and just kept saying over and over, “our policy is posted on the gate and anyone who doesn’t comply is subject to tow,” till she and I were eventually yelling at each other, and I hung up on her.  She said it didn’t make a bit of difference that my daughter was legitimately on the property.  The second time, I didn’t bother to call the office.
The public is under assault by J&J Towing, the incident of stealing 300+ vehicles from the I35 lots without authority to do so and the many other parking lots that accepted something of value from J&J's owner, Frank Sapp.
If you have been towed by J&J Towing within the past two years, you are encouraged to contact the prosecution team of Texas Towing Compliance to recover the statutory penalty of $1000 plus triple damages without paying upfront legal fees.