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03:13 PM on 04/08/12
#1
Jason Tate
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If it's an illegally operated business wouldn't that make it a criminal matter because at that point it is theft?
Yes.
03:30 PM on 04/08/12
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Jason Tate
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That's what we thought but apparently they have a time window to present their registration before any action is taken against them. It's all a gigantic mess. Thanks to absolutepunk for posting about this and getting the word out...we hate to have to be "those guys" asking for help but we honestly have no choice. We're stuck.
I think you guys are getting bad legal advice ... this makes no sense at all. Call a lawyer, you can get someone to look at this for less than the $1,000 they're asking for to get the van back.
03:39 PM on 04/08/12
#3
Jason Tate
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the police is looking into everything now and did in fact meet us at the tow yard. The company did not have any documentation (business registration/permits/etc) present & the police are awaiting an alleged copy of their business license via fax. Even if the business is operating illegally, all the police can do is ticket them. In order for us to address this, we have to file a claim with the BBB (for which we have also found several similar claims with for the same issues) and if nothing comes from that, then legal action will be taken.
What? The BBB should have nothing to do with this ... they are not a legal entity that can do shit for you. The Better Business Bureau is not affiliated with federal, state, or local government, and has no direct affiliation with any consumer protection government authority. The BBB, as a privately held corporation, has no governmental authority over businesses.

Call a lawyer.
04:24 PM on 04/08/12
#4
Jason Tate
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Understandable. We know the BBB isn't going to do anything...we were merely using that link to prove the point that we're not the only ones who have been ripped off by this company. The police are involved, but like my bandmate Zach said, the police came to the tow yard with us today and asked for the registration of the business (which is listed as inactive and administratively dissolved here, could be outdated) but the towing company said they would fax it over to the police as they didn't have a copy of it on the premises. The police officer also literally said word for word "they can charge you for pretty much anything." We're going to try to get a lawyer involved but after being down and out almost a grand, it's difficult right at the moment. And of course the entire thing is far from home which makes it even harder to pursue legally as my best guess would be we'll have to represent ourselves in the state of Oregon at a later date if we ever can find a way to take this to court.
Did you pay with a credit card or check?

I would call a lawyer (even one in your homestate if you want, to get legal advice - and they can then coordinate with someone in Oregon when the times comes). I can recommend you a good lawyer here in Portland for traffic related issues (503-675-4330) ... I don't know if they would handle this kind of case, but at the very least someone should be able to point you in the right direction. Probably not open on Easter Sunday though, I think they have a messaging service. I would assume they can point you to a lawyer that can handle your case -- at least -- if not take it themselves. Assuming your story is 100% legit.

Know this: Under Oregon law, towing companies can sign contracts with property owners for the exclusive right to patrol private lots and haul off improperly parked vehicles. Drivers, typically, are paid on commission -- the more cars they tow, the more money they make.

So, where you were parked matters.

I would stop payment on your check or credit card. If you are telling the truth, and were parked legally, and not cited by the police or in any zone that was marked as "private property" with "will be toed" signs. Get pictures of where you were parked. Stop payment on any payment you made. And contact a lawyer. If you really did not do anything wrong -- you have the legal right here, and a lawyer will probably take your case to get a % of the winnings when they sue the company for illegally towing your car.
04:36 PM on 04/08/12
#5
Jason Tate
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I feel like Jason would do really good on jeopardy...
Can I use Google on it? Hah.
09:08 PM on 04/08/12
#6
Jason Tate
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The business demanded cash only, which is even more of a red flag. So no - there was no credit card or check involved.
Cash only? Yeah, that should have been a call to a lawyer immediately ... you're getting fucked.
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