Lawsuit against tow company allows for possible restitution
Owners of vehicles towed by Hook-Up Towing Inc. who feel they were improperly charged extra mileage from the Atkinson Drive, Ala Moana and Chinatown areas can file a complaint for reimbursement with the state Office of Consumer Protection following a lawsuit against the company last week.
The Office of Consumer Protection sued the Sand Island-based company after an investigation revealed that Hook-Up charged an additional $13 to $15 per tow going back several years. The extra money represented an unnecessary extra two miles per trip, said Steve Levins, executive director of the Office of Consumer Protection.
"Over hundreds of tows, that adds up to a big chunk of change that should wind up in the pockets of consumers and not the company that did the towing," Levins said. "Our investigation revealed that they weren't taking the most direct route to the tow yard. It's incumbent on the tow company to take the most direct route to the tow yard and not to go on a frolicking detour and pass those costs on to the consumer."
Levins' office is trying to obtain all of the company's towing records to identify potential victims and seek restitution, he said.
Companies in violation of consumer protection laws face potential fines ranging from $500 to $10,000 per violation, Levins said.
Representatives of Hook-Up Towing did not return calls seeking comment. They previously declined comment but said the company was consulting with its lawyers over the lawsuit.