He parked his car and they took it for a joyride

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By Christopher Elliott

His car was parked at Premier Parking USA. It’s like a scene from the 80s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Minus the Ferrari, maybe. And the Star Wars soundtrack.

And it happened to Richard Nadler when he parked his car at Premier Parking USA at the Port of Miami before taking a recent seven-day cruise. The $63 price was right, but what he says happened next was not.

When he returned from his vacation, he noticed a warning light: low tire pressure.

“We wanted to get home quickly so we went looking for a gas station to add air to the tires,” he says. “As we were traveling, we noticed a pile of sand in the back seat and that all the mirrors had been moved.”

Nadler hadn’t been to the beach before taking his cruise.

“When we turned on the radio we found all the stations on AM, FM, and Sirius radio had been changed,” he says. “Looking at the odometer we realized that there were 25 more miles on it from when we left the car.”

Someone had taken his car for a spin

Nadler concluded that someone had taken his car for a spin while he was away. He was not happy about it.

He called Premier Parking USA immediately.

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I’ll let him describe what happened next.

I reached a recording which stated no one was available to take my call. It said to leave a message and that I’d hear back in 24 hours.

I called back three hours later hoping to speak to someone, but received the same message.

I never received a return call, so I called again the next day. I received the same message, left another to be called back with my telephone number.

I went to the website and wrote an e­mail. After two days, I still did not receive any replies. I e­mailed again.

After a few more days I called again and I finally spoke to a representative who said they’d handle the claim if I’d send them a copy of the police report that I filed on the day of the incident.

I told him that I didn’t file a police report because I waited to find out what Premier Parking wanted me to do. I told him that if he’d called back and told me to file a police report I would have.

He told me he was sorry that there was nothing he could do and he hung up. I called back and no one answered.

Well, OK.

“Employees were joyriding in customers’ cars while they were away,” he says. “I am requesting a full refund of $63.”

Does he deserve a refund? The terms he agreed to say: probably not.

Disclaimer of Consequential Damages

Premier Parking USA, its suppliers, parking lot owners and managers, hotel owners and managers, or any third parties mentioned on this web site shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever including, but not limited to, incidental and consequential damages, loss of profits, loss of income, or damages resulting from lost data or business interruption resulting from the use or inability to use the web site and the information, whether based on warranty, contract, tort, or any other legal provision. You agree to hold harmless Premier Parking USA. and its Associates whether or not any party is advised or has knowledge of the possibility of such damages.The aggregate liability for Premier Parking USA. and it’s Associates, parking lot owners, and hotel owners to you for any and all claims arising from the use of this web site and information is limited to no greater than the cost of the parking reservation.

Should Nadler have read this? Probably. Or maybe one of these scathing reviews about the company posted online. Phrases like “do not use” and “scam” tend to be big red flags flapping in that warm offshore breeze in Miami.

I have received complaints about Premier Parking in the past. I asked Nadler for a paper trail and he sent me his outbound emails, but no reply — not even an acknowledgment — from the company. That was troublesome. So, in breaking with tradition, I sent an email to Premier Parking, asking if it could help answer his query. (Here’s our ultimate guide to resolving your consumer problem.)

I say “breaking” with tradition because this feature, “Should I Take The Case?” is supposed to be an unvetted case where you tell me if I should be the advocate. By sending an email, I’m technically advocating.

But let’s not get hung up on technicalities. Unsurprisingly, Premier Parking USA ignored my email to its general inbox. So should I take this to the next level and push for a refund for Nadler? Or should he have known better, and is this a lesson learned?

Should I take Richard Nadler's case?

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Update: My advocacy team and I just heard from Nadler. Perhaps my email got through to the right person, after all. Here’s what he had to say:

Heard back from company and spoke with William Garcia, who identified himself as the director of the claims department. He asked for particulars, which I gave him. He said he’d get back to me in 24-48 hours after investigating. I have not heard from him since. I called twice yesterday and left messages today also.

I’ll keep you posted on this case.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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