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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 110412
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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My car was towed buy the city and the tow truck driver

Customer Question

My car was towed buy the city and the tow truck driver didn't tell me he required cash to retrieve it. I gave him my credit card but he refused it even though he had taken a credit card from another person that day. In other words I feel he refused my payment. But he called the police who threatened a criminal suit for theft of services. Who is right?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Actually, it is up to the tow truck driver as to whether or not to accept credit card payment. The reason many do not accept such payments is because after they release the car the customer calls and does a chargeback. The police are right that if he does not want to take credit card you have to pay cash and that is his choice. It is not theft of services and there is no need to call the police officer back about this unless the officer told you to call him back.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He accepted credit card payment from another person that day. I had every intention of paying him and never said I would not. I would not have disputed the charge on my card, but since he did not tell me cash was required, I did not bring cash. Since he refused my payment and I did not have cash, I was scared and didn't know what else to do do I left in my vehicle - I did not want to leave it there. To resolve this I should just send the guy a check? (I don't want to be face to face to give him cash.) do I wait for him to send me a bill? Do I wait and let him take me to court?Your help is greatly appreciated.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Legally, it is his option. The only way you would have a legal case against them is if you can prove the only reason he would not take your credit card, but they REGULARLY (not just one time earlier in the day) take credit cards, was based only on your race/sex/national origin/disability. If you can prove one of those reasons was the only reason he would not take your card you could have a case to sue for discrimination, but if not you would have no claim against them.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I don't want a case against him. I never wanted any of this to happen. I havnt paid. Does he have a case against me? Is there still a potential criminal case against me? Or would it be a small claims court issue?how do I put the whole thing to rest preferably without seeing him in person?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If you do not go and pay him, then it is theft of services (I thought you paid him already). It can also be a civil matter where they sue you in small claims for the money due. It can be both, criminal and civil. You have to pay him, whether you want to see him in person or not you have to go and pay him, that would end it.

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