Driving to West Valley to get
six bucks back: Don't be bullied by bad parking attendants
By R.M. Monk
March 16, 2009 | Have you ever felt scammed by a parking
attendant? I have, and learned you don't have to put
up with it.
On March 7, I drove to West Valley to meet up with
friends and see Watchmen (you
can read my review here). We decided on seeing it
at 3:30 p.m. at the Ritz Cinemas next to the E Center.
As we drove into the theater's parking lot, we saw
a sign that read "E Center parking, $6.00."
It was for the High School Basketball Tourney later
that night. Since there was no attendant present and
we were there to visit the theater, I figured parking
in the theater's lot would be OK.
I was wrong.
After the movie, we stopped at my car for a moment
before we decided on just walking to a nearby Ruby Tuesday
for dinner. As we walked away from my car, a guy in
an orange coat that read "Centennial Management
Group" came up to us and said we had parked without
paying the toll. My friend's car was also parked there,
but since we didn't stop by his vehicle, he was only
harassing me. We said we were just here to see a movie
and were about to show him the theater's ticket stubs
before he interrupted.
"Tickets are six dollars, and if you don't have a
ticket I can have your car towed."
Not wanting to fight it, I opened my wallet.
"Oh, don't pay him a damn thing," said my friend.
I paid him anyway.
As a journalism student, I've learned to keep a notepad
with me at all times. I got his and his boss's name
before going. Then I realized he hadn't even given me
a parking pass when he took my money. I headed back,
got a pass, then went to dinner.
On the way back, we decided to look at the cars near
mine, which was right in front of the theater, to see
if any had a pass like I was given. Wouldn't you know
it, not a one did. That really started to grate me,
and I wondered if the kid in the orange coat was even
a legitimate parking attendant. It's one thing when
someone with a weapon mugs you, but to feel someone
with just a plastic badge grifted you is infuriating.
A few days later, I called up Centennial Management
Group and asked if it employed a man by the name the
parking attendant gave me. It did, so I explained what
had happened and was told his boss would get back to
He did, and I must say he couldn't have been nicer
about the situation. He explained that they never tow
anyone except in extreme cases, that he had a talk with
his employee and if I wanted my six bucks back I could
stop by their offices.
I haven't driven back to West Valley yet, but I'm
going to. Yes, going and coming back will eat up more
gas than six bucks worth, but it's the principle of
the thing. Bad parking attendants, or any bad customer
service for that matter, should be denounced and fought,
or it'll keep happening to other people.