This is very similar to another story posted on this exact website, but it just happened to my gf and I on 6/30/2012. Around 2pm, we went to the Starbucks Coffee at 506 Moreland Avenue in Little Five Points. We bought drinks after parking in a spot with no warning around it. There are 4 spots designated as parking only for a Cleaners and another small business, but we made sure to not park at those spots. We got our drinks, came out drinking them, and then decided to walk around a bit and then come back.
When we did, we came back to a notice on the car telling us that it had been booted and our only option was to call a number. We did, and across the parking lot, I notice a man in a truck who I had seen staring at us pick up the phone. Sure enough, the words on the other end of the phone came from him. He told us it would be a $50 fine and that we needed to come to his truck. I don't see how this is legal at all since we were paying customers of the Starbucks previously mentioned. We told him that both on the phone and in person, but he repeatedly kept saying the phrase "it's on the 7 foot (sic) sign right there". When my girlfriend took a second while I was speaking to him to go attempt to read the "7 foot sign", she had to get within 3 feet of it to physically be able to read it. The font on these signs is such that you cannot possibly view them in a car as you are parking. They have several paragraphs on the sign in microscopic font, and the signs at this location were enshrouded by trees/plant growth, making the text very obscured and difficult to read.
The most sketchy part about this whole thing is that there is someone who is paid to sit there in a truck and wait on someone to physically leave the premises so that he can boot your car. When I told him we were paying customers, with my gf and I both holding Starbucks cups that in essence proved we had just come from the Starbucks in this "business center", he said it did not matter and that "as soon as you walk off the premises, we can boot your car. It's on the 7 foot (sic) sign". As though the guy had some sort of nervous tick, he said the phrase "7 foot sign" repeatedly when questioned to the legality of the whole situation, as though that somehow constitutes a contract between us, the paying customers that this company is supposedly trying to "protect" against freeloading "illegal parkers" according to their site, and the businesses at this small mini strip mall on Moreland. You have to walk over to a truck with a man inside of it. You don't know if he is going to pull a gun on you, you don't know if he is trustworthy or not, just that he booted your car and you can't do anything about it. He also had a video camera filming she and I the entire time we were at his truck. I assume they do this to protect their "technicians" in case they get a combative "client", but how is it legal to film someone that doesn't consent to it?
My issue with this whole ordeal is that we WERE paying customers of this property, so why it is right to boot us (which directly contradicts EPS' vision on their site) is beyond me. If this is to stay at this location, I will NEVER come back to it or give my money to any business / chain that supports EPS. If you can make a living off of treating someone rudely and punishing them monetarily for shopping somewhere and doing nothing wrong, where is the line legally? This is entrapment, this is unethical, and it shames me to think these sort of "businesses" exist in this country that simply exist to make a quick buck by being vultures that prey on people over quasi-legally binding signs being placed in a business that are not even clearly visible or able to be read by a human being in a car, you have to be within 3 feet of them to read them.
To the business owners who think that this is a good method of protecting your bottom line: myself and many others still believe in the old version of America. We will not support your business if you do things like this, and if your goal is to eliminate people who are taking parking spaces from "paying customers", you should learn to not punish people who actually DID support your business and fine those who did not. I will never come back to your business and I will tell everyone I know not to go to any business that "hires" EPS. You WILL lose money from doing this once you anger enough people. Every business has competition, and I can always go get an identical product elsewhere that will treat me better and give my money to someone else. I will be voting with my wallet on this one, and you will never see another dime from me or anything I know.