I picked up my rental car around 6:30 pm on Friday, May 18 from AVIS at the DFW Airport location where I had reserved it via Priceline. I parked the rental at my apartment complex, The Residence at Northgate, at 6:45 pm in a spot clearly marked Reserved From 8 am to 6 pm. The apartment office was closed and I couldn’t obtain a parking permit so I parked in a place where i felt the vehicle would be safe and secure from towing and/or vandals.
There were no other signs indicating the spot was reserved for any other reason. Saturday, at 7:40, I headed to the car to leave for a weekend trip to Oklahoma to visit my son and grandchildren but the car was gone. I thought it was stolen so I called the Irving police but it had been towed by Southwest Auto Tow (SWAT). I called them and they informed me it would cost me $298.30 plus $6.00 cash to get it out. They also said if it wasn’t out by 2:19 pm an additional rate of $75.00 would be applied and at midnight another $21.00 would because added with $21.00 accruing every day after.
I then called AVIS and they advised me to call roadside assistance and report the tow which I did. Roadside assistance asked for my personal insurance policy. They didn’t want the policy from Alliance that I purchased through Priceline when I reserved the car. I then called AVIS back to inquire what I needed to do about the rental but their automated system would not route me to the rental counter. After multiple attempts to contact the rental counter I decided to just go back to AVIS at DFW I called Allianz and the told me to have AVIS contact them.
I then went to the apartment office to make them aware of the illegal tow. Veronica, the manager, I believe, said the spot I parked in was reserved and there was nothing they could do. I explained there were no resident signs where I parked. But they said the spot was reserved. Again, the spot is reserved from 8 am to 6 pm and I reminded them if this. NOTE: There are only 2 international towing signs on the property and none posted in the area I parked the rental in.
I then called Lyft to go to AVIS and find out if i could go pick up the rental, or cancel or get another vehicle. I arrived and the counter agent said an AVIS agent would have to pick up the vehicle and it would be Monday at the earliest. Worried and frustrated, I decided to just cancel the rental but the agent said I couldn’t cancel until it was picked up. He have me a number to call to check on the pickup. I called Lyft and went back to my apartment.
When i arrived home i realized i still had the rental car key and called the number the agent gave me but the phone rang and rang. I called a few more times but to no avail. I then reviewed my lease and there was no parking addendum listed. There are several other addendum listed and received but the parking addendum is not listed and I did not receive a copy. I called the office and they did have ine with my signature which I obtained. NOTE: the apartment manager advised there were 6 other vehicles towed from the same apartment community the same night.
Today, 5/20/2018, at 9:30 I called Roadside assistance and spoke with Jasmine. I advised her to remove my personal insurance policy off the report and add my Allianz policy, purchased via Priceline when I reserved the car. She said she made the change in their system. I also asked for an eta for the pickup but she said there was an impound dept. that handled these issues. I requested the phone number for that dept but she said she couldn’t give me one.
I repeated my request but she said this is as far as it goes and insisted she couldn’t give me an eta or the impound dept phone number. She also wouldn’t give me her last name. I asked for her managers name. Her managers name is April. Jasmine wouldn’t give me April’s last name either. Yesterday, I discovered I can file a police report for illegal tow and if all else fails, I can request an illegal tow hearing. I then emailed the apartment corporate office to advise them of this illegal tow and requested a full refund of any charges related to the tow and storage as well as for the cost of the rental.
The rental was a red 2018 Ford Fiesta Sedan with an odometer of 4185 miles. NOTE: The back gate of the apartment complex has been open for a few weeks, I now suspect for quick access and retrieval –since 6 other vehicles were towed from the same apartment community. I wonder if my rental was targeted because it was new and was a rental. NOTE Southwest Auto Tow, SWAT, mightbe trolling the Residences at Northgate because they had a SUV parked onsite the morning after my rental was towed I went down to the parking lot this morning looking for the SUV with the Southwest Auto Tow (SWAT) sticker so I could take a picture of the plate but couldn’t find it.
I did find a truck I took photos of yesterday, 5/19/18, but didnt realize it was a SWAT vehicle. It does not have a parking permit at all. Thus, there were 2 SWAT vehicles onsite with no parking permit the morning after my rental was towed. NOTE: The SUV was parked in the same area as my rental. The truck was parked across from the SUV and is there tiday. Neither SWAT vehicle had a parking permit! I have photos. Priceline.com-no phone # available Alliance–888-769-6105 AVIS @ DFW Airport. 972-574-4130: Opt. 6 to check status of retrieval from impound; Opt. 9 for ticket counter; Opt. 3 for roadside assistance Southwest Auto Tow -972-247-0945 The Residences at Northgate Corporate 469-546-6400.