Predatory Tow Trucks on West 230th and Broadway
Assemblyman Dinowitz’s office has received reports that tow trucks are operating at the Dunkin Donuts’ parking lot on West 230th Street and Broadway. This week several cars were towed, allegedly for illegally parking there and while parking in the lot is reserved for Dunkin Donuts’ customers only, victims have reported that cash payment was demanded, which is illegal.
“Those parking in that lot should be aware that it is a private parking lot for customers only. Those who park there to shop at Dunkin can still be booted or towed if they go elsewhere. If you do get towed, there are specific rules that must be followed by those doing the towing. The rule that is most often violated by some towing companies is demanding cash payment. The law requires that they accept a credit card,” stated Assemblyman Dinowitz. “The towing company can charge up to $125 plus tax to retrieve your car if it has already been towed. If your car is about to be towed, the maximum ‘drop fee’ to unhook the car from the tow is $62.50 plus tax. They cannot demand cash. Period.”
Sometimes the tow operators are abusive or intimidating. It is important that an individual assert his or her rights. If there is a perceived danger, call the police. While illegally parked cars clogging up the parking lot for extended periods should be towed, these incidents have often occurred when victims shopped at Dunkin Donuts and then did not immediately return to their vehicles, but instead went to a different location. The tow trucks are clearly watching for people who violate the rules, even if only for a moment. Those responsible for initiating this new wave of towing are not good neighbors to our community. If a person planning to pick up from Dunkin Donuts then walks to the Post Office to drop off a letter or package, they can be towed. That is not an incentive for neighborhood residents to stop there.
If anyone feels that they have been ripped off by the tow operators because they have demanded cash or demanded the full payment just to unhook the car ($125 dollars plus tax) please call Assemblyman Dinowitz’s District office at 718-796-5345 and his staff will help you file a complaint with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.