FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2005
NYs Finest Towing and Yankee Mikes Towing
Ordered to Pay Fines and Consumer Restitution
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
today announced it has revoked the licenses of two towing
companies - NYs Finest based in the Bronx (NYF),
and Yankee Mikes Towing (YM) based in Queens - in
response to a pattern of consumer complaints and violations
ranging from illegal tows to overcharging customers to
issuing improper receipts and more. DCA administrative
law judges conducted hearings in both cases and found
the companies guilty of the charges.
We hope this sends a clear message to unscrupulous
towers that putting private cars and drivers at risk will
affect your business and your wallet, said DCA Commissioner
Gretchen Dykstra. A license is a privilege, not
a right - its what helps drivers know that a company
and its drivers have been vetted with a criminal background
check, will bring your car to a safe place, and charge
you rates allowed by law. Neither NYs Finest or
Yankee Mikes proved fit to hold licenses and the
appropriate action was taken.
On March 1, 2005, the DCA found NYs Finest guilty
· Operating without proper towing or booting licenses.
· Illegally towing cars while consumers were shopping.
· Overcharging customers.
· Failing to have proper contracts with property
owners from whose premises they towed vehicles.
· Using improper receipts, advertising auto repairs
without a license from NYS DMV.
· Using a license number from a different company
· Refusing payment by credit card, and more.
This case was initiated when the DCA cited NYs
Finest and its owner Scott Jennison in March 2004 for
operating without the proper booting license, and overcharging
customers parked in a variety of Bronx locations. Mr.
Jennison signed an agreement and paid restitution to 160
consumers totaling $4,000. Mr. Jennison later obtained
the appropriate licenses. However, after receipt of additional
consumer complaints, the DCA opened a new investigation,
which led to the revocation. In addition to revoking NYFs
towing, booting, and tow truck driver licenses of Scott
Jennison and Jose Becceril, DCA ordered principals of
NYF to pay restitution to eight consumers, and more than
$35,000 in fines.
On March 2, 2005, Yankee Mikes Towing was found
· Illegally towing cars that were legally parked.
· Overcharging customers.
· Refusing to accept credit cards.
· Issuing improper receipts.
· Failure to reply to complaints.
· Failure to obtain authorization from property
owners to tow from lots, and more.
The DCA received at least ten complaints about Yankee
Mikes. As part of the investigation, YM failed to
produce all requested documents required by a DCA subpoena.
The DCA revoked YMs towing licenses, as well as
the tow truck driver license for principal Michael Cortes,
and ordered YM to pay approximately $11,000 in fines.
Consumer complaints against tow companies are a top complaint
category at the DCA, with nearly 300 received last year.
A full list of consumer towing tips and legal rates is
available online in DCAs Consumer Towing Guide.
To file a complaint, or for a copy of the DCA Consumer
Towing Guide, call 311 or visit the DCA web site at www.nyc.gov/consumers.