A TikToker went viral this week after allegations a towing company in New York City illegally tried to get them to pay double the standard towing fee.
The video posted by user Princess (@princessisbey) tells her version of events before explaining what she is doing to resolve the situation. Her first video has over 161,000 views and inspired a follow-up.
@princessisbey Protect yourself from these scammers! #brooklyn #illegaltowing #nycdrivers ♬ Original sound – PrincessIsBeyy
At the beginning of the video, she admits that she may have partially parked in front of a driveway and accepts that her car may have been legitimately towed.
Where their problems arise is the fees for doing so.
“They tell me to pay $250 in cash only,” she says. “So I call the police because this guy is acting crazy. He tries to get me to sign a form saying I authorized the vehicle to be towed, which I didn’t. And he’s just aggressive.”
While waiting for the police to arrive, she becomes suspicious. Following this suspicion, she researches the Internet and finds out that the towing company may be breaking New York law.
“There’s a law in New York City that says they can’t charge you more than $125 for towing and up to three days of storage, and they have to accept at least two major credit cards,” she claims.
According to the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, this is true. Their website states, “If your car is towed because it’s blocking a driveway, the maximum charge is $125 plus tax and $15 per day storage fee after three days.” They also back up Princess’ credit card claim: “Don’t accept’ Cash only’. By law, towing companies must accept at least two major credit cards to pay for towing services.”
In her video, Princess suspects the towing company wanted her to pay cash because “they don’t want a paper trail.”
Princess says in a follow-up video that she verified this information with 311, the number for non-emergency information on city services.
@princessisbey Update #1! Watch out for the next part. #nycscams #fyp ♬ original sound – PrincessIsBeyy
She also claims she learned that the person requesting towing must sign a contract before towing takes place.
This information is a little harder to verify, but it appears to be true with the information available. New York City Administrative Code Section 19-169 states, in part, that the towing permit “…indicate the location of the vehicle to be removed, the make, model, color and license plate number of that vehicle, and a statement that that vehicle was removed must be signed by the owner of such property or its lessee pursuant to a notice of parking violation and prior to removal.”
In this case, she claims that no such signing took place.
Her video ends with her confronting a police officer about this discrepancy. While clarifying that it’s not the fault of the person working there, she says she still needs full information on her tow truck as she plans to fight the towing fee.
Commenters on TikTok supported Princess in her search.
“Honestly so smart to do the research I would have paid the 250,” shared one commenter. “Now I’m crazy LMAO.”
“That’s right, girl! Do your homework! So many people just pay to get it over with!” another agreed.
We contacted Princess via Instagram DM and emailed the NYPD.
Today’s top stories
*Initial publication: June 17, 2022 at 10:46 am CDT
Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine and more.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/towing-double-maximum-fee-nyc/ According to TikToker, the towing company charged her twice the maximum fee