CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Parking will be at a premium near the Spectrum Center for All-Star Weekend. For some drivers it might be tempting to roll the dice and park where you’re not supposed to.
“Don’t give a chance to the tow truck driver to come and tow you,” A-1 Towing and Recovery owner Sam Serhal told WBTV.
Serhal told WBTV he expects a lot of calls this weekend from businesses and apartment complexes asking for a tow.
“When you tow it they (driver) blame it on the towing business, no don’t blame it on the towing business,” Serhal said.
But sometimes the towing company does break the rules, even Serhal’s.
(Click here to read Charlotte towing ordinances)
“The law was on our side thankfully,” attorney Robert Hereford said.
Hereford is an attorney at the law offices of Jason E Taylor. He represented a woman whose vehicle was towed by Serhal’s company A-1 Towing. His client says she left her car on the street, running and with the door open outside her apartment while she went to get a change of clothes for her child.
“In that short period of time the vehicle was hooked up and started to get towed away,” Hereford said.
Hereford took it to court and the client was awarded the $275 she paid to get her car back.
Hereford says several of his arguments made a difference.
- A-1’s contract for towing had expired with the apartment HOA
- There were no “No-Parking” signs immediately in that area.
- Disagreement whether she was parked because her car was left running.
Local ordinances also have specific rules for what needs to be included in the signs.
“What they’re also supposed to include on there is the name of the company that’s towing and contact information,” Hereford said.
In his court filing Serhal claimed that the driver had been warned numerous times about illegal parking. He also says she should not leave her car unlocked and running for safety reasons.
Hereford says any driver could take a case to a magistrate by filing a complaint in small claims court. He also says tow truck drivers are supposed to call CMPD to notify them of a tow. In 2018 there were more than thirty four thousand tows in the Charlotte area. But both CMPD and Hereford says tow truck drivers don’t always call.
“Let CMPD know this particular company is not following the rules and regulations,” Hereford said.
No matter how much you think the tow company is in the wrong Hereford says you should pay to get your car back as soon as possible so that it doesn’t rack up storage fees, sometimes $25 a day. You can always file a legal complaint or go to the Better Business Bureau to try and get your money back.