DPU – FILE ROOM

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With hundreds or more cases of Valley Towing over charging people, do you think it's a civil matter or a crime?

Posted by Where is my Car on Saturday, December 1, 2018

File Room

Where are the checks?

Some victims who were supposed to be refunded as part of the consent order have stated they haven’t received a thing.  hmmm….


We did an initial re-audit of the 600 invoices submitted for audit by Valley to the DPU, sampling around 200 of them in a spreadsheet.

One of the things we have brought to the attention of the DPU is the way Valley Towing uses their truck odometers to record mileage that they then charge you for at a rate of $3.60 per mile.

They are required by Law and Regulation, per Mass DPU, to record accurate odometer information on each tow slip that charges for additional miles so that the consumer is aware of what they are being charged for and why. 

The rate of $3.60 per mile is set by statute. They are allowed to charge this for each additional mile towed after the initial 5 miles included in the base price of $108.00,

Valley Towing is not using the service odometer as required, instead fabricating random 4 digit numbers.

These “trips” ALWAYS result in an additional 5-10 miles and a charge of $18-36 respectively.  According to this BULLETIN, it is a violation to not properly record odometer mileage when charging for additional miles.

Every tow by Valley that includes extra mileage charges, has exactly 5 or 10 additional miles billed, and when the odomters are organized chronologically and compared, the pattern appears to speak for itself. Numbers clearly being made up to deliberately deceive the consumer and the DPU.  This has been ongoing for at least the past 2 years that we have receipts for. 

Check out all of the odometer entries in this selection of around 120 of the 200 tows we sampled.

Click Here

 


Royal Crest Estates – North Andover

Here are some of the 40 overcharges discovered for the residents of Royal Crest Estates in North Andover, Ma.

Valley Towing is using False Odometer information, claiming 15 Miles Round Trip, and charging for 10 additional miles @ $3.60 per mile, when the actual charge should only be for 5 additional miles @ $18.00, thereby overcharging each customer $18.00.

It’s only 10 miles round trip, see for Your Self….


Click Here


Metheun Police Tows

Just look at this sample of Tow Slips and pay close attention to the odometer readings for the trucks that did Methuen Police Tows.


 

Unarmed Robbery

Towed in a snow storm just after Christmas and Overcharged $189.50

Here is an example of a Methuen Police tow not refunded $17.50 for a day storage at Heavenly Donuts, an Unsecured Lot.  How did the auditor miss that and this huge mileage problems?

Pay close attention to starting and ending odometers.  These are required by law to be recorded properly.  Any that were not MUST be REFUNDED !!

Valley Towing  charged for 15 additional miles at $54.00, when they were only entitled to 3 additional miles $10.80, a 400% mark up, and a 100% markup on the storage !!!

Then the notorious GATE FEE !!!

The total should have been $140.50 instead it was $330.00.  A 135% Markup !!!

Total Theft:  $189.50.

 

It’s 8 miles Round Trip.  Not 20 !

Valley Towing will not release your vehicle or let you retrieve any belongings until paid in full CASH ONLY !!

And you have to read their reviews….

www.yelp.com/not_recommended_reviews/valley-towing-methuen


According to annual reports submitted to the DPU, for income generated by involuntary tows, in 2013 Valley Towing did 2,295 tows, with an income of $347,070.00, and in 2015 they did 2,281 tows, with an income of $642,750.00, over an 85% increase in income all while doing almost the same exact number of tows.

In 2016 we saw another 18.5% increase in revenue while the number of tows only increased 8.5% finishing the year with 2,476 tows and a revenue of $762,419.00Over the four years 2013 – 2016, revenue increased 119.75% while tow volume increased only 7.9%.

And this is before the rate increase in 2017.

/dpu/Annual_Report_Docs_Redacted.pdf


See our Spreadsheet.


Valley Towing – DPU – Conset Order

Click to Read

Here are ALL RECORDS available from the Mass DPU from our FOIA request Oct 24, 2018.

These records include Letters mailed to consumers and Valley by DPU, email communications between Valley and DPU, Valley’s Attorney and DPU, and inter DPU emails.

These PDF’s also contain Tow Slips and all documents related to the Audit of Valley by Mass DPU.




DPU Procedure for Violations


DPU Bulletins

2012 Bulletin regarding charges not regulated by DPU

2017 Bulleting regarding DPU Tow Audit Program

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