Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Car Towed Away at Plaza Damas Hartamas Shopping Center

I learned a valuable lesson today (and a costly one at that). Never, ever shortcut your way into finding a proper carpark. I have been going to Plaza Damas or what they call Hartamas Shopping Center for almost 4 years now. I have always parked inside their parking facility... and today, for some reason, when I saw the empty spot outside (right on the street where MANY other cars were parking), I slotted right in. It was perfect, a big space for my simple car. I happily went into Plaza Damas to have a facial at around 430pm. When I got out at 6pm, my face paled when I could not find the car there anymore!

My first thought.... CARNAP! My car is gone, someone stole it!
The kind guard across the street saw my astonished and panic face and signaled to me "tow truck". I went to speak to the car jockeys (those who are doing the valet car service in front of Coffee Bean Hartamas Shopping Center) and they were less helpful. They were not too sympathetic about my predicament and just informed me roughly that I should get ready to fork out RM350 to get my car back.

Despite my "unlucky" day (they towed away only 1 car that afternoon, and it was mine), I still thank the lucky stars that they sent good people my way.

First, after the unsympathetic jockeys -- came a security guard of Hartamas who was more thoughtful. He informed me that these DBKL guys come to tow very often and that he is sure my car is at Jin Jang because he spoke to the guys whenever they tow away cars. He also helped to hail a taxi so that I can be on my way (with my useless car keys). I was really shocked and I tried to compose myself. I saw that my phone is almost low battery (sigh my Windows 7 Phone gets low batt easily) and almost panicked. I also had some groceries with me like goat cheese... plus it was raining hard! What a day.

Second, I got another lucky break when the taxi cab driver spoke to me. He was sympathetic plus he was so sure where my car is because he has brought 2 other foreigner passengers to that place before. Because I trusted my guts (and that the guy seems genuinely sincere), I asked him to drop me at home (to leave the groceries). I grabbed some cash and left with the cab driver and drove to this Jin Jang place in Kepong at 730pm in this rainy evening. The cab driver turned out to be an honest and friendly Indian Christian. He also drove back to Mont Kiara with me (because I didn't bring my GPS and did not know how to get back home from that compound place). He is truly a nice driver and if ever I need any cab driver to bring me around I shall surely call him again. His name is DANIEL and his handphone number is 016-3424947.

I had to pay RM 155 in total to get my car out tonight and I drove home in peace. I regret fully not parking at the proper parking space and it is an expensive lesson learned. But it also proved that there are good people in this world.

While I was in my stressful moment, hubby googled some information about the tow place and what is needed. I copied and extracted the pertinent information which you may find useful. Please see below. I really hope YOU WILL NOT EXPERIENCE getting your car towed away. But should this happen, I hope you meet good people who will help you. I understand from the people in DBKL / cab driver guy explained that most of the cars in KL that get towed goes to this Kepong (Jin Jang) compound.




How to get your car out from the DBKL Towed Vehicle Depot?
If your car was towed to the DBKL Towed Vehicle Depot in Kepong, the process to get it out is simple but you need some documents before going there.
1. Your original IC card or passport or driving licence.
2. 1 photostated (xeroxed) copy of your IC card or passport or driving licence.
3. 1 photostated (xeroxed) copy of your car grant or newest car insurance cover note or insurance policy.
When you get to the DBKL Towed Vehicle Depot in Kepong, walk in the main gate, look out for your car, then walk left into the freight container type office. Pass you documents from above to the DBKL officer. He will confirm your documents, ask you to pay the DBKL summons (might be RM100 or RM150 depending on the offense), towing charges (RM50) and storage charges (RM5 for first day and RM30 daily onwards). Get the receipt and pass to the guard at the main gate guardhouse and drive off. Simple as that and pray that there won’t be a lot of people waiting outside the office.
DBKL Towed Vehicle Depot in Kepong. Depoh Simpanan Kenderaan Unit Trafik & Tunda DBKL. Jalan Jinjang Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. 52000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel. 03-6257 3671 , 03-62572900
Fax. 03-6257 3648

20 comments:

  1. Hi! I found your blog tonight and I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing so many interesting experiences and useful information for expats in KL! I am from Beijing and my husband is from Sweden. We have two small girls and we just moved to Mont Kiara 2 weeks ago. I would love to meet you over a coffee sometime. You can reach me at beijingkl@yahoo.com :-)

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  2. Hi Cute Feet Family, thanks for getting in touch and glad I could help... Excited to meet up with you and your family!

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  3. Anabelle, my car got towed away at the exact same place. So many cars parking outside that i toughtit was lgal. I didn't notice the tow zone sign at all. Yup, best to park legally.

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  4. Hi Game Over, so sorry to hear u had the same horrible, unlucky experience as me. I also didn't notice the tow zone sign (until last week when I visited Plaza Damas again). Last Saturday I was at Bangsar and saw 2 tow trucks towing away cars ... And I feel sorry for the owners who will experience the same shock. Hopefully they will find good people to help them locate their cars.

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  5. Hi Tram, just realized that Game Over' in fact you!!! Didn't know you got towed away there... Such an experience... We all learn our lessons :)

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  6. Hi Tram, just realized that Game Over' in fact you!!! Didn't know you got towed away there... Such an experience... We all learn our lessons :)

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  7. Hi,
    I was busy Google-ing about online groceries shopping (I am lazy like that!hahaha) and stumbled upon your blog.
    It is nice to hear stories from an expat living in KL city!
    Well, I live nearby, only 6-7mins drive to Solaris Dutamas.
    DBKL always tow cars/issues summons around 10am till lunch time and also after office hours, around 5-7pm.
    But this is only my observation.
    Better yet, park at the proper parking space.

    Lesson learned, eh?
    Hope you still like living in Malaysia!
    Keep sharing your stories!

    *bookmarked your page*

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  8. hi Sha, thanks for dropping by and bookmarking my page... I try my best to give information that people may find useful... Yes, definitely a lesson learned for me... and learned it the hard way.

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  9. I believe u r the unlucky 1s as these days local councils r gung ho in towing cars in expat areas like bangsar, mont kiara n ampang as they think that all expats r rich so that can hassle easily for bribes n fines.

    What i believe is that if u can park illegally for a short while while some errands for about 10mins it should be alright anything longer than that say bye bye for awhile to your car.

    Enforcement towing should be only done to those serial offenders whose constantly getting caught multiple times towing by parking illegally. One thing i observe they never tow away super expensive car like Lambo, Ferrari, Aston Martin etc so never park nearby an expensive car illegally.

    Another hotspot to be aware Bangsar Chopping Centre where One Menerung is and the nearby housing area on the left where the security area patrolling the houses.

    Btw, did ur car suffer any damages when they have tow ur car as i heard many stories that they mishandle while towing a car as recently i had a friend whose gearbox was faulty after a couple of hours driving his car that was towed before?

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  10. Hi PinkAddict and all readers,
    I think it's not too late to revive this topic...I too had the unfortunate experience of being towed while in KL. My car was "selected" and towed to the Jalan Duta tow yard near the Jln Duta Police Station. Luckily, my friends saw it and informed me so I didn't have a heart-attack on not finding my car later! Although they insisted I brought a few hundred RM, I refused to pay more than the RM50 towing fee even though the "boss" officer told me he was authorised to issue the summon and that he would "take care" of everything there for a total of Rm250. He even tried to instill fear as I didnt hv my Driving License on me, having left it in another purse. I solidly told him that driving without my license with me is DIFFERENT fr Not Licensed to drive. When I went back the same day with my license, he was away on break and his colleague refused to "deal with me" as he didn't know what "was negotiated." I waited a while for the same guy, paid only RM50 for the towing, collected the summon, walked across to the police station, and paid only RM50 for it. Refusing to pay "what was demanded" (to put it mildly) saved me RM150!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I was really traumatized and really learned my lesson there.. hope it won't happen to other people.

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  11. I might start working at Plaza Damas in the near future. Thank God I came across your blog. Not that Im thanking God that you car was towed away but thanking God that you shared your experience. I never expected ever thought there is a risk of my being car being towed away when parking at the road side. Been doing that for the past 5 years.

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    1. hi Faz, I am happy that I was able to help you by sharing my experience. I was parking at Plaza Damas outside every now and then for the past 4 years and it never happened... and then just one day it happened to me... let this be a warning to everyone... and also a lesson learned for me. The parking inside is definitely more worth than going through all that pain plus have to pay more than RM 200-300!

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  12. Hi PinkAddict. Big thanks for your sharing in this blog. It helps to save some hassle and verify the concerned. Thank you. Do share more good info.

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    1. Most welcome and glad I could help out other people.. especially after that unforgettable experience.

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  13. Hi pink addict,I'm going to work at hartamas shopping center during the weekends,so I was wondering the parking rate there. Do u know their parking rate for example if I'm going to park there for about 9hrs how much will that cost?thks a lot for your kind reponse~

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    1. Hi. It's been a while since I went back to Hartamas Shopping Centre, mostly because there are newer places like One Mont Kiara and Publika. Sorry, I cannot update you with the latest pricing they have. The only good news is that I remember they built a new Plaza Damas (which is across the street of Hartamas Shopping Centre) and it also has a parking... then there is a walkway going to Plaza Damas without having to cross the street. I remember seeing that they have parking there and it seems the rate is VERY cheap and maybe flat rate because less people park there. Hope it is still that way until now. Good luck on your new job! Weekend rates definitely was cheaper than when I went on weekdays, in my past experience of Hartamas Shopping Centre.

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  14. Hi,I am going to stay there.Any problem with parking for those who live @ plaza damas?

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