Help needed ! Was your car towed unfairly ?

7 Replies

My husband and I moved to Murrieta CA in August 2020 to stay in a condo which  belongs to my sister. At that time My husband  parked in guest parking using a blue permit ( Two times) , as it was the only permit that we were given. We received a warning saying this is not correct. We needed the "red Permit." We were never given such a permit. We spoke to security but they were very unhelpful. We called office ( management service ) number but no one ever picks up. We finally gave up and decided to never park in the guest parking and parked the car in the garage.

However, on March 9, 2021, there was a power outage and My was unable to open the garage. He had come home after work at 9:00 pm and it was raining and dark. He had no choice but to park in guest parking.

The following day, I am 37 weeks pregnant and I had contractions . My husband rushed to go to his car to only find out his was missing. He was panicked as He was worried I am in labor soon.  He called the police and discovered that the security had towed the car at 12:00 am. At that time the power was still out. It did not come back till the following morning on Mar 10, 2021 . He had to pay $316 to get it out.

My husband called office  and He spoke with your answering service. The website says they are open till 5:00 pm . Actually no one in the office or no one answered the phone call before 5:00 pm.  The answering service assured us that they will call, but they never did.

The next day My husband emailed them and asked questions as follows: 

 What would have happened if My wife had gone into labor? 

  How would I have gotten her to the hospital?

  I am a healthcare provider. What if I had to go to work? You would have been responsible for disrupting a healthcare provider in the time of a national pandemic.

Did your security notice that the power was out?
Do you know that people are unable to open their garages?
Where was I supposed to park? A few blocks away and then walk in the dark and rain? 

The manager of the management service did not answer all these question only responded " 

The community has strict guest parking rules that are enforced by Signal 88. I have attached their report showing the two warnings received for lack of proper permit. These warnings are provided as a courtesy before towing. Upon the third violation your vehicle was towed based on the violation of said rules. The blue pass you are referencing is several years old and no longer valid (as stated in the warnings placed on your vehicle). If a replacement pass is needed please advise the unit owner to reach out to us to process this. The cost of the tow is the responsibility of the vehicle owner who violates the community rules. " 

We emailed back again " What should we do if the power outage happen again and we can not open garage ? How can we get the proper permit ? No matter who call the office, no one picks up the phone call" The manager did not respond at all. 

  Do you think the car was towed unfairly ?  What should we do ? some people suggested to report to better business bureau but I am not sure this works or not. I checked the rating for this company in BBB was 1.3/5, but it looks like they still have a good business with such a low score. Any suggestions are appreciated ! If I post it in the wrong place, Please tell me where I should go to post to get help. Thank you for your time ! 

Originally posted by @Nancy Kang :

My husband and I moved to Murrieta CA in August 2020 to stay in a condo which  belongs to my sister. At that time My husband  parked in guest parking using a blue permit ( Two times) , as it was the only permit that we were given. We received a warning saying this is not correct. We needed the "red Permit." We were never given such a permit. We spoke to security but they were very unhelpful. We called office ( management service ) number but no one ever picks up. We finally gave up and decided to never park in the guest parking and parked the car in the garage.

However, on March 9, 2021, there was a power outage and My was unable to open the garage. He had come home after work at 9:00 pm and it was raining and dark. He had no choice but to park in guest parking.

The following day, I am 37 weeks pregnant and I had contractions . My husband rushed to go to his car to only find out his was missing. He was panicked as He was worried I am in labor soon.  He called the police and discovered that the security had towed the car at 12:00 am. At that time the power was still out. It did not come back till the following morning on Mar 10, 2021 . He had to pay $316 to get it out.

My husband called office  and He spoke with your answering service. The website says they are open till 5:00 pm . Actually no one in the office or no one answered the phone call before 5:00 pm.  The answering service assured us that they will call, but they never did.

The next day My husband emailed them and asked questions as follows: 

 What would have happened if My wife had gone into labor? 

  How would I have gotten her to the hospital?

  I am a healthcare provider. What if I had to go to work? You would have been responsible for disrupting a healthcare provider in the time of a national pandemic.

Did your security notice that the power was out?
Do you know that people are unable to open their garages?
Where was I supposed to park? A few blocks away and then walk in the dark and rain? 

The manager of the management service did not answer all these question only responded " 

The community has strict guest parking rules that are enforced by Signal 88. I have attached their report showing the two warnings received for lack of proper permit. These warnings are provided as a courtesy before towing. Upon the third violation your vehicle was towed based on the violation of said rules. The blue pass you are referencing is several years old and no longer valid (as stated in the warnings placed on your vehicle). If a replacement pass is needed please advise the unit owner to reach out to us to process this. The cost of the tow is the responsibility of the vehicle owner who violates the community rules. " 

We emailed back again " What should we do if the power outage happen again and we can not open garage ? How can we get the proper permit ? No matter who call the office, no one picks up the phone call" The manager did not respond at all. 

  Do you think the car was towed unfairly ?  What should we do ? some people suggested to report to better business bureau but I am not sure this works or not. I checked the rating for this company in BBB was 1.3/5, but it looks like they still have a good business with such a low score. Any suggestions are appreciated ! If I post it in the wrong place, Please tell me where I should go to post to get help. Thank you for your time ! 

I think you may have the wrong website entirely, but sounds like you need to get your hands on that red permit. When I was a renter i got towed similarly, it sucks but the agreements and whatnot are usually iron clad. Towing companies wont care about their reviews.. sometimes you just get the short stick.

Also next time, if you can access the garage via a people door, look for a red dangly cord hanging from the track close to the door. Pull it down and it will disengage the door from the track and you can manually raise and lower the door. When the power gets back on, use the cord to snap the lever on the track back into place and operate the opener, it should catch the door and go back to normal. 

As others said find a way to get the red pass and I would try having the owner go to the office in person to request.  You were warned a couple times which was a nice courtesy that a lot of other places don’t give.  If an issue like this happens again you gave the solution in your original post, park a couple blocks away where you won’t get towed.  It may take longer to get to work or the hospital but not nearly as long as it takes to get your car out of impound first.  

I have no sympathy for you.

You moved there in August and were given a written warning that the blue pass was expired and needed to be replaced. It was your choice to ignore those instructions and think you could avoid the situation by parking in the garage. Now it came back to bite you and you want to blame the association? 

You have to take some personal responsibility here. Figure out how to get a red pass. You stopped by the office once and they were closed, but they responded to your email rather quickly. Have you visited or emailed the office during the last six months to learn how to obtain the red pass, or did you just talk to the security guard?

Operating a garage door without power is very simple:

How to open a garage door without power

Originally posted by @Nancy Kang :

My husband and I moved to Murrieta CA in August 2020 to stay in a condo which  belongs to my sister. At that time My husband  parked in guest parking using a blue permit ( Two times) , as it was the only permit that we were given. We received a warning saying this is not correct. We needed the "red Permit." We were never given such a permit. We spoke to security but they were very unhelpful. We called office ( management service ) number but no one ever picks up. We finally gave up and decided to never park in the guest parking and parked the car in the garage.

However, on March 9, 2021, there was a power outage and My was unable to open the garage. He had come home after work at 9:00 pm and it was raining and dark. He had no choice but to park in guest parking.

The following day, I am 37 weeks pregnant and I had contractions . My husband rushed to go to his car to only find out his was missing. He was panicked as He was worried I am in labor soon.  He called the police and discovered that the security had towed the car at 12:00 am. At that time the power was still out. It did not come back till the following morning on Mar 10, 2021 . He had to pay $316 to get it out.

My husband called office  and He spoke with your answering service. The website says they are open till 5:00 pm . Actually no one in the office or no one answered the phone call before 5:00 pm.  The answering service assured us that they will call, but they never did.

The next day My husband emailed them and asked questions as follows: 

 What would have happened if My wife had gone into labor? 

  How would I have gotten her to the hospital?

  I am a healthcare provider. What if I had to go to work? You would have been responsible for disrupting a healthcare provider in the time of a national pandemic.

Did your security notice that the power was out?
Do you know that people are unable to open their garages?
Where was I supposed to park? A few blocks away and then walk in the dark and rain? 

The manager of the management service did not answer all these question only responded " 

The community has strict guest parking rules that are enforced by Signal 88. I have attached their report showing the two warnings received for lack of proper permit. These warnings are provided as a courtesy before towing. Upon the third violation your vehicle was towed based on the violation of said rules. The blue pass you are referencing is several years old and no longer valid (as stated in the warnings placed on your vehicle). If a replacement pass is needed please advise the unit owner to reach out to us to process this. The cost of the tow is the responsibility of the vehicle owner who violates the community rules. " 

We emailed back again " What should we do if the power outage happen again and we can not open garage ? How can we get the proper permit ? No matter who call the office, no one picks up the phone call" The manager did not respond at all. 

  Do you think the car was towed unfairly ?  What should we do ? some people suggested to report to better business bureau but I am not sure this works or not. I checked the rating for this company in BBB was 1.3/5, but it looks like they still have a good business with such a low score. Any suggestions are appreciated ! If I post it in the wrong place, Please tell me where I should go to post to get help. Thank you for your time ! 

 I think you should enjoy your new baby when S/he comes, chalk up the $316 to learning a lesson, and move on with life. If he's really a health care provider I can't imagine $300 is worth this amount of trouble, especially when you received two previous warnings regarding the permit. Or maybe you can get your sister to pay the towing fine since she didn't make sure you got the right permit, if you want someone to blame beyond yourselves :)

8 months later and you dont have the right parking pass. Uhm, Im not even sure why you are surprised you got towed. Id think youd be towed by the third day.