TOW TRUCK COMPANY, “ALMIGHTY TOWING’S” BAIT & SWITCH BACKFIRES UP AGAINST IATD CONSUMER ADVOCATE
Update, (Almighty Towing has since gotten a flatbed)
When Michael Hernandez, owner of Almighty Towing entertained the thought of pulling a bait and switch on a potential customer, he did not realize he was dealing with our very own consumer rights advocates, Taylor Brenner. Brenner found Almighty Towing on Craigslist. Having had a bad experience with a former tow, she insisted on a flatbed. She settled on a company with of flatbed services for $65.00. Great! However, that company could not make it until the next day. So she contacted the next on the list, Almighty Towing, again requesting a flatbed. Looking closer at Almighty Towing’s profile, Brenner enlarged their image and saw that their truck was not a flatbed. When she pointed it out to the dispatcher, the woman asked, “That’s ok, I was looking for a flatbed.” There was a pause before the woman, later identified as Belinda Hernandez, wife of the tow driver responded, “If you want a flatbed, I can order you one out there.”
Expectantly, Brenner waited for the tow truck which was a ‘no show’. Nearly three hours later, she received a call asking if she could be placed on the next days schedule. The dispatcher stated that the driver could not make it. Therefore, Brenner attempted to cancel the tow and simply wait on the first company who had promised that they would come on out the next day for a fee of $72.00 for a flatbed. Still, Almighty Towing assured her they were close and that they would come on over.
When the truck arrived hours later than promised, they did NOT have a flat bed. Brenner learned that they usually provide towing as REPO towers or for city parking violations.
When Brenner brought it to their attention that she was promised a flatbed, and further insisted that she would not use them, the owner became belligerent and demanded a fee to cover his time and gas. Brenner refused citing the bait and switch which escalated the situation. She went on to cite the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, DTPA she was not obligated to him.
He then claimed that since he had done some work on the tow, which a witness state was not completed, but the towers proceeded to place logs around the tires and a hitch to her vehicle only after she informed them that their services were no longer required. She then threatened to call the police which is when he lifted her vehicle right before her and a witness stating, “Go ahead, I will all the cops to. It’s already up)
The cops arrived, sided with Brenner in that firstly, it was a civil matter and secondly, that if Brenner decided she did not wish to utilize their services, that they could not force her too.
The cops ordered him to put her car down, and he seemed shocked of course because he had been stopped from using his normal hook and haul scheme he more than likely uses in cases of repos are parking violations. Those rules did not apply here.
Know your rights as a consumer.