I arrived at the Starbucks in Midtown Atlanta on 14th St. around 10:20 AM on August 8, 2012. There are many buildings surrounding it including a place called Einsteins. If you look it up on Google Maps you'll see Einsteins is right next door. It's less than 15 ft away from Starbucks, practically touching the building.
I get there and park my car. As I was about to walk into Starbucks I noticed the Einsteins next door and decided to make a quick run for a bagel. I came back and worked from Starbucks for a couple of hours. Around 12:30 PM I went to my car to get something and I noticed a boot on the car. I initially thought I might have parked in a "15 min only" spot or handicap spot. So I went over to the parking guy in charge who was sitting in his suburban waving for me to come over. I asked him what the problem was. He proceeded to tell me the boot was on my car because I illegally left the premises while my car was parked. [continued below]....
..... For no reason is a patron to leave the premises after parking their car. It's called "in and out" and apparently gives him the right to slap a boot on my car with a $75 fine.
I asked him to point out the signs that indicated this and he pointed to a couple of vaguely discernible signs near the entrance. The signs were so out of the way that in order to read them a person would have to get out of their car and walk up to the sign. At this point I didn't see any other way to dispute the situation other than calling the cops. The police officer who came to help us was more livid about the situation than we were. This officer gets one to two calls like this everyday and understands fully well how Empire Parking runs their services. The officer told us multiple times that what they're doing is malicious and unfair. What's worse is the officer can't do anything about it because Empire Parking gets their permits from the city. They have full permission from the city to do what they do. It's disgusting.
Everything about Empire Parking Services practices goes against common sense. Who would drive into a parking lot specifically looking for signs that indicate they can't park? Who would then get back in their car to go to an establishment that's 15 ft away? In the time it would take you to start up your car and back out, you could already be next door.
Their practices aren't protecting Starbucks and abuse of its parking lot. Their practices are deliberately deceiving and bullying people out of their hard earned money.
Empire Parking Services is a scam. Starbucks is at fault here as well. They condone the bullying of their customers in their very own parking lot by hiring and retaining Empire Parking's services. It needs to stop.