• Report: #730670

Complaint Review: Westin Hotel Key West

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  • Submitted: Wed, May 18, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, May 26, 2011

  • Reported By: unhappy traveler — COCOA Florida USA
Westin Hotel Key West
Front St Key West, Florida United States of America

Westin Hotel Key West Alex's Auto Wrecking & Parts Key West Parking Scooter Scam Key West, Florida

*General Comment: Out of Town Keyboard Pirate

*Consumer Comment: Oh look, another genius!

*General Comment: Rogue Tow Companies

*Consumer Comment: Always someone else's fault.

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We rented a scooter while in Key West to get around faster and easier. We drove around on Sunday, parking where other bikes and scooters were parked and never where it was marked " No Parking" or "No Bikes, Scooters, etc".
On Sunday we parked on the sidewalk on Front St next to the Mel Fischer Museum next to other bikes. When we came out of the museum the scooter was where we parked it. No problems. On Monday we parked in the same exact area and when we returned the scooter was missing. We asked a vendor if she saw who may have taken it and she said it was towed along with several scooters and we should ask Westin Hotel about it. The three guys at the valet stand said about ten scooters were towed by Alex's Towing. When I talked to the lady at Alex's Towing she said yes she had our scooter and she knew it was ours because it was the last one. It would cost 198.00 to come and get it or 263.00 to have it returned to us. It would need to be paid in cash because the "credit card machine was down", and that a private party had asked that it be towed. I asked where this money was going, assuming most would be going to the city as a fine for parking on the sidewalk. She said no that all of the money would be going to Alex's Towing and that the sidewalk was private property of Westin Hotel.
This area was not marked "No Parking" and is the sidewalk for the Mel Fischer Museum. So with this information at hand I felt our rental scooter had been confiscated and held for ransom. I went in to a place of business to get the local non emergency number to report our scooter possibly stolen where the person was happy to give me the number and insinuated that this was an on going problem and the commissioner wouldn't do anything about it.
John at the police dept said it was a private matter and could not make a report. When I talked to the guy at the scooter company he said it was our responsibility. When I asked the guy who finally returned the scooter why was it ok to park on Sunday but not on Monday he said "we don't tow on Sundays" and then left with our 263.00 in cash.
So businesses of Key West please know we had a wonderful time until this happened and with the remainder of our food and entertainment money gone we left and will probably not return and when anyone asks how was our trip we probably won't be able to resist telling them about the little scooter parking scam on Front St.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/18/2011 11:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Westin-Hotel-Key-West/Key-West-Florida-33040/Westin-Hotel-Key-West-Alexs-Auto-Wrecking-Parts-Key-West-Parking-Scooter-Scam-Key-West-730670. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Out of Town Keyboard Pirate

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

You might want to second guess who you are calling "genius" when addressing a local.  Unlike you in phoenix, I have been a Keys local for almost 20 years.  I think I know this town and it's laws a little better than some from Phoenix.  

There are places all over Key West where space is provided to park motorized scooters on parts of sidewalk that would be unobstructed.  White St at Blossoms Cafe is one example I see on a regular basis.  The walkway leading to Damn Good food is another.  I could go on and on with examples, but as a non-local, you would have no clue.   
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#2 Consumer Comment

Oh look, another genius!

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

There are several areas around Key West where parking bikes and scooters on the sidewalk is not only legal, but is the norm.  They just can't obstruct the sidewalk. "

   Really?   Then why is there a city ordinance that says it's not legal?  Parking ticket code is SID and the fine is $35 for parking on a public sidewalk.   
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#3 General Comment

Rogue Tow Companies

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

I have to side with the author on this one.  There are several areas around Key West where parking bikes and scooters on the sidewalk is not only legal, but is the norm.  They just can't obstruct the sidewalk. 
 
The tow companies in Key West have one of the biggest scams going in town.  Alex's, Arnolds, Scott Bros, whoever, they just go around looking for what they think are illegally parked vehicles and tow them.  No police involvement.  They are notorius for taking it upon themselves to tow out of the post office parking lot at night.  To make matters worse, they charge upwards of $300-$400 dollars to get the vehicle back.  Why no police involvement?  Because if it's a legal police tow, they are limited as to how much they can charge.  

Just recently, there was discussion in the city commission to better control the erratic towing going on in town.  I don't know what came out of it, but I can say from observation, it has not gotten better.        
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#4 Consumer Comment

Always someone else's fault.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

"the sidewalk was private property of Westin Hotel.
This area was not marked "No Parking" and is the sidewalk for the Mel Fischer Museum. So with this information at hand I felt our rental scooter had been confiscated and held for ransom
."

  Hey, Genuis.   Where are you from that parking on the sidewalk is legal.  Do you need a sign to tell you that sidewalks are there for people to walk and not to park motor vehicles.   I imagine if it were a public sidewalk, you would have been towed AND received a ticket.   Since it was private property, you only got towed.     The Westin has obviously had enough of you and the other rude tourists treating their sidewalk like a parking lot.  

"will probably not return and when anyone asks how was our trip we probably won't be able to resist telling them about the little scooter parking scam on Front St. "

  I'm sure you won't be missed.    
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