Hillsborough’s Public Transportation Commission can help consumers seek full or partial refunds if they have been wrongfully towed.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – You went shopping only to find your car had been towed while you were away.

What should you do?

If you think you’ve been wrongfully towed in Hillsborough County, the Public Transportation Commission says it can help. The PTC regulates for-hire transportation, which includes towing companies, and often assists drivers in Hillsborough County by investigating tow complaints.

The PTC asks that citizens who feel they were wrongfully towed call the PTC or file a complaint online as soon as possible. The PTC will investigate the situation to ensure that the tow truck driver followed the proper policies and rules and that it was a valid tow.

In fact, in some instances, the PTC has been able to get full or partial refunds for drivers. So far this year, the PTC has helped more than 70 percent of citizens who sought their help with getting a refund.

To avoid getting towed, the PTC offers this advice:

• Don’t park in a business’ lot if you are not patronizing that business.

• If you parked in a staffed lot, remember to grab the receipt.

• If you parked in a lot with an honor box, make sure you videotape or take a photo of yourself paying, so you have proof.

• Don’t block anyone’s driveway or business entrance when parking.

While these tips are helpful in trying to avoid a potential tow situation, the PTC also offers tips to help you if your car has been towed.

If your car has been towed:

• If you suspect that the tow was not lawful, call the PTC to report it before you get your car back.

• Take pictures of the area around your car. Take notice of any signs indicating that your car was illegally parked. If signs were not posted at every entrance, it was not a valid tow. All signs should list the tow company with a contact phone number.

• Tow truck drivers are required to have proof of the violation. If the driver did not take pictures of your violation, you may be entitled to a partial or full refund.

• Be sure to pick up your vehicle between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Otherwise, you will be charged a gate fee of $50 before obtaining your car.

The Hillsborough County Public Transportation is an independent Special District that regulates vehicles for-hire, which includes taxicabs, limousines, vans, basic life support ambulances and wrecker services that support government agencies. The PTC also helps consumers who have complaints with these types of services.

Read more: http://www.tbreporter.com/local-news/hillsborough/towed-hillsborough/

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