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Empire Parking Services, Atlanta, Georgia Complaints & Reviews - Unethical, predatory fee collection

Empire Parking Services Contacts & Informations

Empire Parking Services

Posted:    Bald Shaun

Unethical, predatory fee collection

Complaint Rating:  71 % with 24 votes
Contact information:
Empire Parking Services
506 Moreland Avenue
Atlanta, Georgia
United States
On Saturday night, 11/28/09, my girlfriend and I visited the Starbucks at 506 Moreland Avenue in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia 30307. We parked in the front parking lot and after buying our drinks, decided to, as we have done on many other occasions, walk around the shopping area while we enjoyed them. Upon our return, we found our car booted by Empire Parking Services. (A quick Google search will return numerous complaints of ethical violations by this company on several consumer advocacy websites.)

The EPS worker, who was waiting inside his truck in the parking lot, and watching as people leaved so he could boot cars and collect money, told us it would be $50 to have the boot removed. We informed that him we were paying customers of this Starbuck's and he responded that it didn't matter. As soon as customers leave the parking lot, they are subject to being booted. Without, any evidence other than the booter's word, mind you. When asked how we were supposed to know about this, he pointed to one, small, roughly 8 1/2 by 11 sign posted well below eye level, which is not even visible when entering the parking lot. How is this legal? This is obviously a scam with no pretense of policing parking. The only motivation is collecting fees.

He informed us that his company was hired, or given permission to prey there, by the property owner. I know that Starbucks did not hire this company, but I feel that the corporation has some responsibility to protect it's customers from fraud. Fraud for which it is being used as the bait. I will no longer spend my money at this location, and will advise everyone I can to do likewise. Furthermore, if Starbucks remains complicit with such predatory con artists, I will, regretfully, refrain from patronizing the chain as a whole. It's worth noting that the cars on either side of us were booted as well. I'd venture to say that this location will be loosing a lot of customers because of this.
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 20th of Mar, 2010 by   Johnny Martinez 0 Votes
Well I agree Bald Shaun. I was just booted by empire parking services at another parking lot and they used the same predatory scheme. I am currenty figuring out how to sue them either individually or perhaps I can get enough victims together and hire a law firm to bring these scammers down for good. Please email me at jonathanchristophermartinez@hotmail.com if you want to talk about this. My supposed violation was in Midtown while having Ice Cream at Rita's.
 7th of May, 2010 by   sankofa99 0 Votes
Please see my complaint below:
At approximaely 2:00 PM on Friday, May 7, 2010, I entered into the parking lot on Broad Street. I was headed to handle business at 2 Peachtree Street and was looking for somewhere to park. When I found that lot, I pulled into the lot as woman was pulling out. She motioned for me to take her spot, which I di. Afterwards, she came to my car and told me that she had just purchased a ticket for that spot but she had to go. Since the ticket was an all day pass, I realized that her money would have gone to waste, I felt bad, and so I gave her the money for the ticket and used the ticket myself. This was for Stall #66, ticket number 09492810, S/N Number 100008100059. She purchase the ticket at 12:43 P and it was anall daypass expiring at 11:59 on 05/07/2010. I placed the ticket on my dash and went to handle my business...

Upon returing to my vehicle, I found that it was booted. I called the number and the man that came explained to me that the reason for the violation is that you are not allowed to switch tickets like this. I was not aware of this "rule", nor did I see such a rule posted when I left or returned. I am not accustomed to parking in these type of lots and I was not familiar with this system. I was almost unable to retrieve my vehicle due to the $75 payment that was required. It took for him to split it across three different credit cards for the fee to be paid.

I am a single mother who needs ALL of her money. I understand that there are rules and from as far as I could tell when I entered the lot, I was not breaking any rules. Perhaps the woman preyed on me. The man who was watching and ended up booting my vehicle could hve EASILY alerted me to such scams. Instead, he let her rip me off, and then proceeded to rip me off another $75. I now have to figure out how to feed my children for the rest of the month because of this ridiculous incidence.

I have been fortunate enough to pull into parking spots that still had money on the meter. Has it been illegal for me to use this time in the spot that someone else paid for? I can see if the time had expired. But an ALL DAY PASS WAS PURCHASED. Where is it listed that they are non-transferrable? I want my money back and I am going to undertake whatever measures I can to expose this despicable treatment of tax-paying citizens. Remediation is expected.

Please also note EPS (Empire Parking Service) that was responsible for booting my car has already quite a reputation on life for being predatory. You might want to put a better reputed company in charge of managing your lots, as this in turn makes you look bad.
 5th of Jul, 2010 by   aregularguy 0 Votes
Empire Parking Service is nothing but a loser and sorry ass. They try to screw more then 80 people in 4th july 2010 in (1 buckhead loop rd, atlanta, ga, 30350) police came and all the people with children and family's fun was screwed by a stupid redneck with a blue minivan which called Empire Parking Service, he let all the white guys go and keep the african americans and other people and asking them to pay $50 to get the boots out of their cars. He kept saying he will let the white americans go becasue they know about law.
 5th of Jul, 2010 by   AnotherRegularGuy 0 Votes
I too was a victim of the 4th of July parking fraud. I was standing next to my car watching the fireworks and he put a boot on the tire right behind me. He said I violated the "left property" policy of the lot. How did I leave my property if I was standing next to it? This was the case for dozens of other people. When asking where the signs were he said "you must be a real dumbass to not see the signs." After walking around the parking lot, I still couldn't find a sign. The comment above about the racism is absolutely true. He drove around and let the white people go, some without paying and told the hispanics, middle easterners, indians, asians, and blacks that they would have to wait because they're "non-americans." The icing on the cake was when the guy threatened a man WITH HIS KIDS by saying he had a gun. At this point the police were called. If anyone else was at Buckhead Station (1 Buckhead Loop Rd, Atlanta, Ga, 30350) and witnessed this, an attorney has suggested we file a lawsuit for the discrimination. If anyone wants to complain about this incident, the racist employee is number 117 and the number to call is 404-605-9242. Please call and ask to speak to someone in management regarding this situation. It's 2010, racism is not acceptable.
 5th of Jul, 2010 by   AnotherRegularGuy 0 Votes
UPDATE:: Please call 404-605-9242 and ask to talk to Chris. He is the owner of EPS and a very down to Earth nice guy. He is trying to sort out the July 4th incident and doing a fantastic job.
 29th of Nov, 2010 by   SimonPeters 0 Votes
Let's say you have a business right next to another business which attracts a larger volume of patrons. Your business has eight parking spots. The larger business' consumers fill your eight spots all day, every day. People who would like to visit your business pull into the parking lot but can't find a spot since your neighbor's patrons always use your eight spots. You just lost some business because your spots are used improperly.
 2nd of Jan, 2011 by   R U KIDDING 0 Votes
January 1st, 2011 . Live at Camden Midtown in atlanta. Have lived here for 5 1/2 years. Camden recently hired empire parking services. Empire, however have hired a subcontractor. When I called the number on the sticker they wouldnt tell me who owned the company. The man who came out had no remote to get into my gate, Was in a beat up piece of @#!* pick up with a generic white magnetic sign with black letters. ( can buy at any sign shop for $15.oo). After I showed him my parking sticker in the back window and I.D. that I live at the property he would not remove the boot unless I paid him $75.00. I refused and went back to my apartment. When I came back to my car he had placed a second boot and a second sticker on my car. (Like the first one wasnt enough.) What is the point in that? I refuse to pay them. I dont even know that they are legit. My apartment complex can deal with them on Monday. Meanwhile my car is being held hostage in my garage where I pay rent. This is such a low life industry. People need to start going to the city of Atlanta to get some type of laws to govern these crooks.
 27th of Jan, 2011 by   MellD13 0 Votes
I was just forced to pay $75 even though I thought I had paid for 2 hours parking in a parking garage downtown Atlanta. I should have known better than to park in such a sketchy location, but I have learned my lesson. Basically, I thought I had paid for two hours- returned to my car an hour and a half later and there was a boot and notice saying I had to pay $75 or my car would not be released. I tried to explain to the man who booted my car why this was not fair, but he said I had used the machine wrong while paying for my two hours so he had the right to boot my car.

I refused to sign the receipt, but was told by my bank it would be my word against there's and cannot dispute the charges.

I am currently trying to dispute this charge with my bank, but think I will be unsuccessful, but still want this disgusting company held accountable for their predatory fees.
 11th of Feb, 2011 by   BeenThere2 0 Votes
If you have a complaint or issue with services that EPS provides, please contact 404-605-9242 and request to speak to a manager. Your call will be returned promptly to address your concerns.
 19th of Dec, 2011 by   Anna_M +1 Votes
The same thing happened to us this weekend, December 17, 2011. At the same location.
I am a visitor here and had family visit from overseas. I have never been at little 5 points before and wanted to explore the town as well as to show it to others. We stopped to get coffee at the Starbucks. It was already dark. We walked to the next shopping center and then down the street. We had 2 cars. Both were booted when we came back. The fine was $50 per car and the person there was extremely rude. Nobody cared we were paying customers of the Starbucks….
He also told us that he’s seen us walking away and it was not his job to point out the sign. By the way, the signs are not lit up, so in the dark you can only pay attention or read it if you happened to bump right it into one.
This does look like a very unfair practice. And even though it was not Starbucks, it left a bitter after taste for the coffee I had….
 10th of Mar, 2012 by   EPScrooks +2 Votes
This exact situation happened to me today at Starbucks. I parked my car, walked to the front patio to meet my friend who was sitting there, then walked into Starbucks to grab my coffee. When I looked over, the EPS man had already booted my car. When I spoke with him I received a "when it's in the system, you have to pay." Mind you, he rudely shoved a camera in my face to record what I was saying. I WAS a cusomer of Starbucks. I still had to pay $75 to get the boot off of my car. I DID call the BS number above and was told to leave a message. It has been 9 hours and I still haven't heard back. Absolutely dishonest and horrible. Will be reporting to the police, city, BBB, Starbucks, etc.
 18th of Apr, 2012 by   Dari01 0 Votes
I was booted on April 11, 2012 at the Midtown Parking Lot behind Taco Mac. I paid the required $6.00 for the parking. I returned to my car about 30 min later to find that it was booted. I called the number for the sticker they rudely placed on my window to have the boot removed. The guy came and advised me it would be $75.00 to remove the boot. I advised him I had paid the fee to park there and did not understand why I had been booted. He responded by saying he had just started his shift and have no information except for what the previous patrolling guy had given him. He reluctantly gave him my credit card to pay the $75.00, then remember I had the fee in cash. I asked him to cancel the CC transaction and just take the cash. I gave him a $100 bill, he gave me 2 $10.00 bills and 5 $1.00 bills in return and advised me to call (404) 605-9242 to request reimbursement. Immediately I did and found out it was a message system that was not directly EPS. I left a message and was told it wold be 24 hours before I receive a return call. I waited, and waited, and still waiting for the call. Not only is today April 18, 2012 and I haven't received a call back, but my credit card was still charged the $75.00 so I guess I paid $156.00 (including the required $6.00). I called the number again today only to find out it had been disconnected. This company is a true scam company and I am looking at legal options to remove them from preying.
 22nd of Apr, 2012 by   Shawn_C 0 Votes
My experience at the Little 5 Points Starbucks was nearly identical to Anna_M. I was booted and ripped off of $50 by a guy in a run-down white pickup truck lurking on the side of the Starbucks. It did not matter that I was a customer.

EPS is in the business of providing free parking "enforcement" to business by placing the signage about the parking rules in inconspicuous locations and then preying on unwitting patrons who aren't aware of the rules. This is not really enforcement. This is intentional deception with the intent of extorting money from patrons, and it needs to be stopped.

I don't think there's any point in complaining to EPS. I called them, first to find out if they were a legitimate company and make sure that I hadn't just been robbed, and when I started to complain, they just hung up on me.

The thing to do here is complain to the business, the corporation behind the business (in my case, Starbucks). Make it known that they have lost your business forever as a result of their support of this activity. I don't like Starbucks enough to put up with this and I can get my coffee elsewhere. Tell your friends not to support them. And finally, complain to the City of Atlanta, because, ultimately, they need to pass laws requiring proper signage so companies like EPS can't build their business model on deceiving patrons.

I've even considered picketing the location to warn customers, just to get the satisfaction of depriving EPS of a day's worth of booting revenue and maybe cramping Starbucks' style a little bit, too.
 21st of Jun, 2012 by   WyattEarp 0 Votes
We have filed a Class Action lawsuit against Empire Parking and ABS and would like to talk to you about your case. Please contact us at the law offices of James Hugh Potts II, LLC @ 404-812-0000. We look forward to hearing from you. We are trying to get these predatory practices banned in Georgia.
 13th of Sep, 2012 by   terpsrule 0 Votes
I was parked in an apartment complex. 609 Virginia Avenue. Atlanta, GA 30306. I walked up just after I got booted. The tech would not assist me in reaching a live human to speak with until he got a call from a co-worker, who he claimed was a "higher up." After much arguing, he finally relented to go to the leasing office with me. The leasing agent advised that he could boot my car (I didn't know about visitor spots and was there do offer a 30 minute dog walk for a resident) but that he couldn't do so before 6pm. I then said that he HAD booted my car before 6. He told me I had no proof of that and was very rude, smug and arrogent. When I asked him when his coworker called, his phone indicated that he called me at 6:01. I told him that he knew that he had booted my car before 6 because we had argued for several minutes after the boot was on and before the call came in. I explained that he was wrong and he should remove the boot. Again he said I didn't have proof and I said he didn't have proof that he did boot after 6. I guess he got tired of arguing with me and removed the boot. In the meantime, while he removed the boot, I thanked him, apologized for things getting a little heated and told him he was doing the right thing. As I drove away, I realized that I DID have proof. After many minutes of arguing, I called the company (it was "closed") and that call was logged at 5:55. I found him and pointed this out to him and he smuggly replied "Good for you!" Not only did he violate the contract in place between his company and the apartment, he was rude and arrogent to me.
 22nd of Jan, 2013 by   robCccc 0 Votes
I got hit just the other week. Parked in the lot at a sign that said "Short Term parking, Two Hour Limit, Enforced M-F No Permit Parking" I thought it was safe to park there. When I came out.. BOOT! Told the attendant that this was wrong to have those signs that were misleading. He said it wasn't up to him. The company is ruthless and do dirty business. Never part at their locations again. They will find a way to Fk you
 27th of Jun, 2013 by   Jonghee 0 Votes
The reason everyone is getting booted is because it is private property... It's not a Walmart parking lot... If it's private parking you always have to pay, unless you have permission i.e. from the property owner. Sankofa I'm sorry happened to you, but although you have a ticket, you did not purchase that ticket from the machine. That woman was being nice and gave you that ticket and you paid her for the ticket, but again not from the machine meaning the property owner did make any money for you to park your car on his property. It's not the job of a boot technician to notify you that you have to pay for your parking. Bad judgement on your part thats all and now you know the rules and won't do it again. For the ones that are parking at the Starbucks, you are parked on private property meant for patrons for their store ONLY. If for any reason you leave the lot, you are subject to boot, it doesn't matter if you were a few feet away from the store. It sucks and their are fine lines, but don't park on private property and shop at other stores. I'm sure theres other parking areas for you to park and walk anywhere, not private parking that owners have hired a company to make sure noone is scamming parking spots. RobCccc, EPS does not own the parking lot and what signs are posted. Those are bought and placed by property owners and sometimes property owners don't remove them but have changed their polices. Don't get mad at the booter because you didn't know the rules of private parking. Terpsrule, your incident is because many apartment complex tenants are not on the lease of the actual apartment, and if your car is not registered in the system or you just bought the car and didn't notify the apartment leasers than that was on you. I'm sure it has been taken care of. As for the 4th of July patrons, I'm sorry that you were viewed in that manner and racism is not tolerated and you were not approached in a professional manner. I know your not telling the whole story because EPS only work on lots that are privately owned, and will enforce very strictly in lots on events like 4th of July. Where many people try to get great parking spots that haven't paid for those spots legally. Please be aware that during these times, there are many scammers who run during these events who act like supporting staff, but in reality their are scamming people at the front. If it's a nice Private parking lot, but has a very not so professional person at the front, chances are hes scamming you. See it all the time. Im sorry that you were scam but you have broken the rule, and although it is sucks, the boot technician is working on a holiday while you are off work and enjoying your time while he's stuck working.
 27th of Dec, 2013 by   Dalek +1 Votes
These people suck bags of dicks daily.
 27th of Dec, 2013 by   Dalek 0 Votes
Especially Brian Devlin
 16th of Feb, 2014 by   Stupid Boot 0 Votes
So
when my car was (illegally) booted on Jan 1st I wrote to the booting
company, Empire Parking Service, and informed them of the law code which
they broke when they booted and charged me $75.00. I warned them that
if they did not respond within 72 hours then I would consult a class
action lawyer AND take to social media outlets informing my fellow
Atlantan's on the exact code sections which EPS is violating so that they can fight their bootings as well.
Well, EPS has ignored my 3 emails and 2 written letters (and missed
their 72 hour deadline) so I have contacted a class action lawyer about a
possible lawsuit. I would also like to tell you all how to fight your
own car booting: -Georgia Law Code OCGA 44-1-13 is the Code Section
that allows the towing of trespassing vehicles on private property.
What it DOES NOT do is allow the booting or immobilization of vehicles
on private property in the State of Georgia. In other words, it appears
to be illegal to boot cars in Georgia on private property. -They
will try to retort by stating that Atlanta City Code that purports to
regulate "vehicle immobilization" in the City of Atlanta. However, the
Georgia Home Rule Act delegates specific powers for municipalities to
pass laws in certain areas and the Georgia Assembly has expressly
limited the ability for local governments to regulate in certain areas,
and one of the limits is contained in OCGA 36-35-6(b). It says local
government shall not have "The power granted in subsections (a) and (b)
of Code Section 36-35-3 (the Home Rule authority) shall not include the
power to take any action affecting the private or civil law governing
private or civil relationships, except as is incident to the exercise of
an independent governmental power." So regulating a private car on a
private lot is for the state to make the laws, not the cities. And the
state has chosen to allow towing under certain circumstance and chosen
not to allow vehicle immobilization, ie, booting. -They may possess
an Atlanta City permit but there is has been no amendment to OCGA
44-1-13 effectuated to allow them to boot on private property. State
law trumps municipal law. Good luck and give them hell!

*by the way...thanks is given to David Pardue and his legal postings. He gets credit for most of this. He is a a Partner at the law firm Kaufman, Miller & Forman.

http://epscanshoveit.blogspot.com/

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