More predatory towing?

Did you see the LJS article this morning telling the story of a Sioux Falls, SD fan who paid $10 to park in a lot downtown, and then had his pickup towed during the game because “fine print” somewhere apparently stipulated that the lot closed at 10 p.m. and all cars left in it thereafter were subject to tow? 

Are you kidding me with this?  A downtown business invites people to park there and pay $10 on the night of a football game and then starts towing those cars after the strike of 10.  Where exactly was this ‘fine print’ located?  The story doesn’t end there.  Since this story came out in the LJS we’ve heard that this wasn’t the only car parked in that lot and some have speculated there may have been as many as 20, although I haven’t been able to confirm that number. 

If that’s truly the case, one has to wonder if the business in question, La Tapatia and the towing company, Wiestar, may have had some sort of a deal.  Why else would La Tapatia set up a situation where so many cars would inevitably be towed?  If that had actually happened, it would be illegal under Neb. Rev. Stat. 60-2411 and it would likely turn into something in which the local authorities may have some interest.   

After we talked about this story on the air today, I got in touch with Senator Steve Lathrop’s office who, as we detailed in September, is working on some legislation that might curb predatory towing and ridiculously high towing fees.  One of  the Senator’s aides told me that the upcoming bill will likely require signage so that “fine print” is much more visible.  Another idea being tossed around is to require one sign per a certain number of parking spots as some lots have only one sign with small print far from view from all of the spots.  Perhaps that would have helped on Saturday night, but even with signage, it’s just plain dirty to close a downtown lot at 10 p.m. on the night of 7 p.m. game without some sort of specific verbal disclaimer to everyone who parks there.

If any of you have had a similar experience or were involved in this one on Saturday, drop us a comment below.

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One Response to More predatory towing?

  1. jackm1400 says:

    This is a comment from reader Nancy, but I think she accidentally put it on the wrong thread:

    Everyone that got towed is telling dozens of people how they got scammed in Lincoln. That needs fixed NOW.

    I happen to think the towing situation in Lincoln is a threat and I avoid downtown Lincoln whenever I can because of it.

    The small business owners need to FIGHT this unfriendliness ( in spite of the city and the tow companies making money off of the parking situation)or people WILL NOT COME!

    One of my favorite restaurants is downtown, but I rarely go there due to parking, and I’ll go to a movie in Omaha before going to the “Grand” downtown!

    Please make it known that now I will avoid this owners Mexican restaurants until he “owns Up” to what happened, the owner of each vehicle towed should be reimbursed. When you pay a business for parking, a contract is made. You don’t ‘alienate’ people from the entire city…

    Thank you.

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