Attorney General issues consumer alert on towing services

Posted at 9:43 AM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 09:43:55-04

During the many years that I have lived in Michigan, all of my experiences with towing companies have been good, and my experiences run the gamut from crashes to flats to lockouts.

But there was one incident in another state that was so horrible that I still get angry remembering the shabby treatment my family got retrieving our car after it had been towed.

Today, the office of Michigan’s attorney general has issued a consumer alert about issues you might have with towing companies, because that office gets complaints.

Here’s the full alert. It lists the reasons your vehicle might get towed without your request, and it explains what you can do about it.

One of the interesting items I see in the alert is a description of how to challenge a towing fee if you think it’s out of line. If your vehicle has been towed at someone else’s request, such as a business or law enforcement, one of the AG’s recommendations is to call the people who had the vehicle towed to verify the fees agreed to by the agency requesting the tow and the towing company. They may be different from the towing company’s published fees or the fee the company demands from you.

Sadly, to challenge a towing and storage charge, you have to post a bond with the court that amounts to all the towing and storage fees plus court filing fees, so you’re out the money up front and you’re left to hope you win in court to get any money back.

This is a useful post to review so you know your rights and their limitations.