Memphis parking lot company under investigation for tickets, complaints

(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South business given an F rating by the Better Business Bureau is now under investigation for overcharging customers and not responding to complaints.

Gwen Rhines parked in a parking lot downtown and was late getting back to her vehicle. She was charged an exorbitant fee and is now warning others.

Rhines parked in a parking lot near South 3rd Street and Monroe Avenue. She said there were no signs nearby warning her that she would be charged an outrageous fee for being late.

She said when she arrived in the parking lot, there was no parking attendant. She paid the $10 fee and the kiosk to park for four hours. She arrived back to her car 40 minutes late.

"I had a ticket on my windshield. They had taken a picture of my license tag and there was a ticket on there for 80 dollars because the meter had expired," said Rhines.

Rhines soon realized she was not alone.

The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South has since issued a consumer alert against Central Parking System of Tennessee. The company also operates as Allright Parking and has more than 20 parking lots in the Memphis area.

So far, the BBB processed 19 complaints against the company; 10 of those remain unanswered or unresolved.

Complaints against Central Parking System of Tennessee allege that consumers who paid to park in company-owned lots found citations on their windows when they arrived back at their cars. Those citations often came with fees of $65 or more.

"There was an attendant there at the time. I went over and talked to him and said 'Look I'm 40 minutes late. I want to renew the space. They said they couldn't do anything about the ticket. I had to call the 1-800 number on Monday, so I went ahead and renewed my space, and paid another $10 dollars, so at this point I'm 100 dollars in on that parking lot," explained Rhines.

Central Parking issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

"Central Parking takes these complaints seriously. Several of these complaints have already been resolved, and we are in the process of resolving the rest individually. We expect to have this completed in the next few days."