Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reno Officials Investigate Car Booting Companies

"Reno police and city officials are investigating car booting companies after numerous complaints of employees demanding cash and other alleged ordinance violations."

Investigators found the car booters had "...refused to identify themselves" and that these businesses, who are governed by both the licensing department and Reno municipal codes, were "...not really meeting the guidelines and requirements..."


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Orlando city commissioner wants to ban the practice of "booting" cars parked in private lots. It has been described as "...out of control."

Click here to read what residents have to say about private car booting operations:

Here are a couple highlights:

"The boot serves no purpose... it's a straight up money grab. It doesn't free up a parking space - which is supposed to be the reason for enforcing illegal parking anyway.

At least towing frees up the parking space for those who are "supposed to be there"... or at least that's the excuse.

These predatory tow companies are the lowest forms of life."

" place a boot on a vehicle is technically theft since the vehicle owner is being deprived of use of the vehicle without lawful cause since there is no inclusion in any code for a private entity to boot a vehicle, only to tow it.

So, if push comes to shove the tow operator could be charged with grand theft, dealing in stolen property, and extortion for requiring $100 payment to release the stolen property. It would probably only take one arrest of the greedy tow truck operators to make this practice come to a screeching halt. "

Tougher Rules For Dallas Car Boot Operators

"The compromise approved Wednesday will require receipts given by machines or a lot attendant as proof of payment for any lot opened after Wednesday.
It will impose the receipt requirement in phases for existing lots.
The largest number of boot complaints came from Deep Ellum, and that area will get the receipt requirement on Jan. 1, 2010. Other lots would be added by July 1, 2011.
By Jan. 1, 2011, all lots in the city must provide receipts before they will be permitted to boot cars."


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fury at Car Boot Clamping

"There was outrage at a car boot sale when clampers swooped on Sunday morning bargain hunters.

Tyres on the clamping company's van were slashed as tempers flared and police were called."

"Lewes MP Norman Baker, who was browsing nearby stalls, said the row highlighted the need for greater scrutiny of the way clampers operated and the fines they charged."


BBC NEWS: Should Private Car Clamping Be Banned?

The practice of clamping cars parked on private land should be made illegal in England and Wales, according to the AA. What do you think?

The public have absolutely no protection if a private parking firm acts unfairly
Paul Watters, the AA

The motoring group argued that "immoral practices" are common among private parking firms and government plans for greater self-regulation would not work.

Trade body the British Parking Association said the AA had suggested no "credible" alternative. Wheel clamping is already banned in Scotland and in Northern Ireland only unlicensed vehicles can be clamped.

Does car clamping on private land work? Have you been clamped on private land? Should England and Wales follow Scotland's example and ban clamping? What alternatives would you suggest?


Car Booting - Atlanta, GA Complaints - $50.00 fine for visiting the store

Many residents of Atlanta have complained about unlawful booting:

"Fight Predatory "booting" and towing by boycotting those shopping centers who's property owners hire these companies. Tell the store managers you will not be returning to spend your money there! Tell everyone you know to avoid these places and write about them on the internet! It will make a difference!

NO ONE LIKES HOW THESE SCAMMERS MAKE MONEY!!! They may be legal, but that does not mean they are right! Legality is only a matter of acceptance. If enough people complain, and loudly, then the laws will change!

I am a victim too. The "Disco Kroger" parking lot at 3330 Piedmont Rd. near where Piedmont crosses Peachtree Rd. is one of these places. It is regularly patrolled by men in white vans who work for EPS, a company that will place a tire lock on your car if you leave the parking lot for ANY LENGTH OF TIME. You will be charged $50, and in my case they will claim they can run your credit card for the money, cancel the transaction, and require cash to remove the boot. Don't ever pay them in cash! If you pay them through your credit card company, you can dispute the charge. If necessary, I recommend calling a police officer (which I didn't do but should have) to act as a liason to keep the EPS employee straight and honest, and keep you safe. These "employees" will get confrontational with you if you get angry! BEWARE!!

EPS is located at Peachtree Street, Suite 400 Atlanta, Ga 30303 (404) 605-9242.

The Property owners of the Disco Kroger Shopping Center are Equity One Inc. Located at 1600 NE Miami Gardens Dr
North Miami Beach, FL 33179 (305) 947-1664"


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is Clamping a State-Sanctioned Extortion Racket?

"By refusing to clamp down on the clampers, the police are neglecting their duty to protect the public, says Alasdair Palmer."

"Vehicle clamping isn't designed as a deterrent, but as a cash cow."


Car-Booting Punishable With $5000 Fine in Washington

Using "The boot" to immobilize a vehicle on private property in Washington is now a crime punishable by a year in jail and a $5,000 fine:

"In response to numerous consumer complaints, the Legislature passed a law making such impounds criminal."


Fredericton Company Gives Boot to "Car-Booters"

A complaint against a parking enforcement company in Fredericton has led to a ban on the controversial method of blocking unauthorized vehicles known as booting:

"We are talking about a method of enforcement that is illegal. Keeping your property "hostage" until the "ransom" is paid is illegal. Gluing his papers all over your car is illegal.

Locking your wheel with bolts could interfere with your tire alignment, could scratch your wheel covers and car, being sneaky , threatening and intimidating people is just wrong and illegal.

He is not police, who gives this guy the right to enforce the law anyway?"


Poor Signage Leads to More Car Booting and Angry Customers

Here's another case from September, 2009 out of Canada:

"Jon Norman, who manages the Great Canadian Pub on Orange Lane, said the crackdown has been hurtful to his business, mostly because the crackdown has come without warning.

"I've lost customers," he said. "Maybe (the parking crackdown) it's necessary, but the implementation's been bad. They've got these tiny little signs with small print that are about the size of a stop sign."


Dallas Boot Law Vote Delayed

View more news videos at:

" councilmembers Wednesday delayed for at least two months a vote on a law to regulate parking lot booting. It comes after months of meetings and angry complaints from customers.

The complaints center chiefly on lots where customers put cash in a slot but receive no receipt to prove they paid. The immobilizing boot is placed on a wheel as a penalty for failing to pay. The fee to remove the boot is generally $100.

Many people insist they were booted unfairly.

“All we’re asking for is a reasonable ordinance, you provide a receipt,” said Sean Fitzgerald with the Deep Ellum Community Association.

Fitzgerald was prepared for a planned public hearing and city council vote on Wednesday, with dozens of supporters to speak and a petition with more than 800 signatures."


Private Parking Lot "Booting" Ruled Illegal in Washington State

In 2005, authorities in the state of Washington ordered companies operating in parking lots to stop using the "boot" to punish drivers for trespassing on business parking lots.

"There are no laws regarding the use of wheel clamps, but attorneys for the Licensing Department said that using them to immobilize someone else's vehicle is illegal for anyone but an authorized government agent, such as a police officer."

"Using a clamp to immobilize a vehicle is to deprive the owner of the vehicle of the use of his property. That vehicle is being held for ransom, basically, until the owner pays the money to release it...That's an impound."


Tire Boots "Plague" Dallas Parking Lots

Tire booting is considered a "plague" in Dallas. Overzealous private parking companies are said by one driver to be "...waiting to catch somebody doing something wrong," and that "...they make an honest person into a dishonest person."

The practice of private booting has aptly been described by many as a "money making scheme." I suggest that the term "racket" makes more sense because the "car booters" create circumstances unfavorable for anyone parking in their lots, and then they extort money (CASH ONLY) from drivers who want their cars back.


Kim Holland or KRQE News 13 Previews Unethical "Boot Man"

Reporter Kim Holland or KRQE News 13 provides a little background to the parking lot disputes which have happened in the past, and why people are so upset by the manner in which their cars are being booted. One point that needs to be accentuated: the parking lot's payment box is on the opposite end of the lot, a whole block away.

This makes it very unclear to the Subway sandwich shop patrons that they are even supposed to pay. The signs that do exist are bent up, graffiti enhanced, and placed so high up on the wall that they're all but lost among the advertisements.

People find it frustrating because they are made to look like they are trying to get away without paying, when in reality, most are simply caught unaware. It is my contention (and that of many others), that this is part of an intentional ploy to entrap unsuspecting drivers:

" they're doing it is awfully suspicious and there's a lot of drivers that are upset with the method..."

"It's an unusual way that they're booting these cars....but its not..... quite......right..." --Kim Holland

Friday, October 9, 2009

Minneapolis City Council Bans Unregulated "Car Booting" Industry

The city of Minneapolis found the "Car Booting Industry" to be an unregulated, obnoxious practice and they had the good common sense to eliminate it. I hope that Albuquerque will take similar measures to protect it's residents.

According Minneapolis' city council's report:

"...booting companies were observed booting without adequate signage and without proper authorization."

This is exactly what is happening to residents of Albuquerque. The place where my car was booted had signs, albeit graffiti covered, weather-torn, and poorly placed ambiguous ones. The report went on to explain that:

"...several companies also charged unauthorized fees, used intimidating behavior and threatened to have cars towed if booting fees were not paid immediately..."

This too, resonates with observations by people in Albuquerque, including my own. I would definitely say it was "intimidating behavior," not to mention weird. The word "sketchy" also comes to mind. I was being staked out by a creepy, beat-up car with tinted windows. The man inside refused to identify the name of his "business" or to provide so much as a business card or a receipt. I had no way of verifying if he had a legitimate right to boot my car in the first place.

Furthermore, the toll-box was over 50 yards away on the other side of the (mostly empty) lot. His behavior and methods weren't what I would have expected from an actual parking lot attendant.

It was clear to me, as it has been to far too many others, that this "boot man" is intentionally creating the problem in order to provide a solution--at a profit. In other words, it's a racket.


Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham Discusses Clampers in His Area:

"From what I have seen most clampers come from the fringes of the criminal classes. They are of the same ilk as those who come to your door offering to tarmac the drive, demand a huge price and then drive you to your bank to get cash to pay them with.

Why does England and Wales not get in line with Scotland where private clamping is totally illegal."

Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham, UK.Tel +44 115 9705100; Fax +44 115 9423263

"Fred" from :


"The present legal position of clampers is a scandal and amounts to barely legal extortion in many cases. There is absolutely no excuse for failing to bring in a system of licensing that will regulate them.

We have all heard the horror stories, up to and including the deliberate setting up of tempting-looking sites to entrap the unwary. At up to £300 per victim the costs are easy to recoup.

I recently heard a case in court where the driver of a clamper truck was seen by the police to clamp a vehicle, whereupon they checked him over. It turns out that he has no licence, and his truck is uninsured. He then tried to give the officers false details, and only adjusted his attitude when they handcuffed him and put him in the police vehicle. He then failed to turn up to court, and I issued a warrant for his arrest.

The Government needs to find time for a short Bill bringing in licensing of clampers, with a proper code of practice. Perhaps a private member will oblige?"

"My point has nothing to do whether clamping is legal - it obviously is. What has happened though is that some clamping firms are in the extortion business rather than that of parking control.

In my area a car was towed away within four minutes of being left and the owner was told that it would cost him £385 to get his car (which was in an adjacent street) back.

Clampers have threatened and intimidated old and vulnerable people. All I am asking is that clampers are properly licensed, checked for criminal backgrounds, and that their behaviour be subject to a code of practice.

My story about the unlicensed and uninsured clamper who then tried to get arsy with the police was to illustrate what some of the clampers are like. They should be controlled."

Krissie Labanauskas "Car-Boot Racket; Old Navy Chicago, 60290"

"No Savings Here!"

"...Had a terrible experience here. Parked with intention of using coupon at Old Navy but had to use the restroom before shopping so ran across street to Starbucks....On way to shop at Old Navy, saw boot on my car! Store managers claim their hands are tied and cannot do anything regarding their customers being booted.

Car next to me was booted as well, when they had already shopped at Old Navy, one person was still in Old Navy at time of boot, and three others ran to Starbucks for a drink.

All in all, I paid $115 to remove boot...terrible experience, did not use coupon or shop at store after being rudely dismissed by manager.

No discretion to help out customers regarding boots sounds like a bunch of b*** s*** OR terrible corporate management/policy. Either way, avoid this store and certainly avoid the lot. Global Parking Management Inc. supposedly runs the lot.

March 17, 2009 by Krissie Labanauskas in Chicago, IL