Vista ParkingDamage at valet parking!

This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

June 1, 2006
14 Cardinal Lane
Walpole, MA 02081

Re: Incident while parked at Vista Parking, Newark, New Jersey.


Vista Parking is located at 50 Port Street, Newark, NJ and is an off-site parking facility for Newark Airport. They provide shuttle service to and from the airport and provide valet parking at their lot.

My wife parked her car at Vista Parking in Newark, New Jersey from 1/27/06 to 2/5/06. When she returned and went to get her car she and my daughter were met by Melvin Bittle, who stated that he was the Manager on Duty.

Melvin told my wife that while her car (2001 Lexus RX 300) was parked, an employee of Vista hit her car with another vehicle and caused damage to her car. I do not know if the Vista employee was in a Vista owned vehicle or in a vehicle of another person who left their car at the lot. Melvin told my wife and daughter that there would be no charge for the parking and that she should get estimates to repair the damage and that Vista would take care of it. Melvin gave the names of the Day manager, Pat Tanelli, and the “Owner”, Tommy Wilson. Melvin said to call either and they would take care of it.

Several phone calls were not returned. I did speak to Melvin who recalled the incident. I did finally speak to Pat Tanelli who said that I had to speak to Tommy Wilson. Several phone calls to Tommy Wilson (leaving voice mails), e-mails to Vista and faxes to Vista were not answered. Finally on March 13 Tommy Wilson returned a call. He said to send to him the final repair bill and that he would issue a check. He also gave to me his e-mail address and his fax number during the phone conversation.

I responded on March 14 by sending, via fax and e-mail, a copy of the initial estimate and photos of the damage. I told him that once we received the check we would get the car repaired. I also stated that an estimate is an estimate and that I would issue a check if the final cost was less and that I expected Vista to issue a check if the final cost was more that the original estimate.

I did not receive a check. Several more contacts were attempted via phone, fax and e-mail. No response. When I returned to my office on Tuesday March 28, after a few days away, I found a check for the amount of the original estimate. I responded and stated that we had received the check, that we would get the repair made and that we would let him know if any further adjustment was required. No response.

On April 20 via e-mail, I told Tommy that the car was finally scheduled for repair and that we would send to him detailed invoices for any additional work required and would also send an invoice for the rental on an inexpensive rental car during the repair period. No response.

On April 25 via e-mail I sent to Tommy and invoice for additional work required and a statement that we had rented an economy car for the duration of the repair. I told him that we would send a final invoice for the additional repair and for the car rental when all was completed. No response. Please note that not only were e-mails sent, but also faxes were sent and phone messages were left.

On April 27 I sent via e-mail another estimate for additional work and stated that we would send a final accounting, including car rental, when the work was completed. No response.

On May 5 vial e-mail and fax I sent a final accounting for the work: Original Estimate of $964.74 which was paid; $320.99 for additional work required and a receipt for the auto rental of $189.57. Total due $510.56. No response. Many phone calls, e-mails and faxes were ignored. This morning, via e-mail reply to one of my messages, Tommy stated “This claim has been paid we do not pay for car rentals we were not sure the damage occurred here”.

His Manager on Duty stated that the damage was done by an employee of Vista. His Manager on Duty stated that Vista would take care of it. No representative of Vista ever stated that they would not abide by the statement of the Manager on Duty. If Vista was going to deny our claim for the final cost or for auto rental, there was ample opportunity.

I have copies of probably 40 e-mails that have been sent, a phone log that lists probably over 50 calls that were made and messages that were left and copies of faxes that have been sent.

Vista did receive the information as is shown by Tommy’s return phone call on March 13, a receipt of a check per the original estimate and by Tommy’s reply today to my e-mail of this morning. They cannot deny that they ever received the information.

I wish to file a formal complaint and pursue action against Vista. Please let me know what steps that I should take to pursue our claim. I can send copies of all documentation, if so requested.

Michael S. Barr.


  • Di
    dick hertz Sep 01, 2013

    Thomas Wilson, owner of Vista Parking, was arrested in what Bergen county prosecutor, Molinelli, called "the biggest money laundering and illegal gambling scheme in state history."
    According to the complaint, Wilson and his brother opened up their check cashing business to members of organized crime, to wash money.
    For more details, google "operation jailhouse rock Thomas Wilson"

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    Vista Parking Sep 17, 2011

    Hi Alex,

    Vista Parking has been doing business at Newark Airport for 25 years. We have a 96% customer return rate which is unheard of in the airport parking industry. What you are seeing are posts from our competition (other parking lots) and some angry customers who chose not to read our company guidelines or practice common sense. We also understand that some of our customers will never be happy with our service no matter how many times they have parked with us and no matter how many years they have been parking with us. The interesting thing about this 4% of our customer base is; they are also the type of customers who will try to get free parking as much as they can by making fraudulent claims. They will bounce from Newark Airport Parking facility to Newark Airport Parking facility trying the same thing over and over again. We are also in an industry where we are targets for insurance fraud. 2% of that same 4% of customers will claim that we scratched their rear bumpers, passenger doors etc.. This has been happening and getting worse over the past 5 years now and since the economy has worsened. It’s a big problem which we are in the process of correcting right now.

    As far as loosing keys, yes it happens more than we would like it to. Our parking attendants (the valet guys who park the cars) carry many sets of keys at one time while they are running around parking cars. Once in a while they will leave one set or a group of keys in a vehicle they have just parked. We park 10, 000 vehicles per month, so finding the vehicle in which the lost keys sit is time consuming. It normally takes no longer than 7 days to find the lost keys and return them to their owners!

    We instruct you not to leave anything worth value in your vehicle. Our insurance will not cover anything stolen from your vehicle, ”if it’s not there it won’t be stolen”. We have criminals break into our facility and steel cars and rummage through vehicles once in a while even though we have security guards, 12’ high fences, lighting, cameras etc.. They cut holes in our fences and rummage through cars using a “Slim-Jim” or “Master Key” as some thieves call it! They can hit 20-30 cars in one night. Don’t forget we are in Newark NJ!

    Our instructions for parking are so simple a 12 year old can follow them. Now that you have made a reservation with us you will need to print you confirmation page, not the credit card receipt you have automatically received and responded to in this email with. Your confirmation page was the page you should have printed directly after making your online reservation. If you didn’t you should go back to our website: and log in using the email address you entered while making the reservation. Your password was automatically sent to you after you Credit Card was approved for the 1st day of parking. If you forgot your password you can click on the “forgot password button” and another password will be sent to you automatically. The $19.80 you paid is for one (1) day of parking and to hold your parking space. You also paid a reservation fee of $5.00. $14.80 for the parking & $5.00 for the one time reservation fee = $19.80.

    From this point on you will drive your vehicle to our address listed below and check in with one of our managers. You will introduce yourself and hand them your keys, we are a valet parking facility, after you hand them your keys they will punch a valet parking ticket with the date and time. The will give you a copy of that valet parking ticket as it has a valet number on it. It also has a telephone number for our Shuttle Van dispatcher for you to call when you arrive back a Newark Airport. Please call our Dispatcher only after you have claimed you luggage as our vans run “on demand” so when you call us we will be there in 10 minutes. Don’t forget that we pick our customers back up at Newark Airport at the departing gates A, B & C which is up stairs from the baggage claim.

    After arriving back to Vista Parking from Newark Airport, you will need to present you Confirmation Page and you valet parking ticket to one of our managers upon checkout. This is where he or she will apply any and all discounts. The manger will give you your keys back after you have paid for the numbers of days you have parked with us. Please be aware that the City of Newark imposes a 15% parking tax.

    Please contact me with questions or concerns.

    Best regards,

    Paul Simari
    Marketing Manager
    Vista Parking, Inc
    50 Olympia Drive
    Newark, NJ 07114

    Tel: [protected]
    Fax: [protected]
    Email: [email protected]

    -1 Votes
  • Nj
    NJKate May 17, 2011

    Damaged our truck as well sometime between 10/01/10 and 10/05/10. we finally went through insurance company as damage was pushing $3K and just wanted to recoup our deductible...I can't believe how they just ignore the customer complaint. Not one return call most of the time the various numbers given just rang & rang.

    0 Votes
  • Yo
    You.Should.Know Apr 28, 2011

    I also had a terrible experience with Vista - had to take them to court to recover costs incurred there. They did not return calls, voice-mails or e-mails and never processed my claim. I won in court, and the judge said that my case was one of a number he is seeing against Vista -- that there are many, Many, MANY lawsuits in the courts against them currently.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    lousmith Mar 01, 2011

    Hi Michael,

    I also had a very troubled incident with Vista parking but have not been able to get contact information to the owner, who you say is Tommy Wilson. Would you please provide me with his phone # and emai?

    Much appreciated,

    0 Votes
  • My boyfriend and I parked at Vista Parking lot in Newark, NJ and had damage to the roof of the car. Something clearly fell on the roof of the car but no one from the parking lot would admit to knowing why there were dents and scratches on the roof of the car. When we finally did hear back from someone it was the Marketing Manager, Phil Simari. Mr. Simari accused us of trying to file a false complaint and said that he should call the police on us and let them know we were attempting to commit fraud by filing a false complaint. I am filing a complaint with Consumer Affairs as well as the BBB but woulr suggest to all to NEVER park at this valet lot. Please read about other complaints before parking here. I wish I had. They have a number of stories regarding damage to vehicles.

    0 Votes
  • Do
    DontParkAtVista Feb 22, 2010

    From other complaints it looks like at least once a year someone bothers to complain about some nonsense at this parking lot. Who knows how mny people have similar complaints but dont report them. Save your money and car and maybe Tommy Wilson (owner/manager) will have to work for a living instead of taking vacations all of the time.

    0 Votes
  • Do
    DontParkAtVista Feb 22, 2010

    Good luck getting any satisfaction for any damage incurred at Vista in Nov/2009. My SUV was damaged in the rear left bumper and tail-light and there was even size 9 sneaker footprints on the left rear panel near the tail-light where someone kicked at it with the bottom of his sneaker. Guess the employee who parked it was upset at backing it into something. When I pointed out the damage when picking up my vehicle I was told that "Tommy Wilson" would contact me to discuss how I could be compensated. Suffice to say, he never returned any of the repeated calls that I made to him even at the 8AM-8:30 Monday call window they imposed.

    At least you had someone call you back and you received some money. It appears that the new policy since 2006 is to screw their customers when they damage your vehicle. I will never go back after many years of using Vista. Recommend you stay away or only park there if you don't care if your vehicle is damaged.

    1 Votes

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