|I was in an auto accident on Sept 09, 2010 and Hamptons Body Shop towed my vehicle. I was never given a verbal or written estimate of the towing and storage fees while I was in their shop immediately after it was towed by their tow truck. The guy I spoke with standing behind the counter refused to give me a repair estimate (upon request) and tried to convince me there was a lot of damage to the vehicle. On the roadside, I watched their tow truck driver jam the transmission in gear and release the hand brake, the tow truck driver never secured the vehicle tires to the lift arms as required by DOT. I watched the tow truck driver get back into the wrecker and drive into a nearby parking lot where the tow truck remained for nearly twenty minutes. I do not know why the wrecker was parked in a private lot (behind a store) unless this is their way of adding recovery time to their towing charges. This accident was on Thursday and Hamptons Body Shop refused to release my vehicle to another towing company on Friday until Progressive Insurance paid the current charges. Progressive had their insurance adjuster inspect the vehicle Friday morning and deemed the vehicle is a total loss. Progressive refused to pay Hamptons Body Shop for their road service. In return, Hamptons Body Shop was holding the vehicle hostage demanding $125 plus $25 per day until the bill is paid. |
On Monday, Hamptons body shop was demanding $250 to release my car and still refused to write a repair estimate knowing their unethical business practices would result in obtaining my vehicle by default. I filed a complaint against Hamptons Body Shop with the North Carolina Attorney General under the "Unfair and deceptive trade practices Act" as a result of Hamptons unfair dealings. NCGS 20-354 clearly states Hamptons Body Shop is required to provide an estimate if their services are in excess of $350 without exception. Seven days later my towing and storage charges was $400, I was never given a written estimate indicating any of these charges and was provided with a receipt indicating this amount (after the fact). After I was able to get my car returned, the tow driver parked my car and drove up my driveway and across the lawn into the back yard. I have no idea why there was a wrecker on my lawn, there is no legitimate purpose to damage my yard with this heavy tow truck. I observed ruts left in my yard by this wrecker and I was very unhappy the driver did this. I also noticed the handbrake was not applied after Hamptons Body Shop delivered my vehicle, the transmission was also left in neutral. My vehicle could have rolled into the side of my Mercedes Benz due to the negligence of Hamptons Body shop. I have been around many body shops during my career as a mechanic and a reputable repair shop stays quite busy. I did not see any vehicles undergoing repair or hear the normal sounds of an auto body shop when I was at Hamptons Body Shop the day my car was impounded. I believe that Hamptons Body Shop is Price Gouging and trying to extort money from consumers by their unethical towing charges. This is a college town and Hamptons Body Shop knows it is easy money to hold vehicles for huge ransoms while the owner is unaware of the charges that are incurring on a daily basis.
If it were up to me, I would not do business with Hamptons Body Shop located in Boone, North Carolina due to their unfair dealings and numerous complaints of poor quality workmanship, including charges of more than ten percent beyond the original estimate after the work is completed. This is one of the terms outlined by the vehicle repairing code NCGS 20-354