50+ Angry Their Cars Were Towed During Local 4th of July Festival

CBS' 'ConsumerWatch' has been receiving many complaints.


Though the City of Foster City that no event parking would be allowed in The MarketPlace/Metro Center parking lot during its 4th of July festivities, and that a strict one-hour time limit would be enforced for those that parked there, more than 50 car owners are furious that their cars were towed from the MarketPlace lot during the City's celebration at Leo Ryan Park.

CBS' ConsumerWatch program is reporting it has been fielding a multitude of complaints from car owners that said the shopping center's parking rules were not adequately advertised.

Also, many are complaining that, when they parked there that day, they were actually patronizing MarketPlace/Metro Center businesses, not walking over to the celebration - yet their cars were towed anyway.

However, representatives for the MarketPlace told ConsumerWatch the special restrictions for the 4th of July holiday were put in place four years ago.

In addition, a representative from Equity Office Properties, which owns the MarketPlace shopping center, said "prominent signs were posted" around the shopping center that day.

One man, named Shawn Kung - whose car was one of a whopping 53 cars towed from the shopping center that day - is complaining to ConsumerWatch that the signs were not clear or prominent, and that he was eating at one of the restaurants in the shopping center when his car was towed, not hanging out at Leo Ryan Park for the festival.

Kung told ConsumerWatch his car was towed all the way to Redwood City, and that he was charged $435 to get it back - the towing company added on extra charges because it was a holiday, he said.

Lt. Frank Derris of the Foster City Police Department told ConsumerWatch that, while the situation was a pain for the department - phones were ringing off the hook all day from people wondering where their cars had gone, or thinking they had been stolen, he said - the operators of The MarketPlace are free to change their parking policies whenever they like.

Read the full story on CBS' ConsumerWatch website here.


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Glen July 24, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Apparently, D & M Towing was enabled by Equity Office Properties to determine whose cars were parked there longer than the 60 minutes. If one was wrong, how many others were in error as well? With fifty plus cars towed at the FC location and more cars at a Redwood City location, it seems that they made a bundle of money at $435 per car. You can do the math! It seems a "lot" unethical to this patron. Sure, signs (8x11) were posted but you had to be parked in a stall in front of a tree in which they were tacked. I hope Equity will realize that one hour was unreasonable for that crazy day and will take D&M Towing to task for their over-zealousness and rudeness. I suggest they cancel D&M's contract and find a more ethical parking management company.
Mark Davis July 27, 2012 at 04:49 AM
All of these were illegal tows b/c the property owner did not abide by state laws regulating private property tows. Signs must be clearly posted at ALL entrances to the property stating the 1 hour limit and the signs must be no smaller than 17 x 22 inches with the font in 1 inch height. None of the signs were in compliance so all vehicle owners can sue for DOUBLE their towing costs from the management company. California Vehicle Code is here: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22658.htm Every customer that was wrongfully towed should demand the management company to pay double their tow fees. If they refuse you should take them to small claims court. http://www.sanmateocourt.org/court_divisions/small_claims/filing_a_claim.php
Glen July 30, 2012 at 08:41 AM
Thanks, Mark. Unfortunately, EOP already had D&M send us our 'claim' check to get us off their back. Why didn't they just put credit back on our card? I hope that others can benefit from your information. Weren't there more comments on this feed?
Jennifer van der Kleut July 30, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Glen - some comments are in the follow-up article stating that EOP has agreed to give some drivers refunds. See it here: http://fostercity.patch.com/articles/drivers-towed-on-4th-of-july-could-get-refunds


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