Justice, Refund, Apology From Global Parking Management–In Other Words, Hell Freezes Over
As you may recall, a reader of The Expired Meter, had a terrible run in with Global Parking Management. This is the company that has contracts with local businesses who own parking lots, to boot the vehicles of drivers who park there, without patronizing their stores. If not, they immobilize your car and hold it hostage until you fork over a $115.00 ransom.
C.N. was the reader who shared her story a few weeks back. Here is her original Global Parking Management story.
Well, I just received a letter from C.N. who had spent a long time trying to exact justice from Global Parking. Her hard work and persistence has paid off and I’m happy to report her victory as she recently received a full $115 refund from the company.
Dear Parking Ticket Geek,
Yesterday I received in the mail, at long last, a refund check from Global Parking. I spoke to Michael Denigris, one of the company’s owners, on Monday (it took a month of calls and letters, but I finally got him on the phone) and that seemed to do the trick. I insisted all along that Global send me not only a check but an apology — their claim to have “proof” that I did something I never did, continues to make me tear my hair out — and this is not quite an apology. But I’ll take it. I would like to be done with this!
The lesson for those unfairly booted at private lots seems to be: pester, pester, pester. I think I got my money back not because I convinced anyone I was innocent, but because I would not shut up. And a few other points I gleaned from research on this in recent weeks:
(1) When you’ve been booted and the Global lot attendant approaches you and starts his tape recorder, he’ll say (in effect) the following: I am taping now, there’s a boot on your car, it is fully attached, it’s there because you broke the parking rules, do you understand? Try NOT to simply say “yes” in response; apparently that incriminates you, serves as an admission that you broke a rule and deserve the boot (or so explained Global supervisor “Casey” to me). Then be very careful what you say on that tape. It is the primary tool used by Global in their effort to keep your money, especially in lots (like VDO in Roscoe Village) that have no video surveillance.
(2) People seem to lose at their administrative hearings against Global for silly reasons. The booting victim gets the date or time of the incident wrong, or messes up a minor narrative detail, and then the hearing officer concludes that s/he has poor credibility overall, and the incident itself isn’t really considered. This is a pattern that two city attorneys described to me, attorneys who had brought actions against Global before and had never seen the company lose or be penalized in any way. I was told that the city keeps records of all previous hearings and these are public and supposedly accessible at the Daley Center; reviewing them would make sense for anyone faced with an upcoming hearing. In any case, if you’re booted, write down all the details of the incident that day; you’ll need them.
(3) The slip you sign to get your car back after paying the lot attendant says “receipt” at the top and “admission” at the bottom; where you sign your name, it says “violator” and also “I was not forced to sign this paper.” But there is a separate credit card receipt, too. After mulling it over, I now think it might be possible to authorize Global to charge your card (the latter slip) without admitting on paper (their printed “admission”) that you’re guilty — leaving you (perhaps) in a better position to get a refund through the city.
Enjoy the long weekend, and thanks again for your encouragement (and for your one-of-a-kind, invaluable website!).
Again, standing ovation for C.N.
I LOVE hearing stories like this. This is the type of pitbull attitude that you need to have when facing even these minor injustices. I’ll admit a $30 ticket or $115 boot fee is small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But it’s really the principle that counts. If you allow the government or a company to screw you for a small amount of cash, you become a victim.
If you at least put up a fight, you may lose, but you lose with honor, having at least had the guts to enter the fight. But, like C.N., you may just be victorious.