Tales from the Hitch

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of having your ride towed in Miami Beach, then you can relate to Cory Bradley’s run-in with Beach Towing, one of the two notoriously hated tow firms roaming the streets of the city. The Ohio resident was visiting our sunny shores, having a good time, until he and a friend parked where they weren’t supposed to. Here is his edited account:

I was recently on vacation in Miami Beach and I had a crazy experience with Beach Towing.

On my first day, I rented a couple of scooters from Bad Boys Scooter Bike Shop on 71 Street and Harding Avenue. I thoroughly enjoyed the city, especially the South Beach area. The next day I traveled back to South Beach to experience the actual beach area.

For about 25 to 30 minutes I looked throughout the city for a parking space. I found a parking lot on the corner of 4th street and Collins Avenue. This lot had a few cars in it and there were no visible signs that said “No Parking” or “Tow Away Zone” or anything that would make someone think twice about parking in this lot. There was no attendant on duty and the two signs that were in the lot said authorized valet parking or self-parking. So I decided to park in this lot.

I went to the beach for maybe 15 to 20 minutes. When I got back to the lot the scooters were nowhere to be found. After looking around I finally found a person that looked like the parking lot attendant. I asked him why my scooters had been towed and he gladly showed me the “Tow Away Zone” sign that was high up on the fence and tucked neatly behind the leaves of a palm tree.

I called Beach Towing and walked to their shop on the corner of 17th street and Bay Road. I was informed that I would have to pay them $160 per scooter to get them out of the tow-yard.

I had enough money to get the first scooter out, but when I tried to use my debit card to get money out of an ATM I found out that my hotel put an unauthorized charge on my card. I was out of money, completely...my entire account. After reaching my hotel, they were very kind. They acknowledged their mistake and I received my money back. All of that took around four to five hours. I went back to Beach Towing to get my other rented scooter out. I paid the man the money. As soon as I saw my scooter I knew that I had either been scammed or something had seriously gone wrong with the towing.

It looked like someone had taken a sledge hammer and hit my scooter six or seven times. My rented scooter was completely trashed and almost unable to ride. I managed to ride it back to Bad Boys Scooter Bike Shop. I had to tell the owner the same story that I just told you.

He agreed with me that the towing companies were out to get people. He told me, along with three other locals that I talked to, that the towing companies in Miami are evil and that it's not enough for them to overcharge you for the tow. They also purposely damage your vehicle.

I talked to the towing company and they explained that they found the scooter on the ground laying on it’s side. The funny thing was that both sides of the bike were heavily damaged. I went down to Miami with $948.57 in my bank account and by the second day my account was down to zero, because of this towing company.

I had just enough money to eat dinner that night, but nothing else. I even called the Miami Beach police to file a report. They listened to my whole story and said that I could try to sue Beach Towing, but I would have to come back down to Miami and stay here for the court case.

That option is completely out because right now I have $40 left that I need to spend on gas to get back and forth to work. I have told my family and friends about this incident and none of them will be quick to visit Miami. I am just trying to do everything that I can to let everyone know what a horrible company Beach Towing is and to watch out for them.

-- Francisco Alvarado

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