Patrons confused after cars booted for paying wrong parking mete - CBS46 News

Patrons confused after cars booted for paying wrong parking meter

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Some people consider parking in Downtown Atlanta confusing.

You have street parking and pay lots, but where you pay to park is causing some confusion leading to big ticket booting fees.

It’s not just one or two instances. We’re talking about at least seven cars what we know of have all been booted at the same time for making the same mistake.

The cars parked in a pay to park lot and walked to pay a meter right in front of where they parked. But those weren’t the meters for the lot, so they got booted.

The lots have one pay station inside of the lot. But seven different drivers said they couldn’t see those stations with a crowded weekend lot.

Since they paid and had receipts, they tried to work out paying the proper fee, but it was too late. They were already booted and the company wasn’t budging: $75 or the car stayed on lockdown.

They all reluctantly paid, but questions why there isn’t better signage or allowances made for a simple mistake.

Sonja Stewart walked me through her parking problem on Saturday.

“I went to the meter that’s directly in front of the parking space, and I put my money in, got my ticket, put it in my dashboard and went on my merry way,” she said. “Only to come out and to find my car had been booted.”

She wasn’t the only one.

“So my car was just sitting there, held hostage for about an hour,” Karyn Lowe said. “I just feel it’s unfair and sketchy and unjust.”

And all for the same reason. They paid the sidewalk meter for street parking and not the one for the lot. They were booted and charged $75 to get it off for what they call an honest mistake.

“We all paid,” Stewart said. “We just pair the wrong meter.”

The Parking Company of America owns the lot, and when I called them a person on the phone told me there is nothing they can do about the booting fee. Those customers would have to take it up with the booting company.

However, he did tell me he questions why somebody would leave out of their parking lot and come over to this area to pay a meter when there are meters in their lot.

“And the lot was full,” Stewart said. “There was no way I could see that meter. I can see it now, but it was not a clear view on Saturday.”

Even while working on this story, we found more people confused and almost making the same mistake until we helped them out.

This very situation is what Atlanta City Council had on their agenda to vote on Monday, doing away with booting on private property like those lots. The council tabled the vote and did not take action.  

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