Scott Lewis investigates police towing contractor accused of piling on excessive fees

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Have you ever felt like you got gouged by a towing company?

Over the years I've gotten a lot of complaints from people who've felt they were severely overcharged.  What most people don't know is that towing rates in Michigan are not regulated.  If you call a towing company yourself, they can charge whatever they want.

But it's different when the police call for the tow truck.  If you get into an accident, and the police call for a tow, most cities have contracts with a specific company or companies, and those rates are usually set through a contract between the city and the towing company.

Even then, people sometimes feel cheated.

I caught one woman on our undercover camera who was so angry, she walked out of the tow yard, threw her purse on the ground and the contents went flying. She then stomped around, throwing her arms into the air and shouting.

When I checked her bill, I discovered over $200 in charges that were not spelled out in the towing company's contract with the city.

In my 7 Action News investigation on Thursday at 11, you'll see this woman's angry fit, caught on camera, hear her story, and the stories of two other folks who were hopping mad after their cars were ordered towed by this suburban police department.  One of the bills was over $700 for a routine tow after a fairly minor accident.

The company involved has been charging a lot of fees that are not listed in their contract, and that's what has some folks hot under the collar.

The owner says he is playing fair—but what are these fees, and how does the towing company justify them?  See what he has to say. We are putting together this investigation for Thursday at 11 p.m.

In the meantime we'd like to hear from you if you've had a towing company horror story.

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