Parking lots may cost a lot more than charge on sign

Parking lots may cost a lot more than charge on sign

Brackfield & Associates owns the Campus Parking lots. Brackfield & Associates owns the Campus Parking lots.

April 4, 2005

6 On Your Side Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A lot of people are angry after paying to use a private parking lot off the UT strip and returning to find their vehicles booted.

Parking all day at Campus Parking, a lot at White Avenue and 17th Street costs what you'd pay for a 20 ounce bottle of Coke and a big bag of potato chips. But if your car is booted, the excessive fee would make a loan shark proud.

UT law librarian Carol Collins insists she put two $1.00 bills into the proper slot in March at the lot. "I was booted. That's correct. I was booted."

On her windshield, she found a warning sticker and on her front tire, a boot. Carol called the number listed on a sign at the lot. "She said it would be $75 to get the boot off my car."

College student David Hixon insists he paid when he parked behind Sawyer's restaurant in March at another lot called Campus Parking. When he left Sawyer's, he found a sticker. "They put a boot on our car. We called them. They told us that we didn't pay."

Bus driver Brian McClure admits he didn't pay his $1.00 fee when he pulled into slot number two in March. "I take partial blame for it because I didn't see their sign."

Brian went for a burger at Sawyer's and in less than four minutes, his vehicle was booted. "It's a rip-off. They're extorting people for their money is the bottom line."

6 On Your Side checked on the city charge for a parking violation. The fine is $5.00 if you forget to put your money in the meter or run overtime. It's not $75.

Sawyer's manager Jackie Bailey put up a sign warning customers about Campus Parking. "They'll sit there instead of telling them to pay to park there. They'll just boot their car and charge them $75, which is wrong. They're just stalking them."

Brackfield & Associates in west Knoxville tells 6 On Your Side it owns the Campus Parking lots. Brackfield hires Floyd's Wrecker Service to tow your car if you don't pay immediately.

An employee of Floyd's monitors the lot each day from a truck. 6 On Your Side watched the same employee collecting money from parking slots and asked her about the excessive fees. "Why does this parking lot charge $75 when the city only charges $5.00? Why is that?" She seemed eager to leave.

6 On Your Side wanted to know how the woman determines when customers exceed their time. Carol Collins says it's basically the parking lot's word against yours. "I think it's pretty lousy. That's a pretty stiff penalty for somebody who had paid anyway, knowing that I had paid."

The manager at Brackfield & Associates says the system is okay and they have no intention of changing the way they do business. She says they're not trying to beat anybody out of their money. Their lots are clearly marked.

Several of the people who spoke to 6 On Your Side plan to take Brackfield & Associates to small claims court to determine their accounting system.

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