My fiance and I visited a convention this weekend. On Sunday we parked in a parking lot on Harris and Peachtree Center- the "Harris Street Lot" owned by Empire Parking Services. We paid a hefty $20 event fee for the privilege of parking until 3 AM and were subsequently booted somewhere around 8 PM that evening. When we asked why the attendant claimed we moved our car. We had not. It would not have been possible to move the car and return to the exact space with the traffic in the area. His story as to why he thought we had moved the car changed from moment to moment (the hood was hot then the wheels were hot, nothing added up.) We challenged him and he told us to call the police but he was not going to remove the boot. An officer arrived on the scene and corroborated our claim we had credit card receipts as evidence of our activities throughout the day in a 3 block radius not to mention the unsightly pile of accumulated bird droppings that matched the other vehicles on either side of our car.
The next representative of the parking company basically said that it was a private lot, he would not remove the boot, proof or no proof and we were free to sue them. We filed a police report and paid the additional $75 fee with a credit card. Worst part is that I can not dispute this charge with my credit card company because I willingly handed it over (I had to if I wanted to leave.) We have seen that this has happened again and again and this particular company is notoriously unscrupulous. We are considering taking additional legal action because it isn't about the money, it is the time I spent in the parking lot where I was essentially being illegally held against my will. The police officer said this happens quite frequently and there was really nothing he could do for us- private lot, no protection for the customer. With the number of convention attendees in town this weekend there is an amazing amount of money this company would stand to make by defrauding their customers and violating their civil liberties. I understand that times are hard but this is just WRONG.