The Milwaukee Tow Lot

When your car gets towed for expired registration,there are some things that must occur for you to retrieve your car. A pole being inserted into your anus shouldn’t be one of them,but sadly,it is:

You have to fill out a registration application and pay the tow lot for the application fee. Actually,as I found out,that’s not exactly true. You have to give the tow lot a check or money order with the application. Then,they mail the application and the check to the DMV, and give you your car. I did this on March 16th.

Of course,that doesn’t actually mean you get your car registered. You have to go register your car,write another check and pay the DMV for your registration. Apparently the idea is that then you run back to the tow lot and get your application and check back and trash it. The tow lot is supposed to tell you this according to the damage control specialist I talked to on the phone on May 7th. However,in reality, they suggested that most people drive illegally anyways. Therefore,they don’t really bother explaining to the criminals and low-lifes that frequent the tow lot.

What you normally do is expect the DMV to get the application and check, process it,and get your sticker in the mail in a couple weeks.

Unless they never receive the application and payment. In which case, you call the tow lot like I did on May 7th and ask them where the application is. They say they mailed it. I call the DMV,who says they don’t have it,and that they’re already working on applications received on April 25th. Then I call the tow lot back to act like an angered, profane criminal to complain about this grave injustice.

Which is when I was told about the criminal element that are the main patrons of the tow lot. I could have avoided all this if I had registered my car. Sure,which is a good excuse for you to not do your job: you deal with criminals. It’s unfortunate my situation has slipped through the cracks – my fault,of course. I’m a criminal. There’s nothing I can do – the tow lot says they mailed the check,the DMV says they don’t have it. This is _your_ fault now. Accountability diverted.

As a side note,the DMV was much nicer and more helpful than the tow lot in this whole debacle.

I noticed a few weeks ago that the DMV finally cashed the check I wrote for my registration when my car was towed. I went in today to register my car,but Lo! I could not,of course,marking the 4th or 5th time I’ve tried. The reason: there’s a late fee on my application (the emissions place doesn’t take late fees,only the DMV does). The DMV didn’t receive my payment in time.

So,I call the DMV and ask them specifically what date they received the payment. This,of course,leads to more confusion.

"When was the check mailed?"
"I don’t have that information,just the date on which we processed the payment."
"So you don’t know when it arrived?"
"No,all we have is the postmarked date on the envelope."
The audible sound of me slapping my forehead.
"OK,well,what’s that date?"
"May 15th."
"Great,thank you!"

I pull up my logs of when I called the tow lot and harrassed them the last time. May 7th. What a coincidence. Time to call the tow lot. After some introductions,I ask about my registration application. I don’t mention that it’s already been processed by the DMV.

"It should have been processed if all the information was correct on the application."
"And if it was?"
"Up to 10 weeks. It looks like your application was mailed out."
"When?" I snicker.
"… It’s not here in the notes. It’s usually right here. Hm… Let me pull up the database,can you hold please?"

"We mailed it out on March 26th."
"Really? Because I just talked to the DMV and they say the postdate is May 15th."
"They have it?!" Yeah,you see how I got you there? "… Well,we mailed it on March 26th."
"No you didn’t."
"Look,sir,I can only tell you what I see on my computer screen here."
"Well,the DMV says the postdate is May 15th. You’re saying that USPS lost it for 4 weeks? Cuz that happens a lot."
"I can’t tell you anything else. If you want to take it up further,you should talk to the city attorney."
"The city attorney? Really… ok."
"Or you can talk to my manager. You’ll have to bring the postdated envelope. I don’t know what’ll happen."
"OK,I can set up this fight between the tow lot and the DMV. What’s your manager’s name?"
"David Lawrence."
"Great. I suppose you wouldn’t like to give me his phone number?"
"Oh,sure! 286 5974."
"Awesome. Thanks,Linda."

So I call Mr. Lawrence,but his phone goes to voicemail. I leave a message explaining my situation. He calls back within 2 minutes,after what presumably is the time it takes for Linda to inform Mr. Lawrence that a really inconvenient asshole is about to call him about some check dates or something.

"Hi,Mr. Clay? How can I help you today?"
"Well,you see,I’m trying to figure out where my application check-"
"Yeah yeah,I got your message."
"What are you going to do about it?"
He quickly cuts me short again and business-speaks something and says "I’m not sure what happened but I’m going to send you a check for the $10. Normally,we send those applications out within 2 or 3 days. What’s your address?"

I hope I caused $10 worth of fucking annoyance. Ruined someone’s day over some petty fee. I wish this was over a $.50 fee instead.

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