Private Citizens and Companies Booting Cars

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by eljanitor, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. eljanitor macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #1
    I have a good question for anyone who drives any kind of car. Lets say you park your car in a parking lot at one business and go to the business next door, to come out and find a boot on your car. Then you go to the business next door and they inform you that you parked in a spot for their business and they have a right to boot your car. If you want it to come off, they will take it off for $50.00

    So is this right? What if someone damages my car installing the boot, and now it cost me over $200.00 dollars to repair the damage done by the boot? Should I go into their business and say pay for the repair or I'll take you to court? Because now I could be out the $50.00 for parking in the wrong spot in a private parking lot, plus repairs to my car.

    I understand when the city boots your car it can be much harder to claim damages caused by a boot ( however you can sue them for damages and win). Such as scratches/ gouges to an expensive rim. damaged Hub caps, and possibly torn tie rod boots and or CV Joint boot covers.

    What are your opinions?
     
  2. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #2
    I assume boot is some sort of slang for wheel clamping a car?

    Its illegal where I live so I enjoy annoying the living daylights of security firms.
     
  3. eljanitor thread starter macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

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  4. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #4
    It's been illegal in Scotland for twenty years and will become a criminal offence in England and Wales at the end of this year.
     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #5
    Well, is it legal where you live OP??

    As for potential damage, that is just a red herring, until it actually happens.

    Then I think you could call the police on them.

    One little plaza in town is right next to a major medical clinic, with pay-to-park. They have a retired guy, in a chair in the shade, taking down plate numbers. The bi-law enforcement officer comes by frequently, and the manager of the drug store in the plaza authorizes the tickets.

    No wheel boot necessary. (But no $50 for the plaza owner either. ;))
     
  6. eljanitor, Sep 17, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011

    eljanitor thread starter macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #6
    Usually if it's clearly posted that your vehicle may be towed and or impounded, then yes having your vehicle towed by a trained experienced tow truck driver can be permissible. However there is this grey area here where I live. You are not allowed to put a pamphlet, bushiness card, or flyer anywhere on another persons vehicle without their permission. People have made a huge stink about this going as far as to contact the police for vandalism to their automobile over that. If a piece of paper is grounds to claim damage to a car, then how much more a 80 pound hunk of metal with reinforced spring clamped over a wheel with reinforced springs.

    Also when someone who is clearly not trained and or knowledgeable in using a device that can immobilize your vehicle by clamping onto the wheel of your vehicle, puts a "boot" on your car. Then causes damage to your vehicle and has the gall to scam you with." Pay me $50.00 to free your car," and may have done damage to your car. I'll tell you I can play your game too if you really want to play it.

    I hope that $50.00 that you wont budge on is worth the court fees, for you and your boss, and or the owner of that property, plus the damages to my vehicle. Funny how being greedy over $50.00 might cost you low $100's - a few $1,000 to cover my legal fees and damages.

    A reasonable, "I'm sorry I didn't realize that I did that." Should be enough for them to take the boot off. However if you want to be greedy and insist on your $50.00 dollars and have no mercy and compassion. I guess I could also be greedy and have no compassion and mercy on you as well , and look for every dent, scratch, ding, torn boot(s) and the like and say." It wasn't like that before you put that on my car. See you in court."

    Because yes in the beautiful state, city and country I live in if a "professional" tow truck driver tows my car and damages it because I parked unknowingly in someones reserved parking space. I can sue the tow truck company, and the property owner for any damages caused to my vehicle by their carelessness.

    So as I see it if you put a boot on my car, I figure I have the right to do the same as I would to a tow company that damaged my car.

    I already know how I feel about the situation. I'm asking you what would you do if it happened to you?
     
  7. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    New England, USA
    #7
    I'm assuming that you did not do any business in the store in whose space you parked. I'm also assuming that there was a sign indicating that the space belonged to the store.

    If the above two conditions applied, then it seems to me you decided to take a chance that you could park in one store's space, not do business in that store, but not get caught. However, you did get caught and are (understandably, if not justifiably) unhappy that you have to pay a fine.

    Sorry if this sounds unsympathetic or self righteous, but you pays your money and you takes your chance. You lost this time.:(

    As far as "boots" go, I think they suck. But towing sucks too, so either way you have to decide whether it's worth the risk.

    I really don't intend this to be critical - you asked for opinions, that's mine. :)
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    From his wording, I don't think that he actually did.

    In my scenario it is a requirement before bi-law will issue a ticket.

    Sounds like an "entitlement" issue, doesn't it? ;)
     
  9. eljanitor thread starter macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #9
    I'm not upset, it's not my car it other peoples cars. I just don't agree with this policy. I know someone whos boss tells them that every time someone parks in their spaces in their part of the lot He'll give them a percentage of the money to go boot their car. Then he has his employees go collect the money to take it off.

    I know for a fact that they have limited to no knowledge of cars, suspension, brakes, rims and tires. Yet their boss feels that it's okay that they go "boot" cars for money, instead of call a tow service to tow the car.

    I've held many jobs in my life including towing cars for a living. One wrong move on say a Porsche and many other cars, and its $1,000's of dollars in repairs all from placing a simple chain in the wrong place. So again telling someone to go boot a car who barely knows how to change a tire?

    It's like telling a cashier to go check the servers, do the daily backup on the network, and change the permissions for some employee accounts on a domain because it saves me money instead of paying someone in I.T. to do it. Especially knowing that my employee doesn't know nearly enough to attempt the task, but theres a $20.00 in it for ya.

    It's just a bad idea all around in my opinion.
     
  10. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    New England, USA
    #10
    I don't know where you live, but where I live only the police (State or local) are authorized to boot a car. Are you suggesting that a store employee is booting cars?

    I'm certainly not an expert on traffic laws in every state, but I find it hard to believe that a store employee can legally boot a car. :confused:

    I certainly could be wrong about this, but I find it very surprising.
     
  11. eljanitor, Sep 17, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011

    eljanitor thread starter macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #11
    It's not a retail store , all the same the boss is having their employees go out and boot cars for a percentage of the boot removal fee. Its not a tow service that's booting the cars either. It's the business owner and they have nothing to do with automotive anything, nor are their mechanics, or city employees. They shouldn't be touching someone elses car period.

    That's what I'm saying. Recently my friend went and booted someones car and surprise surprise, the owner of the car demanded that they remove the boot, and said it was a scam and wouldn't pay. Then the car owner got upset and started yelling at them demanding they remove the boot again saying he wouldn't pay and made threats. So it's asking for all kinds of trouble to do this.

    This boss is endangering his employees, and manipulating them to go do this because they get a cut of the cash for people who park in "their" spaces and go next door to the other businesses. They don't call a tow company. They boot the car because its money in their pocket.
     
  12. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    Birmingham, AL
    #12
    1. Pay the fine.
    2. Sue for damages to your car.
    3. Profit.
     
  13. Simgar988 macrumors 65816

    Simgar988

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    #13
    This is how (very successfully) some fraternities get their beer money
     
  14. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    Aug 26, 2006
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    Atlanta, GA
    #14
    In Atlanta, there are private companies that boot your car. I've never heard of an establishment itself doing it. Each time I've gotten booted (always a mistake on my part, never trying to beat the system), there's a guy who stays in their vehicle video recording in case there are any beat-downs.
     
  15. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    Feb 7, 2002
    #15
    When you lease a location like that you are usually entitled so many parking spots for your business. If parking is limited then I can understand a business keeping an eye out for that parking spot.

    While they are in their right to do this, you might just be shaking people down for an extra buck of two.

    If they damage the car then I would assume you have a claim, not sure though.
     
  16. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #16
    In the town I went to college, there's a Bank of America across the street from a restaurant we always went to. The restaurant didn't have their own parking lot, it was street parking only. BoA had a small lot with a "Parking for bank customers only" sign. Once, we went and there was no available street parking, so I, as a BoA account holder and customer, parked in their lot, used the ATM to get some cash, and walked across the street to have dinner. My car didn't get booted or towed, and no tickets, but how would that situation play out?

    The way I see it, if any issue arose, I would have been in the right. BoA says their parking lot is only for their customers. I am a customer. The sign did not mention anything about time limits.
     
  17. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #17
    My car was towed from an apartment complex once. Was it my fault? Yes. I parked in a marked spot that wasn't intended for me. That doesn't mean I agree with the practice of towing cars, far from it.

    To add insult to injury the spots were not clearly marked (I certainly didn't see the numbers until after the fact), the only signs dictating parking lot rules were posted by the road (where no reasonable person would stop to notice them), and the parking lot was over half empty.

    I was only parked there for a few hours, and I caught the tower as he was pulling away with my car so it "only" cost me $90 instead of the usual $250. I'm not sure if this makes me fortunate; it was significantly cheeper, but I will forever have the image of my car being away on a tow truck seared into my memory.

    I still question how this is ethical, and if not, legal. Should there be consequences? Yes, I think so. I think a reasonable fine (i.e. ticket issued by a legally recognized and certified entity entrusted to issue a parking fine) would be very much acceptable and effective. Should private businesses and corporations have the right to ransom cars through towing and booting? I think most certainly not.

    Who even came up with the current system? I can imagine the conversation now: "We don't have the manpower to issue tickets in private lots, nor would it be wise to allow any private entirety the authority to do so."
    "Well, how should private citizens and companies enforce parking rules?"
    "I have an idea... We'll allow private corporations to steal cars, legally, and then charge the owners for their safe return. No ticket necessary!"
    "Brilliant."

    Towing should be reserved strictly for technical breakdowns and abandonments. Booting probably shouldn't exist at all (maybe, just maybe in the case of many unpaid parking tickets).

    And the case to which you refer specifically, I hope it's illegal. To me it seems most obviously like a scam.
     
  18. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #18
    ^^ It's essentially extortion,in the UK property owners have always had recourse to civil law for these problems,seizing someone else's property is not part of the solution.
     
  19. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #19
    Solely issuing parking tickets would not solve much at all. Many people don't pay for their parking tickets, and don't care if they get them. Following up and tracking down these people only becomes more of an expense. This would not stop them from parking wherever they want. There's a most-wanted list in Atlanta, with one guy having well over 100 unpaid parking tickets. When they interviewed him, I seem to recall that he basically said that he would continue what he was doing. I wish I could find the link to it, but can't right now.

    What do you do with someone who parks his car in your spot while he goes out of town for a week? If a business has free parking spots for their customers, but they are taken up by someone trying to avoid a paying spot on the street or something, I think they have every right to have the car removed from their spot at the driver's expense.

    Our neighborhood HOA became very active in towing cars because we had a HUGE problem...to the point where you could almost not get into our out of your own driveway because there were cars everywhere...in the median, in active intersections, in turnarounds, along the side of the road...everywhere.. A large number of people simply refused to park in their garage or driveway (according to HOA covenants), and there is limited street parking. Stickering and giving tickets did nothing. When you have cars blocking the road, you tow them. It solved the problem. We now have very few parking issues.

    This seems just like another one of those "I should be able to do whatever I want with no real consequence" type threads.
     
  20. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Keep a small cutting torch in your trunk. Problem solved.
     
  21. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #21
    What??

    You need to change your outlook, otherwise one of two things will happen, neither good.

    1. You will develop ulcers at an early age.

    2. You will enter politics.

    In Ontari-ari-ari-o this little problem is solved by withholding a license renewal up, until all outstanding tickets are paid.

    Heat is deleterious to rubber, don't ya know. ;)
     
  22. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
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    #22
    We have the same law in California. It may take some people awhile to pay their parking tickets, but they have to eventually if they want to renew their driver's license.

    I'm assuming GA doesn't have such a law, in which case they should find an effective way to enforce parking tickets. I don't see "parking tickets are difficult to enforce so we'll just seize the entire car" as an appropriate excuse.

    After 72 hours in a private lot I'd consider it abandonment, and towing would be necessary. Time limits could be significantly lower depending on the situation, too. For example, a "no stopping" shoulder along a busy street could consider any car after 1 hour abandoned.

    I just don't like the idea that someone who unknowingly parked in the wrong parking spot for an hour might have to pay $250 because their car was towed. That's practically double the fine for not stopping at a stop sign. Does that make sense? Should a very minor parking mistake cost twice as much as a dangerous moving violation? I think most certainly not.
     
  23. pvmacguy macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    #24
    If some business ever tried to boot my car they wouldn't be seeing their boot or their $50 ever again. :roll eyes: I don't play stupid games especially when people jack with my private property.
     
  24. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #25
    I guess it depends on who owns the parking space. :confused:
     

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