KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) -- In less than 48 hours, a Facebookgroup against Kalamazoo company T&J Towing had more than 700fans. About one week later, the group has 1,400 fans.
And everyone has a story.
"I lived in West Michigan Woods and my boyfriend was towed twicein two weeks because his pass mysteriously blew off the mirror,"someone posted on the group's Facebook page. "Yet, the windows wereup."
Many claims are similar to Facebook group creator JustinKurtz's. He said he was towed from his apartment complex despite aparking sticker, and it was T&J that removed his sticker.
"I support myself here -- I pay my way through college and $120was a lot to pay when I was legitimately parked in my own apartmentcomplex," Kurtz said.
At Candlewyck Apartments, a representative said the complex hashad "problems" with T&J. Although they wouldn't disclosespecifics, they said T&J was supposed to reimburse someresidents and never did.
The Better Business Bureau of West Michigan covers more than 38counties and fields about 10,000 complaints per year. Of those,about 7,000 are legitimate.
"It's a difficult industry, and there are abuses on both sides,but to our knowledge, T&J has a lot of complaints," said KenVander Meeden, of the Better Business Bureau.
T&J Towing was graded an F on the bureau's Web site, becausethe company hasn't responded to any of its complaints.
You can click on an industry comparison button, where the BetterBusiness Bureau compares companies similar in size. T&J was onthe higher end of that scale when it comes to complaints.
"We have 94 towing companies with no industry complaints in thelast month, we have 23 with 1-4 (complaints), and two that have5-25 complaints," Vander Meeden said.
When 24 Hour News 8 showed up at T&J Towing, employeeswouldn't talk.
However, the lawyer of the owner, Richard Burnham, submitted awritten statement.
"T & J Towing has been lawfully engaged in the work for which it was hired. Any allegations against them for dishonesty are absolutely denied. It should be noted that there has been no substantiation of wrongdoing by law enforcement or the courts."
There is no government action against the company, which thebureau also tracks -- for instance, action on behalf of theattorney general. But for some Kalamazoo residents, that's nocomfort.
"Because this isn't the first time that this has happened andI'm sure it won't be the last," Kurtz said.
Spokesman for the Michigan Attorney General's Office, Nick DeLeeuw, reports the state has received two complaints againstT&J Towing; both came in 2006.
De Leeuw could not comment on the current complaints againstthe company.
He encourages people to report complaints about businesses tothe Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division by calling(877) 765-8388 or going online to www.michigan.gov/ag .
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