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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 7114
Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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My car resently was disabled by catching on fire. I called

Customer Question

My car resently was disabled by catching on fire. I called a tow company. When asked by the tow company where I would like it towed I replied " to my home I guess, I don't really know right now".The tow truck operator replied, "if I tow it to our place your insurance company will pick it up". That sounded good to me. and they towed my car. Later after several conversations with my insurance agent, I found out they were not going to pick it up. I made plans to have the vehicle towed to a junk yard. I knew I would have to pay a tow fee. Much to my surpise when I went to pay my bill, they informed me I owed storage fees of $435.00. I had no idea these fees were being assesed. I didn't sign anything. Can they charge me for fees I did'nt know about before hand? I'm thinking of taking them to small claims court.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 6 months ago.
Towing companies are allowed to charge towing fees by posting the amounts at the lot. Often times, the tow contract (where the customer signs to have the towing authorized) will state that there will be storage fees for vehicles stored at the lot. If the fees are unreasonable, they can be challenged here: is no statutory maximum for voluntarily towed cars) If the tow truck driver stated that there would be no fees, then the fees can be challenged under the following code(###) ###-####Unfair or deceptive practices prohibited. Sec. 7.A person subject to this act shall not engage or attempt to engage in a method, act, or practice which is unfair or deceptive. If the vehicle was insured, then the insurance company is responsible for paying the storage fees and disposing of the car. In that case, the proper defendant would be the insurance company for bad faith insurance practices. One can also report that to the insurance commissioner:,5269,7-303-12902_12907---,00.html Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat. Satisfied? Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you.(no additional charges are incurred). Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I didn't sign a contract with the towing company, I didn't sign anything. It was nver disclosed there would be storage fees assesed. Can they still charge me?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 6 months ago.
Normally they won't tow without a signature or verbal authorization; and even if there was no discussion re: price, there is a legal concept called "unjust enrichment" -basically when one party uses the commercial services of another, it is implied that there will be a charge; since towing companies typically charge for storage (towing is only one of their services - but storage at the yard incurs additional fees) the courts would typically allow for some kind of compensation-typically based on fair value based on the locale. If the tow truck driver implied storage would be free, that could qualify as an unfair business practice, as mentioned above.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer.I hope the information provided was useful.Here is a link to the bar association's legal referral site: you have further questions please post here; otherwise kindly--- Rate Positively---so the site credits me for assisting you.Thank you and take care!

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