We currently operate under the Texas State Ordinance that has been in force for the past two years. And prior to that we have operated fairly and honestly not just in San Antonio but in three states since 2004. We have never given the city or the people of San Antonio a reason to believe we are practicing fraudulently or aggressively. Parking is a business and just like any other business we aim to protect ours from scammers, cheats and dishonest people.
There have been many, many instances where a customer has paid for the wrong spot or simply made a mistake and paid the wrong meter and we have released the booted vehicle after the correct parking charges have been satisfied. Let a customer not have a paid meter on the city street and it will be towed at an even higher expense and with even more difficulty in obtaining the vehicle. With booting we allow the customer to remain in the safety and comfort of their own vehicle with their air condition on in those hot Texas summers. Towing doesn't allow for that option. Could you imagine your wife and kids going to the River Walk and if they failed to pay to park coming back to an empty space where their vehicle once was? what would she do with the kids, the strollers, the shopping bags etc. Where would they go or where could they go to feel safe? If they were booted she and the kids could pile in the car and wait for our employee to arrive within 10-20 minutes to collect the payment and be on her merry way.
While there are sometimes errors made from both the customers end and our own the percentage pales in comparison to the people we do catch who intend to steal parking. And for every 10 people we do catch there are typically nine sob stories or excuses as to why they didn't pay. This is where the change in the ordinance is a good one. The parking meters that the city would like to begin requiring will provide a paid parking receipt the customer will leave on the dashboard to prove they paid for parking. That way all we have to do is check to see if there is a valid paid parking ticket on the customer's dashboard and if there isn't or it isn't valid it's quite simple, they get immobilized or "booted".
The only problem requiring those hi tech pay machines is that they cost a lot of money. San Antonio currently has the lowest parking rates of the 8 largest cities in the South. Requiring a parking company to install a $15,000 machine to accept payment will increase those affordable rates. But maybe it's about time SA catches up to the rest of the country by increasing those cheap rates.
I also need to mention that if a customer feels they have been booted unjustly they have the right to request a hearing to sit in front of a judge every Monday to plead their case. If the judge proves we unjustly booted someone they will get a 100% refund. We aren't here doing whatever we want, we abide by the law.