Valet Parking – The Other Side

9 Oct

Next time you hand over your keys to the Valet for parking. Think again. You might not get your car back in one piece…

On Sept 16th a bunch of colleagues and I went out to lunch at this 4 Star Hotel. As is the norm, I handed the keys to the Valet. I normally would have my driver around, but since there were more people, I drove myself.

So we go in, finish lunch and I ask for my car. The guys at the desk are looking at each other. One guy tells me that they are having problems opening the door…another guy tells me that there are no Valets to fetch the car..

Something smells here…

Ten minutes later, I run out of patience and ask for my keys and start walking towards the back of the hotel. One of the managers is walking with me.. he looks unsure as to what to do… let me go.. or prevent me.

When I get to the back, I see my car in the distance… in the middle of the driveway. Theres a crowd of hotel employees around the car. As I get closer I can see that something is wrong. Something is indeed wrong… I realize to my shock that my car has been smashed up. The front right side is totalled. The wheel is bent inwards and wires are hanging out.

“What the **** happened?” I shouted. The employees shuffled their feet. I turned to the manager next to me… “Well??? What the **** happened?”

Turns out that the so called Valet (who was actually a bell boy with no license) has stepped on the accelarator instead of the brake while bringing my car back. As a result hes gone headlong into another car belonging to the hotel… and smashed up both.

In the meantime my colleagues join me. A senior looking guy comes and gives us his card and introduced himself as the finance controller (FC). He assures me that they will take care of all the charges. One of my colleagues insists that the hotel put it in writing. After some hemming and hawing we have a letter on their letterhead.

 

It took nearly a month and over a Lakh of rupees, and a new steeering shaft for the car to get fixed. One month of driving around in a borrowed car.

I must say here that the hotel paid the entire cost. About half of it was paid by their insurance company (a private one), who saw to it that the process got delayed as much as possible. Give me LIC or Oriental anyday.

There was of course one last ditch attempt by the hotel folks to weasel out of paying the entire cost. The day the car was ready, the FC called me and wanted to meet me at my office. Once there he “wondered” if I could claim some of the costs from MY insurance. The nerve !!!! So, I told him that either the hotel pays or I get in my legal guy and the police. He retreated quickly and told me that he’d have the draft ready later that day. I gues he just HAD to ask once….

So finally have my car back. That was one hell of an expensive lunch (for the hotel).

So next time you hand your car keys to the Valet… Beware !!!!

Advertisements

15 Responses to “Valet Parking – The Other Side”

  1. sindhu October 9, 2008 at 4:38 am #

    OUCH! so much for valet convinience :/

  2. Ram October 9, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    hmmm… that’s no good.

  3. Rada October 9, 2008 at 10:18 am #

    Oh! Quite a horror story that!

  4. Susanta October 9, 2008 at 11:52 am #

    Which hotel was it … We need to be careful

  5. Veena October 9, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    I don’t know if this was because it was a 4 star hotel, otherwise wonder what would have happened. probably the valet guy might have had salary cuts for years together to recover from..

    parvaagillari….

  6. brijwhiz October 9, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    Problem is – what option do we have?

  7. My3 October 9, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    WOW!! Terrible. No more valet parking for you, Vijay! Even here it scares me when they take my van for parking. But if there is no other alternative then you are stuck trusting the hotels that they won’t vandalize your vehicle.
    Glad that it worked out well for you. Best wishes on VijayaDashami Day.

  8. meghana October 10, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    eeps ! totally scary ,thank god u finally got back d money from those guys

  9. praneshachar October 12, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    VERY SAD WHY SHOULD THEY TAKE SOMETHING WHICH THEY CAN NOT HANDLE. i HAVE KNOWN ONCE IT HAPPENED TO MY COLLEAGUE BUT DAMAGE WAS NOT TO SUCH AN EXTENT NOT IN A HOTEL BUT IN A JEWELLARY SHOP
    VALET PARKING BEWARE MIND IT IS YOUR CAR
    SORRY VIJAY YOUR LUNCH WAS TOTALLU SPOILED BY THIS GUY ANY HOW HAPPY YOU GOT BACK REPAIRED CAR AT THEIR COST U R GREAT AND LUCKY
    PRANESH

  10. Vijay October 13, 2008 at 3:21 am #

    @sindhu: Sometimes they park on the road as well… never reliable
    @Ram, Rada: 😦
    @susanta: wish I could reveal.. but then they paid the repair bills
    @veena: dont know..
    @brijwhiz: exactly
    @My3: 🙂 thanks for the Vijayadahmi wishes
    @meghana: whew!!!
    @Pranesh: As Brij says above.. sometimes we might not have any other options..

  11. Nikhil October 14, 2008 at 5:58 am #

    Holy shit! This is disgusting! At least you got paid..!! Which hotel is this?? I won’t ever go there! Tell me, saar. Please!

  12. Nikhil Narayanan October 15, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    God!
    This is shocking!
    Good that the car is back on the road now.

    -Nikhil

  13. Vijay October 15, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    @Nilhil: Will mail you…
    @Nikhil N: Thanks 🙂

  14. megcloud9 November 1, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    hey i read this post in Bangalore Mirror about 2 days ago but it wasnt with ur name ! I was pretty shocked ! thr seems to be some mistake but the online edition has the right name

  15. Chitra November 6, 2008 at 6:41 am #

    Good you have your car back.
    I read this in Bangalore Mirror too and it had somebody else’s name on it – exactly what the prev commenter said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: