Case dismissed: Why won’t Ace Parking pay for my damage?

Parking garage damage is a popular sub-genre of complaint on this site. It seems every month I get a request for help from a hotel guest who valet-parked their car and had it returned with a ding or dent.

Take Nikki Browning, for example. She recently valeted her Volvo while she was a guest at the Se San Diego Hotel. The Se is a luxury property in the Gaslamp District where it costs $36 a night to park, which is among the most expensive rates in town.
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Did an Embassy Suites valet take her Saab for a joyride?

Remember the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where a valet takes a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT out for a joyride? Brandi Mahoney claims it happened to her when she stayed at the Embassy Suites Portland – Downtown in Portland, Ore., recently.

How does she know someone took her car — a 2006 Saab convertible — for a spin? Her on-board navigation system told her.
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