DWYM: Pay your parking costs or beware 'the sticker of shame'

Consumers beware this "parking sticker of shame"
Posted at 10:05 AM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 11:09:14-04

Did you ever do something wrong?

Almost as bad as getting a penalty is being shamed for it.

Now, some parking lots are publicly shaming drivers for violations.

Consumer reporter John Matarese explains, so you don't waste your money.

Ever park illegally? That usually means a ticket or a tow.

But now some lot owners are switching to something called "the sticker of shame."

Joe Frankenhoff is mad.

"This green sticker is plastered on the driver's side window where your vision is, where you can't see."

Joe and his wife had just had Sunday brunch.

There on his driver's window was a fluorescent sticker claiming they were illegally parked.

"They stick this non-removable sticker right in your line of sight so you cant drive the car safely," Frankenhoff said.

What made him furious is that he says they had indeed paid to park, but didn't realize they also needed to place the little ticket on their dashboard.

"They should have a sign that says put the receipt on the dash," he said.

But only the ticket says that, not the signboard.

Joe realizes it could have been worse. At some lots, if they think you haven't paid at the kiosk, they will put a boot on your wheel or tow your car, which is a lot more serious.

A spokesman for the company that owns the lot -- Broadway Parking -- told me they are doing this as a "courtesy to illegal parkers"saying "a $100 towing fee helps no one."

Stickers like this are a new nationwide trend, and attorneys say it is legal, as long as it doesn't damage your car.

But a warning: you can't peel it until you get home!

"So it took me 15 or 20 minutes of scraping, and soaking and scraping, and then I had to get go gone to get the last bit off it," Frankenhoff said.

That's why it's called the sticker of shame.

While the sticker is frustrating, it sure beats a parking ticket or having to find a towed vehicle.

So follow the rules carefully, so you don’t waste your money.