Westbrook Towing Complaint

Freshman @MDC Victim of car theft now victim it's recovery - Towing Company

- 3870 Shipping Ave, Miami 33146

My daughter recently left home in Pinellas County for the first time to live her dream attending college in Miami. In spite of a few bumps in the road, Brooke was thrilled to be there, making friends, going to school, finding a job, living on her own. She could not yet afford internet so she regularly went to the library until one day, after a 45 minute stay, she walked outside to find her car was missing. When she called me I was certain she had let the meter run out and it was towed but after calls to the police and both towing companies who service SOBE, her fears were confirmed. Not to worry, insurance; however, we only took out the minimum to save money since it was a 1993 and never imagined it would have that appeal. She quickly learned to take the bus resolved that it was gone. Three days later, good news, we thought: it was found! Bad news, it would cost her over $150 to have it recovered! OK, her student loan and financial aide should be in; not so, lots and lots of glitches (another entire story).

We were not in a position to help her but maybe the next paycheck in 2 weeks. When that time came, we now being told she could not pick it up because it was in my husband's name and he had to come get it (5 hours away, he is disabled and I need to work). They finally agree that we can send an original notarized letter with copies of my husband's ID. By the time we can get that to her, she cannot get a ride to pick up the car for several days and now, at $20 a day, neither of us have the money. In the meantime I have called the police dept who did the report, the police dept who had it towed instead of having her come pick it up when found, the county commission and the mayor's office; none of whom will do a thing even though they are the ones who give this garage the monstrous business.

The owner and attendant could not be more rude, will not budge from the price or $20/dayy increase or anything else. The attendant first claims an adjustment would come out of his pocket, then says there is no one over him to speak to, then says he doesn't know where the owner is, then blames everything on company policy that cannot be changed. After an unbelievable battle to get her financial aide and 2.5 months into the semester she finally gets her money onto a debit card. She has a friend who will drive her to pick it up, they have the letter, all is good...not so.

All of a sudden as she walks in the door and gives him the card for the now $1000 fee, the credit card machine mysteriously will not work. At this point, she calls me in tears. I suggest calling the cc company getting authorization the old fashion way, over the phone. He refuses and tells her to go across the street to the bank, get the cash and walk back with it. I try to convince him that that is not a safe thing for her to do when she, in tears, puts me on the phone. He tosses the phone back to her and says that he doesn't have to talk to me because the car is not in my name. I have my husband call only to receive the same response and now he says he can't take the credit card because it is in her name and not his, the same as the car which was fine when he made the arrangements for the letter.

To get some help for this poor kid, I called the police department who had it towed for some help. Their idea of help was to go over and condescendingly tell her how she might understand company policies some day when she's older and has her own business and he left. The attendant offered only one suggestion was for her to return Friday when the machine would be fixed. Now, how were these arrangements made when the machine broke as she tried to pay and the entire time was taken up by her incident? Again my husband called and asked that, since it was their machine, they should freeze the charges. NO.

From my point of view, it appears that finding reasons why you can't pick up your car either boosts income at the $20 a day rate or when the fee becomes outrageous, people are left no option other than to leave their car for the towing company to sell. PLEASE HELP HER REPAIR HER DREAM GONE NIGHTMARE!!!!

Janet Sussman

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