DATE: April 30, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
Broward County Commissioners have approved new regulations aimed at making tow truck companies more "customer friendly."
The new rules will make finding a towed car easier, paying to get it released easier and give customers plenty of information about why a car was towed along with an itemized list of charges.
“This is about consumer protection,” said Commissioner Lois Wexler, who brought the updated ordinance forward for Commission approval.
The new ordinance mandates that towing companies accept, at a minimum, a credit card and an ATM card in addition to cash as a method of payment. For those paying cash, change must be provided if necessary.
Towing lots will have to keep regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate people coming to retrieve their automobile. An itemized list of all charges will be provided to customers as well as an explanation of why the services were necessary.
Finding a towed car should be easier under the new regulations, too. The Broward Sheriff’s Office or local police department will now be notified when a car is towed and told where the vehicle has been taken. Transported vehicles must be taken directly to a storage facility (not a temporary holding location) and a telephone service must be available to assist customers 24 hours a day.
The amended ordinance comes after Commissioners received numerous complaints from consumers, most notably after more than 300 cars were towed from Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise the day after Thanksgiving.
Tow truck businesses who don’t comply with the new regulations face fines of up to $500 and suspension of their business license.
The new law applies countywide, except for cities that already have stricter rules in place.