Philly towing company agrees to fine, refunds in settlement with Pennsylvania AG

Sign outside George Smith Towing in Southwest Philadelphia (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Sign outside George Smith Towing in Southwest Philadelphia (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Pennsylvania’s attorney general has reached a settlement with a well-known Philadelphia towing company over violations of city and state regulations.

The settlement between George Smith Towing and the state includes the company’s agreement to refund money to 28 people — including Meredith Cohen whose car was towed from a lot on North Broad Street after only 10 minutes.

“I didn’t see any signs warning consumers about the risk of being towed, and when I attempted to retrieve my car from George Smith Towing, my boyfriend and I were treated horribly by the workers,” she said.

The tow operator violated city and state regulations, said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

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“Our investigation revealed that, in some instances, George Smith Towing failed to accept credit cards, towed vehicles where signs were not clearly displayed, did not notify police prior to towing a vehicle, and failed to take and maintain proper photographs before towing,” Shapiro said.

Representatives of George Smith Towing declined to comment. Shapiro said he will continue accepting complaints from disgruntled drivers until the end of April for possible inclusion in the settlement.

Under the $13,756 settlement, George Smith Towing is required to pay $5,756 in restitution to consumers who have submitted complaints against the company. Each consumer will receive $205 – the full amount the company charged them. The company will also pay $5,000 in civil penalties and $3,000 for the cost of the investigation.

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