City hires new company to tow cars

Published: Nov. 28, 2011 at 11:32 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2011 at 11:49 PM HST
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Ty Demore, a visitor from Seattle
Ty Demore, a visitor from Seattle

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The City of Honolulu is shifting its towing contract.  After nearly eight years the city has dropped Stoneridge Recoveries as its exclusive tow service for Honolulu.  Stoneridge and the city have had a bumpy relationship including lawsuits and contract disputes.

There isn't as much activity at the Stoneridge Recoveries yard in Mapunapuna as there used to be.  The company is no longer towing cars for the city.  That contract was given away.

Stoneridge has had complaints in the past.  Search the company online and you'll find plenty of negative reviews from customers on sites like Yelp and Yahoo Local making all sorts of allegations about damage, fraud and poor customer service.

Company managers in the past say the city never gave them fair shake and that people don't appreciate what they do because without them there would be gridlock on surface streets.

November 1 the temporary contract was awarded to Kuni's Automotive and Towing.  Owner and President Brian Kunishige says it's been in his family business since 1948.  He says he is selective about his drivers to ensure they don't cause damage or steal anything.  He also pledges to confront problems head on.  So far they seem to be doing a good job.

"Very pleasant he was very respectful and very straightforward," said Ty Demore, a visitor from Seattle who came to claim her rental car from Kuni's yard.  She said she didn't see the no parking sign in Waikiki and her vehicle was towed.

"I was glad it really wasn't that bad in price I was really thought it would be more," said Demore. "It was $124 I was expecting it to be over $200 probably because you're really a sitting duck, they can kind of charge you whatever they want."

She paid the fees to Kuni's, picked up the $50 parking ticket from the city and got her car in 10 minutes then resumed the vacation.

"I think it could have been a lot worse," said Demore, who says she wasn't going to let it ruin her trip. "We're on vacation and it was our fault and we were almost under the no parking sign so it was our fault."

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