On Your Side: Springfield customer gets refund on tow bill

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 5:53 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Parking tickets and towing bills can sometimes cost a few hundred dollars. While annoying, most of us pay and go on. A woman from Sparta, Mo., received her money back.

“We were parked here, where there was no visible ‘no parking’ sign,” said Libby Phillips.

A few months ago, Phillips thought she could park in a lot off Benton Avenue in downtown Springfield while her family attended the circus. Afterward, her truck was gone. She thought it was stolen.

“You’re in complete shock because your vehicle is gone,” she said.

Not stolen but towed. In the dark, by the lot entrance, she saw a number on a sign and called. RPM Towing & Recovery had the truck.

“It was cold. There was snow on the ground. Downtown isn’t a super great place after hours to have a little girl. We live about 40 minutes from here. We had no car seat. We didn’t have any of her supplies. Her sippy cup was in the vehicle,” said Phillips.

Later that night, she paid $252.35 to get the truck back. She then decided to fight the charge. She filed a lawsuit in small claims court. She did not have an attorney. She represented herself.

“I was prepared. I had all my notes. I wanted to give this judge my story, but when they didn’t show up. I didn’t have the opportunity to give my story,” she said.

RPM Towing & Recovery was a no-show. Phillips won by default. The judgment covers the towing bill and court fees.

“I figured someone would show up and argue about it, but no one showed up. It made it easy for me,” she said.

On Your Side reached out to RPM. President Jason Turner declined our request for an on-camera interview but gave this statement:

Libby Phillips was awarded a default judgment against RPM Towing & Recovery due to a scheduling conflict, RPM was unable to attend court on 04/06. Ms. Phillips contacted our office upon the judgment being entered and was immediately paid in full.

Ms. Phillips’ vehicle was lawfully towed from a clearly posted private parking area. RPM was contacted by the property management to tow Ms. Phillips vehicle from their lot, RPM met with the property manager on site, were instructed which vehicle to tow, and the property manager signed a Missouri Form 4669, “abandoned property form,” which was sent immediately to the Springfield Police Department. All vehicles towed by RPM are 100% compliant with all city and state laws.

On Your Side noticed two signs by the entrance and exit that say tow away zone.

“Had we seen it, we would have still parked here because we parked in a spot where there was no ‘no parking’ sign,” said Phillips.

Some spaces have signs, but not all of them.

Phillips went to RPM to collect and got a check.

“It was worth it. I think my goal now is to encourage others. If you think your vehicle has been towed and it was not a lawful tow, you need to go fight it,” she said.

Alternatively, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau to dispute a tow bill.

Free places to park in downtown Springfield.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com