Carriers to Receive Full Refunds From $3,000 Big Rig Boots
Charlotte, NC – Two carriers forced to cough up $3,000 after its big rigs were booted in Charlotte last week will receive a full refund.
On Tuesday, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) confirmed with local towing operators, Tip Towing and Trust Towing and Recovery (TTR), each will issue refunds to TX-based Norco Trucking and KY-based Downey Trucking respectively.
TNN’s reports of two truckers being booted for parking in restricted areas and then charged a removal fee of a minimum of $3,000 exploded over the weekend as truckers sounded off on the incidents.
In addition to TNN’s national coverage, a local Charlotte news outlet, FOX46, also heavily reported on the two cases.
The first of the two incidents occurred in a Walmart parking lot early last Thursday morning.
Downey Trucking’s driver, Donald Spellings, had his truck and trailer booted by TTR.
According to Spellings, he was warned if he did not swiftly pay the removal fee of $3,600 then he and Downey Trucking would face an $8,000 towing and recovery charge.
The fee was eventually negotiated down to $3,300.
READ more on this story HERE.
Later that day an operator for Norco Trucking delivered 25,000 lbs. of meat to a grocery store in Charlotte and then sought out a meal.
Since most restaurants were closed due to a stay at home order, which took effect at 8:00 a.m. that same day, the trucker parked his rig in an adjacent lot to the Asian Corner Mall located at 4520 N. Tryon St.
Norco’s truck and trailer were booted with a removal fee of $1,500 for each unit, totaling $3,000.
The incidents were concerning enough to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, that he told FOX46 as well as Jim Downey, owner of Downey Trucking, his office intended to investigate for possible violations of predatory towing and price gouging laws.
READ more on this incident HERE.
TNN spoke with owners of both towing operators on Tuesday.
Ian Grier of TTR told us he believes his company was simply following the law as clearly marked signs indicate parking in the Walmart lot is prohibited.
“The driver didn’t get permission to park at Walmart like he claimed,” Grier said. “We are not the bad guys in the situation. We are just doing our job.”
Grier also called out Downey for taking to social media to tell his side of the story and including TTR’s contact information.
He says he has been receiving harassing and threatening calls from truckers around the nation.
“I understand they’re mad, but they did not handle it professionally,” Grier stated.
Downey tells TNN he had no other recourse after initially contacting TTR in the hopes of having “a reasonable conversation,” but being quickly dismissed.
Grier tells TNN he only agreed to refund Downey’s money after Downey agreed to indicate as much on social media once he receives his refund.
As for Tip Towing, owner Alan Brown said he has been receiving threatening calls and emails too.
“I got calls from truckers saying ‘I hope you f—ing die! I hope your kids get the coronavirus!’ They don’t know the facts of the case,” he argued.
Brown claims Norco’s driver parked in a lot that was also clearly marked and that the driver “didn’t get booted until an hour after he had been there.”
He says he personally went to the scene and dealt with it for more than two hours.
Brown says his company was simply enforcing his customer’s rules and enforcing city codes.
“If we didn’t have this pandemic going on, there’s no way I would back off this tow,” Brown commented.
TNN reached out to Norco on Tuesday, but they have not yet responded at time of publishing.
Downey, like Grier and Brown, tells TNN he is glad to put this behind him and hopes the incidents will cause Charlotte city leaders to revisit its towing laws.
Further, Downey says he is “happy” that the American people supported him and truckers after learning of these incidents through TNN and FOX46.
“I’m hoping the attention this got will make people think about what these truckers are doing for America during a time of emergency,” he said.