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Pac Bell (SBC) Refunds Towing Costs

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Misunderstanding was Orange Alert

By Cheryl Brown

Last week the Black Voice reported on Pacific Bell (now SBC’s) towing four cars from their Riverside office because of the "Orange Alert" terrorist status. The issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of everyone involved.

Each person towed will have their towing cost (nearly $200 each) refunded by the company. All of them were not aware the issue had been resolved until the Black Voice notified them of the decision.

"I am ecstatic they will be paying my costs. They are good neighbors!" exclaimed Charlotte Beamon, the driving force behind the issue and a 50-year customer of the phone company.

Beamon, as well as the others involved, understand that they must be more aware of their surroundings. "I was very upset, said Carrie Hamilton. "I didn’t see the posted sign until I was leaving through the exit.

My car was a rental, not only did I have to pay for the rental but I had to pay towing with money I didn’t have. Enterprise Rental Cars helped me get through it by expediting the paperwork for me," said Carrie Hamilton, a member of Allen Chapel AME Church and member of one of the historic Riverside families.

"We are glad we were able to take care of it," said company spokesman John Britton. "We have a policy of trying to satisfy our customers and we want to be a good community partner," he said.

Barbara Cowley one of the other women said, " if Riverside is going to revitalize its downtown and have events then it is incumbent upon downtown businesses to be a part of the solution.

We have to park to come to community events and that parking lot is perfect, late at night it is not full," she said. Surprised at the call from Black Voice News she said she had not been informed because she had been travelling. "I think it is wonderful.

That’s a lot of money and I know I have to thank Mrs. Beamon. I’m going to buy her dinner," she said very excitedly. "We have learned a lesson and that is to be more aware of our surroundings," she continued.

Britton said from his San Francisco office that this issue has made them more aware of the parking problems that exist in the area and will move them to identify when the community needs to use that parking facility.

A procedure will be put in place to work with the community so "we can continue to be good community partners," said Britton.

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