Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An Open Letter to PRIORITY PARKING About Their Outrageously Rude Staff

This is an open letter addressing the discrimination against Pickup Truck owners and the outrageously rude temperament of Priority Parking staff to customers. (There's a few foul words in the following piece.)

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On Sunday, Jun 16, I was in San Francisco for the Wipro Marathon.  When I head to that town, I know I'm going to get ripped off with outrageous parking fees.  Somehow, there's a monopoly on parking in that town.  Aside from that, I had no idea I was going to be blatantly discriminated against because I drive a pick-up truck.  Or treated like shit by the parking attendants on duty.

It was a few hours before the Wipro San Francisco Marathon was coming to a close, and I had arrived near the finish line.  I've known from previous years that parking is expensive and in many folks eyes, as one peer puts it, they have you over a barrel.  Last year you could see they slapped up higher prices over the regular prices for the weekend of the event.

But this year I was emotionally prepared... I thought.

When I arrived I read the notes at the entrance regarding the price of parking.

Cars, Weekend, all day long: $20.
Full Size Pick-up: $40
etc., etc..

I drive a standard cab, short-bed Ford F-150.  It is not a full-sized pick up.  In fact the wheel base diameter of my truck is smaller than some cars.  But that's neither here nor there at the moment.  So I deduced that since I was not a "full-sized" pick up, that I pay for the rate of a car.

Cha-ching!  That was a quick $20.

I parked and while I was prepping my pack to go down to the finish line, an attendant walks up, points to my ticket and says I need a full-sized pick-up ticket.

I said "This isn't a full-sized pick-up truck.  It's a short bed."

He repeated that I needed a full-sized pick-up ticket.

I repeated that it's a short bed.

Now don't laugh, stop drinking anything you might be ingesting.  You need to prepare yourself for this next incredible wave of completely illogical stupidity:

He points to the "F" of my F-150 logo on the side of my truck and says, "Full sized."


My jaw dropped and I realized that no amount of logical conversation was going to get me anywhere.  And since I paid $20 already, leaving this place to find another spot somewhere else would be costly.

I instantly decided I needed to work with the system, but I wasn't sure if I needed to actually fork over an additional $40 for a "full-sized" pick-up ticket, or if I could just pay an addition $20 to have it all add up to $40.  (No, I would not have paid an additional $40.)

The parking attendant had started walking away, but in the spirit of working with the system, I wanted to ask how I can remedy this.

"Excuse me, I have a quick question."

He continued to walk away, blatantly ignoring me.

"Excuse me!"  At twice the volume.  He continued to ignore me.

"HEY, WAIT A MINUTE, EXCUSE ME!!!"  This was LOUD and echoed off the buildings around us.  And yes, he continued to ignore me, if you could believe that.

He gets into his truck, and I ask him, "How do I fix this?"

"But a ticket." And he starts to drive off.

"Wait!" I yell, and he stops.

"Do I get a refund for this one and buy a truck ticket?"  He starts to drive off, saying buy a ticket.

It seems he was trying to get me to pay for a brand new $40 ticket, while being a complete asshole to me.

I yell, "Wait!" again.  He stops again.

I say, "I'm trying to sort this out, don't leave."

This goes back and forth, where I ask something, he answers and starts to pull away.

I finally get it out of him that I can buy a second $20 ticket and I would be fine.

But it took an incredible amount of abusive behavior from the parking attendant to get that information out of him.

And that, was not necessary.

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It must be nice to be able to monopolize the parking situation in downtown San Francisco.  It's amazing how much they get away with, charging for a piece of concrete to sit your vehicle on.  Any other business run this way would get blasted by the BBB!

And it's bad enough how they put you over a barrel with these fees, but then to treat the customers like shit, seems rather abusive of their monopoly.

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So that was my Sunday experience with Priority Parking!  How was yours?

-Bruce
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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce