Towing service battle gets hot on Lower Greenville

A few weeks ago, BD wrote about how the Nandina's Tapas valet (5600 Alta) was using the Taco Cabana parking lot for their customers, simply by bribing the towing service spotter every weekend. (see No more Taco valet).

But big changes were also happening across the street at Taco Cabana. The towing service - AJ's - was already on shaky ground following complaints about abusive towing and bad attitudes to customers and employees. TC was already in negotiations with a new towing service - United Tows LLC - to take over the contract.

After some investigation (and ten tickets from DPD for the valet service parking cars in the street), the Nandina's folks eventually dumped their valet permit. City records just released show that the valet operator had been working the street without insurance since early January 2005.

Instead of getting just four Taco Cabana contracts, United now has all ten TC locations in the Dallas area. Sources tell BD that the valet scam story clinched the decision to change towing services for Taco Cabana's folk in San Antonio. United also has the towing contract for Firestone MasterCare, McDonald's (all Dallas locations), New Big Wong's (the left side of the parking lot) and a restaurant parking lot at the southwest corner of Ross and Greenville.

Dodie's leaves their side of the parking lot open for all their friends, which apparently includes everyone in the free world, since they are not allowed to lease the parking lot to one of their employees anymore. This also causes confusion for unsuspecting folks who park on the wrong side of an imaginary line down the middle of the parking lot. On Friday evening, the Dodie's folks tried to make a few TX OU bucks by charging for parking. The lawyer who owns the property called them on the carpet quickly and the parking lot scam was soon gone.

The changes became effective (by complete coincidence) over TX OU weekend. Nearly 100 vehicles were towed off area parking lots by United Tows. At least ten vehicles towed from the Blockbuster parking lot across from the Dog Pound by a different towing service.

The change was not without any hitches, however. The AJs spotter who replaced the bribery-prone spotter at Taco was driving around Lower Greenville and parking in the different lots, trying to warn people not to park. She is reported to have told a United towing driver that her job on Friday evening was to make trouble for United's customers.

She was also chased off the valet lot at Alta Street after refusing to pay for a parking space and blocking the driveway. She also parked by Big Rick's (near New Big Wong) but tired out very quickly and was on her way home by midnight.

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By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Lower Greenville