Woman Googles Way Out Of Illegal $600 Tow

After this woman’s car got towed (from what looks like what might be her driveway), she did some Googling and found the towing company didn’t have a moving license at the time she was towed. She also found the company hadn’t notified the city of the tow, as required by law. After complaining to the Texas Department of Transportation, the consumer got her car back, and the $600 the company had charged her. Now that’s using your noodle!

North Texas Towing Company Impounds Cars Illegally [cbs11] (Thanks to Reni!)

UPDATE: Midas had her car towed from her driveway because she bounced a $39.50 check for a state car inspection.

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  1. darkclawsofchaos says:

    now that is smart

  2. Toof_75_75 says:

    I’m going to sue Google because this woman got her car back. :-p

  3. Beerad says:

    A shady towing company?! I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you.

    Frankly, I’m more interested in why this woman’s car was seemingly towed from her driveway.

  4. Buran says:

    Ugh, an uncaptioned video AGAIN.

    Why was the car towed? Off of private property, no less?

  5. kimdog says:

    You know what I love? That this woman’s name is Dottie Kitchen. Completely awesome. She’s like a superhero. Rock on, Dottie!

  6. hustler says:

    thanks for telling us why the car was towed channel 11.

  7. @Buran: The report never says why the car was towed. It might be that they never found out: the tow company president didn’t want to talk after the reporter asked why they didn’t refund the fees for the period they were operating illegally and the towing company might not have even told the woman why they towed her car.

  8. Crim Law Geek says:

    Whoever towed the car out of that lady’s private driveway in Texas has quite the set of balls on him. Stealing a car in Texas (even if you’re a repo-man) is a very good way to end up with an acute case of “lead poisoning”

  9. bravo369 says:

    I don’t think it matters why her car was towed. She could have not paid her bill for 6 months but that doesn’t take away from the fact the towing company cannot tow the car. Although it would be funny if she got her car back only to have a license tow company take it the next day.

  10. @bravo369: I just want to know if they even had a legit reason to tow it or if they really broke another law here and actually stole her car. Was it just the cost of the tow that made her look up the company or did she feel like they were out of line taking the car in the first place?

  11. kjherron says:

    I googled the woman’s name and found this article. It seems the car was towed because the woman and/or her husband bounced a check to an auto mechanic.

  12. Baz says:

    So she got her money back – where’s the small claims suit for damages, loss of time and stress?

    A good consumer gets their money back from a predatory company undertaking illegal activity – a Consumerist makes ‘em learn not to do it again!

  13. ncboxer says:

    @kjherron: Wow, it is interesting how a more detailed article changes the prospective on the whole story. According to the story kjherron found, the towing company didn’t have to do anything about the fees, but instead offered to forgo his fees plus pay for the woman’s bounced check and bounced check fee with Midas because she and her husband had fallen on bad luck.

  14. alice_bunnie says:

    Midas was an ass for repo’ing a car for only forty bucks. And, how did it rack up $600 in tow charges? That’s literally highway robbery.

  15. Buran says:

    @kjherron: Good grief. If you go to a station that wants to repo your car if you don’t pay, walk. Even if you CAN pay. Who knows what could happen if someone accidentally screws up and loses your payment?

  16. Buran says:

    @ncboxer: Didn’t have to do anything about them? They had no right to take the car or charge them, considering the tow was illegal. The only thing they didn’t HAVE to do was pay the $40. (and the shop DID have a choice, unlike what the article claims).

  17. ViperBorg says:

    Point for Google.

  18. Beerad says:

    @kjherron: That article is completely awesome, because the author writes “She became as angry as a teased rattlesnake.” Now I totally have a hankerin’ to become a Texas newspaper reporter.

  19. ncboxer says:

    @Buran: Huh? Did you read the same article I did?

    The article says during a conference call- “Kitchen-Altman was reminded that she is responsible, under law, for both the unpaid check and the towing fees and storage.” The tower forgave the towing fee and paid off her debts with Midas, which according to the article- “He didn’t have to do that, and the TxDOT investigator reminded him of that. But he decided to do it anyway.”

    You guys are getting bent out of shape because the tower accidentally let his license renewal drop. If he didn’t, would everybody still have a problem with this? If it had been by another company that had followed all the rules, there would have been nothing she could have said.

  20. Nytmare says:

    Since when is it EVER legal to tow a car over an unpaid third-party bill? Unless there is a special court order, I can’t think of anything that could possibly use the car itself as collateral other than a car loan.

  21. karmaghost says:

    Here’s a bit of towing information (I hesitate to call it a “tip”) that I learned from Click and Clack on the radio one weekend: If you have a car with a manual transmission and you’re parked head-in in a parking space, the towers will be very reluctant to tow you if you’re car is in first (or any forward) gear. This scenario played out with a guy who called in and said that he was at a wedding reception that went afterhours and that a towing company towed every car in the parking lot except his, which was set up as described above. The Bros. said that this was likely because if they had towed the car, it would have destroyed the transmission and they would be liable for the damage. They also mentioned that it was likely that they were going to come back to the car last and attempt to pick or jimmy the lock , take the car out of gear, and then attempt to tow it. I thought this was interesting, but again, it’s not really a “tip” so much as food for thought.

  22. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I hope she presses charges….

  23. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    And by the way, the consumerist will make sure the company isn’t AROUND to do it again…

  24. Schminteresting says:

    @ncboxer, @Buran:

    Gotta agree with ncboxer here. After reading the article supplied by kjherron, it totally changes the entire story. That tower didn’t have to go above and beyond, but he did. He sounds like quite a nice guy, actually.