Reader responses: Towing the line in Provo
A Provo towing company suing a BYU student for $500,000 dropped its case on June 26. University Parking Enforcement accused student Carl Prince of defamation for falsely saying on a GoFundMe page that “hundreds” of Provo residents had negatively reviewed UPE online. However, the first link on Prince’s GoFundMe leads to a Google search for UPE, which includes 248 reviews at the time of writing. See unvr.se/provotowing.
Whitney Hickman: My apartment complex had a rule that visitors had to leave at 9 PM. I saw UPE hooking cars up to tow before 9 more than once.
Dana Bogart Holt: UPE lost my car for two years in their lot. It was towed, and when we went to pick it up, they claimed someone else had claimed it and picked it up, but that they had no paperwork on it. The supposed person had paid cash (hundreds of dollars) to come get it, but UPE doesnt require them to show proof of ownership or a drivers license or anything, so there was no record of who supposedly tried to claim it. We were told that the person who claimed it had a key to start it, and that was the only proof they required, but we still had the only key to the car. We registered it as stolen with the police.
Two years later we got a call from the police that they had found our car still in the UPE impound lot. The Windows were open, so the car was nasty on the inside — It was full of bugs and dirt and plants were growing in it. It needed a ton of maintenance from sitting in open air for two years. New tires, lines flushed, new battery, new fluids, etc. It would have needed detailing, and the seats, dash, and armests had cracked and split from sitting in the elements.
They told us we had to pick the car up that day or else it would be reimpounded and charged additional fees.
The car was so trashed that we ended up just leaving it as abandoned because having it towed and fixing it up would have been more than the car was worth.
Garrett Gibbons: In 2008, my small family was moving from one apartment to another on a Saturday. My cousin came to help and he brought a van to help load boxes. The new apartment had exactly one parking spot, so we parked the van next door at the stake center (literally 40 feet from our apartment door) while we unloaded. This was cleared by the stake president, who was helping with the move. The church parking lot was also largely empty.
The van was towed mid-move, while we were taking a load of boxes in. We came back and thought we were going crazy, because it had suddenly disappeared. It was maybe 5pm on a Saturday. We eventually thought to call UPE, and learned that they had towed it for supposedly-unauthorized parking on a church lot. The stake president (literally, the most-authorized person who could possibly be involved in the matter) spent some time trying to reason with them, but we ended up just having to pay a few hundred dollars to get the van back and continue unloading our stuff.
Jill Andrus Gibbons: Maybe some pushback like this will make UPE rethink their predatory practices. It’s shameful the way they take advantage of students.
The FBI recently said foreign “cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide” and recommended anyone with a router reboot the device to disrupt malware attacks. If you have a router, did you reboot it, or do you plan to?
Brett Bird: I installed pfSense (open-source routing software) on an old computer and have used it successfully as my gateway/router for a few years.
Wasn’t affected by the ‘VPNFilter’ malware.
I would highly recommend that consumers skim the compromised hardware lists and take relevant action.
Chrissana Weech Johnson: Yes I did bc cyber crime is real, I’ve had my info stolen from the military and federal databases, and this is an extremely simple action to take to potentially thwart a real and imminent threat.
Andrew D Naylor: By restarting my router will I kill the criminals? I don’t see how that’d work.