MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The company that runs more than 20 downtown Memphis parking lots gets an "F" from the Better Business Bureau for everything from outrageous charges to unanswered complaints.
Downtown Memphis is one of the top destinations for tourists in Tennessee. Margie Curtis is visiting from Virginia. She is in town on a mission trip working for an entire week, "We have a half a day off today, we were going to go to the Peabody hotel and look at the Mississippi River."
However, when she tried to park at the Central Parking lot on Third and Union she says she had no idea how to pay or how much parking is, "I pushed this to see if that would give me a clue and it just says what bills are accepted. I don't know."
Lyn Goldsmith, visiting from Chicago, had a similar experience in the same lot, "Do you have to know ahead of time how long you're going to be?" she asked, "No really, do you know how to work it?"
The BBB has processed 19 complaints against the company; 10 of those remain unanswered or unresolved.
Paul Morris, the director of Downtown Commission says, "Anytime you have a parking operator who's not providing a good level of service to the customer, then when they come downtown have a bad experience in their lot or garage, that makes them less likely for them to come back."
The BBB says customers complained that even after paying to park they received hefty tickets. Some were never given a ticket for the dash, others were never told of time limits, then cited.
Morris says Central Parking has been responsive when the City's contacted them, but if they're not showing the same courtesy to the customer, it's bad business. "That's a great concern for Downtown Memphis Commission," says Morris.
Curtis says the lot is more trouble than it's worth. "I would agree with whoever rated it, I don't know if I'd give it an 'F,' but right now we're pretty confused."
Central Parking Systems operates 2,200 lots across the country. A spokesperson says they are in the process of resolving the complaints and expect to have that complete in the next few days.
Central Parking Systems has various grades from BBB across the country. Their national headquarters is in Nashville, where they have an A+ rating.