ED Magedson – Founder
Empire Parking Services100 Lucky Street Atlanta, Georgia United States of America
When My daughter and I arrived at Westin, Buckhead, we couldn't locate the parking garage or handicapped parking for the hotel. We saw an adjacent parking lot for a strip mall and decided to park there. Not only was it convenient to the hotel but the "mall" had a couple of restaurants that we were considering for lunch. When we came back from our appointment at the Westin, we had a "boot" attached to our car. We thought there may have been some confusion about the "handicap" parking so we decided to go ahea and call the number BEFORE we went to eat. I'm glad we did. When we called the number, we were told that a gentleman would be with us shortly and to stay by the car. A beat up car pulled up and this "gentleman" proceeded to tell us that we had parked illegally, not because we had a handicap parking permit, but because we had "left" the lot. I explained how we had intended to dine at one of the businesses once our appointment was over, but it didn't matter. I was advised that unless I Paid $50, my car would be towed. Even if we did dine in that space, we would still have to pay the $50. Needless to say, we DIDN'T dine there because we didn't have any money to eat after having to pay this unexpected charge. I asked him where the nearest handicap parking was and he pointed to a lot about 1/2 mile away (I questioned why there wasn't any at the Westin and he said that he only knew about where he was pointing).
There were no customary, "Parking is for store customers only" signs which we would have adhered to. Instead there were "notice" signs posted on poles randomly positioned throughout the parking lot, none of which was visible from where I was parked. I took pictures of these signs if anyone is interested. After pointing this information out to the gentleman, he abruptly told me to either give him a credit card number NOW or my car would be towed. I find this not only rude but unethical and illegal. The signs of "notice" were small print and didn't say you couldn't park there if you intended to shop there. They had no proof that I didn't go into any business or that I HAD left the lot. Basically, you are going to pay $50 to park in any of their lots no matter how long you are parking and if you do go into a store but don't buy anything, it sounded like you would have to pay then too. How is this NOT a scam??
I tried to contact them but was told that I had to leave a message. My bank will not reimburse the disputed charge because I "knowingly" gave them my credit card number. I have read on this site where I am not alone in this scam. Others have been victimized by this company and I think it's time for us to stand together and do something. I even looked into filing a complaint with the Office of Consumer Affairs but this doesn't fall under any of their categories.
Once again, some con artist has devised a plan to fill his pockets while the rest of us sit by and take his abuse.
The surrounding businesses may not realize it, but they are losing money big time. Where we had planned to shop after our appointment (by the way, the shops weren't even open when we got there so we couldn't have shopped until after our appointment), would no way be rewarded with our business if this is how they are treating their patrons. I hope it was worth the loss of revenue to them to have their precious parking spaces empty. I will NEVER go back to that shopping center again or anywhere else in Atlanta that is serviced by Empire Parking Services. Now that I know what to look for, I will be paying much better attention.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/19/2009 12:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/empire-parking-services/atlanta-georgia-30303/empire-parking-services-fradulant-parking-service-atlanta-georgia-525851. 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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