Chicago dept. of Streets and SanitationImpound abuses and liability!

This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

On November 23, 07 a day after Thanksgiving my car was impounded for abandonment. We were then being charged 160 for towing and 35 per day for storage fees. It turns out they wanted us to pay 350. This is a bit of a woozy see my car had Ohio state plates because I had just finished paying it off of my father and had just received the title. Without the title I couldn't register it or get insurance. Well I was side swiped by another car in August and I do not have private parking so I parked it in the streets. Every car in the neighborhood had its chance to hit me while backing up into a parking space and they took it. The bumper was dragging but other than that the car was in waiting mode. Waiting to be insured repaired and registered. I started a business in October with my fiancé and all of our joint finances where tied up in that.

On November 20 I had a guy come and take a look at the body damage because I was getting ready to register insure and start using the vehicle. The car was towed the next day on November 23 a day after Thanksgiving as soon as we noticed the car was gone (remember it was thanksgiving we were busy getting ingredients cooking a meal for 8 out of scratch and then transporting the meal to another location) because of the fact that we were spent and needed some down time after a crazy holiday. When I noticed the car missing it was November 28, 07. I didn't use the car, but I always made sure that the car was not blocking the street sweepers so I moved it regularly. Our street has enough problem cars just sitting while the sweepers go by it didn't need mine sitting there also. At the impound lot the on the night of the 28th I was told that even though I had the title in hand I need to register to even contest it. So my next step was to go register contest the abandonment charges and get my car.

On the 30 I had my plates/registration which totaled 174.00 and was at the impound lot by 10:30 pm after I close up the shop. There I filed paper work to contest and was informed that I will need to go to court that following Monday morning. I go to court contest the abandonment charges and was told that the law was a standing out of state plate vehicle did not get any warnings and was towed in two days. The judge gave me a plea bargain and waived the storage fee's I was to pay 160.00 for the tow and I had until Friday to pay it. Tuesday through Wednesday I spent looking for a mechanic to come with me just in case anything came up I wanted to be ready. The mechanic I found was available on Friday so I scheduled him for Friday morning. He called me early and said he would be delayed until 1pm I said "sure I have until 5pm".
We were at the impound lot by 1:30 where the first woman at the counter told me that before I was even able to see the vehicle I needed to go and purchase a city sticker. I go purchase a city sticker which has doubled in price and is now 120.00. I returned to the lot where I fill out paper work in order to go see my car. My mechanic is not allowed in so I go by myself I noticed my left back tire was flat which was hidden by the snow but still noticeable, I shrug it off its a quick fix, get into the car put the key in turn I get nothing. I get my jumper cables from the back and think oh the battery is probably dead. I pop the hood and go to connect the cables but there was no battery. That was problem number one, and then I look around and I notice cut tubes and a missing radiator. I put the cables back and I go back to the main office to place a complaint. Remember on the 20th I was in the car and everything was fine I was just getting the estimate for the bumper everything else was fine. I go back to the office wait in line for 45 min. at this point its 2:50 and it’s started getting a little busy. I finally get to the third woman whom I inform of the situation and ask her to allow my mechanic in to take a look. The whole time she had my I.D. and was preparing paper work (by preparing paper work I mean write his name down and take a copy of his I.D.) which took a total of 20 min to complete.

They allow him in for a total of 30 min and he returns saying all of my tires were flat, one of the tires didn't even have rubber on it (it was ground to the rim), my air intake was damaged and on the ground under the vehicle, radiator was gone and battery as well. At this point I start asking what their plan of action was in correcting all the damage that was done while in their custody. I go back to the office the line was almost out the door and I have to wait again. I get to the window once again at 4 but the man assisting me went to the back of the room until about 4:15. I told him everything that had happened and he said I quote "so how are you paying for the car?", I took a second and said "no I want to file a complaint, and I want all of my paper work to start building my case." he said "you can't have your paperwork you need to go down town to get it" I said "what is the form I need to file a complaint" he said "talk to the supervisor" the supervisor was on the phone for another 5 min. I then proceeded to tell her the story and when I got to the missing radiator she said wait you need to file an alleged damage complaint form and you need to go to the front room to fill that out. This means I am waiting in line again.
I get back up to the front of the line at about 20 min until 5pm. 5pm is the closing time of my lot. I get the form fill it out and the man at the window showed me all of my paper work for a total of 30 seconds. Now he tells me I have to go and talk to the supervisor again. I go; at this point it is 10 min till 5pm. The supervisor tells me she wouldn't even look at the vehicle or sign the complaint form until I take the vehicle out. At this point I have a total of 6 min to get a tow truck to the lot and get it out so that she could sign the complaint form and start the process.

To sum up that was not possible. Now I have paid 174.00 for plates/registration, 120.00 city sticker, a total of 294.00 to a city that has taken my car for hostage. On Monday I will have to pay 585.00 and a tow truck to get a vehicle that has no radiator no air intake no battery and only 3 flat tires. While I was in the line several times I spoke to a diverse group of people who have also had many similar incidents happen to them.


  • Ka
    Kathryn Livingston Mar 07, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Need more signage!

    At the intersection of Montrose and Cicero there are too many oversized trucks backing up cars because the trucks missed the small "13 foot clearance" signs saying their trucks are too big for the overpass just north on Cicero of that intersection! PLEASE post more signs - from each direction to that overpass!

    Also, post several at the approach to that intersection! Especially from Montrose going west before Cicero!


    0 Votes
  • Sh
    Shashi Kala Nigam Mar 15, 2008

    Sir, I would like to inform you that in the area of Lawrence Road B4, near Metro Station Mr Teja , who is employed for sanitation, never comes himself. He has further employed a person who comes after many days and garbage remains in homes for many days giving bad smell and spreding diseases

    I request you to kindly take necessary action against Mr. Teja

    0 Votes
  • Bo
    bob dylan May 31, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This would be a terrible story if it weren't a complete and total lie. How do I know? Very simple: The impound lot at 700 n. Sacremento (not 700 s. sacremento) does not close at 5pm. As a matter of fact it has never closed at 5pm, the lot in question is and always has been 24/7/365. Period. Additionally, all suspected abandoned vehcles (in or out- of-state plates) are tagged a minimum of 7 days prior to towing (unless the vehicle is a hazardous vehicle (which wasn't the case here according to the alleged story) This story is a total fabrication by a disgruntled driver. The driver's car probably was towed (legitimately) and they probably did have to go to the Sacremento ave lot. But the details most likely bore little resemblence to the actual story.

    0 Votes
  • Ki
    kimisha stampley Jul 15, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I think it realy sucks how the city just came and towed my car right from in front of my house the car wasnt abandoned I just always park in front of my house as do every one else on my block.Now I dont have any way to get around I cant afford to get it out of pound so they say I cant do any thing thats not right.Im gona talk to a lawyer to see if that was even leagle. Just wanted to let some one no how unfare this city realy is.

    0 Votes
  • Th
    Thom Miecznikowski Sep 28, 2009

    I too was booted and towed a couple of days before Xmas. The earliest i could attempt to do anything was Jan 3rd. I have been out of work and couldn't afford to get on the CTA. I'll leave out the gory details but by the time i had done everything the city demanded it had been 28 days and I was told they crushed my car.
    I know what the city did was illegal and wrong but I'm just one guy. what could I do?

    0 Votes

Post your comment

    In The News

    Unhappy consumers gather online at and have already logged thousands of complaints
    If you see dozens of complaints about a certain company on ComplaintsBoard, walk away.
    One of the largest consumer sites online. Posting here your concerns means good exposure for your issues
    A consumer site aimed at exposing unethical companies and business practices
    ComplaintsBoard is a good source for product and company gripes from especially dissatisfied people
    You'll definitely get some directions on how customer service can best solve your problem