Flowerwood Loses a Customer over Towing Policy – A Drama in Five Scenes & Epilogue – Part 3

This is the third part of the tow truck playlet. Here is where you can Part 1 and Part 2. I find it of interest because of the McHenry County Board’s having passed an ordinance tying us Illinois Commerce Commission rules, then, having repealed it.

Final Scene:

After the dust settled amongst the “guys,” everything was okey dokey but for one pesky bit of business.

My car was still on the hook.

Looking at my property, I thought, ‘Just pay the $165 ransom and be done with it.’

But the police officer wouldn’t let it go.

Though he had no jurisdiction, he appealed to the two young “guys” to release my car sans the tow charge.

The tow truck driver looked at the police officer and smiled magnanimously.

With the push of a lever, down came my car and off came the restraints.

Though relieved to have my property back in my possession, I wondered why the “guys” agreed to waive the tow charge. I found out….because I had been so “nice” about the situation. Swell.

So, my car and I were off the hook….pun intended. I shook the hand of young tow truck driver, got in my car, suffered a few good ole’ boy remarks and drove out onto Rt. 14.

I did not speak to anyone in authority at Flowerwood that afternoon, nor did anyone ask to speak with me.

It appeared my experience was of no importance to anyone except to me and perhaps the two empty-handed young guys from the towing company.

Everything was back to normal and peachy keen.


I stopped in at Countryside and mentioned my recent fiasco with some of the employees who knew me.

Looking around the parking lot on my way out, I didn’t see a tow truck lurking around the corner, and the only “spotters” Countryside employs, are their courteous, helpful employees who are at the ready to offer assistance and provide great customer service.

The next day, I received a pretty bouquet of cut, fresh flowers thanking me for being a long time patron of Countryside.

Whoa, now THAT’S class!

PS: I will NEVER, EVER shop at Flowerwood or the Atrium again!


Flowerwood Loses a Customer over Towing Policy – A Drama in Five Scenes & Epilogue – Part 3 — 12 Comments

  1. You need to send a nice letter of thanks to the Sheriff commending this deputy for mediating this fiasco to your great advantage. He could have just as easily said “to bad” and driven away. He did a nice job and went the extra mile for you.

  2. As I stated testerday, I too will never again go to flowerwood. I just wish this whole fiasco was in the newspapers so that the public could see how they operate and they would lose more customers. Countryside should and will benefit at the expense of flowerwood.

  3. So the next time I need to do some shopping, I can park at your place Glenn or Cadman?

  4. Joe:
    BASED UPON THE AUTHOR’s ACCOUNT …neither Flowerwood or the Towing agency apparently followed the prescribed laws pertaining to towing in Illinois. The Deputy did a good job in mediating this to the apparent satisfaction both parties. The author says the deputy had no jurisdiction. I disagree. As a deputy he has countywide jurisdiction and Flowerwood is actually unincorporated. Secondly, if the Towing Agency riles the Sheriff’s Department I would suspect they could be removed from the towing list if they are an authorized local towing company. If a tow agency is gouging the public, cops are quick to distance themselves from ridicule.

    Somehow I suspect you must be a tow driver. I personally don’t condone sitting like Vultures waiting for some unsuspecting person to park and then rush in and yank the car like a thief in the night. Joe, THAT is what is reprehensible. If the car sits for hours one thing, but a momentary dip into Mickey D’s is another.

    The primary issues here seem to be following the LAW. The actual law is stated below. Illinois Statutes also require that IF THE DRIVER ARRIVES and can remove the auto, no tow shall be done. They were going to get their $165.00 pound of flesh regardless. This is a very poor business practice.

    (625 ILCS 5/18a‑302)requires proper posting: From the ILCS

    [quote]”It shall be unlawful for an owner or other person in lawful possession or control of private property to remove or employ a commercial relocator to remove an unauthorized vehicle from such property unless written notice is provided to the effect that such vehicles will be removed, including the name, address and telephone number of the appropriate commercial vehicle relocator, if any. Such notice shall consist of a sign, posted in a conspicuous place in the affected area, of a size at least 24 inches in height by 36 inches in width. Such sign shall be at least 4 feet from the ground but less than 8 feet from the ground and shall be either illuminated or painted with reflective paint, or both. Such sign shall state the amount of towing charges to which the person parking may be subject. This provision shall not be construed as prohibiting any unit of local government from imposing additional or greater notice requirements.” [end quote]

    CLEARLY if the sign was on the ground FLOWERWOOD would be required to pay the woman her expenses

    HAD the tow agency removed the vehicle from the immediate area, WAUCONDA is beyond the STATUTORY distance a vehicle can be towed.

    To remove any vehicle, otherwise in accordance with this Chapter, more than 15 air miles from its location when towed from a location in an unincorporated area of a county or more than 10 air miles from its location when towed from any other location; [end quote]

    Just like Sgt Joe Friday….”just the facts”

  5. Wow Glenn thanks for the facts! Of course, you are dead wrong that I’m a truck driver but I am STILL impressed you can know so much about me from the dozen or so words I posted.

    I can tell from your post: This must have been your Mom who got towed.

    I’m glad you’re speaking up for Mom but some of your ‘facts’ don’t jive with her account: First, and most importantly, your Mom left Flowerwood and went to McDonald’s. Why she didn’t park in their lot I really don’t understand, but frankly I don’t understand why Flowerwood needs to defend their lot so intently, either. Personally, I’ve never seen it even half full. But, they do have that right- it IS their lot. Maybe you’re a Moonbat Liberal who thinks that private property is wrong or whatever- I can’t keep up, but here in the US of A, we still have private property and Flowerwood still has the right to decide that only their customers park their- no matter how empty their lot is. So they towed her car. If I were your Mom I probably wouldn’t shop there any more, either. And if you really think they did something illegal, sue.

    But as I read the story (and now that it’s in three parts, it’s hard to remember all the details- sort of like trying to keep all the orcs and talking trees and various wizards straight in that Lord of the Rings Movie)- I thought your Mom said there was a sign on the ground AND a sign posted in the parking lot? And she didn’t arrive in time to remove the auto- she said the car was gone (across the street?) and it was on the hook. So your remark “IF THE DRIVER ARRIVES and can remove the auto, no tow shall be done” isn’t relevant- the towing was “done.” Lucky for all parties they didn’t drag Mom’s 93 Neon off to Wauconda- that would apparently be too far by Illinois law and also a long haul for Mom to make to retrieve her car. But they didn’t- she just walked across the street and got it.

    And good job by that Sheriff’s deputy. He resolved the situation to all’s delight…or so I’d think. Your mom made friends at Countryside, she didn’t have to pay the $185 AND she got to bad mouth Flowerwood in Cal’s blog. What’s the hitch in her giddy-up? Five scenes and an epilogue about how she ALMOST had to go to Wauconda and ALMOST had to pay $185?

    So let’s all look on the bright side Glenn. Mom gets a story to tell her Canasta buddies (and got LOTS of coverage in the McHenry County Blog!), she’s not out any money (except for the couple of bucks for her Mickey D’s), her car didn’t make the long trip to Wauconda and folks all learned NOT to park at Flowerwood. Seems like a happy ending to me- but I’m a “Glass half full” kinda guy I guess. ”

    Oh, I and have no affiliation with Flowerwood, the Atrium (Whatever that is) or anyone involved in this story. Just an interested bystander with no horse in the race who thought he’d stick his nose in.

    Best to your Mother, Glenn. I am sure she is a lovely lady to have raised a devoted and dedicated son like you.

  6. Nope..sorry Joe, no relationship. I’m just simply stating what the statutes require. This may inform others that in the future may get “the hook”. If there is proper signage and it is a conspicuous posting; then so be it. I’m curious if anyone measured the sign to see if it is in compliance and if it is reflective. There should not be any deception to further some unscrupulous towing enterprise. It’s about $$$$$$.

    Too bad the McHenry Co Board soes not authorize the ICC to regulate these agencies in McHenry CO.

    “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”
    Sir Walter Scott

  7. I am amazed to find that Flowerwood has so much business these days that they can afford to alienate customers. I’m glad this story has been posted and I can say that I will not risk my vehicle in the Flowerwood lot ever again and I’ll be passing on the information to others.

    I wonder if the furniture store is in on the scam?

  8. If I’m not mistaken, one of the property owners is Ken Koehler, Chairman of McHenry County Board. The same board that repealed thi ICC tow regulations. Any exchange of cash here? Fish smell like what?

  9. It wasn’t like the car driver pulled into Flowerwood, instead of driving directly into McDonald’s. The spotter or tow truck driver probably saw her leave a parking spot near Flowerwood’s front door and drive through the lot toward McDonald’s, where there is a gate that prevents traffic between McDonald’s and Flowerwood.

    If Flowerwood and the gas station/McDonald’s worked together, they both might get more business. Instead, that irresponsible tow by the towing company cost Flowerwood a ton of business that holiday shoppers will long remember and ought to cost the tow company its contract with Flowerwood.

    At this time there are three prominent signs warning drivers who park facing McDonald’s. However, there is a metal sign above the tow company’s warning sign that reads “Flowerwood customer parking only”. So, Peg could very reasonably have thought, “Well, I’m a Flowerwood customer, so I’ll park here.”

  10. hmm, this is such a great little debate..
    I wonder why this blog does not have a little “share’ button..
    some of the things here are so lovely, one might want to share with fellow citizens… who don’t roam this site…

    I don’t know if I want to shop in a store that treats customers like that.. I have little kids who love to get a treat after I do my shopping, and that McDonalds is nice and close.. It is “greener” & healthier for my children and I as well as the environment to us to simply walk to McDonalds to get a drink, or treat after buying a trunk full of flowers.. To think and ponder, what will be planted where, while sipping a soda or milkshake, and chat as we walk back to our car…

    Imagine… my fear to do so now.. “no kids… what if they TOW us for buying a drink!” ” I KNOW it will only be 4 minutes, but… they could TOW our car, and our flowers will wilt, and I am so afraid.”.. with the economy to suffer that BILL! not to mention.. “we’d have to call you dad to pick us up.. he would HAVE to take off work…” “oh.. gee YOU left your asthma bag in the car again dear! ”

    NO, I would rather shop where I am welcomed.. where there is grace…
    sure Flowerwood can do what ever they want.. and maybe that will work for them… this “fear” tactic.. but as for me and mine.. we’ll go where we are welcomed………..where there is grace to be human, and grabbing a soda after isn’t going to cause a drama..

  11. I work in the furniture store across the street from Flowerwood and I can tell you that we are absolutely NOT involved with the shady SOB’s towing cars. We have had to kick them out of our parking lot several times. We now realize they were lying in wait.

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