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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tow truck companies rip off customers

Below is a press release where Madigan is going after tow companies for staging and using police scanners to chase car crashes. Illinois law states if you sign something and you’re not in your right frame of mind you are not held accountable. But tow companies such as the one listed below and Chicago Auto Body & Towing. This tow company uses a police scanner to track and find crashes and then while in a disoriented state of mind they tow your car and jack up fees outside of what you pay for if you called your own tow truck. These companies also put pressure on you to the point you cannot make a sound decision and put your car on their truck before you even sign their paper authorizing them to tow. Under 625 ILCS 5 this act is illegal for companies to do. The city of Chicago uses E&R towing for any crash in the city because they are authorized that is why the have a Chicago Department of Transportation plaque on their truck’s. Under the city ordinance laws you have to be a registered and licensed by Chicago to tow. Also under Chicago Ordinance staging is illegal ( Staging is classified by the city as listening to police calls for crashes, or hooking and going down a street to drop a vehicle and returning to a location while another truck grabs the first vehicle.)  Lisa Madigan in a press release stated that her office has filed a lawsuit against three Cook County towing companies alleging various violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Madigan filed the suit against: (1) Road America Automotive, Inc., doing business as Premier Auto Collision, Inc., (2) Premier Auto Collision, Inc., doing business as Target Towing & Recovery, Inc., and (3) Target Towing and Recovery, Inc., doing business as Road America Automotive, Inc. All three companies operate out of the same business address at 3055 W. 131st Street in Blue Island.Since 2005, Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau has received 18 complaints against multiple towing companies.The lawsuit alleges a pattern of conduct through which the defendant towing companies defraud consumers. According to the lawsuit, tow truck drivers employed by the three companies often arrive at the scene of traffic accidents without being summoned by either the participants in the accident or by the police. When they arrive at the scene, the tow truck drivers approach the drivers of the damaged cars and offer to tow the cars. The tow truck drivers often mislead accident participants by falsely claiming to be affiliated with motor club services. Moreover, the tow truck drivers fail to fully disclose the high towing, storage and other miscellaneous fees that the defendant companies charge for the towing service.

Madigan’s suit describes what happened to a consumer who was injured in an automobile accident in July 2006. While waiting for the police and the ambulance to arrive, the consumer was approached by a Premier Auto tow truck driver who offered to tow her vehicle. The consumer authorized Premier Auto to tow her car to a residential address. The authorization form presented to the consumer did not list any of the charges for the tow. Despite the consumer’s specific request, Premier Auto towed her vehicle to its lot.
After she left the hospital, the consumer contacted Premier Auto concerning the release of her vehicle, and Premier Auto instructed her to contact her insurance company. The consumer’s insurance company informed her that it would pay for reasonable towing charges, but not for Premier Auto’s storage or miscellaneous fees. Premier Auto offered to waive the storage fees if the consumer agreed to allow them to repair her vehicle. When the consumer refused to allow Premier Auto to conduct the repair, Premier Auto demanded $750 for the release of her vehicle

Since Madigan started the U.S. Government has now made this a federal crime. Federal authorities have arrested accused predatory tow truck perators in Chicago, Illinois as a new consumer protection law is set to take effect next month. Motorists involved in an accident often the tow truck that arrives at the accident scene to remove damaged vehicles later insists on outrageous fees, in cash, before they are returned. Police officers even take bribes to ensure only favored companies were allowed near the accident scene. Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents arrested a tow truck operator and a Chicago police officer for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. The owner of Collision Towing owner, James P. Athans, 39, which also produced evidence implicating Chicago Police Officer Joseph A. Grillo was arrested and charged.

Early this year between January and May Chicago Auto Body & Towing arrived at 2 crashes in the Grandcrossing area. When the tow driver was instructed AAA would be towing the car they ignored the family member of a driver and kept insisting that the driver let them tow as they put the vehicle on the truck.

The other incident was were they kept insiting they tow a patrol car and they said no we have our own tow coming. The company kept pushing and pushing. What this company fails to realize is that under 720/ ILCS/ 20 you are not accountable for any legal contract when you are not in sound mind. The city of Chicago is teaming up with the U.S. District Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General's office to stop these companies that are doing this. The City of Chicago has stated in a press release any tow truck with a police scanner is staging and the driver will be arrested and charged with consumer fraud and the tow truck will be impounded and seized, any tow truck company not called by either driver is stagingand the driver will be charged with deseptive practice and consumer fraud and the truck will be siezed by the city.Tows are to be called in by the police or the driver and if the police call in a tow the truck better have a Chicago DOT plate or the driver will be arrested and the truck siezed. The city has recieved over 1,000 complaints a day about these tow compinies and Chicago will no longer allow them to rip customer's off.





The State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by changing
Sections 1-100, 4-203, and 18a-105 and by adding Chapter 18d as
follows:
(625 ILCS 5/1-100) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1-100)
Sec. 1-100. Short Title. This Act may be cited as the
Illinois Vehicle Code.
Portions of this Act may likewise be cited by a short title
as follows:
Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5: the Illinois Vehicle Title &
Registration Law.
Chapter 6: the Illinois Driver Licensing Law.
Chapter 7: the Illinois Safety and Family Financial
Responsibility Law.
Chapter 11: the Illinois Rules of the Road.
Chapter 12: the Illinois Vehicle Equipment Law.
Chapter 13: the Illinois Vehicle Inspection Law.
Chapter 14: the Illinois Vehicle Equipment Safety Compact.
Chapter 15: the Illinois Size and Weight Law.
Chapter 17: the Illinois Highway Safety Law.
Chapter 18a: the Illinois Commercial Relocation of





 
 
 

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