Lessons Learned from dealing with Absolute Towing: (No, this is not a slam on the company, merely my experience with them)
- Absolute will charge you $240+ for a tow and <1 hour storage
- The driver I dealt with was unaware of the exact property lines in our community.
- The driver I dealt with was unaware of exactly what our HoA’s rules and regs are for towing.
- The driver I dealt with ignores temporary Registration forms and temporary inspection forms posted on vehicles.
- The driver I dealt with ‘forgot’ what was said in a conversation as early as 2 hours after the conversation.
- The driver I dealt with repeatedly lied to myself and the police (when I called them)
- The driver I dealt with took, on average, 4 days to return a call.
- Absolute is very secretive about their chain of command. The secretary never gave me the name and/or contact information for the boss of the driver I dealt with.
- Small claims court filing papers had to be shown to Absolute and the driver I dealt with in order to get their attention.
- Even on a completely bogus tow, Absolute did not refund all of the $240 fee.
In summary: Absolute could tow your car from anywhere on the HoA’s common property or from your own private property, and even if the tow is 100% illegitimate, you will have to fight them to get your car or tow fees back. Their standard fee of $240 is high enough to be significant to many people, but low enough that it would not be cost effective to persue Small Claims Court…. and Absolute knows it. I was told multiple times, “Lets take this to court and see what the judge says,” which was amusing because Absolute would lose hands down, but they were trying to bluff me.
I want to throw a shout out to Kevin and the Exec Board for assisting me in my fight against these crooks. At first I thought it was my mistake. But when i double checked my facts and realized I had done nothing wrong, I realized it was Absolute’s mistake. So over the course of 2-3 weeks, several emails, office visits and phone calls from Kevin and myself, Absolute finally started negotiating. We settled on a refund of $160, which given the costs of going to court, seemed the best I was going to get. Thanks Kevin, I know it was annoying dealing with me and my incessant pursuit of this tiny injustice, but it just affirms what a stand up guy you are!
I know tow company’s deal with some pretty raw customers and have to have thick skin to stay in business, but in my case Absolute was dead wrong and wouldn’t admit it. From the many conversations I had with the driver, it became apparent that the company’s attitude is “Tow at will, because if the tow is bogus most people will just roll over and pay the $240+”. Even the borderline criminal tow companies down in Washington DC only charge $75-100. In my opinion, Absolute is a pretty shady company. I know I’ll be the minority in this, but I think our community should look around for a different company when the contract is up!