Today at around 3:00pm, I parked my car in the Starbucks lot on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. I was on a break from work and decided that I would really like a quick lunch and a coffee' before heading back. I noticed that one of my favorite places that is TEN STEPS away (I counted) from the Starbucks parking lot.
I left the restaurant with my order and headed to the Starbucks. I opened the door and noticed that my car was BOOTED! I was absolutely livid, and noticed that a man (who I did not see when I parked my car) was sitting in his car next to mine and waiting for me to come back. I said that I was a Starbucks customer, as I was obviously headed inside to purchase a drink. He said that the parking was for Starbucks customers only, and that I should have- and I'm not kidding here- parked my car one block over, got my meal, then drove my car and parked in the Starbucks lot while I got my drink. He said, "The sign says that parking is for Starbucks, not go-get-your-lunch-and-come-back". I explained that I was clearly walking in to Starbucks when I noticed the boot, and that I had been inside for no more than 8 minutes. He said it didn't matter how long I was gone, and that by walking away from the lot, I was "asking for a boot."
I said I would not give him my credit card information or cash, as his "business" seemed completely illegitimate. I asked him who employed the company, and he said "the property manager". I asked the manager of which property, and he said the parking lot. I said that unless he could provide me written documentation detailing that his business owned the lot, I would not be paying him and would call the police. I ended up not calling because two other women (who were also booted- even though ONE OF THEM WAS IN THE CAR WHEN HE DID IT!) had called ahead of me.
Here's the kicker- I gave the man my credit card to pay so I could just get out of there after about 30 minutes of back-and-forth. He then did a "rubbing" of my card number. I asked him why that was necessary, as he clearly had my credit information as he had run my card through a handheld machine. I asked for the piece of paper with my credit card number on it (which was NOT a receipt- it was clearly just a piece of notebook paper) and he said it was his "right to keep it". By this point, the police had already left so I could not argue this point with the officer present. He asked me to sign something, and I refused. Here's the best part-
He said it didn't matter if I signed or not, because he already had my credit card number.
Let's review- he said that it didn't matter if I signed for the purchase.
I refused to sign and the man removed the boot. Let me just say that the man refused to give me his name and kept the "materials" for the job in the back of his car. It was a complete sham.
I then went in to Starbucks and told the manager how I would never be returning to that location- or any Starbucks for that matter. You're a d**n Starbucks. You aren't struggling for business. I couldn't believe that they would employ such a company as EPS.
I called the number on the car of the man who booted me, and it went to an automatic voicemail.
I just want to warn everyone out there to avoid this parking lot or any EPS lot. My bank is removing the charge because I did not sign for it, and because they had complaints about EPS faulty business practices before. Were there signs up that said the lot was only for Starbucks customers? Absolutely. However, you should give someone more than 3 seconds before you boot them. I will NEVER return to that location again, or any businesses around that area.
Avoid this lot at all costs. There are plenty of Starbucks in Atlanta that don't boot people for visiting adjacent businesses before coming in. Businesses that use "companies" like EPS are clearly unethical. Why does it cost $75 to remove a boot anyway? I guess it pays for the car magnet with the phone number and the PO Box where the "office" is located. What an absolute sham. Whose to say that you can just go into a parking lot and start booting cars? I think I'll try this "business practice". Must be a great way to make money- while completely ripping people off.