Pat’s Towing Finds Controversy In Worcester— Again
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
The Shrewsbury Street service center is back in the news after angry customer contacted GoLocal Worcester.
On Sunday night, Natasha Cormier had gone to pick her son up from a rehearsal at the Hanover Theater. Cormier, a single mother from Shrewsbury, has recently suffered medical troubles that have left her unable to walk anything but short, level distances. She had made the fateful decision to park in the lot of downtown’s Bancroft Commons, ten feet from the Hanover, for “less than ten minutes.” In that short time, her car was towed. But that’s just where her troubles began.
Upon arriving at Pat’s Towing, she explained to an employee identified only as Chris “that I was a single mother who had recently suffered an aortic dissection and aneurysm. I was in the process of applying for a handicap plate and was unable to walk long distances.”
Considering her condition, Cormier then asked to have the $130, cash-only fee waved. Predictably, the towing company said no. How they did so, was a bit more shocking.
“I offered to get a doctor to verify all of this and he laughed. I asked him if he could contact his manager and he said he would never bother him on a Sunday for this.”
Cormier didn’t have any better luck with an employee named Tommy the following day. Both Chris and Tommy declined to provide her with their last names.
During her discussion, she pointed out her intent to complain to the Better Business Bureau. “Don’t bother,” she was told, “we have an F anyway.”
She finally asked how to contact the owner and was told “not gonna happen.”
“They couldn’t have been more rude if they took acting classes.”
When reached for comment, Tommy, of Pat’s Towing, had a different, and much simpler, take.
“She wanted the tow for free.” And he claimed he was powerless to change that.
“We’re not going to bother the owner with a question we already know the answer to.”
“People aren’t happy when they get their car towed. But we’re not going to call the owner every time someone complains.” Tommy said flatly. “We were hired to do a job.”
Undeterred, Cormier says she’s now attempting to get some resolution, or at least a polite conversation, about the incident from the elusive, eponymous Pat. However, depending on which Pat it is, she might be better off not finding him: Patsy Santa Maria Jr. recently pled guilty to an assault charge in 2013. As for Patsy Sr., he was hit with a witness tampering charge stemming from the same case.
It is for these reasons that both AAA and the City of Worcester severed ties with Pat’s Towing earlier this summer. In both cases, it was a relationship lasting over 20 years.
Perhaps in an effort to make up for recently lost business, Pat’s drivers seem to be more active than ever. Cormier fatefully took a chance at parking her car in the lot, however briefly, despite being warned by a friend that drivers from Pat’s “circle around religiously, like every ten minutes.”
Never Had A Problem
‘’That’s what our contract entails,” said a source from Bancroft Commons, who wished to remain unnamed. The apartment building hires Pat’s to patrol its lots, and says it’s never had a problem with them.
“If anything, they have a problem with us. They do what we tell them to do, and then people complain to them.”
Unpermitted parking in the lot “happens all the time,” though Bancroft Commons said they couldn’t put a number on it. However, the source did mention that cars parking for the Hanover Theater tend to be the chief offenders.
Pat’s F rating with the BBB is partly the result of racking up nine complaints in the last three years. Bancroft Commons was unaware that Pat’s has an F rating from the BBB, but the management didn’t seem swayed by the news.
“We’ve never had a problem with them, and we’ve been doing business with them since this building opened.”
A Little Compassion
This would seem to leave Cormier alone to deal with the incident. (She reached out to local police, only to be told it was “a civil matter.”)
“I made a five minute mistake. It’s not that I expect sympathy, but I’m amazed they can’t show even a little compassion.
“How is this horrific business still in existence?”
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