We’re Getting Carried Away Here

Simmering under the surface is a Provo problem that has been bugging me for years. That is the twin evils of Booting and Towing. I’ve heard enough to believe that some (not all) booting and towing companies are predatory in nature and take advantage of students and visitors.
To be clear, this does not include legitimate companies that offer towing services. I’m talking about those bad guys who lurk around waiting to jump on a vehicle left 30 seconds to run a plate of brownies to a sick friend. Instead of finding a $15 parking ticket they find their car across town with a bill over $250.
Imagine the disgust of a recent visitor who attended an event in Provo. She paid a parking attendant a fee to park in a parking lot. But she didn’t read the fine print that allowed her car to be towed because she wasn’t back by 10 p.m. The same company that sold her the parking space towed the car.
In truth, I’m not sure what can be done but it’s time to take a hard look. We are constrained by state law in many ways, but within our ability, I want to make sure we are doing all we can. This Tuesday, the municipal council will be discussing the topic in their work session. You can find the agenda here.
How can you help? Send me your stories. I want to compile a record of the unfair practices. The more details you can give me the more valuable your help. Send them to my email at john@provo.org.
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  1. I was down 9th in the parking lot of Golds Gym. I had gone to the gym earlier to meetup with a friend that hadn’t arrived yet. I found out later he was delayed because of homework and his phone died. He was living in King Henry Apts so I decided that I would just walk to his Apt. Long Story short I came back 10 mins after the parking lot time and found my car gone. A very nice fellow student stuck around to tell me the story. Apparently the tow truck had been just around the corner because my car was gone in just 10min. I went down to the tow truck place to find a very rude worker that was not willing to reason at all. I later called the manager and found out no it’s always random when they show up. The next 3 days I watched to see when they would come and it was always within 5 mins of the lot being closed. I would of been fine with a boot but instead no they gave me a full on tow with me arriving only 2-3 mins after they left.

    I hope we can be a little more reasonable with the towing abilities of towing companies. The main reason for this service is to provide security in the lots and remove people from handicap spots. Not to just make a buck.

    1. Anonymous

      A vulture tow truck likes to sit in the parking lot south of Golds Gym. It is there almost every night.

    2. Anonymous

      STUPID VULTURES!

    3. Anonymous

      I harass those guys when I see them.

    4. Anonymous

      So what kind of towing or specific towing practices are we talking about? Because my apartment complex has very limited parking and if someone takes my designated spot, either that car has to leave in one way or another or I have to take someone else’s designated spot, and there’s usually no way to find the driver or know how long they’ll be away. But I don’t think there are any times posted in the parking lot of this particular complex when designated spots can be taken by others. But student parking is a mess. Owners of apartments near enough to school to walk know they can charge a lot more in rent because the undergrads especially have nowhere to park on or near BYU campus, and the buses are nowhere near economical for most students and in a lot of ways don’t work for student schedules.

    5. Don’t worry about changing laws. Educate the property owners. Because I doubt many of them understand exactly what is going on. The towing companies are being paid be the property owners to begin with. I agree that they are predators, however they are being paid to do something, then they do it.

      Officers hate responding to these types of calls, because it’s never an easy way to explain to the owner that they have to pay the fines and fees that the tow company is asking for, because, its usually marked on a sign.

      Educate, Educate, Educate. Don’t make more laws.

    6. Anonymous

      I work at an office downtown with fairly limited parking and we have had cars towed from time to time. Sometimes we call on a car that has been there for hours and when the truck gets to us there are some other that have arrived in the mean time(maybe less than 10 minutes)and we have them towed as well. You wouldn’t believe what we find when we let people park there on the weekend. We come to work after the weekend and our parking lot is full of trash, vomit, feces… just disgusting.

      The problem with parking in Provo are the people looking for parking. The police do nothing about loitering and the mayor is is contributing to the problem mentality of you should be able to park anywhere you see a spot.

      Honestly people it comes down to personal responsibility. Don’t park in places where you don’t know the owner. If you get towed it is your fault… end of story.

    7. Anonymous

      I work downtown at an office with very limited parking and I have heard every sob story and reason why people just had to park in out lot(because apparently our customer and employees should be the ones to find somewhere else to park).

      These are the same people that complain about speed traps, drug stings, and DUI check points. If your not do anything wrong you don’t have anything to worry about. Respect private property or don’t complain about the consequences if you don’t.

    8. Anonymous

      If you are wrongfully towed, the best course of action is to obtain as much evidence as you can (pictures of the signs, where your car was parked, etc), pay the fee by credit card to get your car back, and then cancel the payment by calling your credit card company. My credit card company actually investigated the whole thing and had me send pictures as evidence. I’ve gotten out of a few towing bills this way.

    9. Anonymous

      If you are wrongfully towed, the best course of action is to obtain as much evidence as you can (pictures of the signs, where your car was parked, etc), pay the fee by credit card to get your car back, and then cancel the payment by calling your credit card company. My credit card company actually investigated the whole thing and had me send pictures as evidence. I’ve gotten out of a few towing bills this way.

    10. Anonymous

      I feel like the guys that work for towing cos are the kids who were picked on in high school and now they are having their revenge. Get over it stupid towing co workers!

    11. Anonymous

      Let’s harness the power of social media and increase the awareness of this issue, as well as show our support for Mayor John Curtis on the issue.

      Start posting your stories and pictures to this facebook page!
      http://www.facebook.com/ProvoParkingGettingCarriedAway

    12. Anonymous

      Apartment parking lots are very different from Campus lots or other business lots. Normally campus and business lots have more parking, and the people getting towed are in visitor parking because they were 3-5 minutes later than their ticket allotted (This guy right here). An apartment however is a residential location and when someone parks in someones spot, it does cause a problem since people are taking over other peoples spots

    13. Commission-Based incentives and heartless employees are to blame! They are the same reason that car salesmen are so shamelessly agressive! What you need is a picture of the main towing lobby where we’ve all been 8-9 times over the course of our college careers. Beautiful tile, leather couches, and a big screen tv are what we walk into every time we go to pay our ridiculously inflated fees (I personally paid for that lobby tv a couple of times over with their predatory tow fees). A big screen tv for who?! Why would I want a luxurious place to sit as I’m steaming mad in the lobby after being financially violated?!

      The last time I went in I got into a conversation with the woman at the front desk. I tried to tactfully ask if they could please forgive my fine as I explained my story. The woman just laughed and said, “we towed my brother once, and if we didn’t forgive his fees we definitely won’t be ably to forgive yours.” Good Point…you heartless bastards!

  2. It would help significantly if these predatory parking enforcement agencies paid their employees more so they didn’t have to prey on people in order to make a decent commission-based wage. Provo employees in general are overpaid, but greed is what drives these enforcers to stalk parking lots in order to make some quick cash.

    1. Anonymous

      I understand your ire, but your solution makes no sense. The company won’t make any money if these guys don’t tow cars, and if the don’t tow cars they can’t afford to pay living wages. What you describe is a cycle of diminishing returns. Tow less, get paid more… does not compute. These tow companies are private companies, not city employees.

  3. Anonymous

    Its not always restricted to visitors. A couple of years ago my roommate got towed from the lot at our apartment complex. It turns out that the spot he thought was a space was actually a red zone, but there was no way to tell since the ground and the curb were covered with snow. He had a permit on his car and everything. Luckily the complex manager agreed with my roommate and he got his money back. The tow company also loves to tow people a little bit after the time expires. I’ve known people who have been booted or towed and on the receipt for the boot it says something like 11:03, our lot closes at 11 every day. I also have a feeling that it takes more than 3 min. to put a boot on and print out a receipt.

    1. Anonymous

      People in my complex have been towed for parking in a spot they are allowed to. And then they are late for school/work because the towing company has to finish up putting boots on other cars…ridiculous

  4. One night, two of my friends asked me to go with them to the Riviera complex to help them film about 30 seconds of video. They had just got engaged to each other just weeks before and wanted to do a bit of a comical re-enactment. It took place at the Riv, and she had just moved out. We showed up, parked our cars, spent about 5 min. shooting the video, and returned to find our cars booted along with two other cars nearby who parked just after we did.

    1. Anonymous

      The Riviera is the worst. I moved in at the beginning of spring, and since then I’ve known 3 people personally to get towed. If you’re there after 11 it is a 90-95% guarantee your car will get booted or towed. Seeing as midnight is when people of the opposite gender need to be out of your apartment, it is a bit ridiculous. Also, the Pizza Hut parking lot at night looks like it flows into the Riviera, and cars are towed regularly from there, even though there are not more than 10 cars in the lot at any given time.

  5. A boy was dropping me off from a date and parked in the parking lot (that was half empty) so that he could walk me to the door. It was December and he didn’t want me to have to walk a long way in the cold. By the time we got to the door there was already a tow truck pulling up to take his car away.

    1. Totally and completely unnecessary classless lowblow by a terrible company. I have attempted the appeals process as well (they had towed my car after I had moved it in and out of a 30 minute space every 29 minutes, which of course they had no proof of). I appealed it and never heard back from them (of course).

  6. Anonymous

    It wouldn’t be a huge problem, but there is absolutely no public parking. Where am I supposed to drop of my date or park to walk to my friends apartment? This town was built to house the number of people that are here during the summer months, but during the fall and winter it is a madhouse, and the tow companies take full advantage of the confusion and POOR CITY PLANNING.

    1. Anonymous

      I agree that the root of the problem is not enough public parking. They should build a parking structure somewhere south of campus to alleviate this. I also feel like few complexes have enough parking for all the residents, forcing some to park on the street, taking up spots where visitors and friends should be parking.

    2. Anonymous

      Parking space is a problem, usually there isn’t enough for everyone in the apartments and its a fight to get a spot on the street. Also I feel like private parking spots should be regulated by the people who use them. I lived in Kensington on Condo Row and our policy was that there was no stickers or tow patrols. Everyone in the apartment knew each others cars, and if there was a car that wasn’t one of our we would notify the tow company. Sometimes we would just leave a note of warning saying please don’t park here or you will be towed, instead of just going directly to calling a tow company. But this flexibility allowed us to let others use our spots if they weren’t being used.

    3. Exactly, I lived at Glenwood for 2 years. If I had friends come over they had to park either at the Hotel nearby or the Stadium. There is no public parking anywhere near that area.

    4. I was performing at Muse Music so I parked my car behind what I thought was the building (I was parked 5 feet from the backdoor). Apparently I was technically parked behind the vacant building to it’s north. This was not properly marked. I came out of my 1 hour set and my car was gone. Had to hitch a ride to the towing yard and pay the $250 fine. The back lot of the building was not only improperly marked, but not being used by any other person (obviously, since the building was completely vacant inside and out.

    5. Anonymous

      This is so true! And if you find an empty parking lot, you can’t park there otherwise you will get towed…

    6. Anonymous

      I couldn’t agree more about poor city planning. I have lived in Provo for more than 30 years and nearly every new apartment project is approved for less parking than is needed–and it is still happening. For example, the new Village at South Campus was approved with 0.65 parking spaces per resident, meaning that hundreds of additional cars are now parking on the streets in that area. Until the city is willing to bite the bullet and make property owners provide enough parking, we will continue to have these problems.

    7. Anonymous

      I know the topic is on towing, but here’s something parking related that has been on my mind, that could alleviate congestion around campus and boots/tows as a side-effect.

      Why don’t we convince BYU to add a very large underground parking structure in the large Y-lot west of campus (north of the indoor practice field) and also tear down and rebuild the very old lots in the neighborhoods south of campus (ie: b/t 100 and 700 East and say 500 to 800 North) to accommodate the influx of 21st century city residents and students? Parking is scarce and watched like a hawk especially around campus. I believe both BYU’s Planning/Roads/Construction AND Student Committees and the various apartment managers surrounding campus should work together alongside the city planners to make this possible. I’ve seen some new complexes go up in the area south of BYU and most have parking structures so that having to park in the street is rather reduced to just occasional guests and some students going to class (minimizing the possibility of being booted/towed). Sure, that means complexes have to accommodate vehicles, but that would alleviate some parking congestion, and may be a long-term plan on reducing vehicle boots/tows in the area.

  7. Anonymous

    I saw a tow man using a measuring tape to measure the distance from a car’s tire to the red part of the curb. I am not quite sure what the situation was.

    1. Anonymous

      If your car is more than 12″-18″ for the curb, I don’t remember which, it violates some city ordinance and gives them right to boot or tow.

    2. A private towing company should never be empowered to enforce the law. A structure that allows an entity to profit from enforcement of code violations invites abuse. Look no further than our drug forfeiture laws, which has allowed law enforcement agencies to confiscate billions of dollars of personal property for their own benefit. Except that where a private company is concerned the abuse can be much worse because their is little, if any, recourse. Let’s leave law enforcement to the police.

  8. I was living in a student apartment complex called “Glenhaven on 600 North in Provo,” and the complex hand’t received new stickers for its private parking lot yet. Instead new residents were instructed to “park on the street” until the stickers were received.

    A month later and the complex still had not received new stickers, and all of the stickers from the previous year had expired, so since no one technically had valid stickers I started parking in the parking lot anyway. A couple days later I came home to see a boot on my car.

    When parking enforcement came I was informed that the only way to remove the boot was to pay the $50 fee, and if I wanted to appeal I should leave the boot on. Of course simply being able to drive was not an option, so I paid to have the boot taken off. After it was taken off, I was informed that the appeals process involved getting a written one-page letter from the apartment complex stating that they were at fault, as well as a letter from me, and then my request would be “considered.” The man taking the boot off chided me for being irresponsible and “breaking the law,” and then said casually, “you know you won’t win an appeal, so don’t even try.” I decided it wasn’t worth my time and ate the $50 fee.

    1. I think I’d have punched him in the face.

    2. Something similar is happening at my complex. My roommate found a statement in the contract about the complex having to provide parking stickers. She’s planning on suing if the appeal isn’t taken care of. It’s crazy and wrong. We can’t all park on the street if no one has permits and actually lives in the complex.

    3. Anonymous

      Seriously! Or more realistically, I would have bitched him out

    4. Anonymous

      I had a similar experience, except there was a note in the apartment complex telling us that because the new permits were not ready in time parking would not be enforced again until the end of September. Moving into the apartment the first week of August, I assumed I would be fine. The very next day I found my car booted and was told the only way to get it off was to pay the $50, despite having the letter from my management on-hand to show them. When I argued with the booter, he told me to just file an appeal since it was “your management’s fault that you got booted.” I went through the appeals process, which was ridiculously complicated and included me having to provide a stamped envelope in order to have my refund mailed to me (so I have to PAY to get my money back?! Sure 48 cents but still, it is the audacity of the thing that irks me). The UPE told me it would take 2-6 weeks to hear back from them and added, extremely rudely, “That is…if you even get approved.”

      Long story short, I am now on week 10 of waiting to hear back from them. After having called multiple times and been completely ignored, went physically into their office and was treated with utter contempt and disrespect, had the general manager blatantly lie to me about what happened to my appeal…I have received a “refund” for HALF of the price I paid for the original boot. I am still in contact and fighting this tooth and nail because I am so outraged by the unprofessional nature of their interactions with me, but I know hardly any other student would be filling to fight so long, and you know what? THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE TO.

      Predatory does not even begin to accurately describe the horrendous and appalling nature of these companies. Something needs to be done.

    5. A lot of companies around here use a clamp. so you might be able to take your tire off and pop on the spare to get wherever you’re going. Then you just have to get the clamp off of your original tire. I’d try deflating it since the clamp might count as “their property” and you don’t want to damage it (ok maybe you WANT to but shouldn’t). Anyways I’ve heard you can slip it off if you just deflate the tire. Then go to the gas station and refill your tire with air for a couple bucks. Oh and don’t bother calling the booting company if you do take it off. They’ll probably try and get you arrested or something. I tried emailing the Provo Police about whether or not taking off a clamp without damaging it was illegal and got no response…

  9. I moved out of Glenwood and went back a couple months later to pick up some mail. It was the summer and the lot was more than half empty. I got there just before midnight parked my car and went up to get my mail. When I got back it was just after midnight and my car was booted. $75 to pick up my mail! I argued with the parking enforcement guy for a while but he would not budge so I had to pay. When I got home I looked up the appeals process and it was so complicated and so unlikely to get me my money back that I just didn’t bother.

    There seems to be a real problem here with incentives. Due to the fact that the parking enforcers provide this service “for free” to apartment complexes, so all their revenue comes directly from booting and towing. Because more booting/towing equals more money, of course they will be predatory, it is their way to maximize profits. I can’t fault them for responding appropriately to incentives. The incentive structure needs to change.

  10. Stu

    I lived at a complex that would boot after 7pm. I came home one day at 5pm to see a boot on my car. When the booter came back to remove the boot, before he did anything I asked him to confirm what time the boot was put on my car. He came back and said he would immediately take it off with no charge. I asked to talk to his boss and that’s when things got really sticky. I had quite the ordeal with the owner over the next week or two, I was upset that when his business makes a mistake (i.e. puts a boot on my car without cause) there is no penalty to the booting company. In fact, I was the one who got the penalty of not being able to use my car for a few hours. But if I make an honest mistake, I pay quite a high penalty. Businesses really need someway to be held accountable.
    One major problem with these type of businesses is that they aren’t held responsible for there product and service. Typically, if people are not happy with the performance or product of a company, they stop going. If enough people do this, they either have to change the way business is ran or go out of business. In this case, the people who “hire” towing/booting service are the property management of the complexes. They don’t pay a fee, they just agree to let the booting company boot/tow when some parks without permission. The property management honestly doesn’t care how it happens as long as the service is provided.

  11. Anonymous

    My roommate was unable to get a parking pass for our complex’s lot simply because the office had run out of stickers. He ended up having to park there for just one night without a sticker. We went out for the night and came back within minutes after the end of visiting hours, and of course he was already booted. Knowing the vulture-like nature of these businesses, he was kind of expecting that.

    Because my roommate worked early mornings he decided to call the boot guy and get it removed that night – he didn’t want to deal with that at 5 am before work. So of course around 5 am he was waiting by his car for the same boot company to come take the second boot off his car. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did a loop and put it back on 10 minutes after my roommate went to bed.

  12. Why do you think Provo has such a large undergrad population but a small grad population? Paring and Housing. Ask anyone to describe the situation and you’ll hear: “corrupt,” “big-brother,” “unfair,” “ruthless,” “sad,” “demoralizing.” It’s a huge problem. Did you know that the big apartment complex owners offer up big donations to byu? I wonder why? But somehow they get what they want and the students are left with mile high contracts and hundreds of dollars in parking violation fines. This needs to be fixed. Please!!!

    1. Anonymous

      And maybe also because BYU has been focusing on undergrad programs and encouraging people to go elsewhere for their graduate studies . . . .

  13. As a musician, I played 100’s of shows in the downtown provo area and its hard to get people to come to shows anyway but when my fans get towed because they didn’t read the fine print it makes it hard to drive people to downtown when I can’t say they will get towed or not.

    But a specific story is that we were loading gear and leaving Velour and this tow truck pulls up nose to nose to us and would not let us go by because they were trying to see if a car was parked illegally after waiting 5 min or so we honked to let them know we needed to get by. The “tow guy” then began to flip us off and swear at us. I guess I understand enforcing towing laws but I have had numerous run ins with tow truck companies where they were confrontational and borderline combative.

    1. Ian. The hills will soon be alive with your music and your car will be able to park where it wants. Freedom. True and rich.

  14. I lived on condo row a couple years ago, where a lot of the parking lots stretch between multiple buildings. One night I parked in a space that was closer to another building than it was to mine, and I got booted. All the spots had the same “University Parking Enforcement” sign, and didn’t seem to be specific to any one building. But apparently they were.

    Another time I parked in an unmarked spot next to the underground parking in my building, a spot where people always parked. There was no indication that parking was enforced on this spot, and even if it was, I had the proper sticker. But one night I was booted for parking there. After enough complaints, University Parking Enforcement changed their minds about enforcing that spot and no longer booted people for parking there. But this calls into question the legitimacy of the boot that I received.

  15. I have a motorcycle, my apartment complex has limited parking. I found a secluded spot just big enough for a bike. all around was red do not park paint. but one spot was deliberately left unmarked! A prime spot for a small vehicle. The spot wasn’t a place where the red paint was had just worn off either, it was not painted. One evening I discovered my bike was not in its spot. come to find out it was towed at 3 am that same day. I went at 7 pm, again on the same day, and told over the phone that no storage fee was due if it had been less than 24 hours. however, upon arrival to get my motorcycle U.P.E. wouldn’t give me my bike back until I payed a full day storage fee. the reason being a full business day had passed. clearly different than the official 24hr rule. I’ve never known a business so dishonest and distasteful and outrageous. I felt like I was set up and trapt by both U.P.E. and my housing complex.

  16. I lived at Liberty Square and paid something like 70 bucks to get an underground, reserved parking spot for the school year. Me and my brother needed to trade cars for the weekend and so I had to get a temporary parking permit for his car to park in my space. As I was driving, the windows were down and the paper flew out my window…I couldn’t get a replacement cuz the office was closed, but I figured it wasn’t a big deal since it was MY spot and my spot only. Lo and behold the next day I went out there and there was a boot on it. I had to pay 60 bucks to get that boot off the car. Almost as much money as it cost to reserve that spot for me. LAME! I tried to get it worked out with liberty square and the booting company but neither of them would budge. So frustrating!

    1. Anonymous

      Liberty Square management sucks

    2. Anonymous

      Liberty Square Management sucks

  17. Just last week I had to switch cars with my sister to run an errand. I went into Belmont apt complexes, parked in the visitor parking (which according to policy you are allowed 30 minutes to park in the visitors parking) I ran inside and switched keys with my sister and talked for about 20 min. After coming back out we found that the car we had dropped off to be switched was gone. After going in to University Parking Enforcement the receipt they had given me at stated I had arrived at 11:15 pm and was towed at 11:45, when in actuality I had arrived at around 11:25. Of course there is no way to prove when I parked, because I don’t take photos of the time each time I park. And even after the sign states that the charge is $145 for a tow, I walked out $180 later because of “service charges”. Is towing not considered a service? Why are we getting charged twice for the same service.

    But that is nothing compared to what happened while I was with a close friend a couple months ago. He lives Santa Barbara and parked in his assigned number slot. After we ran out to get in his car we found a pretty boot on his car. He called University Parking Enforcement to explain it was a mistake because he was in his own assigned spot, the same spot he’d been parking in all semester. After waiting 30 minutes University Parking showed up and explained to us that a ticket had already been filled out with the boot and he was not able to take a boot off without a receipt after the ticket had been issued. All my friend had to do was pay $60 and he could contest the charge in the University Towing main office and he would be reimbursed. Rather than argue, because we were in a hurry, he just paid the ticket, took pictures, and took in the receipt to University Parking the next day. After going into University Parking, they explained he could have taken the photos on any given day and there is no proof that the photo didn’t account for a different account aside from the ticket he was presenting them. They argued he would not be reimbursed and if he wanted to continue to argue it, he could take them to small claims. Because my friend was right in the middle of finals week, he simply didn’t have the time or desire to go through the process to argue over $60. University Parking knows that a busy student isn’t going to go through the headache, hassle and pain to go to court over $60. It’s just not worth the time to argue the issue.

    1. Thats jacked up Smitty, both stories. In Raintree years ago my cousin was visiting for a few days and had a multiple day visitors pass. We left the property and came back in his vehicle (middle of the day) on a football game day. Apparently UPE didnt really care to look for the visitor pass because within 45 min we walked back out and there were 2 UPE vehicles booting every possible car. After a long process of UPE fighting it, telling him he had to pay, then appeal, and even the office saying he was fine, we finally got the boot taken off FORTUNATELY without having to pay. I have known FAR TOO many people that have had unfair boots/tows/fines, including my wife.

      Doug C.

  18. My best friend and I were visiting another friend who lives in a student housing complex. We’d been booted before for not parking in their visitor’s lot, so we were careful to drive down to the visitor’s area of the parking garage and park. We came back a couple hours later to find his car booted. The only designation of the visitor spots was a marking on the actual space. He had inadvertently parked in the the only spot in the row that wasn’t designated as ‘visitor’ on. There was not a single other car in the entire garage. The purpose of booting and towing is to ensure that the residents are able to have parking spots. Penalizing people who clearly are trying to abide by the rules and are causing zero inconvenience to anyone is just ridiculous.

  19. I left my Camry parked next to Velour music. The doors and trunk were open; I was in the process of loading music gear into it. I went inside to get some more stuff, and 5 minutes later when I emerged, two bros were hooking up my car to their tow-mobile. I said “hey!” and explained what was going on. They still charged me the $150 tow fee, even though they had just started hooking it up. It’s like they were just waiting in the shadows. Creepy. And wrong.

  20. Anonymous

    I parked in a bank parking lot well after hours, at about 8:00 pm, for half an hour, only to come out to find my car gone. At first I thought it had gotten stolen, since I once lived in Provo but have been living in Salt Lake City for years and forgot the draconian insanity of towing/booting practices in Provo. I had to hassle my friends to give me a ride to the towing company and pay $150 dollars. For parking in a lot that wasn’t being used at all.

  21. Anonymous

    I recently was charged $230 dollars by Express Towing on 1652 West Grandview Lane to get my car back. My car was parked in my boyfriend’s driveway and my back tire was probably 3 inches in the gutter since I had to park behind an oversized truck in the first half of the driveway. I pulled up as far as I could, not knowing or seeing any rules about the gutter. My car wasn’t blocking any kind of traffic or imposing on anyone else’s parking ability or property. Even the townhome owner was outraged and had no idea that my car was parked illegally.

    I lived in a neighborhood on the street next to Highland Park last year and if someone’s car was left parked illegally overnight, they would just get a $25 ticket. Why did my car get towed and I had to pay $230 for a lesser offense? There aren’t even any guest parking spots or street parking in the Highland Park complex to feel safe from the towing companies.

    I am completely baffled as to why the towing companies are allowed to be so incredibly predatory and charge exorbitant amounts to students who are already strapped for cash. And if you don’t pay that same night, you will be charged $25 extra dollars each day. Also, the fuel charge of $30 is outrageous. They towed my car a mile. $30 pays for half a tank of gas!!

  22. Here is my proposal for a proper incentive structure:

    Require all boots/tows to be approved by property owner before payment is processed.

    Property owner has incentive to be lenient, as aggressive parking enforcement on their property may negatively affect their business.

    Parking enforcement companies have incentive to not tow/boot in borderline cases because they are likely to be rejected by property owners and they will have done work for nothing.

    Raise the maximum fine allowed for parking violations. This is fair because innocent people will not have to pay due to more lenient parking enforcement, and only legitimate violators will face hefty fines. The net effect on parking enforcement revenue will be neutral.

    1. No, if they had to make honest money they would go out of business.

  23. I was living at Raintree apartments. During the day, my car broke down and I had to take it to the shop. I borrowed a car from my parent’s for the rest of the day, and returned to Raintree late that night in the borrowed car. When I woke up to leave for class in the morning, there was a boot on the car because it didn’t have a parking permit. I had to wait for 2 hours for the boot to be removed, by which time I was late for class, which also meant late for turning in a big assignment. When I appealed the fee, because I live at Raintree and was clearly unable to get a temporary permit for the car as I had no prior knowledge that I would need to and I didn’t return until after midnight, they refunded me $10, but clearly I should be able to park at the place where I live. Add to that the fact that the parking lot never even fills up anyways. I can’t decide if it would be worse to be a visitor and be treated so poorly, or if it’s worse to be treated this way as a paying resident!

    I also had my car booted at two other places, both times while visiting friends. My car was the only car in the parking lot both times.

  24. Many people have been towed from business around the music venues around 100 N University. A few years ago some friends and I happened upon a guy trying to get the tow employee to release his car. The employee was asking for a fee to release the car (I can’t remember the exact number, but I believe it was between $50 – $100). He didn’t have the cash on hand, but we pitched in and got his car released. It seemed like sketchy thing.

    I’ve heard other accounts of people getting their cars released in the manor as well.

  25. Anonymous

    I bought a scooter and was unable to get my parking sticker because the office was closed during the weekend. I lived at the complex and had been living there for a long time I got booted that night, and when I paid to get the boot taken off they just told me I could appeal and it wouldn’t be a big deal they would just refund the money. I appealed the boot, and they responded that they had decided to not give me a refund. I honestly don’t think anyone gets a refund.

  26. Anonymous

    I was coming home from Salt Lake and had been parked in Visitor parking at Alpine Village in Provo. We were driving fast trying to make it back, so I wouldn’t get booted. We arrived a few minutes before the deadline for cars to get booted. I went to my car and a guy was already in the process of booting my car. I explained that it wasn’t time yet, and that I had rushed to get back and was on time. He told me it was too late, and that he couldn’t take it off because he had already put it on. I was pretty upset, and he just said I had to pay the fine. Then to top it off another person showed up 10 min late, and he hadn’t booted their car because they had called in before or something. The parking guy just smirked and asked how I wanted to pay. University Parking is a ridiculous company. Not only do they make things overly complicated for students, but they make our community seem extremely strict and unjust. I can’t tell you how many times I have had people visit from out of state and get booted. It gives a terrible view of the community.

  27. About 3 years ago at The Riviera Apartments, my friend had her back windshield broken out. She got towed from the parking lot because her sticker was supposed to be on the back window. She picked the car up, put a note on the car saying that she had a parking sticker, but wouldn’t have a back window to put it on for another day. She got towed again.
    Another story- I was back at the Riv after moving out to visit my girlfriend. At 11pm, I said my goodbyes and went to my car because you can’t park there after 11. It was 11:05 and I had already been booted. $50 for a goodnight kiss…

  28. My old apartment complex, where the parking lot was never ever more than half full, (patrolled by University Towing, the worst) had parking passes and we got our car booted because the parking patroller felt like it was too hard to see our parking pass through the top tint of our windshield although it was displayed correctly. They refused to lower the fee even though as he was putting my boot on I ran out and showed the employee my correctly displayed parking pass. I had no recourse.

    This routinely happened to my neighbors as well. If it was an icey morning and the windshields were iced over there would be boots on our cars because the towing company employees couldn’t see the parking permits.

    My parents, in from out of town, left their rental car doors open in our nearly empty parking lot to run upstairs to grab something to bring to me while I was in the hospital with a sick child and their car was towed in the 5 minutes they were in the apartment. These stories are just from the past year.

    I hate the towing and booting in Provo and am so glad you are going to do something about it. It is out of control and is very predatory in nature.

  29. Anonymous

    Summer 2007 my husband lived in Moon Apartments. His roommate had a car and an assigned parking space, but the spaces to the left and the right were empty for summer. This roommate parked over the line on his spot on a Sunday afternoon, technically double parking. It was a private lot with assigned spaces and no one assigned next to his car, so he wasn’t super careful. He came outside to find a boot on his car with a $50 fee to have it removed.

  30. Anonymous

    Story #1

    I was with my girlfriend and she parked her car 2 cars from mine in the apartment complex I lived in. She was not a student yet at BYU and didn’t have a pass for her, but it didn’t matter because she had until 12 am before the booters would be coming around. It was around 11:30 pm at night and I knew that I needed to keep and eye out. We sat in my car and got talking about something funny and the next thing I knew it was 12 am and I looked over at her car and the booters were right there. I jumped out of my car and ran over to stop him from putting the boot on. Another guy came out of the truck and began to distract by saying “sorry…your too late”. I said, “you’re not even finished putting on the boot yet” The smaller guy was just finishing the “final” touches on it and then got up and said that he was finished. The bigger guy looked at me and said that I need to pay him because of the work that was “rendered”. We argued for a while and I told him that he hadn’t completed the job before I got there. He didn’t care and would not budge. I ended up having to pay that jerk to take that boot off my girlfriends car.

    Story #2

    I saw this family helping their daughter move in and they parked in one of the parking spot a little awkwardly so they could unload everything. As they were up in her new apartment organizing a booter came around and booted that car. As the booter was leaving the family came running out and explained the situation and the booting company had no sympathy what so ever. It was ridiculous. I was so mad at them for not being more reasonable for certain situations. All they want to do is get paid. They don’t care the situation or if you are right there telling them to stop and they haven’t completed the job yet.

    It’s pathetic!

  31. Anonymous

    OOOH I hate this subject. I knew I couldn’t be in the Belmont parking lost past 12:00 AM. I went running out of the lot at 12:01, just in time to see my car being towed away. I was BEYOND frustrated. When I called the towing office, they hadn’t even seen my car there yet. BUT they still loved charging me the $175 without even feeling bad. Perfect timing only about a month before my wedding when the budget was already tight. THANK YOU for doing something about this!

    1. Anonymous

      Uhh, when was this? Visitor parking at Belmont has been 30 minutes for a long time, nothing relating to 12:00am. Sounds like you made that story up..

  32. Anonymous

    Most employees in a booting and towing company are paid on commission–they only receive money when they are booting and towing vehicles.

    This “baited carrot” system works for booting and towing companies to ensure that their employees are doing their jobs, but it improperly incentivizes these employees to boot and tow more often than is appropriate, as well as to exhibit predatory behavior on those they boot/tow. The more boots and tows a booter or tower can make in an hour, the more money he/she takes in. In contrast, if an employee does not make a boot or tow during his/her shift, he/she will not be paid.

    I don’t think that most of these people are by nature crooked or dishonest. But I do think that their compensation system has rewarded and reinforced them into acting in a dishonest and crooked manner.

    That’s why these reasonable people are engaging in such unreasonable and dishonest business practices, why decent folks are being victimized on a city-wide scale, and why this issue has grown into such an exacerbated problem.

    If this city really wants to hit at the root of this problem, please address the pay-per-tow and pay-per-boot systems that these companies employ.

  33. I always assumed the city was in bed with these companies; how wrong I was. So encouraged to see that the mayor wants to do something about this. I will certainly be in attendance at the meeting tomorrow.

  34. My band has played dozens of shows in downtown Provo over the last few years- Velour, Muse, etc. as stated above, it has become increasingly difficult to get people to come out to shows in Provo because of these predatory parking enforcement practices.

    We’ve had multiple friends and family members’ vehicles towed (averaging $250 each- our running total is close to $1400 now) as well as the band members’ vehicles booted and/or towed during load in. I had my van booted while it was still open, running and occupied (by my kids) while I was loading in the last armful of gear for a show. $70 and a lot of emotional distress later, I had to go onstage and perform.

    I would love to hear that something could be done about this- our collective experience with these predators has left all of us feeling frustrated, helpless, vengeful and violated. These practices make Provo a much less attractive place to perform and patronize by night.

  35. I live at Belmont, my car was in the guest spot 10 minutes past 10pm. I caught them connecting my car to tow, I talked to the man, he offered me a “deal” a special half off and only charged me $150 to disconnect my car from his ghetto tow truck.

  36. I lived in an apartment complex called Windsor Park in Provo. I lived there and had a valid parking sticker. I had parked my car in a valid spot for months and never had a problem. After living there for several months, I had a huge problem. I walked home from BYU one day to see my car being towed away. I had parked in an a designated spot and I was furious. I had paid my parking sticker fee and shouldn’t be towed. I called the towing company phone number and asked to have my car back. He stated that he couldn’t see a sticker and it was a “legal tow”. My sticker, on the front windshield had fallen down and was now on the dash. You could still see it through the window. He was totally rude and didn’t care because he made his quick buck.

    1. Kimberly

      Colby, we would be interested in talking to you about this tonight for Channel 2 News at 10. Please call me: 801-839-1333.. ask for Kimberly. THx!

    2. My husband had the same thing happen to him. We are so happy that the city is working to fix this problem!

    3. I called the phone number and the guy that answered the phone didn’t know a Kimberly.

    4. I called the phone number and the guy that answered the phone said he didn’t know a girl named Kimberly.

    5. So I called the phone number and the guy that answered the phone said he had never heard of a Kimberly.

    6. Anonymous

      Kimberly you are a horrible freelance fill in for Channel 2 you were rude in your dealings & very unprofessional and biased in your reporting. Kudos to you for tarnishing and misconstruing the facts. I am so glad you ARE NOT permanently on the payroll and being new I hope you learn a thing or two about how to professionally do your job with more professionalism & accuracy next time.

    7. Anonymous

      Same thing happened to me at the Riviera, Colby. University Parking.

  37. I went to visit a friend on the south side of town the Saturday afternoon of Thanksgiving break. In the parking lot of like 12 (unassigned) spots there were only 2 other cars. I went to leave a couple hours later but was booted.

    I was naive and didn’t know the rules but come on, visiting during a holiday break for a couple hours?

  38. I inadvertently parked in an 1 hour parking zone. When I returned after three hours, I found that my car had 3 tickets on it. The parking attendant came back on the hour, every hour to issue me another parking ticket. I can understand receiving one ticket, even two, but to come back on the third hour to issue me another ticket seemed a bit ridiculous.

  39. Towing/Parking is ridiculous in Provo. I’ve never experienced something so ludicrous. In fact, I was so fed up with it, I moved to Springville. A lot of the towing that happens is highly unethical. It’s about time there are some regulations put in place to keep the citizens safe, parking secure, and towing companies to make ethical profits off of poor students.

  40. Thank you bringing this issue to light! The booting companies are unfair and relentless in their execution. Some lots are enforced from midnight to 6am or so, and some are enforced 24/7. The booting company would like you to stop and read the very fine print on the sign for every lot you park, which is ridiculous. I’ve been booted during the day when I had parked unknowningly in an enforced parking lot when I was only there for an hour! All their signs are the same, but the wording is apparently different. I speak of University Parking in particular: their ‘appeals’ 3rd party company is completely non-responsive to appeals, and their identity is not exposed. For all I know, my appeal went into a big trash can. $50 is a lot of money for a staving student!

    The signs need to be flagrant in exposing the particulars of the rules. There should also be rules about the booting company having a database of allowed cars, so when your sticker falls off, you don’t get a boot (this happened to me also). There should be a universal rule to not allow booting until at least 24 hours after a snowstorm (parking lines are covered). There should also be an opt-in option for a warning: post your phone number on your drivers side window: this would give you either 1) a warning call: one per month maximum, and/or 2) a warning call ten minutes before your car can be booted. This would serve the spirit of the law as well: car will be removed from the lot and not kept for days/weeks longer with a boot while money is collected from the car owner. Also, a well-published phone number should allow resident parking space owners exchange cars without a fee (rental car because ‘stickered car’ is getting fixed.

    These companies should be regulated to be fair and not be allowed to charge whatever outrageous fees they want.

  41. Anonymous

    I think three simple laws would help:
    1. Towing companies must post the enforcement hours at every entrance to a parking lot (with their warning sign). Every complex in Provo has different hours and they aren’t usually posted.

    2. Require posting of the Utah State maximum tow charges on the signs or on the forms, including the mechanical connection provisions (cannot charge you if you get to your car before they connect to you, etc).

    3. Require towing companies to report all booting and towing activities to the property owner on a monthly basis. I think if property owners knew how predatory these companies were, they would demand change.

    1. Anonymous

      best solution.

  42. Anonymous

    Between Winter semester and Spring term I did not have a place to live and had to stay with a friend at Liberty Square. Because literally everyone had just moved out and no one was moving in for over a week I figured it was okay to park my car in the EMPTYYY parking lot so I didn’t have to fight over limited space on the street every single day and walk forever when there is an empty available parking lot. I figured I wasn’t taking anyone’s spot since the place was a ghost town for dayys. Apparently however, it was a huge deal because I woke up one morning before work and had a boot on my car. I barely had enough money to pay for my food that week and I had to cough up 50 bucks right on the spot and wait over 40 minutes for the extremely unreasonable guy to come take it off. Of course i was late for work as a result.

    It is cruel and unreasonable that a college town, whose economy thrives off the college students living there in the first place, isn’t smart or logical enough to plan for some better parking. The city is forcing poor, struggling college students to be confused and tricked by vague or small print signs then preying on them when they have no place else to park and taking drastic measures like towing or booting instead of a simple warning or small fee. Utah has the WORST CITY PLANNING. Its about time people fight back!

  43. Booted twice in my own complex…. the booting company takes videos to prove i did not have a parking sticker… and refused to take the boot off without pay. frosted (and tinted) winter windows and an excessively rushed and non thorough video were grounds for my apartment complex to agree to pay the fee for me to remove the boot as i did have a parking sticker. the towing company would not back down.

  44. Anonymous

    Its not just the towing companies! Apartment complexes (cough cough… wolverine crossing and other large complexes… cough cough) don’t label their visitor parking spots clearly enough. Or they over-book their tenants to parking spots available and leave some to hope not to get ticketed.

  45. Parking is absolutely ridiculous. There is no parking ever on 750 N (Condo Row) and unnecessary red zones everywhere. So my boyfriend pulled into the lot (there was an empty spot) and walked me to my door after our date. Three minutes after we got into the apartment and I dropped off my stuff, the car had been booted. There is no way that would have happened unless the officer was trailing us, which I feel should be illegal. I have a friend who worked in parking enforcement and he told me how they get commission for putting boots on cars. As a result, officers are overzealous and the system is completely corrupt. I don’t know of any place other than Provo that is this corrupt and eager to make students poor.

    1. Anonymous

      I hate this too, but really? It is not Provo City that is corrupt. haha. Ridiculous. C’mon. It is individual companies that could be anywhere and they have to be stopped. Take a stand against their malpractice, sure, say Provo City needs a little better infrastructure to facilitate parking, ok, but the city as a whole is far from “corrupt.” hahahah. I wish Provo had a little more “corruptness.” Might make it a little more exciting. BUt the last thing Provo City is is corrupt. IT might be too naive to be corrupt.

  46. I have been booted exactly three times in Provo.

    The first time was the day my moved in. During the few minutes it took me to ask the apartment manager where I could park without getting booted, I got booted.

    The second time was when my sister was picking me up one day, she never actually entered my apartment, and we returned to her car to watch the booter driving away.

    The third time was when I dropped a girl off from a date. I intentionally parked where there were empty spaces on each side, and I could see my car from the girl’s doorstep as I dropped her off (there was no public or street parking available nearby). I returned to find a guy putting a boot on my car, with his truck hidden around a corner nearby.

    I don’t know how to solve the problem, but the aggressiveness is ridiculous. I lived in Provo for six years, and cannot think of a time I was ever parked in wrong space for more than a few minutes like the cases listed above when there weren’t other options.

  47. I parked my scooter on the other side of the cement tire stopper to allow another car to use the space as parking is tight in the visitor parking at Alpine Village… university parking towed my scooter because they said it was in the sidewalk (which it really was still in the parking space, maybe, and i meant MAYBE an inch or 2 over the side walk that was at least 12-15 feet wide.) F those guys and that company!!

  48. A couple of months ago I went to Raintree Apts to visit my cousin. It was her birthday and we were celebrating. This was also the first time we’d seen each other in about 5 years. I was going to park there but the sign in the lot said no parking unless you had a permit. I then thought about parking on the street but the curb was red so that wasn’t an option.

    The closest parking lot was the bank next door. I pulled in and noticed the sign saying that only bank customers could park there. I got back in my car and drove across the street to Brigham Landing. I parked behind the burger joint there and walked over to my cousin’s apt.

    When I left the party at midnight, I walked back to where I’d left my car and it was gone. I thought it’d been stolen. I looked around and noticed I had missed the poorly placed towing sign. It was right by a bush at the entrance to the lot and while visible during the day, anyone pulling in, not looking for it can easily miss it.

    My cousin drove me to the towing lot. I waited there for almost an hour before someone showed up. By this time it’s past 1 am. I kept my calm even though I was completely irritated and tried talking with the employees. I told them I left 2 other parking lots with easily noticeable towing signs before parking where I did and that the sign was very easy to miss. All they said was tough luck and that I should have paid better attention.

    There was absolutely no place for a visitor to park in that area so I guess it’s either walk or a $175 parking fee.

    1. Anonymous

      Park at Wyview. They dont enforce parking

  49. During the Thanksgiving vacation 2009 neither my girlfriend nor I went home. However, my girlfriend who was living in Heather Cove fell ill, so my Cousin and I went over to drop off some soup. After parking in the almost entirely empty parking lot (there were 2 other cars) we took her the soup and chatted for ~20 min. After leaving, I found my car towed and waiting at the chapel across the street, where I paid $150 to get it back.

    Another time, I took a date to the dollar theater. When we got there, the place was packed but I felt fortunate enough to grab a spot right when someone was pulling out. When we got out of the theater, we found that our car along with at least 5 cars on either side towed because it was apparently a “Red Zone”. There was no way to know that as we couldn’t see the curb when we pulled in, and there was not a sign within 50 yards denoting the red zone.

    I generally agree that there is not enough parking; complexes have barely enough (or in some cases not enough) parking for residents so there is no room for visitor parking-thus the limited street parked is occupied very quickly and drivers are tempted to park in open residential spots where they get booted or towed immediately.

  50. Once I got booted for parking in a numbered stall under my apartment complex. It was the number of MY apartment and the apartments were individually owned so I was never informed that I needed a specific sticker to park in MY clearly marked spot.

    Another time I got booted 7 minutes after visiting hours had ended. I understand rules are rules but loosing track of time shouldn’t make you a menace to society.

    It also kills all chivalry because I dated many a guy who would just drop me off on the street for fear of being towed for parking for 2 minutes.

    Slightly unrelated but I also got a ticket for being ON the line (not over it, but my tire was on the white line) while parking on Center st. because when I had parked there was a giant truck on the other side of me taking up their whole spot.

    1. Also, it is confusing because every complex has different rules and they aren’t clearly marked. Some have limits on the hours you can be in visitor parking, some you can park anywhere up until 11pm/12am/1am/2am. Some complexes have clear signs but others leave you guessing.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Anonymous

      Please do, and then post pictures somewhere

    3. The boot costs less than the fee to remove it?!

      I say we all invest in a tow truck and the tow those suckers when they double park to boot someone. We could the nudge them right off of Squaw Peak

    4. Anonymous

      please do, and then post some pictures somewhere!

    5. Anonymous

      IT IS A $500 civil fine and misdemeanor CLAMPMAN to tamper with a boot just ask the city attorney or police they will go after the registered vehicle owner in which they can obtain through filing charges with the city police. It is considered theft of service to remove a boot so pay the %50-$65 or pay more and have a record your choice mr smarty pants it is a crime to tamper with boots. Don’t think for a second that the parking enforcement companies won’t go after you I have seen many a BYU students go to court over making a stupid irrational choice to destroy the companies property of attempting to drive on or damage a boot. Stupid advice on your part lol

      1. Mike

        Just ruin the business’ name and shut them down. Plain and simple. That would hurt them more than removing the boot.

  52. Anonymous

    I lived in an apartment that shared a parking lot with another complex. The split was marked by a sign. The sign was conveniently placed in the middle of a parking spot, so that it was impossible to tell what complex the spot that had the sign in it belonged to. One day it was the only open spot, I guessed, but guessed wrong and got towed.

    Another day, I hadn’t gotten my sticker yet so I was parked in my apartments private underground spot. I got towed. I went in and complained, they said they’d refund it, and never did.

  53. Anonymous

    I needed to stay late, one night, at one of Provo’s elementary schools, where I work. I parked close to a door so wouldn’t have to walk through the dark parking lot when I was done. When I got outside, my car had been booted even though the required parking sticker was visibly displayed in the back window of my vehicle. Then, I did have to walk through the dark parking lot, after all, to get the phone number of University Parking (not associated with BYU) off the parking sign by the street. It took the tow truck over half an hour to come back, and another hour to get him to take the boot off after numerous calls to different people up the chain of command. In the end, he didn’t get his commission or the $50 boot removal fee. But, I was a bit cranky the next day at school due to a lack of sleep!

  54. Anonymous

    I met a friend at Blackjack Pizza in Provo once, got a pizza, hopped in their car to go get drinks from Sonic, was coming back 10 minutes later and passed my truck being towed away. We ran the tow truck down and demanded he release it. He only would after I agreed to pay the $145 towing fee. He said we were “LUCKY” because if he had made it two more blocks to the yard, it would’ve cost another $200. His excuse? “You were no longer a customer the second you left the property.” Seriously? I made him feel the warm, uneaten-pizza box, but he didn’t care. And how did he know? Somehow in 10 minutes he claims he asked every customer and employee in every store of the entire retail strip whose car it was. When it was all over, he even told my friend behind my back that he loved his job after I chided him for predatory towing and to find an ethical job where he isn’t taking advantage of innocent people to which he replied there aren’t any other jobs.

    I’ve never been back to Blackjack Pizza since and won’t until they change their towing policy. And I’ve seen the same tow truck parked behind the building on multiple occasion, just laying in wait for its next victim.

    1. Anonymous

      that “extra $200” is straight out of his imagination.

    2. And straight into his pocket, methinks.

  55. Thank you for your concern about what has become a serious problem. My car, my former roomates’ cars, and each of our boyfriends’ cars have been towed at one point or another in Provo. It does not help that we lived right next door to UPE’s headquarters, or that for an apartment of four women, we were only allotted two parking spots and very limited visitor parking availability. Because we were all students with low-paying jobs at irregular hours, we often found ourselves walking home from wherever it was we could find to park, often blocks away, in the total dark. It could be frightening.

    Much of the blame lies with housing complexes that provide few parking options for their high-density student housing. Packing as many units onto a property as possible while offering the bare minimum of parking accommodations is a great way to maximize profits while outsourcing enforcement and blame to an unscrupulous company. It is time for city ordinances that require apartment complexes to offer adequate parking, even for guests.

    Like others have mentioned, the parking enforcement pay structure needs to change. The students that UPE often employs shouldn’t be given commission incentives to cannibalize their fellow students who are too poor to pay the fees, but too time-strapped to navigate the impossible appeals process. Parking enforcers need to be paid a base wage and given raises based on performance and absence of community complaints. End of story.

    Better training is also in order. Like others have said, the enforcers are often rude, self-righteous, and dishonest. Even violent, I have found. I watched one UPE employee shove my roommate’s boyfriend to the ground upon being caught in the act of towing his car before the visitor time limit had expired. Fostering an environment where UPE works for, not preys upon, the community would eliminate this sort of poor behavior and adversarial relationship.

  56. I have seen this happen many times and it did to me once. I lived in the Sparks II Apartment complex (BYU Housing) right behind Gold’s Gym on 9th East in Provo. I had lived there for two years already when this happened. I went out early one morning to leave for work and noticed a boot on my car. I was frantic because I knew I would be late for work (and I am NEVER late for work!). I called the company to come take it off and explained that I had a parking pass (that was in my window) and that I have lived at the complex for years. They still would not take it off until I paid the $50, regardless of the fact that the sticker was right there in my window! I had my apartment manager call them to see if they would refund it but they told her they could not because they had provided the service. It’s like they were bored and decided to boot my car for fun.

    Another incident happened to a friend of mine. It was when Chadders was open on 9th East. Everyone knows one of the worst locations to be towed is the Gold’s Gym there, living so close to that location I saw on multiple occasions tow truck drivers parked watching and waiting for people to get out of their cars. I was eating with some friends at Chadders when another friend parked his car at the Gold’s Gym location right next to Chadders (out where no one parks!) – he came in for 30 seconds to pick us up and we walked out to see the University Parking guy there already hooking his car up to be towed. Luckily my friend isn’t the type to back down and got the guy to take it off (I was shocked that the worker actually backed down!). Regardless however they should never be sitting out waiting to tow or boot anyone just because. So glad you are trying to do something about this!

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  58. I was with friends at Belmont on Dec. 23. 2 days before Christmas! The lot was entirely empty but I still felt like I should park in one of the visitor spots in case one of the resident spot owners came back. Nobody was sure at what hours the 30 minute limit applied because many of us had parked in them for several hours in the past without problems. It was before midnight when I had been there about an hour. I looked outside and saw my car was gone. $150 to get it back. Nice to know the Christmas bonus that I had received the day before from work turned out to be someone else’s Christmas bonus. Getting towed 2 days before Christmas!? In an empty parking lot!? They had no mercy and couldn’t even explain the exact rules on when the 30 minute limit applied either.

  59. Anonymous

    I lived at Belmont last year. I had an assigned spot and one night, I went home and parking in between the same two cars I always park between. The next day, my car was gone. I called and it turned out everyone was off by one spot and I was the one that got nabbed. I acknowledged that I didn’t look at the spot number and the workers were very rude. There must be a solution to this so that everyone wins. I realize that there needs to be some kind of enforcement but it doesn’t need to put be so expensive. I know a tow truck and driver don’t cost 200 dollars for 15 minutes of work.

    The city hates students. Everything about this place makes it difficult for us to live in. The sad thing is, without all of the students here, Provo would be nothing.

  60. Anonymous

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Anonymous

      remember when real cities gave out parking tickets first and then boots second and finally a tow. provo has become the tow first ask questions later. most of the people on this board didn’t park to cause a problem. most of the time they were in an out of an apartment but university parking enforcement gives such great incentives to their employees that they do what ever they can to make a quick buck. ie. start hooking up and then making you pay the full tow fee before you are actually towed. sad thing is they get to pocket all the fee if they do it this way because the car never made it back to the yard and thus isn’t on the record for being towed.

    2. Parking correctly will just give them incentive to be even pickier–more instances of “I couldn’t see your parking sticker through the tinted and/or frosted glass.”

  61. This is a great cause and nearly everyone I’ve talked to agrees that something needs to be done. I wish the penalties were much, much lower for first time offenders, especially.

    The very first time I was towed I was a naive BYU sophomore. A female friend called me distressed and in tears and I went to her apartment to visit. I wasn’t familiar with Provo’s towing habits yet. I ended up parking in a 20 minute visitor spot for 46 minutes and came out surprised to find that my car was gone. Boom – $165 to get my car out of the towing yard… immediate credit card debt.

  62. I have never actually been towed while visiting Provo. However each time I go almost without fail there seems to be an underlying paranoid feeling in my body that I will get towed. I’ve heard so many horror stories of people getting towed. Each time I go to catch a show, visit a friend, or when I used to work in Provo, the thought of possibly being towed, even though I checked a thousand times I parked in a legal spot, seems to ruin the occasion and in many an instance has even stopped me from visiting Provo, my favorite Utah city.

    1. Justice will be served Ethan Dodge. World class for life.

    2. Clampman is not the hero we need. He is the hero we deserve.

  63. Anonymous

    A very close friend of mine was having serious medical issues, and I stopped by to bring her a meal and a get well card from work. I was at her apt not 10 minutes when a neighbor came and asked if I drove a certain type of car, I said yes, and she said “It’s being towed”. So I ran downstairs and the man hadn’t even hooked up my car yet, I told him I would move it immediately, that I was just stopping in for a quick minute. He told me “I’m already here, it doesn’t matter if you are or not, the car is being towed. You can go ahead and pay the fee and I won’t take it, but because I’m here it’s too late” He was VERY rude, and when I had to call my parents (poor college student) to transfer the money, he kept threatening to just take my car if I wasn’t faster.

    Second story.
    My car broke down, and I had to borrow one from my parents. Unfortunately it was all late at night, my car broke on my way home, and so I had to deal with it all late at night. By the time I got back to my apt (around 2am) there was no way I could have gotten a parking pass. It was raining really hard, and so I just parked (far away so as to not be in the way and noticable) and went inside. The next morning when I went to school at 9am, I had a boot. But, I had no sign on my window, and the boot was on the right hand side of the car. I didn’t know it was there, so I tried to leave and only discovered the boot after I had attempted to move my car. It caused serious damage to the boot and my tire (it had to be replaced). The attendant was rude, and mean because he had a broken boot he had to replace in the rain (yes, he said that) I ended up paying over $300 just so that I could get it off, and then have another car that was unusable.
    I’d say it’s safe to say parking enforcement is pretty well despised by most Provo/Orem residents.

    1. Anonymous

      With regards to your first story, he straight up lied to you. If he hasn’t hooked it up yet and you get there he HAS TO STOP and, if you leave the property, you don’t have to pay anything.

      as for the second story, they have to leave a note in the driver’s door window upon booting your car.

      The second story should have had the guy get up to a $500 fine, and the first one unfortunately just conned you out of your money.

  64. Andrew P

    To the anonymous poster above my last comment – that’s a very unrealistic mindset. If Mr. Mayor is right (and I think he is) that the towing companies are predatory, they will prey on people who aren’t even consciously parking on “private property.” And like I said – boom $200 charge even for a careful citizen.

  65. Greg

    While working as an employee a few years ago at Muse Music on 100 block, I remember a touring band getting towed for parking directly behind Muse (where they were supposed/allowed to park) and having to spend all the money they made at our venue that night (and then some) to get their van back. Apart from the fact that these bands that choose Provo as a stop on their tours desperately need the little money they make in order to do things such as eat, what a terrible impression these towing companies (and by association, whether right or wrong, the city) give to outsiders who next time will just avoid Provo altogether.

  66. A guy came to my apartment at Brownstone to pick me up for a date. He left his car running and ran to my door which was about 10 feet away. He was gone for about a minute and when we were walking back to the car their was a guy starting to put a boot on his car.

    1. Never fear Jenna, Clampman is here.

  67. Anonymous

    I use to work for McDonald’s as a manager and I found out that some tow companies split to bill with the owner of the lot that they are towing from. For an example; If you were to park at Say McDonald’s, walk in and get lunch, and then walk across the street to look inside a store, the McDonald’s manager would call the tow company. The tow company would then come and boot/tow your car. In return for the phone call the tow company would give 10% of the bill or fine that it cost for the tow to the owner of the McDonald store. I know this is true because if the manager on duty of the McDonald’s does not make that call, They would get a write up and or suspended.

  68. Sounds to me like the Mayor is more interested in the lost revenue the city would get through issuing parking tickets.

    The parking situation in Provo sucks so bad because the policies implemented by city officials. A swelling student population and the city’s inability to figure out that if you authorize student housing and don’t require enough parking spaces from the developer there are going to be problems.

    Here are 2 things that can be done:
    1. Tax or implement a fee on towing companies per vehicle. This would at least benefit the city by increasing their revenue.
    2. Limit the dollar amount a company can charge for a tow or boot. In the same vein as the State Emissions cap.

  69. Amy

    One night I got takeout from Spice Grill on University Ave. There weren’t any spots on the street, so I went around the corner and parked at Sumsion & Crandall, which was closed at the time (around 8:00pm on a Saturday). When I got back to my car 15 minutes later, the boot guys were just finishing up. My $8 dinner ended up costing me $80, but at least they took it off right then. If the Sumsion & Crandall people care that much about people parking in their lot on a Saturday night, then I guess my problem is with them. But honestly–the business is closed. Unless people are dealing drugs or something, they should be able to park in an empty lot for a few minutes.

    We have access to Salt Lake-quality businesses in Provo, and theoretically we have the advantage of not having to pay through the nose for parking. Except when we get booted. And towed. And ticketed. I think the city as well as business owners need to realize the value of these attractions, and be reasonable in accommodating people who are trying to patronize them.

    1. In the not too distant future, you will be able to eat at Spice Grill in peace.

  70. Anonymous

    I am a victim of pretty much the exact same story you wrote about. At the end of August, I went to Raintree Apartments to drop off cookies to a friend, but there was no parking so I parked in Brigham’s Landing. It was kind of late, but before midnight and I was gone for about 10 minutes maximum. By the time I got back to my car it was gone. It was thoroughly humiliating to ask my friend to drive me to pick up my car, and I was out $175. It literally ruined my night.

  71. About a year ago I went to my friends apartment at Glenwood apartments. Clearly that was a mistake. I called my friend to ask where I should park and she said I should be fine in the lot (since I had been every other time). I wasn’t in there more then about 20 minutes dropping something off and getting distracted by talking about things with her. When I got back out to my car, I was booted, then was told I had to wait an hour because there wasn’t anyone in the area who could help me when I called them to get it off. I then had to wait around at midnight in the cold and snow because my friend was already asleep by that point. Finally I got it off after paying $50, an hour later. After explaining that I didn’t see any sign of how I couldn’t park where I was, he pointed to an obscure sign, hidden behind a tree and covered by snow. He said, “That’s too bad. But it’s common knowledge you can’t park here.” Well obviously not since my friend thought I could park there and so did I. I don’t like that I had to pay $50 for something that HE thought was “common knowledge.” I didn’t live in Provo at the time so I’m not sure why I should know that “common knowledge,” and I’m sure other visitors would agree.

    More parking is what we need. For heavens sake I can’t even park by my own apartment because there isn’t enough parking. I have to park about 2 blocks away unless I want to get ticketed.

    1. Anonymous

      It doesn’t matter if every single person on the entire planet knows it, if it isn’t clearly posted, it’s their problem and not yours.

  72. I had parked in the parking lot in the school in front of Kiwanis Park. (8200 North 1100 East
    Provo, UT 84604) You are allowed to park there until 10pm. About 9:30 my friend told me I should leave the party because the parking guys lurk in the lot to boot and tow. I didn’t really believe him, but I left with a friend who had also parked there. We stood by our cars talking for a while. I noticed another car parked at the far end of the lot but didn’t think anything about it.

    EXACTLY at 10pm the car in the far end turned it’s lights on and drove over to us, and the guy asked if these were our cars. It was the parking lurker. We said yes, they were our cars, and he drove off.

    He was literally lurking in the shadows waiting until the exact moment when he could start collecting money.

    I don’t know what the parking and booting and towing laws are, could you do a post (or have someone write you a post 🙂 explaining what the laws are and what can be changed?

  73. Spencer

    I was booted in my own parking lot once because the management company had failed to hand out parking passes in time. Another time, I was towed from what appeared to be a legitimate parking spot at the Movies 8. 20+ other moviegoers were also towed (turns out we were in a “no-parking” zone, even though there was no sign or red curb).

    The real problem is that these “towing companies” like University Parking (not affiliated with any actual university) operate purely on commissions. They go to these apartment complexes and tell the owners “we will police your parking areas FOR FREE, you just let us keep the profits we make from towing.” Seems like a great deal for the property owners, but it creates the wrong incentives for these predatory towing companies.

  74. Anonymous

    Dropped date off at her door. Literally 2 seconds later walk back to my truck. There was a boot.. I didn’t even kiss her.

    1. Soon, you will be free to not only kiss your date but also mack like seals for hours without the worry of a tow man killing your libido (assuming you have one)

    2. p.s. wise choice to post this anonymously.

  75. I was dropping my date off at 900 East. I parked in the Timpanogos Elementary parking lot as her apartment has not enough parking. I was gone for 5 min. I was booted at 11:02 for parking in a place that prohibits parking at 11…I called by 11:04 ( I have picture evidence). That means the ‘booters’ were hiding in the shadows and waiting for me stay one min extra. However they have to boot, video tape, fill out a form to put on your window and then boot you. Are you telling me he did all of this within 2 min? Also Provo law states that if I approach the car as it is being booted, they must take the boot off. This means that were finished booting me before I could see my car and approach them. I believe they started booting me before 11 PM.

    I think this is an issue of public safety. What if I was a lone woman in a parking lot who was just dropping of a friend and now am left stranded in a parking lot late at night in a sketchy part of Provo where women have been attacked multiple times.

    Aren’t there real criminals to catch?

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  76. All I have to say is FINALLY!!!
    One suggestion: restrict the enforcement of parking to certain times of the day– i.e. peak business hours, after BYU curfew hours (after midnight, rather than 10 or 11:00). Or perhaps, require University Parking Enforcement to not approach prospective clients, but rather have clients (i.e. other business) approach THEM for parking enforcement.

  77. Dear Mayor,
    I have actually accumulated evidence over the years of injustice by the company University Parking Enforcement. I’ve seen people towed from their own assigned parking space, I’ve seen people be towed after having been parked in 30 minute parking for less than 30 minutes. I’ve actually taken video footage of someone parking, getting chalked (which by the way can’t be legal, right? Since when is it ok to vandalize?), backing out, going right back into the same spot, and ALMOST getting towed before they were towed.
    My reasoning for accumulating these stories is simple. I’ve been a victim of them for doing all 3 to me. I’ve appealed (of course the appeal to their own biased management) and have been unsuccessful each time. PLEASE, remove this plaque from our community! As you mentioned, people are afraid to visit Provo for fear of being towed. I have 2 friends who cite that as their number 1 reason for not living in Provo. Whatever benefit the city thinks they are bringing is having a reverse effect on Provo’s growth. Call me anytime to chat about them. 435-893-1660.

    1. You should email him at john@provo.org. I feel like that has a higher chance of getting noticed than this post.

  78. I lived at Old Academy. A few days after I moved in a friend came to visit and parked in the parking lot. Apparently that was the random day they decided to start enforcing their “permit parking” after 5pm without notifying any of the residents. (There is ONE tiny little sign that says it’s “permit parking” 24 hrs but you can’t read it unless you get out of your car and walk over there and read it.)

    When I had moved in to OA, I had to check in and they made me sign a form about the “parking policy” but I was rushed along among the hundreds of people checking in that day. When I asked for a copy of the form, they said they couldn’t give me one that day, but would mail one to me. No one ever mailed one to me and even if they had, I doubt it would have arrived before my friend’s predicament. Their visitor parking literally has less than 10 spots for hundreds of residents. Seems pretty ridiculous to me!

    I just think that complexes need to be required to post more CLEAR signage stating when their parking enforcement hours are. The tiny signs that are so common around Provo just aren’t enough, particularly because most of the time what they say doesn’t actually match up with the complex’s policy.

  79. What if we boot the tow trucks. And if someone attached something to my personal property does it then become my property?

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Anonymous

      Can we boot the parking enforcement’s car while they’re parked illegally in the road booting our cars?

    3. Anonymous

      only if you want to pay the 500 dollar fine

  80. I was 7 months pregnant and my husband took me out to eat dinner for date night. We parked behind Velour, and I was kind of skeptical about it but he assured me that it was probably okay. Well, getting out from eating our car is gone, and I notice a sign in a bush that says 24 hour towing. Perfect! So we call up the tow company, and they say they are are out and about but we could get our car before they closed. SO I assumed they meant we could walk in the snow from downtown provo to the border of orem, where their junk yard was…. luckily we were able to find a friend who was willing to leave his friday night festivities to give us a ride to the yard. Our car was probably in the tow yard only 2 hours, but they charged us a fee for it sitting there for a whole day. Most expensive date night to this day.

  81. Rachel

    Belmont Condos (by Seven Peaks) will tow people after 30 minutes if they are in a visitor’s parking spot. The tow trucks are on the prowl every night. It’s pretty ridiculous. Also the tow trucks are always seen at Windsor Park and Alpine Village.

  82. and need I mention while we were waiting for our ride to get there, the same guys who towed us drove to the same lot and towed another car….they just sit there and wait. They are in total cahoots with the business’ there that aren’t even open at that hour.

  83. Anonymous

    I got towed once for parking illegally at an apartment complex. It was snowing and the lines were all gone. Apparently I parked in a reserved spot. (the reserved bit was painted on the ground covered by snow)

    The girl I was studying with gave me a ride to the tow lot where we had to wait 20 minutes for the right person to get back. In that time me and my lady friend hooked up in the passengers seat. I walked in to pay with a big wet splotch on ym pants. FTW!

    1. Anonymous

      blowing it in your pants is never a win, bro

    2. Anonymous

      him already knowing that is the only way that his comment makes any sense…

  84. I have a friend who parked on the street outside of my apartment in January. It had snowed that day and all the curbs were covered in snow. She had unknowingly parked with about 1/3 of her car crossing over into the no-park red curb zone, but because of the snow she had no idea. She came in to chat for 20 minutes or so, and when I walked her out to her car it was no where to be seen. At first we assumed it had been stolen, but then called University Parking and found that they’d towed it. Despite the fact that we had photographic evidence that she had no way of knowing that she’d parked on a red curb because of the snow, she was forced to pay the fine if she wanted her car back.

  85. Anonymous

    I had issues with UPE JUST LAST NIGHT! Belmont posted a sign stating it was okay to use any available visitors spot because of power washing taking place. I used one of the visitors spots and parked there all night, only to wake up and find my truck gone. Apparently the sign was for Saturday night and not Sunday night but Belmont forgot to take their sign down. After taking the sign to UPE and explaining the mistake they stated I could take them to small claims if I wanted to continue arguing the case but I wouldn’t be reimbursed. Cost $175 because Belmont left up a sign.

  86. Hunter

    My girlfriend stopped by my place to bring up my tennis racquet. She left her door open and car running in the parking lot of Raintree. She was not in parking spot, like I said her cars was running and door was open. She came to the second floor and was talking for less than 5 minutes and when she went back down her car was gone. We actually figured that the car was stolen because the keys and everything were in it. After contacting authorities someone suggested checking with the towing company for that lot just in case. Sure enough, she got towed. We still aren’t sure how they hooked it up so quickly, but we figured they probably just happened to follow her in or be right behind her when she left her car unattended. What’s a student to do in this situation? They won’t give you your car back without payment, and once they get your money, you can appeal but they are the ones that read and make decisions on appeals. This was was than any other case or story I’ve ever heard of… literally theft.

    1. Anonymous

      Its not “literally theft” if she left her car unattended in a spot she wasn’t supposed to occupy. Douchebaggy yes, but it wasn’t illegal

    2. Legal or not, it is theft pure and simple. And these guys are aided and abetted by our state politicians who allow this to go on. Kudos to Mayor John Curtis for taking a closer look.

    3. Theft doesn’t have to be illegal to be theft.

  87. Came out to find my car being hooked up to a tow truck and was asked to pay a reset fee (whatever THAT means). I’d been there literally for 25 minutes, while three other cars in the lot had been there for hours (I’d seen them there all day). As I was paying my fee, one of the other car owners came out and drove away, totally scotch free. We came out later and heard him asking another guy to pay only a $40 reset fee for his giant lifted truck (while I had to pay $100 for my small sedan). Apparently you can charge $60 more if you’re harassing a petite female instead of a burly guy with a massive truck.

  88. Also. If any readers haven’t figured out yet, “Clampman” is a troll. Ignore him. I’d do the same if my business was being threatened. Carry on with your stories! As a BYU student, it’s refreshing to hear I’m part of a movement.

    1. Sam

      No. Clampman is the hero Provo deserves, but not the one it needs.

    2. I need him. Clampman, do you need a sidekick?

  89. Anonymous

    My problem with booting is that it is the opposite of a remedy to the problem of improperly parked vehicles. You park your car somewhere it’s not supposed to be? Fine, we’ll make you stay there even longer! At least towing makes some sense.

    DP

  90. A friend parked her truck outside our apartment late at night to help us move some stuff inside. By the time she went back to her car, it had been towed. The guy who towed it hadn’t even unhitched the car when we arrived at the towing place, and he still charged the full price of $145.

    For a college student, the difference between a $15 ticket and a $145 tow is enormous.

  91. I understand the need to enforce parking (because I want there to be an open spot at my own complex when I come home at night), but isn’t a $25 ticket enough to teach people a lesson? This past 4th of July, I parked in an empty strip mall parking lot for 25 minutes while visiting a friend and the tow truck was there when I got back. Even though he hadn’t towed the car yet, I was charged $100 because he “had already called it in and couldn’t let the car down unless we paid a processing fee.” It costs them $100 to process a car that they never tow? That sounds terribly inefficient to me.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  92. I went to visit a friend living in the apartment complex right across from Riviera (I can’t remember the name of the complex right now), and I was concerned about what the parking rules were. As I was looking for a parking spot, I saw a sheriff vehicle driving through rather slowly with his window down. At the time, I didn’t realize that the boot companies were third parties and thought the Sheriff was envolved. I asked him if I was allowed to park there even though I wasn’t a resident and he said I was allowed to stay there until eleven p.m. I felt a lot better about parking and went inside. We finished visiting at about 10:10 p.m. and headed out to the car. Turns out I had already been given a boot because the time was actually ten p.m. instead of eleven. I called to have the boot removed and ended up having to wait over an hour for the guy to show up. When I told him what the sheriff had said, he very rudely told me the sheriff has nothing to do with them and if I wasn’t going to pay, he was going to leave. I did pay and lost over an hour of my time.

  93. Anonymous

    A friend spent a night at my apartment for two nights. The parking lot is enforced but there is an exception for overnight guest parking with prior approval. We called the complex and got approval. The complex sent an e-mail to the towing company with the necessary information. After the first night, the car was towed. We asked the towing company what happened. They informed us that complex sent the e-mail to their offices too late for them to check. We asked when the complex sent the e-mail. The tow company said 4 PM. The second night, we thought we had everything sorted out. Wake up the next morning, the car was towed. The tow company explained that they wrote down the wrong license plate number from the complex e-mail. There needs to be greater accountability for mistakes like this one. Placing a fine on the towing company for their negligence would be an easy way to make these companies more careful.

    1. Anonymous

      agreed. If they screw up and agree to not charge you, it’s not “no harm no foul.” It costs the person who was wrongfully towed or booted valuable time (and maybe money if they had to pay to get there) to go and pick their car up. some sort of reimbursement needs to be made for those situations.

  94. This has been an ongoing issue for the city for the last 10 years if not longer. Back when I was attending BYU, I walked my date to her door at Raintree since the weather had been particularly bad and iced over the sidewalks and stairs. I was gone for literally 5 minutes and by the time I had returned to my car a guy was in the middle of booting my car and wouldn’t take it off until I had paid 50 dollars. I explained the whole situation and his response was simply “once I start booting, I have to charge you, no matter what”. There was NO PARKING for guests at the complex and I thought I could quickly do the right thing without being penalized. Nope. This practice needs to stop. I understand the need to deter unauthorized use of parking lots, but there needs to be a time restriction or something else so these quick errands like running in meals, walking a date to her door, picking up friends, can happen without fearing you’ll owe some predatory company money.

  95. I regularly attend and play at The Velour and I’ve been towed twice. Once I parked in the lot West of Key Bank after hours. That was my bad. The second time I was parked directly behind LIME Marketing. That lot before then was where the bands parked while playing. I didn’t the management had changed on the building and now made the former agreement void. While I was on stage I was booted and towed. And all other cars were booted. 12+ cars. When I came out to pack up the truck was returning to tow everyone else. It was obvious that over 12 people that it was okay to park there. The driver was very defiant and even smug about “catching” us. He egged on my band mates and if I hadn’t intervened there could have been a serious confrontation. Fortunately there was some understanding from someone, somewhere because eventually all the boots were removed and my car was released without charge.

    A second encounter I’ve had with Parking Enforcement happened in the parking lot at Crestwood Apts. My roommate and I were in the process of moving out. We had borrowed a truck from a friend for the day to do that. It was an all day thing and we were still moving later that night. We had backed into a parking space with the bed open and half full of boxes. We left the truck running and put on the emergency flashing lights. Yes, the truck was not registered with Crestwood and didn’t have a permit because we had borrowed just for moving. After going in to get more boxes and upon returning we found the truck had been booted while in the spot, while running, and while the lights were flashing all in the matter of 5 minutes. My roommate and I were sure it was a joke from a friend or something. We called the number on the boot and it wasn’t a joke. The employee returned, we asked him to kindly remove the boot because of everything I’ve already told you. He said once it’s put on, it’s registered in the state’s police database and there’s no way to take it off without paying a fee. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Honestly it seems like a great lie. The employee was COMPLETELY smug about it and was very open with us that he was happy and excited to get the commission off this particular boot. Absolutely ridiculous that we couldn’t have a borrowed truck parked, running and lights on, in order to be able to move. I believe Crestwood is somewhat at fault for not calling off the enforcement during moving days or informing them, and for enforcement to be so eager to boot that they would even do it to an obvious moving vehicle. When I have visitors and friends come from out of state, THE biggest complaint they’ve already heard about Provo is about how absolutely ridiculous the parking enforcement is.

    1. Anonymous

      Ryan Innes? This guy rocks. He deserves to park when he’s playing.

      show some respect people.

  96. Parking enforcement is a huge burden to Provo. I avoid the area unless I absolutely have to go there, strictly because of University Parking enforcement and their aggressive, predatory towing practices. I’ve missed an important college test due to having my car towed, after I had done nothing wrong – I had a parking permit, that was displayed in my back window, but because the towing operator “didn’t see it,” my vehicle was towed, and I didn’t get it back until after I had payed 180 dollars, which was non-refundable because, “I should have put it somewhere more visible.” A private company has single handedly imposed a virtual curfew on an entire city – you can’t go anywhere without fear of your vehicle being impounded, it feels like we’re living in Soviet controlled East Berlin or something. Something needs to be done.

  97. When I was a student, I lived at the Riviera apartments across from Lavell Edwards Stadium. I came home one saturday afternoon in the Fall, a couple hours before a home BYU football game. Even though I had purchased a parking pass, I was having a hard time finding a place to park in my own apartment complex. Finally, I found a small space on the end of a row between another car and a chain link fence. The space was marked on one side with a parking line and there were no signs indicating that no parking was allowed in that space. I parked my care, went inside, and later over to the stadium for the game. After the game, I went to take my friend home and found that my car was gone. I found out it had been towed and I was now facing a $150 fee to get it back. When I contested the fee with the towing company and my apartment complex, I was given no help or remediation. Nothing like getting towed from your own parking lot when you have a permit that you paid to have!

  98. I was sitting outside Alpine village talking to a friend when a girl pulled up to the loading zone outside of the lobby. She parked her car and ran inside to the lobby to grab a newspaper. In the time that she stepped into the lobby a tow truck came barreling into the parking lot. It quickly backed up and started to latch on to the front of this girls car. My friend ran up to the truck and told the guy that the girl could visibly be seen grabbing a newspaper. He replied that no one was inside the car so he could tow it. In the mean time I flagged down the girl who came running out. He told her that since he was already latched to her front bumper she would have to pay him something ridiculous like $60.00 in cash right then or he would tow it to the lot and she would have to pay for the tow in full. THe girl was crying and didn’t have the money. Me and my friend argued with the guy, but he rudely told us to stay out of it unless we had cash. Luckily, the girl had a friend in the complex who had cash, but honestly?!?! who does that. You should be able to step away from your car for 3 min. it’s a loading and unloading zone.

    1. If the guy was demanding cash only, it sounds a lot like he was forcing the girl to bribe him. Why else couldn’t she pay with a card or a check?

  99. Anonymous

    I was visiting a friend at The Village before the first BYU football game of the season. Parking there was limited so a lot of the time we would use the church parking lot across the street because it was always empty and we saw no harm in parking there. At one point we were warned that two week out they would start towing cars from that lot. Less than two days after being informed of this, I used the parking lot to run over to my friend’s apartment for literally 5 minutes. I came back to find my car gone, along with my keys, wallet, laptop, and everything else that was in my car. I got a ride to this podunk joke of a tow lot and had to call the man to come open the lot and get my car back. We waited 30 minutes for him to arrive. I explained to him the situation and he replied saying I owed $300 to get the car out. I asked him to explain the charges to me because they were so high. He not only charged me for to actual towing but for the gas needed to fill the tow truck, a 24-hr holding fee, some silly charge he claimed to be imposed by the state of Utah for the use of diesel trucks, and a variety of other nonsense. I asked him why I had to pay for an entire day of impoundment because apparently my car had only been in the lot 5 minutes before we arrived. He had no excuse or explanation for me. I had no choice but to pay the stupid $300. As a college student, that was my entire budget for the month of September.

  100. Anonymous

    I was moving into my new apartment at Arlington (on Seven Peaks Blvd) and I had my truck half backed into the garage (for ease of unloading). My truck was full of moving boxes and it was pretty obvious that I was parked half way in the garage temporarily so I could unload my stuff. I was not blocking anything or anyone. I was inside for a short time shuffling things around and I walk out to find a tow truck man getting ready to take my truck away. I was able to talk him down to just paying the $50 for a boot but I was still pretty furious. That is taking advantage and I was pretty upset. It also wasn’t the first time I had been towed/booted. I am a BYU student and don’t have extra money laying around to constantly pay for towing/booting/parking tickets.

  101. Parked at an apartment complex (sorry I forgot the name) near the University road in Provo… and got booted when parked in the visitor parking. I had been forced to park somewhat outside the line because the stall was at the end of the row and was the only available one, and the next car over had learned to park from the Bishop chess piece instead of the Rook. Apparently, because my tire was over the line into the non-visitor parking, that allowed me to be booted because I was “not within the Visitor Parking stall.”
    Fierce injustice.

    In another scenario, we parked our car at a friend’s new apartment to help him move in. It was dark, and the visitor parking warning was printed in a dark gold that blended quite nicely with the black sign it was printed on. We were helping him move in for maybe an hour, and came out to see a boot. We called the company and explained the situation, and they explained that we could pay full price or we could leave the boot on.

    In a (hilarious) final story, though it didn’t happen in Utah, one guy I know found a boot on his car when he was in Visitor parking. So, he just jacked his car up and switched that tire with his full-size spare. He then used a torch(? not sure what he used, I BELIEVE it was a torch) to cut the boot from his semi-deflated wheel, and sold the parts as scrap metal to pay for his trouble. 😛

  102. I was living at Carriage Cove when my car (with a current parking sticker) broke down. My sister was nice enough to let me borrow her car while mine was in the shop. Forgetting about not having a sticker, I parked in the usual parking spot. It was towed, but neither Carriage Cove nor the towing company that Carriage Cove pays for service would be understanding. If my sister’s car wasn’t parked there, then my car (with a current parking sticker) would have been there, hence, the other renters were not effected at all. I had to pay over $200 for a QUARTER-MILE TOW WHEN I LIVED AT CARRIAGE COVE AND PAID FOR A PARKING PASS. Doesn’t make sense. Please punish the predatory towers of Provo and/or change the laws.

  103. I have friends who won’t come visit me in Provo because they’ve been screwed over too many times with parking in the Past. I understand the towing companies are out to make money and I can’t really blame them, the issue is that the city is enabling them by having such limited parking available.

    I see whole lots at churches and other places that are always empty but for some reason when people do park there they get towed. If someone parking on a lot you own takes away a spot from customers/patrons then action should be taken, but if nobody is being affected by them being there, I feel like it’s uncalled for to tow and boot them.

  104. Last spring I was visiting my cousin at Glenwood apartments on University Avenue. While we were visiting in the pool area, a guy slipping on the wet concrete and smacked his head on the ground and was bleeding profusely. It was 4 minutes to midnight and I had the decision to either run to my car and drive it away to avoid the midnight parking curfew, or to grab the first aid kit from the trunk of my car to help him. I chose to help the stranger. My cousin and I were able to help stop the bleeding and get him to people who would take him to the hospital. I got back to my car at 12:03 and it was already booted, after I sat and helped a stranger not bleed out on the concrete and got him some help. I called the boot guy and he took 2 HOURS to get back to my car. What a joke.

  105. Anonymous

    My fiance and I were in the parking lot of Jamba Juice and Sub Zero on University Pkwy at a wedding store picking out some invitations. He had his car, and I had mine. When we were through at the store, we decided to grab some dinner, so we took his car to a restaurant and left mine there for an hour and a half while we ate. When we returned at 9:00, I had a boot on my car. The funny thing was, there were 10 other cars in the parking lot who didn’t have boots. I handed the man 50 dollars of my grocery money that week in order to get the contraption off my car. My offense? Leaving my car for 1.5 hrs. in a PUBLIC parking lot that my taxes payed for anyway, with a bunch of other cars in the lot too. No other city in the WORLD would dare make you pay 50 dollars for parking in a PARKING lot. I thought that’s what Parking lots were for…to PARK.

    1. Anonymous

      Actually, no, the parking lot of Sub Zero and Jamba Juice ISN’T “public parking”. It’s a private parking lot with signs posted saying that it’s customer parking only, so if you left your car there and went somewhere else for an hour and a half you definitely aren’t a customer.

      Sorry, but this story actually isn’t a fault with the tow company, it’s your fault.

  106. Keith S

    I was giving my girlfriend a ride back from the airport. She lived at The Branbury, Home of the Marriage Guarantee and Sexual Assaults. To be a gentlemen, carry her bags and also to provide protection in that sketchy area I accompanied her to the doorstep of her apartment on the riverside of the complex. When I returned to vehicle, it had a boot on it. I was perhaps away from it for 3-5 minutes. Goodbye $60.00. But hey, I deserved it, I did park without a permit. I was just trying to keep another sexual assault from happening at The Branbury.

    Also, I parked at my own complex, The Crestwood. It was the end of summer, but I traveled out of town. During my days away, the sticker on my car expired, and was only one day after the deadline, that I came home to find that my car had been towed. The apartment complex did nothing to help me, they claimed their hands were tied, even though they clearly hire University Parking, they weren’t willing to go to bat for me. So, I had to get my car from where it was being kept for $350.

    1. Keith S

      I forgot one other one. I was involved in a car accident. I was then able to use a rental car, while I waited to get my car repaired. I parked in the same spot at my complex because I paid for the right to park there. Next morning, I had a boot on the rental car. Again, I talked to the apartment managers about helping me get out of the boot for free because the parking spot owner was parked in his own spot. There was zero tolerance because it wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own that a car was parked there without a sticker. Another $60 bucks gone to protect a spot that I didn’t need protected, as it was my own with the car that I owned at that time. Silly.

  107. Anonymous

    Mr. Mayor,
    Something the city does have control over is business licences. I’d propose that any business with this many customer complaints should be subject to having their license revoked.

    Folks need to know their rights too. If someone is booting or towing their car before the posted time limit, when they have a sticker displayed, or in some other scenario when they are LEGALLY parked, they should snap a photo of the scene with their phone (which all have time/date stamps), and then call the police. Taking someone’s car without legal authority or permission from the owner is a 2nd degree felony in Utah.

  108. This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. First off as a business owner in downtown Provo, I acknowledge the need for some sort of parking enforcement in town but hopefully the following example will illustrate the need for some kind of rule that hobbles the predation of some towing companies around here. I would propose that the responsibility to tow be put on the business or property owner or lease holder to do the calling except in extraordinary circumstances.
    I own a photo and salon business at 157 N. University here in Provo. With my lease I get two parking spots in the alley to the west of me. Several weeks ago I had an extended photo shoot with a client. I told this client to park in my spot behind the building so that she would not get a parking ticket for being on University to long. (we left around 12pm and returned around 9pm that evening.) This particular client was getting married just 36 hrs. later and was riding with her mom in her car and had left her car at my office. Upon finishing the sunset shots at the temple we parted ways and I went home. A little while later I got a call from my client asking where on earth her car was. At this point she was still in her wedding dress and had not changed clothes. Well you know the story, her car had been yanked from my spot. I called the company and told them that they had permission to park in my spot and he told me over the phone that he would take care of it. I thought I was done for the night. Boy was I wrong. Around 30 min. later I received a call from the girl (this time in tears) remember this is approaching midnight and she has not been home or changed clothes). Anyway, this particular company resides over behind DI behind a gate with 4 or more business names on the entrance. At this point they would not release the car or let her get her belongings from it. I got the guy back on the phone and offered to pay for them, just to let them go home. He told me that there was no way that car was leaving the lot unless it was there money because they had yelled at him. I don’t blame this poor girl and her mom for being mad or upset. I got in my car with my wife to drive down and try and help straighten things out. When I got there, I again offered to pay. No go. On the way down, my wife call Provo PD to see if they could help. Just by chance on the way out of the house my wife grabbed our lease for the building and parking spaces. Even when presented with the lease proving my case they still refused to budge. About then the brides Dad, Fiance, and the Provo officer arrived. Things just escalated from there. These tow guys would just not budge and refused my offers to pay. It was not until they were threatened with a theft charge for not letting them into the car to retrieve their belongings that the Dad was able to retrieve his car that was towed by mistake in the first place. No joke I was told that all I had to do was call them to let them know that someone was going to be parked there. My protest is that I am not going to call the tow company to ask permission to use the property that I own or lease. I say hang big scary signs but make it an ordinance that they cannot tow unless requested by the owner or property manager, unless there is obvious danger to the public. I don’t know the exact answer to the whole problem but I know that there are a couple of companies that haunt around and will not listen to reason even when presented with overwhelming evidence that they had made a mistake. They Lord the possession of your car over you and if you argue the fees miraculously go up. I understand the need to protect property etc, but there is an obvious abuse taking place. Thanks Mayor Curtis. I have many other examples of shady dealings just on this block alone but it does not look like I need to list them all.

    1. Anonymous

      Did you email this to him? His email is john@provo.org. At the end of his message he said to email these stories to him, and yours is a prime example of the dishonesty among these companies.

  110. Anonymous

    I’ve received 4 parking tickets in the past 4 days, 3 of which were from having out of date tags, and 1 was because I was parked halfway in my driveway due to having some family over, and they ticketed me for parking on a sidewalk. Now, I realize that my tags are out of date, I’ve known for sometime, but I’ve been jobless due to getting laid off, and just started a new job. I don’t have the money it costs to re-register my car, but I still have to get to work. So what I don’t understand is, why they keep charging me with 30 dollar tickets day after day, when I cant afford to register the car. It seems contradictive to be honest, all they are doing is MAKING SURE that I wont have enough money to register the car ever, by piling on tickets, so that they can pile on more tickets. They are preventing me from fixing the problem that they are, in effect, complaining about. The better solution to me would be a 30-day ticket. I know they can see the tickets in their systems on the computers they pull up. If its out of date tags, you have 30 days to fix it before you are elligible for another ticket. Just makes sense to me instead of EVERY SINGLE DAY SPECIFICALLY SELECTING IT AS A TARGET BECAUSE YOU GAVE IT ONE YESTERDAY.

    As for the one in my driveway, I live on a cul-de-sac, and quite frankly I was as far in as I could be. I was touching the car in front of me, and they still ticket me for being on the sidewalk. Im sorry, but that is part of the driveway. And its a cul de sac for cripes sakes. What potential danger or damage could I do parking on the sidewalk in a cul de sac after 10pm? If I was in the street, they would’ve ticketed me for out of date tags (which they did anyways). So I don’t even think it’s towing companies by themselves, I think its the parking police in general. Them, in their little jeeps, in conjunction with the towing companies, seem to be the ones making life difficult for seemingly a lot of people.

  111. Anonymous

    I was parked in an extremely ambiguous parking lot with about 20 spaces located just outside of the entrances to Raintree. I was in my friend’s apartment for maybe 20 minutes and came out and my car was gone. The lot was not well marked and I’m pretty sure they KNEW that and knew exactly what they were doing. I went to go pick it up the next day and they guy told me I could not pick it up because my name was not on the registration (because it belongs to my dad). Then he told me I had to have a notarized letter from my dad saying I could pick up the car. He was extremely rude and it was not a pleasant experience. My parents got suspicious of the legality of that rule on account of its Provo and a lot of students are driving cars that their parents own. A police officer ended up getting involved and it turns out it is in fact illegal to enforce that in Provo. The towing guy then lied to the police officer about what had happened when I came to pick up my car and it is still a big mess. But I did end up having to pay $254 to get my car back.

  112. I was doing a stand-up comedy show at Muse music. I parked in the back and it said there was a possibility of towing if you were not a customer. Since I was performing I assumed it would be fine. I was towed that night and only then found out that I had accidentally parked in the wrong lot. Not only were there no cars there, but it cost me over $100 (I can’t remember the exact number). Lots of anger at that.

  113. I was visiting my wife, then girlfriend, at her apartment off of Freedom Blvd. I had gone in for not more than 2 hours and when I came out to move my car it had already been towed. I tried to reason with the tow lot, but they were dehumanizing in their treatment toward me, even hostile. The rate at which the tow fees increase is incredible. To expect students to pay that money, while specifically targeting areas that they live in is definitely predatory. How can we fight this when they have the law on their side, or when we are busy working and going to school? How can we support ourselves when we have to take out extraneous loans just to get our form of transportation back, so we can go to work and school. It victimizes a group of people that can’t be expected to stretch any further economically.

  114. The other night I got home close to midnight, there was no parking at my apartment. Naturally I parked at the closest parking lot which happened to be across the street and a Y lot. It was dark and when I was close enough to read the signs, I was to close for my car lights to reach the signs. Being young, single, and not wanting to walk in the dark or disobey my grandmother’s firm rule of not walking the “safe” streets of Provo late at night, I parked there and prayed I wouldn’t get a citation if I wasn’t supposed to park there. Oh, boy I was wrong. After receiving a citation and appealing it, I have learned that University Police does not care about the safety of the students. Also I came to learn that BYU does not want to be responsible for our cars for 4 hours out of our 24 hours a day during the work week, BUT they will be responsible for them all hours of the day starting on the weekends… Does that sound illogical to anyone else?

    1. Anonymous

      It is very illogical and very sad. BYU needs some system of making sure that their lots are clear at some point during the week, and they chose this. I think they’d not let us park there on weekends except that it would make it difficult with curfew (1:30 on Fri/Saturday mornings, meaning that booting at 1 every day would be impractical) Also, more people are likely to visit on the weekends. I really think they should just let us park there all the time, but that is unlikely to happen.

  115. Nick

    This happened to me a week and a half ago. I was picking up a friend at her apartment complex. Pulled into the small lot and got out of the car to stretch my legs while she was coming out. I was 20 yards away, still in the lot, when I look up to see a tow truck speeding in reverse to my car. I ran towards the truck yelling but in a matter of seconds it was in the air. It cost me $87 just to get it off the truck. Couldn’t believe it. Manager wouldn’t work with me either.

  116. I parked my car in the parking lot of the east side of alpine village, after living in provo for less than 2 weeks. I backed in directly behind my friend, who needed her battery jumped. we walked upstairs to grab the jumper cables, and literally walked straight back down, a total of 4-5 minutes. but, time enough to realize that my car was towed. although i didnt know it was towed i thought it was stolen. i called onstar and tracked it so university parking and ended up paying 170$. good reward for doing a friend a favor.

  117. There needs to be a requirement that warning signs be clearly visible.

    I was towed from the bank parking lot next to Raintree. Guest parking is hard to find everywhere in Provo. I had no idea I wasn’t allowed to park in the back of an empty parking lot after hours. I found out when I came out 30 minutes later and my car was gone. I searched the lot for a warning sign, only to find it shadowed and overgrown by a tree.

    The towing lot was extremely shady. They wouldn’t take my American Express and claimed my Visa was rejected. I use them both regularly. I wouldn’t doubt they were blacklisted by Visa themselves. Luckily I had $175 in my account to debit them on the spot in ransom for my car. It’s not always true a student has that kind of money at any given moment. This is in contrast to a ticket that can be paid for within a certain time period.

    There are definitely reforms needed for this in Provo. Thank you for caring!

  118. Anonymous

    Provo has a huge parking problem. The fact is, Provo was created before cars. That being said, we are so squished and crammed for space to park these large machines, and we need to do something to create more space. Parking garages are expensive to build, but I believe that they would alleviate some of the cramming problem. A cheaper alternative is to change when cars parked outside of businesses can be towed (you know, like only when the business is open). Most of the parking/towing problems happen at night. Allowing people to park in closed-for-the-night business parking lots can help solve this.

    Another thing I’d like to point out: People are terrified to go anywhere past sunset for fear of not having a place to park when they get back. This hurts businesses and creates panic among students.

    I believe that someone who is illegally parked should get a ticket. Yes, a ticket. Maybe a boot if it is serious. Nobody should get towed right off the bat. Towing should only occur if the person has parked there for more than 36 hours (time for calling in factored in) AFTER a ticket has been rendered.

    I agree with previous comments that no fines should be handed out until at least 24 hours after a snow storm, as it is difficult to assess laws.

    Signs need to be clear and in LARGE PRINT so we can read it from the road without obstructing traffic (sitting there reading a sign and blocking the road for 10 minutes to find tiny details causes more problems).

    Red fire lines should be repainted every 2-4 years to insure that they are not hidden. If they are really necessary, we should maintain them.

    I believe apartment complexes should charge University parking for allowing them to tow/boot. They should reserve the right to collect all funds (to repay their tenants) unless U. Parking provides CLEAR, appropriately documented footage, proving that the car was parked illegally after the time posted, and prove that there is no sticker (or snow) or discretion with the time. This video should be at least 60 seconds long, and if the person comes out in that time, should be completely discarded.

    Better yet, make it illegal for anyone other than the city to tow or boot cars on property that is not theirs (so, not BYU lots since they are privately owned). Apartments would have to agree to not let U parking on their lots.

    Sadly, we are squished between a mountain and a lake, so we don’t have that much space. Also, the soil in the area is unstable for huge parking structures without much effort and cost (and frankly, time and space taken up for construction). We need to find a practical way for parking to work. There will only be a growing population with cars, so we need to plan for them.

  119. I was towed from a parking lot that had no posted time of when the lot was closed to visitors. I was even in a visitor parking spot. Evidently it closed it midnight. My car was already hooked up to the tow truck at 12:11am. Cost me $100+. They apologized that there wasn’t a time posted on the sign saying when the lot closed, but said they couldn’t do anything about it. They said they had to charge me because they had already entered my car into the system. Yet, the tow guys collected my VIN number after I showed up.

    I’ve also been towed from Gold’s Gym. $175.

  120. This is a big problem in Provo and (like others have said( the issue is really the incentives. I think the city could decrease the incentives for the tow companies by beating them at their own game. This could easily be done by assigning police officers to ticket the tow trucks. Tickets for loitering, obstructing traffic, or other offenses would quickly reverse the practices since it would hit the pocket books of the commission based employees.

    1. Anonymous

      Yes. I second this.

  121. Chad Arnett

    I was visiting my buddy in Provo at Alpine Village and needed to quickly dry a pair of jeans I had. We ran across the street to the laundromat and decided to hit Beto’s/Ranchorito’s while waiting the 40 min for my jeans to dry. When I got back my car was gone. It was 10 at night.

    When I called the towing company they said, even though I was currently using the facility, because I left for food I was no longer considered a patron.

    The Alpine Village lot closes at 12. If I thought it would be an issue, I would have just parked there. It was literally 40 MINUTES.

    $250.00 later I got my car back. In a college town where many students like myself support themselves with part time jobs while finishing their schooling full time, that amount of money is nothing to blink at. That’s a semester worth of books, or valuable rent/food/gas money.

    Their practices may not be criminal, but they certainly aren’t clean.

    1. Anonymous

      actually, if they charged you that much money for it, it sounds like it was criminal.

  122. Anonymous

    I had a friend take me to get groceries and when we made it to my complex she parked in our lot (true, she didn’t have a permit) and helped me carry the groceries in. She helped me put them away, then 10 minutes later she went down to her car and it was booted.

    On another occasion I drove to my boyfriends and parked in a visitors spot in his complex, then we left on a date in his car. When we got back a bit after midnight my car had a boot because apparently in small print on the signs it says it’s only a visitor’s spot until midnight. After that they’ll boot you.

    In both cases, a friend’s act of service (which I paid for because I felt it was my fault, not hers) and a date that lasted a little longer than planned resulted in about $60 each time. Not that either time broke the bank, but it’s really frustrating when just a few minutes results in a boot.

  123. I work a few days at a local music venue, and it’s well known that the towing companies are pretty vicious. It’s safe to say that almost every week someone who came from out of town to see music in Provo gets their car towed. I’ve even had people towed off from the parking we do own.

    Now, whose fault is it? Well, actually it’s not as clear cut- a few times I’ve even seen people get towed when they parked in the right spot, as the tow companies act very fast and use no discretion.

    I don’t know what the laws are, but we do know Venues like Muse Music Cafe and Velour do a lot to bolster Provo’s image as a fun place to be, and ruthless towing companies are a sure way to ruin someones trip to Provo.

  124. Before I married my wife she lived at Rain Tree Apts. I was dropping her off after our date and it was two days after a terrible rape had occurred nearby. I didn’t want her to walk across the extended parking lot all the way back to her apartment by herself so I walked her. By the time I returned to my car it had been booted. I didn’t see a tow truck anywhere in sight and it was within two minutes of the parking curfew so I’m not sure how they came and left so quickly if they were within their allotted towing time. I didn’t regret walking my wife to her doorstep, it’s just unfortunate that university parking did not care.

    1. Anonymous

      Maybe the parking vultures are the rapists. They’ll get you one way or another.

  125. My friend lived in Old mill apartments and I went over to her place to pick her up. Well there were no parking spots in her lot or on the street so I parked in the family dollar parking lot right next to it. I was gone from my car 5 minutes at most to find my car gone. There were no towing signs or anything so my first thought was my car had been stolen. After about 20 minutes of freaking out an employee from the store came out and informed me that there is a tow truck that sits in that parking lot waiting for students to leave their cars and then they tow them. Apparently you are not allowed to park there unless you go in to one of the stores, but someone had taken down that sign. So there was no way for me to know I was parked illegally. Finally my dad picked me up and we drove to the lot where they took my car and there was no one there. We called the number for 20 minutes before someone finally answered and came to let us pick up the car. $400 dollars later he let us go to my car where my dad who was already very mad checked over my car only to discover a huge scratch, dent and my park break was broken ( I have a manual car and I have to set the park break for my car not to move). When my dad complained to the tow truck driver, he claimed it was my fault for parking illegally. All in all it was $800 dollars to get my car out of the lot and to get my park break fixed while the dent and scratch are still there. For parking 5 minutes in a lot to pick up my friend.

  126. I have spent over $1000 dollars in Provo on boots and tows. Just some questions… how am I supposed to walk a date to her door or go pick her up at her door with these kind of vulture tow truckers everywhere? This is a problem that definitely needs to change… laws need to be changed. I feel this to be an unconstitutional seizure in many cases.

  127. My car was towed from the parking lot at my apt. complex. I had a parking pass and was legally parked. I called the tow company and all they said is oh we noticed we towed the wrong car. It was returned later in the day, but I had to find a ride to take a test because I didnt have my car until many hours later.

  128. One wintry night I made a 20 min stop by fiancee’s apartment at Alpine Village and got towed…From a “stall”, that looked exactly like a parking stall but due to the massive amounts of snow in the lot had covered up any visible lines. I was up until 3 a.m. the night before one of my first law school exams…let’s just say that wasn’t the best exam I’ve ever taken. Not only was my car towed, but I had to wait 4 hours in the freezing cold to get it back.

  129. I was booted in my own parking lot AT my apartment complex. When I brought it to my manager’s attention, they turned the other cheek, saying they didn’t want to get involved. I was allowed to be there!!!! I LIVED THERE! But couldn’t afford to sue…especially after paying $100 to take the boot off my car. So mad.

    My car was also towed at a friend’s complex, and even though I was in the wrong (apparently they towed at 9, not midnight like I thought) they fee was $250. And I had to track my car down in the middle of the night with my girlfriend, only to find it in the hidden, shady lot. So not only did I ruin my evening by studying for an exam, I also gave up my food money for the entire month. Thanks Provo. Your fees are ridiculous.

    1. Anonymous

      This is all a tragedy and i agree i have been “almost” towed when i pulled up in front of my apartment to grab a text book i forgot. within 60 seconds of hoping out running grabbing the book off my desk and coming back out a University parking truck was already under my vehicle… less than a minute and he was already under my car. He said he would give me a break and do it half off because they didn’t have to move the vehicle… $125 to have him unhook a little piece and drive away. But this is not Provo cites fault, it is the dishonest business, Provo can do more and thank you mayor curtis for bringing up this problem

  130. Provo should be embarrassed by what happens. My wife stopped in our daughters apartment complex. She walked upstairs to help carry a box up. When she came back less than 10 minutes later a tow truck drive wanted $90 not to tow her car. I refuse to spend another dollar at a business located in Provo City limits.

  131. Provo police/parking enforcement are every bit as (if not more) predatory as the tow companies. They sit around looking to write a ticket for, as you said, people who park for 30 seconds to run a plate of brownies in to a sick friend.

    Whether they’re coming after you for $15, or for $250, the principle is the same. The City of Provo ought to be looking at the beam in their own eyes, before they start worrying about everybody else.

    After the city backs off its predatory parking practices, then it will be time to take a hard look at the private vultures; not before.

    1. Anonymous

      I agree, but the city is worse, at least towing companies are defending private property rights. The city is harassing us on PUBLIC property that we all pay for. If you roll through a stop sign at 1 am when there isn’t a car in sight except a cop on the side of the road with his lights off you get to pay over $100 and pay higher insurance for 3 years. Or you go 35 in a 25 where no signs are posted, again, over $100 and 3 years of increased insurance. Hey mister Mayor, bummer one of you kids got towed (speculating here) but how about you reign in your own predatory lackeys.

  132. Anonymous

    I remember at Liberty Square, where there was a ton of spaces during the summer, my friend was moving out and had his Mom’s car because it was bigger and could fit all of his stuff. It was a little late I don’t remember the time, but the boot guy was in the parking lot and said if my friend pulled into a space he would boot him. So the only way out of it was to have his girlfriend sit in the middle of the parking lot, blocking traffic in or out, in the drivers seat while we moved stuff into the car. He wouldn’t allow us to have her sit in the car in a parking space. You would think he had something better to do, but he sat there the whole time while we load up the car and then my friend went parked on the street.

  133. I had just gotten back from a long road trip to Mesa for a roommates wedding. After dropping a friend off at Centennial Apartments, I noticed my car engine making noises as if it were about to seize up. I quickly pulled into the Golds Gym lot to get my car out of the street where I checked the oil and found it had run dry. I was probably about 0.1 miles away from having to get an engine replacement. It was just after 11pm on a Friday night. Because of my fear of leaving my car unattended in that lot (the towing man was sitting right around the corner), I had to rely on some guy who pulled over and offered to go pick up some oil for me. Thank goodness the people of Provo are nice and that I had cash in my wallet to give him. Maybe there are simply too many towing companies so they feel compelled to stay in business by leeching off the students? I don’t know.

  134. Anonymous

    My husband was booted the night we got engaged by a Parkway Authority “employee.” He had run into my apartment to pick me up after parking and was in my apartment for 10 minutes. The signs posted in the Elms Apartments’ lot had no indication of what time of day boots would be issued. Granted my husband did not have a pass but he was literally away from the car for 10 minutes. When the guy finally showed up to take the boot off he came in an unmarked car with Texas license plates. The worker was not willing at all to remove the boot without a fee and referred my husband to Parkway Authority’s office IN TEXAS to appeal the fee. 1. All towing/booting companies must use marked vehicles 2. The company must be in Utah!

    After Stadium of Fire this last year my uncle was physically assaulted by 2 supposed K.P.E. Towing workers. After paying to park in a lot specifically for the event he and my aunt returned to the lot to retrieve their car. There were no signs to say what time the lot closed for visitors or for those who had paid to park there. They were met by the towing company who used extremely crude language when my aunt and uncle politely asked him for the car back that was already up on a tow truck. My uncle explained that there were no signs and the boot/tow was unnecessary. The workers agreed to give the car back for $80 cash (serious issue there) still swearing at my uncle. Before my aunt and uncle could pay the men, the two workers began to throw my uncle to the ground and began beating his head against the pavement still yelling at him. The other worker decided to call 911 and claimed that my uncle was the one who had assaulted them. It wasn’t until the paramedics arrived and told the police officers that my uncle was unconscious that the officers removed the handcuffs off my uncle (yes, he was the one that got handcuffed because the K.P.E. workers were the ones that called and lied to the officers) and took him to the hospital. The police officers told my aunt that she could still file her own separate police report but that in order to settle the situation as calmly as possible, she would need to pay the workers the $80 and the car would come off the truck.

    These men were never charged for assaulting my uncle instead they got off easy plus an extra $80. It’s towing companies and problems like these that make Provo a scary place to live. I am honestly nervous to park my car anywhere that I am unfamiliar with.

    As an apartment manager, I completely see the need for regulating parking. My tenants should have a right to park in their own lot and not be fighting for a space with people that don’t live there at night. However, the last thing I want is someone to be booted unfairly or even assaulted. My suggestion would be ticket illegally and wrongfully parked people first. A car should never be towed without being booted for at least 24 hours. Property owners or their agents should be able to a much greater say in what the enforcement company does. As a property manager, we feel like we are also victim to the towing companies as often times even we are not allowed to call in and have boot removed. Thanks for looking into this serious issue!

  135. This comment has been removed by the author.

  136. I went over to visit a friend at Raintree Apartments in Provo on a weekday summer evening. Because it was summer semester, the parking lot for the apartments was only 1/3 full. That being said, I noticed the posted sign for Raintree and knew I would be there past 11pm (when the tow truck notoriously comes through looking for non-permit cars), so I parked in a completely empty paved piece of property just outside the posted signs. There were no parking lines, and no sign at the entrance so I assumed I was just fine. Well, when I went out to find my car at midnight, it was gone. My friend and I drove her car to the tow truck company who then told us that I was parked on a private parking lot and that there was indeed a sign posted on the fence/gate that was on the opposite side of the paved lot. When we went back and checked, it was there, but not visible when you enter the “parking lot”. I had to fork over $150 no questions asked. No good reason either because it wasn’t that I was potentially taking a parking spot of someone else who lives in the area, and it wasn’t that they were trying to cut down on over-crowding…it was just that the tow company wanted money.

  137. Aria

    About a month and a half ago, I parked in the visitor lot of The Village which has a two hour time limit. When I came back to find that my car had been towed, I had a friend drive me over to the UPE office and asked why they towed me. The man wouldn’t look me in the eye and smugly replied, “The dew on your windshield indicated that you had been parked in the visitor lot for longer than two hours.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The dew on my windshield? The dew that is supposedly so specific to the Village’s visitor parking lot that it can be found NO WHERE ELSE IN PROVO? If you’re going to tow someone’s car, and slam them with a $200+ fine to pay, you better have some more concrete proof than that: video surveillance, time stamped pictures, something. I had less than 15 minutes to get to work, so I didn’t have time to argue but someone has got to do something about this. Plus, what the heck is with the $40 service/administrative fee? You operate from a small office and one parking lot, what do you need $40 from every college student you tow for? TOWING IS NOT A SERVICE. IT IS AN INCONVENIENCE. The money you’re taking from us is for rent, food, gas, books, tuition, etc. Not just money we have to throw away! It is not our fault that the city of Provo does not have enough parking for its 30,000+ residents. Why should we be punished for that?

  138. David L

    I have a friend who literally got towed when she left her car for 2 minutes to bring me a plate of brownies as a thank you for taking her to the ER the week before. I know that example was used as hyperbole in this blog post, but it actually happens.

    I was also booted in my own parking lot one night for double parking on a snowy night. All the other cars in the lot were double parked (no one could see the lines!), but I believe I was targeted for having a new truck (I guess they assumed I would pay). A legal letterhead got me my money back.

  139. Anonymous

    It was the day of the Pioneer day parade. University ave. was swarmed with thousands of people along the road. Near all the fun and excitement ,on an adjoining street the street was littered with parked cars on the side of the curb. Bumper to bumper these cars were parked just to get a parking spot for the parade so they could walk not far to it. And literally every-single-one of those cars on the street had been booted. And i’m not talking about 5 or five cars i am talking about 15-20 cars had been given a boot because they were parked in a non-apparent no parking zone. Why cant they park there, i thought. Oh, because Provo has the monopoly on parking spaces. Why were they ALL booted on this day of celebration i though again? oh, because who ever did this is trying to make some easy cold cash on poor college students. Honestly, you cant park anywhere in this city without paying for it, whether its a parking pass or a fine. And places that seem fine to park they put a no parking sign up so you have to BUY a spot to park. Money. Money. Money.

    1. Anonymous

      ^ I realized i have some spelling errors. You know what i mean…haha

  140. In 2004, I was living in Canyon Terrace Apartments on Canyon Road just north of BYU’s campus. I was sick and my girlfriend kindly bought a few groceries for me and wanted to stop by my apartment to drop them off. It was about 9pm and she parked in my complex’s parking lot, which had several open spots at the time. She carried two bags of groceries in and then left to find her car booted. She wasn’t parked there more than 10 minutes. The booter had to have been waiting there and checking cars immediately. It took no time for him to answer the call to remove the boot. Needless to say he refused to remove the boot without payment of $50 despite us explaining the situation to him.

    Now I realize you are supposed to have a sticker to park in the parking lot and my girlfriend didn’t have one. However, the fact that she was booted within 10 minutes at 9pm with open stalls in the lot is ridiculous and demonstrates how aggressive these companies are. Half the time I was worried I would be booted even with my sticker. The service has gone beyond protecting people who have the right to park in a specific lot and is simply predatory now.

  141. Anonymous

    I moved into Alta Apartments on the Saturday night before Labor Day several years ago. The office was closed Monday for Labor Day and said they wouldn’t start booting/towing until Tuesday. I went out first thing Tuesday to get my parking sticker from the office and my car was already booted. When I called the company, they said Tuesday technically started at midnight. I told them that didn’t change the fact that I could not get into the office to get a parking pass because it was closed for the holiday. They charged my $50 to get the boot off.

  142. Ali

    A week or so ago we were loading in set pieces for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the Echo Theatre downtown. There was a bed frame we had to unload from the truck, so we left the car unattended for less than ten minutes. When we got back to continue unloading, the truck had been towed. There’s a guy who sits in the parking lot behind The Echo/Velour/Muse who calls the tow truck as soon as someone leaves their car for a moment. Our director and producer went to the tow company and tried to explain that the car was in the alley, not the parking lot where the tow sign was posted (for, by the way, a business that doesn’t exist anymore), but they wouldn’t listen and ended up charging $100 more than the posted rate.

  143. Anonymous

    Parked on a side of a frozen yogurt place because all the spots were full. They must have been watching and waiting because we came out after 15 minutes or so and the car was gone. It was 300 bucks for the overnight fee even though it had been towed less than an hour. I think the name of the company was University Parking.

  144. I was dropping my girlfriend off at The Riv, I got there a couple minutes before 11, walked her to her door and she said she had a surprise for me inside. I walked in, talked for about 3 minutes and walked outside to find a boot on my car. Then had to wait over an hour…. in december when the parking lot was half-full just to pay their fine, that was “timed” at the same time i got to my car. Funny thing, is that my girlfriend was paying for a parking spot, but didn’t have a car yet, so i could easily have been using her spot, but they were “out of stickers”

  145. Anonymous

    I was parked at my apt. complex last summer during which time parking stickers weren’t required. I was parked next to a concrete wall on the left side of my car, so I wasn’t aware of a boot on my front left tire. Because I didn’t resolve the boot immediately, the company came to tow my car the next day. Fined $175 for parking in my own complex.

  146. I was dropping my date off at Heather Cove and walked up to her apartment. She wanted me to meet her friends real quick it was literally 5 minutes. After meeting them I walked back to where my car was and it was not there. The car was out of sight but not out of what I could hear. The parking lot was COMPLETELY empty and with no cars in them I thought my car was stolen. Needless to say I am still upset along with the $150 fee to get my car back. That is absurd, especially because that is more than the fee that was listed on the sign but I guess the sign doesn’t count pickup and storage… I am extremely irate!

  147. Anonymous

    My roommate got his car booted when it was parked in a LEGAL parking spot at our complex.

    When he called to ask what in creation they were doing they insisted it was not a legal spot. He argued with them for over an hour to no avail. He refused to pay, so instead filed an appeal. 3 days later they finally admitted they were wrong and removed the boot. 3 days!!!!

    And of course paid him no compensation at all for being without his car for 3 days. Pathetic.

    1. Anonymous

      Have him send them an invoice for services performed

    2. Anonymous

      have him send an invoice to the company for services performed

  148. Anonymous

    I parked, walked my date to the door, said goodnight, and walked back to my car to find University Parking putting a boot on my car. My only other option would have been to park in 4 blocks south in the closest public parking spots. They were terribly uncooperative about it and proceeded to put the boot on my car even though I told them not to as I was just about to leave. There were 5 open spaces for residents with permits to park in if they needed to, but this is obviously about money and not parking.

  149. steve kelson

    I was moving so I left my car out by the front door of my apt in windsor park apartments as I was actively loading/unloading it for the move. Between trips, as I brought a load out to the car, a tow truck comes flying into the parking lot and tries to back up on my car as I am standing right there. I shut the trunk quickly and hopped in my vehicle until the tow truck left (or so I thought!). I went to go back into the apartment to grab one last load, however before I actually entered my apartment I noticed that the tow truck was waiting at the exit of the complex and hadn’t actually left. The guy was waiting for me to lose sight of him before doubling back around to try and tow me… again. I moved my car to my old spot further from the apartment and finished loading.

  150. Anonymous

    I was at the dollar theater, and there is no sign that says you have to park in a stall that is clearly visible. No red paint no nothing. I came out my car was gone, I thought someone had stole it. I called the police and they said it had been towed. They said there were signs up. There were not signs I complained to the police but they wouldn’t do anything so I got stuck with a $300 bill. That was my food money for the next month gone. Thanks Provo.

  151. Anonymous

    I went to pick my brother up to go skiing at 5:30AM, yes 5:30AM. It was at the dorms and I left my car with engine running in the little parking/road between the old upper heritage buildings. I ran upstairs to help bring down his gear (he was all ready and had called me to pick him up). As I came back down the stairs 60 seconds later there was a university policeman putting a nice parking ticket on my car, engine running and all. I cannot wait to get out of Provo.

  152. Brake

    I parked in the empty elementary school lot on 9th east next to Chatham apartments to deliver a plate of hot cookies at 12:15 AM and came back immediately to find I had been booted. I was told that they would not be able to make it back that night until 1:00, but I waited outside in a t-shirt in winter until they showed up unitl 2:30 A.M, and I was not out of there until 2:45. University Towing is a sham of a company that exists because of their predatory practices. They are lazy and uncooperative and downright rude to everybody they interact with.

  153. My personal favorite was the time my roommate woke up to find that his car had been burglarized AND booted. The thief had broken a window to gain access to the car. The parking sticker had been in the window that was broken. The University Parking Enforcement employee must have stepped over the shattered glass to put the boot on his wheel.

    1. Anonymous

      oh thats my favorite, too. man that sucks.

    2. Anonymous

      I bet the University Parking employee broke the window.

    3. Anonymous

      Show your support and share your voice via Facebook. We really need to harness the power of social media and gather as much attention to this as possible! We must support Mayor John Curtis if we really want a change to happen!

      http://www.facebook.com/ProvoParkingGettingCarriedAway

  154. I hope that Provo (and neighboring cities) take into account the safety of those who have their cars booted or towed as well as taking into account predatory practices. Recently, there was an unfortunate rape of a woman at an Orem theater parking lot. Current towing/booting practices allow parking enforcers to cause people to be stranded anywhere, anytime. I would legally hold parking lot owners and enforcers liable if any of my families members were victimized while waiting for assistance from having their car towed, booted or disabled in any way. Period. They would be sued big time. It doesn’t matter if the family member is a male or a female or what crime was committed against them. If parking enforcers had a hand in them being there, I would hold them liable.

    One of my daughters was recently visiting another at student housing. When she left, at about 12:15 AM, her car had been booted. She was unable to contact anyone for about 15 minutes. She was stranded and alone after midnight in a dark parking lot just a few weeks after the incident in Orem. Do you think I’m mad? Darn right I’m mad.

    IMHO, the laws should require that 1) parking enforcers cannot cause someone to be stranded, and 2) that parking enforcers must pass crime, drug, sex and other background checks on a regular basis/frequency and 3) be bonded, etc.

    I DON’T CARE IF THEY CAN’T MAKE MONEY FROM TOWING AND BOOTING. MY FAMILIES SAFETY TRUMPS THAT METHOD OF RUNNING A BUSINESS.

  155. Anonymous

    I appreciate the enforcement that keeps out people wrongfully parking where I need to. Not all of the parking enforcement workers are corrupt and I understand they are just doing their job. However I have experienced the most asinine policies here in Provo.

    A couple months ago, I parked in a HUGE empty lot (on State street and 1720 N, with the dollar tree) late at night to run something up to a friend’s apartment since I was afraid the parking vultures would get my car if I parked at the complex. I searched for a sign about parking but there was none. When I came back 10 mins later and my car was hooked up to a tow truck. The vulture said he had already “called it in” so I would have to pay $100 bucks for a “processing fee” or else it would be around $200 to tow. I told him there was no sign and he said there was. I found the sign. It was 8 in by 12 in, in a dark corner, buried by flyers. It said only customers could park in the lot. The vulture said since the businesses were closed, I couldn’t be a customer and therefore must be towed.

    I was so furious. I know how corrupt and unethical the parking enforcement is here in Provo and I would have never parked there if I had any clue. There needs to be laws about the parking signs. They must meet certain visibility requirements.

    What is this, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

    Provo isn’t made to handle the capacity it has grown to. The traffic is obnoxious and the parking is ridiculous. I have friends and family that won’t come here because of the parking alone. South of BYU campus specifically is the most frustrating thing I’ve ever dealt with. We need a high rise parking garage. And building new apartment complexes while ignoring the parking situation is foolish.

    Finally, there has to be a limit on what tow trucks can charge. Anything above $15 dollars for a tow “processing fee” is corrupt. Maybe if they couldn’t charge an obscene fee, they wouldn’t make as much, there would be less towing companies, and they wouldn’t fight to get the tow.

    1. Anonymous

      Another post cited Utah’s towing admin code that said that the maximum amount that vulture could have charged more than $73 (half of the maximum rate of $145 for my light duty vehicle). They cannot charge anything extra including a service fee. See here: http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r909/r909-019.htm#T10

      It says “Any tow truck service charging more than the maximum approved rates may be assessed civil penalties”. …ya right.

    2. Anonymous

      they are allowed up to 30 dollars of a processing administration fee(its in 909-19-7), but nothing more. and i’m pretty sure that that doesn’t apply before they actually take it to the place and “process” it, so it should have stayed at just the 73. Also, any posted signs have to bea minimum 18″ by 24″, so if you measured it right then their sign is no good.

    3. Anonymous

      It could have been 18 by 24, I don’t remember exactly. I just remember thinking it looked like a piece of paper and the font was so small, I wouldn’t have seen it. Thanks!

    4. Anonymous

      It could have been 18 by 24, don’t remember. I just remember thinking it looked like a piece of paper and was covered by flyers. Thanks for the info!

    5. Anonymous

      It definitely could have been 18 by 24. I don’t remember it well, just that I couldn’t see all of it because of papers and flyers. Thanks for the info!

    6. I was going on a date, and my date parked across the street in that exact same parking lot. She looked and could not see those signs, got towed, etc. Same story. Also, it doesn’t help that the University Parking HQ is literally within 200 yards of this place, so it is nice and easy for them to do this. Vultures…

  156. Way to take this on, Mayor!

  157. Anonymous

    I was booted in my own apartment complex. I had a parking sticker, but it was on the front window, not the back. The guy who put the boot on my car didn’t bother to check the front. I had to wait an hour so that the guy could come back and take the boot off. And he tried to make me pay for it, but I refused. Something should be done about the parking situation in Provo.

  158. Anonymous

    Dad comes down to Provo to deliver homemade bread to me. Parks outside the apartment, turns on the hazard lights, and runs up to deliver the bread. I invite him in to show him the apartment (he’d never been there before). We chat for five minutes. I walk him out the door and say goodbye. As he turns to walk to the car, we notice that it’s not where he parked it. We walk out to the parking lot only to see the tow truck flying down the road with the car in tow, hazard lights still flashing.

    Granted, my dad probably shouldn’t have left the car there, but this all happened within 7-10 minutes of him getting there. We checked the time. He called the tow company (University Parking) and the driver said he had stood and waited at least 15 minutes before towing the car. I gave my dad a ride to the tow yard, he paid through the nose ($150)to get his car back (hazard lights STILL going), and left infuriated.

    Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. He paid for the fee on his American Express Card and disputed the charge. The tow company didn’t even try to fight back. TIP: Do that! It’s a good way to fight the charge. American Express reversed the charge and he got his money back.

    I understand the fact that:

    1. There needs to be parking enforcement.
    2. The tow companies are not always in the wrong.
    3. People are going to be upset when they’re towed whether they got taken advantage of or not.

    That being said, however, I think something can AT LEAST be done about the ridiculous fee people have to pay as a result of being towed. Students can’t pay $150 for being towed. That’s the pay equivalent of a 20 hour work week at minimum wage. We don’t have that kind of money. I can understand maybe $40-50, but three times that is murderous on a student’s budget.

    Here’s another story:

    February. Late at night. Freezing cold. Snow covered cars, parking lot, and signs. I backed into a parking spot, feeling lucky I found a spot at that time of night. I had no idea that it was a handicapped spot because the ground was covered in snow and so was the sign. Backing in made it so I didn’t even see the sign. I came out the next morning headed to class only to find my car gone, and a handicapped parking spot in it’s place. I felt like an idiot because I should have checked to make sure the spot was okay to park in. I know I was in the wrong.

    Here’s what really upset me, though. I had to pay $145 to get my car out of the tow yard. I had $150 in my bank account. I’m a student for crying out loud. How can we let these tow companies get away with charging that much!?

    Mayor: Thank you for wanting to make a difference. We students really need your help.

    1. But didn’t your dad have to sign the documents?

  159. Anonymous

    My car was towed out of the Branbury Apartments parking lot while I was a resident there with a current parking permit. The towing company said that they towed my car because my tires were a little over the lines of the space. I asked them if they had pictures to prove this, and they said that they weren’t required to show proof. I had to pay $150 to get my car back.

  160. Bryce Forbush

    Oh boy, i could go on about this for daaaaaaaayyyyyss…. I’ve been booted and towed more times than I care to know. One evening, at Belmont, I parked in a spot which I had used for months when visiting my friends there. On this occasion, however, I came out twenty minutes later and found my car gone. I followed protocol and had my friend take me down to the car lot. Apparently, the once kosher parking spot was no longer kosher beginning that day. I talked to four or five people who got towed from that same spot that same day. There were no postings provided to inform us of this change. I don’t hate a lot of things, but University Parking is up there on my short list.

  161. Anonymous

    I will tell only one of my 3 parking stories here.

    I parked at 10:25PM because I needed to wake up one of my group members because we had pulled an all-nighter for a project. I went into his apartment long enough to make sure he was awake and I was out by 10:34PM. I came out to find my car booted. It is not HUMANLY possible to boot 7+ cars in 9 minutes. I was obviously targeted and guilty before I even broke the 10:30 curfew.

    As I pulled away there was a line of people waiting to get their boots removed too. I understand that we have to have parking enforcement, especially in a college town, but I don’t agree with being robbed by anyone.

  162. Anonymous

    I lived at Raintree a couple years ago. I once borrowed my sister’s car and received a temporary parking pass that was displayed on the dash. I walk out to the car to find that I have a boot. I called the number and they came out and said I had to pay 75$ to get the boot off. I showed them the parking pass. They said they were sorry, but they couldn’t take the boot off unless I paid. I wanted to call the police, but I needed to be to class in 15 min. I ate the fee and decided one day I will go to their facility and boot every vehicle there. Sadly, I haven’t been back to provo.

  163. My husband (fiance at the time) had moved into a new apartment but the housing office was closed for the weekend and he had no way to obtain a parking pass. His land lord told him he could park in the visiting parking lot and showed him where it was till the office opened. The next morning he went out to head toward the store and his car was gone. He paid $175 to get it back form the company. He caled his landlord and the parking office and they told him he was in the right spot and shouldn’t have been towed. he talked to the towing company and they said since they now knew the situation they would give him to the monday to get a parking pass, but lo and behold the next morning he was towed again having to pay another $175 to get it from the yard. After explaining the situation to the SAME guy he gave him a temporary tag. he wasn’t towed again but was out over $300 dollars without even living there for more then 2 days. What I was confused about was if he had talked to the same guy previous why dind’t he just refund him the money and give him the pass. he was irritated to say the least. It was an apartment complex behind del taco on bull dog.

  164. Anonymous

    http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r909/r909-019.htm#T7

    R909-19-12
    4)If a tow truck apparatus is mechanically connected to a vehicle, the tow truck will be considered in possession of the vehicle.

    (a) If the owner, authorized operator, or authorized agent of the owner of a motor vehicle, is attempting to retrieve said vehicle before the tow truck is mechanically connected, no fee(s) will be charged to the vehicle owner.

    (b) If the owner, authorized operator, or authorized agent of the owner of the vehicle, is attempting to retrieve said vehicle before the vehicle is removed from the property or scene, the maximum fee shall not exceed 50% of the posted rate schedule.

    I believe until this is settled all car owners should carry a copy of this law.

  165. RJ

    It was snowy, and the snow had covered the red curb that I didn’t know was there. When I walked out of the apartment to get to my parent’s truck that I had borrowed for the evening had disappeared. There was no notice of who had taken it. I called the police frantic, thinking that someone had stolen my truck, along with my wallet in the truck. They police asked me where the car was parked before it had been stolen, and I told them I was parked at the Glenwood. They said, “Oh. It’s probably been towed,” with 100% confidence. The curb under the snow wasn’t even dug out by the towing company– I still didn’t know it was there until I had a friend take me to University Towing to see if the truck was there. I called the University Towing number and had to wait 45 minutes for somebody to even show up to the place so I could pay the fine and ask why it got towed. But then I couldn’t pay the fine until I could get my wallet out of the truck, which they wouldn’t let me do. So I had to call my dad up, tell and ask him to pay the fine. after I paid the fine, and before they let me take the tuck I asked them why they towed it for no reason. That’s when they told me about the red curb under the snow. Thanks dickheads.

  166. My parking garage entrance was blocked by a fire truck because someone had lit the dumpster on fire… So I parked on the street for 30 seconds to run inside and grab something. My apartment was the first one possibly 30 feet from the road. I came back out to find a man walking away from booting my car. Awesome.

  167. Todd Mathews

    I once was selling some items to a fellow student who didn’t have a parking sticker for my apartment complex. He backed his truck into a spot and as we were loading up his truck, a tow truck came by, saw that he didn’t have a sticker for that apartment complex and proceeded to put his dolly under the truck. Since we were there next to the student’s truck, we ran around to the front of the student’s truck, yelling and screaming at the driver. He ignored us until he got his dolly under the student’s truck and then cracked his window slightly. He CLEARLY knew we were outside his window screaming at him to stop – he couldn’t have possibly missed us, but he continued. When we explained to him that we were simply loading items into the student’s truck, he said it would cost us $75 for him to leave the truck, otherwise, he’d have to tow it. We paid him $75 (which apparently had to be cash?! Yea right). We called University Towing, complaining about the driver (who refused to provide his name, employee id, or any other form of identification) and the person on the other line said that they’d file a complaint, but that what this driver did was company policy. I ended up losing money on my sale because the student had to fork out $75 (to pay for the Tow employee’s hot date that night, I guess). When I followed up on the complaint to see what had become of the driver or if the complaint was filed, I found out that no complaint was actually filed and that they had no record of this occurring.

  168. University Parking Enforcement (UPE). I can see how this “service” may be necessary in keeping order around Provo. They make you think twice before parking somewhere that you think is ok to park at.

    I was at my then fiance’s apartment. The time limit is and was 3 hours in the visitor parking spaces. I had been parking there for about 8 months or so. Well, one cold december night, I was at the mall at around 8:50, leaving from a jewelry store because my fiance needed to have a necklace repaired. We returned to her apartment at approximately 9 pm. (I’m going with 9 because that’s the earliest we could have possibly walked out of the mall, gotten to the car, and pulled into the parking space at her apartment). As my then fiance and I were watching a movie, at approximately 11:45, her roommate said to us “hey, I think your car is being towed.” I had set an alarm for 2 hours and 50 minutes from the time I parked, and that had not gone off yet. Sure, I could have set it wrong, but I know for a fact that I was not in the parking space before 9:00 pm. I then walked out and confronted the UPE employee asking him how he justifies towing my car when I hadn’t been there the permitted 3 hours. He simply said, “I don’t have to prove anything to you.” I then said, “ok, well will you at least explain to me how this works so I can understand why I’m being towed.” He continued to say that I had been there past the allowed time limit and that I was going to be towed. I was standing next to my car, between it and another car. He proceeded towards me and instead of asking me to move or going by where I wasn’t standing, he PUSHED ME TO THE GROUND, STEPPED OVER ME AND PROCEEDED TO TOW MY CAR. I kept my cool, paid the pre-tow fee of $75 (even though when I walked out, he didn’t even have the tow boots, or whatever they’re called, on yet). I then called the police to file for battery. I then received a notice that I was requested in court. This seemed strange to me since I didn’t touch him. Anyway, I went to court (had to miss work) and the judge simply laughed and dismissed both cases (mine and his).

    I realize that $75 isn’t much to do anything about, but the many thousands that this company is making on little cases such as this is a disgrace upon the city of Provo for allowing it to continue for so long.

    I was towed by UPE one more time for $250 because my tire was up on the curb (be it a lot or a little who cares). $250 for this seems like an unfair punishment, but hey, what can we do? We’re just students.

    Thank you Provo City for recognizing this and taking action.

    1. Anonymous

      This sounds like a very made-up, exaggerated story.

    2. I totally believe it. See stupid crap like this ALL the time ftom UPE.

    3. I find this story hard to believe. Even Vivint bros don’t push girls over like that.

    4. I was this poster’s fiancee’s roommate. I saw this happen myself and he is not exaggerating in the slightest.

    5. I was this poster’s fiancee’s roommate. I was there that night and watched it happen myself. This story is not even a slight exaggeration. Sorry, Anonymous.

  169. I was towed in the Raintree apartments. My car was parked in a place that had no sign posted and no red curb. There was nothing to indicate that is was not an ok place to park. The guy was a jerk and was not going to let me take my car back no matter what. It was in the middle of the day. The parking lot was not full and I even took pictures and there was nothing marked to tell you that this parking spot was not a parking spot!! The guy even mentioned that they watch and tow cars from this spot all the time cause no one knows that it isn’t a good parking spot.

  170. I’ve been booted before at 11:03, when the parking lot closed at 11:00. Luckily for me, a friend had paid me back a long debt of $50.

    It still was a horrible night.

  171. Really people we don’t have anything better to do?

    1. Thanks for contributing nothing to the conversation, albeit, a cliched, rhetorical question,

  172. Anonymous

    Why is it illegal to park on Seven Peaks Blvd?

    Why is it illegal to park in empty the Seven Peaks Water Park parking lot in the dead of winter?

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Seven Peaks Blvd leads to a dead end. They’ll argue its for the bike trail… but what bike trail goes to a dead end?

  173. Anonymous

    My biggest problem with the ridiculous amount of towing is girls being left with no car, no way home, in the middle of the night. If you get delayed and don’t make it to your car well before the lot deadline then you better hope there isn’t some creeper waiting to drag you off.

  174. Anonymous

    My husband and I were at my sister in laws apartment in Provo. Around 9:05 pm my husband went out to the car to grab something and our car was gone. I went outside to help him look for it and we noticed the sign that said that cars without a permit needed to be out of the lot by 9 pm or they would be towed. We had to pay $100 to get our car back.

  175. Anonymous

    It’s happening because the city fathers are corrupt and allow it to happen. You know they are in the pocket of the towing companies and Apartment owners who all get a share of the proceeds. I guess I’m in the wrong business.

  176. CJ

    I parked my motorcycle in front of a cleaners to drop off my girlfriend at her apartments because all the other spots were full. I was gone maybe 3 minutes. I get back and have a boot on my bike. Its january, about 11pm and about 10 degrees out. I call and they say they’ll be there in “about 10 minutes”. Almost an hour and a half later they pull up and say that they are sorry, but had to stop for a “break”. I pay the $75 fee ($75 are you serious??) and get my bike back. University Parking is a joke. I learned later that the law states that they have a maximum of 60 minutes to get to your vehicle after you call. I called and asked about the law and got some response like, “oh, you have to file a complaint to get your money back”. I did, multiple times, and never heard anything. I’ve tried talking to someone several other times and only get lame excuses. Bull.

  177. I attended an evening church fireside featuring a popular LDS artist. Due to the packed parking lot and faded lines, many cars were parked outside of stalls. My friend and I arrived a few minutes late and noticed a tow truck carting away cars as fast as they could. We decided to take some initiative, so we wrote a note and handed it to the person conducting. After the opening hymn, the announcement was made that tow trucks were on the loose in the parking lot and about a dozen people were able to run outside and save their cars.

    It was funny to see the frantic scramble, but at the same time it felt good to stand up for our fellow students. The tow company wasn’t about to go inside and warn about illegal parking…not when they could smell the dollar bills ripe for the taking!

    I sure hope something positive comes out of the council meeting. Too many people have a bad image of Provo’s parking policies.

    1. Anonymous

      It’s not just a bad image, it’s a reality that ruins our lives.

  178. This comment has been removed by the author.

  179. Anonymous

    i lived in belmont last year. all of my friends who came to visit got towed. my roommates dad who was helping us move heavy boxes up the three flights of stairs got booted. #nomercy world’s WORST city for parking.

  180. Dear Mr. Mayor,

    Last year I successfully prosecuted a small claim’s case against Knight’s Parking Enforcement (case #118002557, court date: Sept. 16, 2011) while a student at BYU after I was towed from my own stall. My research, as well as an independent investigation by Adam Anderson, UDOT’s Compliance Supervisor, found this company to be in violation of several Utah laws under sections R909-19, 72-9-603, as well as others. I have just sent you an email with more detailed information, and would be glad to send you original documents from my case so that you have more evidence of what happened.

    1. Anonymous

      Yeah Benjamin!!! Knight’s Parking is so dishonest!!!

    2. Anonymous

      KPE is notorious for being dishonest they actually lost there license over it last year for so many violations of state standards last year. They are the real vultures on there way out because of there illegal practices which the mayor UDOT & Provo PD are all very well aware of Knights KPE Ambers Towing all the same company using several names to gain more police rotation calls out of greed. They are the real issues and the company who patrols Muse Music & Velour get them out of Provo they are as crooked as they come

  181. Anonymous

    I have a really good one. I was went to pick up my wife(at the time Girlfriend) at her apartment. It was 6:45 p.m. mind you, I pulled into a stall and ran into her apartment. I wasn’t there five minutes and we walked out to find that my car (I even left my hazards going to show i wasn’t staying there) had been booted. I immediately called the company (Parkway Authority) to have them come take the boot off, they told me it would be 40 minutes before they would send someone out. (The booter had just barely left and he couldn’t turn right back around????) So, my wife and I waited for nearly an hour before the guy showed up to take the boot off.
    These companies must be either strictly regulated by the city or they need to be completely shut down and replaced by a city parking company.

    P.S. when I called Parkway Authority I had to call a number out of Texas, not Utah, TEXAS!!! This must stop NOW!!!!

  182. My friend’s car was towed from her own lot one morning. I could not console her later that day as she was undoubtedly made late for work, and I doubt the towing company had any words of comfort.

  183. Provo is a cramped college town that obviously needs more parking. I think its very sad that the tow companies are camping to tow away cars. I don’t only think that the towing companies need straightening out, but also the parking in Provo. I see apartments that have 150+ spots open, and often times only 2-4 guest parking places and its only for an limited time. I feel like some changes definitely have to be made.

  184. I was at a Buddy’s apartment. Visitor parking ended at midnight. I was getting ready to leave at 12:05 and we could see my car from his window, so we were watching it. We took our eyes off for a few seconds, and the next time I checked I was getting booted. Fair enough. Although I disagree with companies having the ability to boot and tow so easily, I knew the current rules and broke them. This is what ticked me off: We made it down there as the guy was getting in his car – I tried to talk to him but he wouldn’t reason with me at all. I said, “Let me pay my 50 bucks to you, or over the phone, so then I can just leave.” He wouldn’t let me and said I had to come down to the station to pay – did he forget the boot he just put on my car? If I didn’t have a kind friend, who knows how long it would’ve taken me to walk across Provo and get my boot off.

  185. Anonymous

    I have worked as Parking enforcement and most of what is in here is true. One thing that people don’t understand is that if they are willing to pay cash up front we pocket the money and never write up the tow/booting of the car. Most of the guys out there can be given a “donation” and the parking infraction will be overlooked.

    1. ebv

      What you obviously didn’t understand is that you were required by statute to release their car if they offered to move it before you had got it on the truck or got the boot on the wheel.

      If you had it on the truck, you were required to release it for 50.00.

      But, I guess you’re just a product of a broken system. “All they had to do was bribe me, and they’d get away scott free!”

      How sick is that attitude?

    2. Anonymous

      It appears that your corruption knows no bounds.

    3. Anonymous

      Still inappropriate… and who carries $80 in cash anyways?

  186. Anonymous

    Last year I was driving when my car started having problems. I was able to get my car started and decided to head back to my apartment. It died again but fortunately I was going downhill, and I coasted nicely into an empty parking lot. I couldn’t get a hold of my roommate because he was at work but I knew he would be off within 20 mins. I decided to run home on foot since it was only a few miles and wait for him, it was December and I was freezing! I waited a few mins for him to come back from work and we drove to where I had coasted into a parking spot only to find it had been towed. Took me $230 to get it back. I understand it was a private parking lot, and I failed to see the tiny sign they had posted about parking after 10:00 PM. Does the punishment really fit the crime?

  187. I am FURIOUS with the towing companies here. They SAT THERE AND WATCHED ME CRY as they charged me 260$$$$. Didn’t ask me if I was ok, or if we could work something out, or listen to my explanation, or care to show any compassion or heart at all. Took my card, and jacked 260 bucks while I sat in their office trying to explain. I had been saving to go on a much needed vacation with my sister before I begin my graduate studies, and they took a chunk of my savings WITH A SMILE.
    I parked at a friends to drop off cookies and a thank you note for his service to me, and drop off cookies to another friend who’s mom was suffering from breast cancer. I had planned to go to the temple after, so I can out to my car SO excited about all the wonderful things I was getting to do that day, and found my car gone. 2pm. middle of the day. and my car was GONE! TEN MINUTES! and my CAR WAS GONE!

    I returned to have my friend take me all the way to the towing place. I sat in a hot junky trailer as I tried to explain what had happened and ask why the HELL they didn’t at least just boot my CAR! “Mam, our company doesn’t boot anymore.” So I cried. Yes. I cried. I lost it. On the phone they had told me $140 for towing. I was crying about that. And then they hand me a bill with 260 on it!! I was furious. That’s my budget for an entire MONTH! and they took it in seconds. “This fee is for transport, and this fee is for that, and this, and this is for storage…” MY CAR WAS THERE FOR MINUTES! Suckers charged me for two minutes of storage.
    So I cried more. and begged. and pleaded. and they didn’t give a rat’s a**. So I paid the fee so I could have my car back. That’s all I could do. THATS ALL I COULD DO.
    AND THEN THE SLEEZE follows me to my car… “I’m sorry we had to meet under these circumstance….. but…” I stopped him there. You’re “SORRY” we had to meet in these circumstances? after you watched me sob for fifteen minutes??!! HECK NO. I turned around, got in my car, and drove away.
    $$$260 gone with in an hour. I sat down once I got home. $260 dollars poorer than an hour before.

    It’s not that there isn’t enough public parking, it’s that the moment anyone gets a fee, there is not warning. In most cities, you get a $15 parking ticket, or at worst, a boot. Regardless if it is their first offence here, they get to have their car taken away and charged a selfish and RIDICULOUS amount. Scum of the earth.
    Thanks for making me feel like sh** for weeks. Thanks for being so greedy and concerned with money to even listen to anyone. Thanks for being so inconsiderate. Thanks for being the biggest a** holes I have EVER MET.

    1. Sounds they’re the criminals here, not you. You should be fining them the $260, plus the emotional damage (which doesn’t have a monetary value), plus the time you lost dealing with them… Set your own rate… $200/hr? These guys really need to be shut down. You’re an inspiration to us! Be strong!

  188. I’ve hosted countless dinners, etc, and had guests over to a complex with 200 tenants and 4 guest parking spots (that’s logical…), only to send them home after a nice evening to find their car towed. This is not okay! The parking “laws” are absolutely ridiculous and being taken to levels that are cruel. People in provo are usually POOR and a hundred+ dollars in towing fees can really damage people’s bank accounts. People should be allowed to park in lots overnight! There shouldn’t be empty lots when people need to park, because of ploys for money. It’s just really messed up.

    Solution?
    They should be paid HOURLY, not by commission.

    Or they should just be kicked out of Provo, and every tow should be personally approved by the mayor…that way he’ll never want to be bugged and only in the most dire situations would towing occur 😉

  189. Anonymous

    I call upon the mayor of Provo to announce a Blue Ribbon Panel to investigate the corruption and validity of the towing companies. I want full government audits of their accounting practices, records of the appeals filed, appeals granted, and appeals denied. It is ridiculous that in a city like Provo that Chicago style parking enforcement/corruption exists. We are better then this and every thing should be above board.

  190. Yet again, ethics issues (ahem…MLMs, anyone?) run rampant where they are supposedly the strongest and least compromised characteristic of any place and people.

  191. Anonymous

    Just stay out of Provo and you won’t have this issue… That’s what I’ve been doing for years and I haven’t missed it. In fact, I encourage other people I know to stay away too…

    1. Anonymous

      Lame reply. YOu sure seem to be staying away… reading the Provo Mayor’s blog. hahaha. Pathetic.

    2. Oh yeah, because that’s way easy, especially when I LIVE HERE!!!

  192. I own and manage several properties in Provo. Most of which are rented out to local college college students. Not only has my car been booted or towed from properties in which I own, but I constantly deal with tenants getting towed at outrageous prices and for silly reasons. Poorly marked and over-aggressively enforced rules are the perfect trap for a transient population of young adults. It isn’t ethical and it isn’t fair.

    There has to be a better way to enforce parking laws. These laws need to be adjusted to accommodate for college age young adults, who happen to make up a large portion of this cities population. And we need better regulation on these independent towing companies who have been notorious for taking advantage of our citizens.

  193. I got towed from my own apartments parking lot because I was parked in a space that was missing a line on one side, but had lines on the front and left sides. I had parked there multiple times before without any problems. I told them my situation and that I was a resident. I also told them there was nothing designating that I couldn’t park there. They of course didn’t care and charged me 200 bones for my error. The next week the complex painted ‘no parking’ in the spot.

    My friend got booted in the same parking lot. She was coming out of an apartment at 11:02 and saw the UPE parked behind her car. She yelled at him to tell him she was coming, and when he heard her he quickly ran up to her car and put the boot on before she could reach him. He of course charged full price to have it removed.

    Just recently, I was visiting friends at Belmont. To avoid getting towed, I parked on the road next to Belmont. There was no red paint on the curb and no ‘no parking’ signs, so I thought I was good. Well it turns out UPE somehow got the right to tow on a public road. The sign was across the street and not visible from the direction that I was driving. I called the police to see what could be done and since it was a civil issue they said I would need to take it to court. As a student, lawyers are pretty hard to come by, so I tightened up my belt and paid the $175 fine.

    At what point does towing a car illegitimately become theft? These guys are a classic case of supplier power, and the city has an obligation to regulate their fees and practices. Very dishonest and unethical business.

  194. Anonymous

    I just remember living on 820 N and 900 E where a tow truck would park repeatedly in a read zone on the street to then go and check the parking lots around and thought that they should have been towed themselves for parking in a read zone.

  195. My experience goes a little something like this. I was currently driving a rental car after getting into a car accident. I was living at Alpine Village at the time and was told that i could park in their outdoor parking spots as long as i had a red temporary pass. I went to the office and got one and put it in my window. They asked me how long my car would be in the shop for, so they didn’t put an expiration date on the pass. I was going out to my rental car one morning so i could drive to class when i saw that there was a boot on my car. When i called the guy to “unboot” my car, i asked him why they booted it. They said it was because my pass was expired…… But how?! There was no expiration date on my pass. When I showed him my pass, he agreed that I was right, but that there was nothing he could do to remove the fee, and i would have to go to a court to get it appealed/my money back. Needless to say, that never happened and i was out 50 bucks. Thanks University Parking Enforcement.

  196. HAHAHAHAHAHA i am from chicago and to see you all complaining about towing services is pretty hilarious! WELCOME TO THE CITY LIFE PROVO, its worse here.

  197. Anonymous

    In most cities now the apartments gate their lots and the residents have a code to enter. there is no towing. Also nobody is breaking the law by parking wrongly in a lot. They are only breaking a rule applied by the owners. Don’t fall for that line.

    Yes something must be done even if it is deemed illegal to tow cars from multifamily residences without a written letter to the resident.

  198. So I live one block West of University Avenue in a condo complex. There is a “no-tow” zone clearly marked. There are also VERY limited spaces in front of our buildings and most of us park in a tiny parking garage below or just on the street. Anyway, one day I was pulling into the parking lot, browsing for a parking space, and of course there weren’t any. I was about to back out and park on the street, and then a friend was moving their couch and needed my help. So I pulled into the no-tow zone, knew I’d only be 3.545 minutes tops to move it across to the other apartment. And it was correct. I was walking back to my car after MAYBE 5 minutes tops, and I had my key IN the lock to my drivers’ side door, as the tow truck pulled into the parking lot. So I know from living in Provo as a student for 5 years that they are vultures. So I didn’t even think twice, I jumped in my car, started the ignition and was putting my car in reverse as they drove up. My friend was watching the whole thing. The tow truck driver asked my friend if I was the owner of the car. He said, Yeah, she’s leaving right now. The tow truck driver said, “Does she know she can’t park there?” And he was speaking very aggressively as if he were going to force me to get out of my car, and have him tow it. I just started reversing but he was blocking my path. If I hadn’t been in my car, but just NEAR my car, I am quite certain he would have tried to tow my car. Or refused to move his tow truck to thus block my escape from the claws of the vulture…

  199. University Parking Enforcement is completely out of control. Just last Thursday morning I came out to find my car was booted for parking at my own place of residence at which I have the right to park, without warning. Just the night before I had found out that the management of our complex was finally giving us parking stickers, but the office was closed. It was literally impossible for me to get my sticker before my car got booted. The guy who took the boot off and charged me told me there should have been a notice sent out a week ago. There wasn’t. Ask any Old Mill resident. Because of course it wouldn’t behoove the UPE booters to give us enough notice before going on their booting spree at our complex where we have every right to park and at which there is plenty of space. They’re paid on commission, which is at the root of the problem of predatory parking enforcement around here. It’s highly unethical and reprehensible. They bank off of unnecessary booting and towing wherever possible. Provo is in serious need of laws to reform the parking enforcement racket.

    To make the story worse, that same evening, I parked in an empty lot across the street temporarily to take in some groceries, because I couldn’t park at my own place or anywhere else within a half mile–the street was lined with cars that couldn’t park where they were supposed to be able to park. I came back out and they towed my car after no more than 15 minutes. They had capitalized off of the parking problem that THEY CAUSED and gouged me with a $175 fee for towing my car two blocks to their lot.

  200. My car was once towed from the Chatham Towne condominium parking lot from my assigned parking space. That complex does not use stickers or anything, as they just have numbered stalls at the basement level directly adjacent to each unit. The explanation I received from University Parking Enforcement was that they had received a complaint from someone claiming to be the owner of a unit and that a car with the same description as mine was occupying the wrong space. When I went to their impound lot to get my car back they refused to admit their mistake and said the only way for me to retrieve my vehicle would be to pay the entire $180 fee. I refused to do that and I started to criticize their business practices and asked to see the owner/manager. The kid behind the desk insulted me and said that they really didn’t care what my opinion was because I wasn’t getting my car back until they got paid. I told him that I would sit in front of their desk until I spoke to someone with authority to help me, that I would not pay the fee, and that I wouldn’t be dissuaded. At that point, two men from a back office came out to join the other employee and the three of them forcefully threw me out of the office and said that since I wasn’t going to pay that I was not a welcome customer and had to leave immediately or would be prosecuted for trespassing. They were quite rough although I was not resistant and I was never even asked to leave before they decided they needed to physically remove me. The $180 was not worth the time I would need to prepare for small claims court, so I sent my sister to pay and retrieve my car. I didn’t want to go back inside because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to restrain myself in my frustration.

    These companies operate without sufficient oversight, clearly. They are morally reprehensible. I believe that the root of the problem is the lack of available public parking and the overall strain of local infrastructure in a drastically overpopulated area, while the learning institutions continually increase enrollment. The housing industry has been just as bad in my experience, but that is another topic altogether. It’s a pity because during the Spring/Summer terms of BYU this is actually a nice place to live. Not quite so the rest of the year.

  201. This comment has been removed by the author.

  202. I was called pretty late at night by a friend who needed some help. I parked for perhaps 30 min. in a parking lot near her apartment that I had parked in before, only never that late at night. I came back out and my car was booted. It took quite a while for the guy to come take it off, and ended up getting to bed extremely late.

    The 8th Amendment in the Constitution says “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” I would argue that booting a car, and the consequences that can arise, (especially in an emergency or when someone is in a hurry or nearly late for some extremely important event), qualifies as “cruel and unusual” or perhaps an “excessive fine”, especially when considered in comparison to the nature of the offense. Much more severe offenses have similar penalties in many cases. I would argue that these car-booting laws, under this clause, are unconstitutional.

  203. Anonymous

    I attended a dance at alpine village two years ago. It was around 11:30pm and the adjacent parking lots were filled with cars (the businesses had all closed hours earlier). Someone at the dance alerted everyone that not just one car was being towed, but rather five, yes five tow trucks (clearly planned) were simultaneously loading up and towing cars. Needless to say everyone else ran to their cars. Its good to know it’s not just random tow guys picking on college kids but rather it has escalated to organized crime. Tow people strategizing as to how to victimize the most people possible.

  204. Anonymous

    I can recount at least three times when I or visitors from out of town parked somewhere for less than 10 minutes, only to return to a boot or an empty parking stall and a $250 towing fee. How does this happen? The University Parking Enforcement stakes out and then cashes in. It feels criminal. Provo is famous for this absurd parking enforcement. What good is this doing for any of Provo’s residents or the the impression we give visitors? This so called “service” gives Provo a bad reputation and puts money in greedy hands. When it comes to apartment parking lots, I think everyone would be a lot happier if they called the towing company themselves when their spot was being taken illegally (like it’s done on Condo Row). Otherwise, keep those stinking, money suckers away from our cars!

  205. One night, I found an individual placing a boot on my car. I was indeed parked illegally. My friend who was parked right next to me was also booted. We had to pay the removal fee right then and there -in cash- or we would have likely been towed. The fee was $50, but (to use the words of the UPE employee) since he was “caught in the act of placing the boot on MY car, my ticket was only $25.”

    The first thing that troubled me was the term, ‘caught in the act’. A majority of the time, the term is associated with crimes. While I believe there are some individuals who work in parking enforcement who are earning honest, hard working wages, the impression I had from this man was that there was almost a gratification from secretly creating this ‘inconvenience’. (The way thieves and vandals might might get a thrill from committing crime.)

    Secondly, similarly to the first, I feel there is so much information that is being withheld during these interactions between the parking enforcement and the car owners. And I feel that the car owners are taken advantage of in many ways, simply because they don’t know where in stand in the midst of all their policies and ‘service’ fees. A great solution there would be to invest in a pamphlet that answers frequently asked question.

    Thirdly, it is foolish for ANYONE to carry large amounts of cash on their person; we shouldn’t be expected to. Luckily, in our case, we had enough cash between my friend and myself to pay off the boot fees. But it is time for these companies to embrace the modern technology that makes portable electronic transactions possible.

    The parking enforcement needs to do away with the ethical recalcitrance that has long been their greatest tool for profit.

  206. Anonymous

    I once parked in an enormous empty lot so I could run into a friend’s house for a minute. When I came back, I’d been booted. I hadn’t noticed the sign—which 20 feet high on a single pole in the lot.

    Reading all these comments gives me some slight hope that parking in Provo could change. These “Dude Bros” who work for University Parking should be publicly shamed for what they do. I’d also like to see a class action lawsuit.

  207. Anonymous

    One time I parked for literally 1 minute to run up to someones door and get a phone number (at a complex along 9th east). There were no signs around marking the gravel lot I parked in–and the tenants told me previously that I could park there. When I got back to my car, I was already booted. I challenged the parking enforcer right off since there were no signs and he rattled something off about the signs being at the entrance of a paved lot a ways away. That was the most expensive 1 minute I have ever had. 🙁

    -Aaron (Seattle)

  208. The stories are all great, but where can we go to read the results from the meeting tomorrow?

  209. I’ve been booted twice since going to school at BYU, once in 2009 at the Riviera Apartment Complex and the other time this year in Orem at the apartments just behind Krispy Kream.

    At the Riviera, I drove my cousin and her roommates to the grocery store because they didn’t have a car. I helped them carry in their groceries and put them away… There weren’t any visitor spots, so I figured I could leave my car long enough to carry groceries in, but I was wrong. I came back to my car after 5 minutes to find a boot on it. I’d also like to point out that there were plenty of empty spots and my car being there didn’t impede on anyone’s ability to park their car there. They came back after a half an hour (wish it would have taken them that long to get to my car to boot it) and I had to pay $80 cash to get it off.

    This year, I was visiting a friend. I asked where visitor spots were and she told me that they were along the north wall of the underground parking structure. I saw signs on the wall of an empty row (in a half empty parking garage) and parked my car. I noted the time that visitor parking ended, and made sure I was there a half an hour early… Found a boot on my car. Turns out I was in the first spot that wasn’t a visitor spot. There were 12 empty visitor spots to my left along with 15 empty permit-only spots to the right of my car. I called the company and explained to them that I made an honest mistake (I didn’t see the fading word “visitor” painted on the actual visitor spots and didn’t notice that I wasn’t in one). I pointed out the 30 empty spots around my car, but they didn’t care. Technically, they were right, and I acknowledged that to them… But isn’t their purpose to ensure that residents have parking spots? Why not put a warning on my window? Inform me of my mistake, but note that my car wasn’t stopping anyone from having a place to park.

    My suggestion: Only check for permits if a resident can’t find parking in their designated lot due to excessive visitors. Or maybe, put a warning on the window giving the owner of the vehicle an hour to move it or it will be booted/towed… That would prevent the absurd, $250 5-minute parking spot.

    I really hope this issue gets taken care of. It is embarrassing and reflects bad on the city to visitors. We should be welcoming to visitors, not punishing them to make a dollar. And I agree with other posters, there is not close to enough parking in Provo or at BYU. Serious problem I hope we can fix. Thanks!

  210. Anonymous

    I got towed helping my fiance move into her new apartment and then they tried to charge me 250 dollars. I ended up having to get the owner to call them and get my car back. It ended up taking up my whole day and made me late to work.

  211. I hate University Parking Enforcement. Their business model is just wrong. You are assumed guilty until proven innocent; the trick is they won’t ever admit you’re innocent. I’ll share 3 experiences from bad, to worse, to the worst:

    1. I borrowed my friends car one night and when I came home I accidentally pulled in one spot over. They’d lived there for months so the neighbors should have just known it was an accident and switched spots for the night, but instead elected to call U.P.E. and have us towed–200 bucks for an 8 foot mistake.

    2. Another time I was at my girlfriend’s house and my friend called and said “they’re towing your car!” I told him “How could they be towing my car? I parked in my own spot.” It turns out my roommate didn’t recognize my car since I had just moved in and he didn’t have my number to ask me if it was mine. He had been asking around to see if any one knew whose it was and as he was asking around the parking lot a UPE guy showed up and asked if he wanted him to tow it. He said that it was okay and that it wasn’t a big deal. The UPE guy insisted that he should tow it so my roommate said fine. When I called and explained the situation to UPE (that I was towed from MY own parking spot) they said that there was nothing they could do now, they were required by law to keep it until I paid and that I could appeal but those were almost always rejected.

    3. My final experience was with my friend at Arlington. We stopped at our friend’s house to pick up her on-street parking pass. She said that someone else was using it, so we knew we couldn’t stay and said Happy Birthday and good night. My friend joked, “We need to go. I’m afraid I’m going to get towed. ” We all laughed because we had been inside for literally 30 seconds. She insisted that we needed to go and as she opened the door she screamed, “They’re towing my car!” In the 60 seconds we had been inside at this point they had already hooked the car up to the truck and were ready to pull it out. I don’t usually argue with people but this time I had had it. I let him have a piece of my mind. I asked him if he was just waiting there for us to go inside because that’s the only possible way he could have done it that fast. He said that he knows every car that lives there, so anytime he sees one that doesn’t he immediately checks to see if it has a pass and then immediately hooks it up if it doesn’t. Can you say predatory?

  212. James

    This issue has really gotten out of control and it is hurting the image of Provo. I’ve never been towed, but I have had to drive friends to go pick up their towed cars 4 times now and all of them have been ridiculous stories like the ones here being told. The sad thing is that two of these friends were from out of town and now this is how they remember Provo–really didn’t help my case when I told them BYU isn’t as high-strung as people think…
    The purpose of towing has almost completely been lost. It has become a business, not a city service–a business that makes it’s money off of lurking around waiting to catch any mistake some poor soul might make. There is no reasoning with these vultures and they don’t care if your car wasn’t causing any harm or if there was some kind of mistake; they just want their money: money that is usually taken from young students already struggling to pay their tuition. It’s sick and it really needs to be stopped.

  213. I parked outside of the Riv, where I was living to pick up a shirt on my way to a friends. I ran in, grabbed my shirt and by the time I was back, my car was being towed. $75 I’ll never see again.
    The Mayor of Provo better take care of this. I think it is very demeaning to take advantage of college students to make a few bucks. And these people consider themselves Christians.

  214. Anonymous

    I once had a roomate get towed for his tire touching the parking stall divider line. Of course he only parked like that because when he pulled in the person next to him had parked over the line so there was not room to park correctly. He got towed and paid $160 the thing is he was only about 1 inch over the line so he wasnt really messing the spot next to him up either.

  215. Anonymous

    One issue Provo has is not allowing people that live and spend money here to park in the road.

    The only reason that they are able to do this is because students by and large are not registered to vote in Provo. Instead you, and by you I mean the city, allow permanent residents that moved to the problem to dictate what happens. If someone moves into a house south of campus why on earth should they expect to have en empty street? Did they not know that BYU was here before they moved here? Did they not know that south and south east of campus is covered with students? The school has been here for far longer than any of the current residents. It like moving next to an airport and then getting your city to shut it down because of the noise.

  216. My roommates boyfriend once specifically set an alarm a couple minutes before the deadline in order to be at his car at exactly 11:00 PM and at exactly 11:00 PM, there was already a boot on the car. We argued with the guy who put it on saying that he must have started at least 1 min too early and he argued that it was 5 min. after… because at that point we had already been fighting him for 5 min. They always just say, if you think you were booted unfairly, you can always write in to start an appeal. Except for that never works because they already have your money at that point and won’t give it back.

  217. DT

    Is students were registered voters then the city wouldn’t have corrupt zoning laws. Because most students don’t vote in Provo the city council instead just ignores them and instead allows the minority of residents south and southeast of campus to make it almost impossible to park in the roads.

    Students might not be voters but they are what drive the majority of the local economy. How big would the Provo/Orem economy be without BYU and UVU? That is 60,000+ students in town that spend money from out of town in town. They pay tuition, rent, buy food, buy gas, go to movies, go to the malls, etc. Without the completely ignored kids this city would be a bunch of apple orchards or just sage brush. But since the majority of them don’t register to vote here we can not kick out everyone in city management to include the city council.

    Parking laws in this place are corrupt and exist almost solely to enrich the towing companies and the owners of the rental units who contract them out.

  218. Part of the problem is definitely parking at the complexes is so limited. I have a parking sticker, but I can’t always get a parking space, especially because our back lot is so TINY, and we have angled parking. If I park in the back, there is no room for me to turn around, so I literally have to back out more than a building’s length. Curses of the minivan, no? Can you imagine winter when it is icy? I am scared for my life. There is no room, and if management doesn’t shovel enough, it becomes SO dangerous. So I often have to park one street over where the red paint is peeling off. It’s hard to see when I park there late at night. Luckily, I have the places I can park memorized, but what about people who are new to the area? More parking,only giving out as many passes as there are spaces, more room in parking lots, and clearly marked and regularly painted red zones would help.

  219. Anonymous

    Why cant we park on Seven Peaks Blvd? The street is as wide as the freeway and is home to 99.99% students. From the round about to the top of the street you have complex after complex full of kids and yet no one can park on it.

  220. Robert

    I live in Orem, so it really doesn’t matter to me how much the city council lets a predatory business abuse the Provo citizens. However, this has been going on for many years and is the only reason that I will not visit any store or restaurant in Provo, ever.

  221. Anonymous

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  222. Anonymous

    I was visiting a friend at Belmont and was aware of the booting beginning at 10:30, so i was a little close and ran down the stairs at 10:27. I was walking up to my car at 10:28 when I saw a man putting a boot on my car. I immediately started screaming at him to not put it on and arrived to my car at 10:29 and showed him on my phone. I told him I was being responsible and was very aware of the time restraints for parking. However, the guy was ridiculous and refused to take off the boot without me paying a lovely $175. He apologized and said he thought I could possibly win it back in court- after I had asked him kindly many times to take it off because I had obviously arrived earlier than 10:30. I can understand why parking enforcement exists, but I would prefer for their companies to hire people who are understanding and reasonable.

  223. Anonymous

    I’ve always wanted to remove my tires and windshield wipers and park sideways in a stall then sit back and watch university parking enforcement try to figure how to tow it.

  224. Hi John,

    Good for you. How refreshing to hear from a concerned Mayor who’s willing to listen to his community. I’m Ryan Fitzgibbons, former candidate for Lt. Governor of NV, BYU Grad, and still a landlord in Provo. While there are countless examples of good people being taken advantage of by overzealous, if not downright unscrupulous, towing companies, those stories are merely branches on a huge problematic tree. The root of the problem is that you have an industry that is allowed to punish citizens without due process. The court system has checks and balances to ensure citizens don’t have to fear their government. The towing industry in Provo has no checks or balances. If I get a speeding ticket, an unbiased officer of the law (can you imagine how corrupt things would be if cops made commission for each speeding ticket they wrote?) has to accuse me of breaking the law. I am considered innocent until proven guilty. I can’t be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without first getting my day in court. I have the right to face my accuser (the police officer) in court. Then if there is sufficient evidence that I broke the law, an unbiased judge/jury can decide what my punishment should be. In Provo’s towing industry, the towing company is accuser, judge, jury, and executioner. And they get paid based on the number of proverbial “executions”! Can you imagine a better recipe for breeding corruption? If a company boots or tows your car in Provo, you are guilty until proven innocent. You can’t plead your case until AFTER you’ve paid the penalty. Might you be able to file suit against the tow company after the fact if the tow was illegal? I guess technically. But most of your constituents aren’t going to spend countless hours and hundreds (if not thousands) in legal fees to pursue a civil suit against a towing company after the fact. So what do they all do? Pay the extortion fee, and move on with their lives.

    If we accept that due process should apply, then we have to recognize that the responsibility for enforcing the law falls to the police and courts. Towing companies serve a valuable purpose in hauling away wrecks, and towing broken down cars to mechanics. But tow truck operators have not taken an oath to uphold and defend the law. One citizen should not have the right to steal (tow) or otherwise disable (boot) the property of another citizen without due process. We don’t allow our law enforcement officers to confiscate citizens property under the “Unreasonable Search and Seizure” clause of The Bill of Rights. Yet we’re going to allow a tow-truck driver to trample that Constitutional right? Not only have countless citizens been extorted out of their hard earned money by tow-companies, but eventually someone’s life could be put in jeopardy. Picture someone in an emergency rushing to their vehicle to drive to the hospital, only to discover their vehicle’s not there… because their parking permit fell from their mirror to the floor of the car.

    If laws (parking included) need to be enforced, by definition that task should fall to law-enforcement. And no one’s property should ever be confiscated without due process. That’s what tickets are for. They act as a deterrent to law breakers, while still giving innocent citizens a right to plead their case before punishment is meted out.

    Best wishes in your continued pursuit of justice for the citizens of Provo. Our country would be a lot better off if we had more Mayors like you.

    Ryan Fitzgibbons
    thefitzmeister(at)gmail.com

    1. the due process thing is EXACTLY the problem. Well-articulated.

    2. Anonymous

      Wise words.

  225. I hated living in Provo and was so grateful when I could finally leave. Provo is a nice city, except for the out-of-control parking rules and consequences.
    Like everyone else, I have multiple stories of getting booted wrongfully. One of my friends was ARRESTED because a University Parking employee called him in saying that my friend was assaulting him (the employee). My friend’s so-called “assault” was him putting his foot in front of the tire so that the University Parking guy couldn’t put a boot on the car. As he put his foot in front of the tire, he bumped hips with the University Parking employee. There were many witnesses as well. Grounds for arrest? I think not.

  226. I lived in the Foxwood Apartments near 820 N 100 E in Provo. My car had a parking sticker to park on the street outside the apartment, and I parked there every day.

    On Sunday morning before church I came out to find my car booted, despite being parked between dozens of other cars that also had valid stickers. Mine was the only one booted that I saw.

    I called in to University Parking, confused but not especially upset. The operator accused me of lying, and told me I should just pay the fine because if they sent a truck out to investigate and they discovered that I wasn’t telling the truth I would be referred to the police and given a $150 fine. I asked what the fine was for improperly booting my car and suggested I would call the police myself if they didn’t come quickly.

    The operator was incredibly condescending and disrespectful, but the driver who showed up eventually seemed genuinely surprised to see the boot on my car. He removed it without charge, but I wonder if this kind of random booting is common to just prey on students who will pay rather than stand up to the operator’s scare tactics.

  227. Anonymous

    We’ve started calling them the Provo Publicans.

  228. Anonymous

    back when i did have a membership to golds gym i parked there to go to one of my friends homes in brownstone. even though i was paying membership fees and technically had the right to park there i guess they saw me walk somewhere else and towed me.

  229. Anyone notice how they camp out at the dollar theater on weekends. As soon as someone parks in one of the poorly labeled spots and heads in the truck swoops in and takes them away.

  230. I have always been shocked that towing companies can put boots on cars. I think it is very dangerous. I have lived with a fear in Provo that my car will be booted, an emergency will happen, and won’t be able to get to the hospital, etc. I would so rather take a $50 ticket than a $50 boot.

    My best friend was out of town and her car was parked on the parking line (not over the line). The boot man came over to give her a boot. I asked if I could run inside, grab her keys, and fix her parking job. Of course, he declined, and my friend was lucky enough to come home from her vacation to a boot.

  231. Anonymous

    University Parking Enforcement employee the (bald one) tow my van so his slutty bitch could get the parking spot. and I had to pay 250 to get the van out. the van back right wheel was on a second faded line he claim was the marker for the parking spot. I say class action sue again University Parking Enforcement!!!!

  232. I have two stories, though neither of them ended bad for me, though they could have:

    Freshman year (2002). I’m dropping off a date and there was no place to park at her apartment. I parked somewhere I shouldn’t have for approx. 45 seconds (It was a first date – I literally walked her back, gave a hug, said good night and went back to my car). Someone was already there putting a boot on my car – luckily the boot was’t on it yet. The engine was still hot.

    Post-Grad (2009). My girlfriend is over at my house, parked in the University Villa parking lot. It’s 7:30pm on a Sunday and we’re enjoying the evening when one of my friends stops by and said, ‘Doesn’t Lizzy drive the jeep out there? If she does, it’s getting booted.’ So we ran out there and stopped him and she went home. But really? 7:30? They aren’t even supposed to be out there until 11.

  233. Brian B.

    During the 2002 Olympic Games I drove an Olympic vehicle for 3 months. I had to park on the street in a neighborhood a few blocks away because the tow truck drivers wouldn’t look for the temporary parking permit my complex issued. Got booted twice and towed once. Still had to pay fees even after I showed them the permit to pay for their gas and storage of my vehicle.

  234. ebv

    My wife (then girlfriend) came and met me after work at Brigham’s Landing. She parked in front of Kaplan Test Prep and together we walked over to get some ice cream at SubZero. By the time we walked back to the car (some thirty minutes later), her car was gone. We called the police, they said it had been towed. I was incensed, and (thanks to having been towed myself a year before) knew the law.

    We waited nearly an hour at the towing company for someone to show up and give us access to the car. By then, I was really steamed. I confronted the driver in the shop and asked “Why were we towed?!” He said that “Someone called to inform us that she had parked her car in the mall and then left the premises.”

    I showed him our ice cream receipt from the same mall and asked “Really? Does it look like we left? You towed us at precisely the same time as I paid for the ice cream.”

    He hemmed and hawed, and after I threatened to take the business to small claims and get the statutory 500.00 for wrongful towing, he said “Alright. I’m letting you go. This time. Not because you’re right, or because I believe you, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever been more angry.

    Make a change, Mayor Curtis! These guys get upwards of 50.00 to 100.00 per tow. Of course they’re going to be predatory, and they have a population of students to prey on. At the end of the day, it’s embarrassing for the businesses and the city.

  235. When my roommate and I moved into our new apartment at the Glenwood they said they were temporarily out of parking stickers. They recorded my roommate’s license plate number and told her to check back in a week for a sticker and to go ahead and park. Since we walked to campus every day she didn’t try to use her car again until a week later when we tried to go grocery shopping. When we couldn’t find her car we called around and found out it had been towed a week earlier out of the parking lot. Long story short, Glenwood management refused to help and said they had ‘no control over the towing company’ and my roommate ended up paying over $300 to get her car back…including a week’s worth of ‘storage fees’ since she didn’t even know they had her car. And this was TEN YEARS ago. Looks like nothing has changed.

  236. I own a business in Downtown Provo. One of my clients was recently towed. She was beside herself. She is from Orem and talked about the situation with her Orem co workers. They all said NEVER GO TO DOWNTOWN PROVO- YOU”LL GET TOWED! My client called to tell me her story and tell me that although she likes our salon she will never be back.Downtown business owners are trying so hard to make it.It’s very discouraging.I wish I could relocate.

  237. BLESS YOU, YOU HAVE MY VOTE.

    I really do think that this is the most abusive business in Provo. Broke students take the brunt of the abuse.

    Here is my story:

    My car was towed on May 22, 2012 for “double parking.” I parked my car around 11:00 PM on May 22nd, next to a car that was slightly over the line to its right– this forced me to park my vehicle also slightly more over the line to my right. I was thus ticketed for “double parking.”
    I am contesting a few dubious details about this tow.

    1) King Henry parking slots are notoriously small. When the car to my left was slightly over the line to the right of his car, this forced me to park my vehicle a little more over the line to the right of my vehicle. My car must have been only a few mere inches in the offense.
    2) The sign outside of King Henry says that a tow will cost 140$ for retrieval. I was charged 170$. My car was towed at close to midnight on the night of the 22nd and I retrieved my car in the daytime of the 23rd. My car was stored for much less than 24 hours, so a “storage cost” is unfair.
    3) The decision about whether to “tow” or to “boot” is arbitrary and unfair. Once last semester, I forgot to move my car out of King Henry parking lot when i didn’t have a parking pass and got booted for 50$. This was a deserved fine and I paid without complaint. This semester (when I do have a parking pass) I get towed for “double parking” for 175$. In both cases, I had illegally taken one parking spot– in the first instance because i didn’t own any spot at all– in the second instance I parked in one of the “two spaces” legally with my pass, and the other spot illegally. Why, if in both cases i took one spot illegally, am I charged a 350% higher fine in the second instance? Both the boot and the tow were done by University Towing.

    The worst bit about this, is that there is no objective “review” process. If you ask to see the video of your car in the offense, they will not allow it. They have a board that reviews all appeals– that’s right, the company that did the towing and made the $$$ reviews the appeal to determine if they want to give you a refund. This is a terrible abuse of power. In what system does is the executive branch and the judicial branch the same entity?? It’s exactly like getting a ticket from a policeman and then going to court to contest it– to find out that the judge is the same policeman.

    Tow-ers and boot-ers get a fat commission on every ‘job’ they do– which explains a lot of the abuse. Can this be cracked down on? Commission can be as high as 40% of the towing fine. This also partially explains expensive towing where booting would be just as appropriate.

    One more point: it costs the typical student working 10$/hr, 17 hours a week, must fork-over a WHOLE WEEK’S WAGES to pay a towing ticket. Sickening.

  238. The towing is not the problem. It’s a symptom.

    The actual problem is that the city doesn’t enforce its own laws about occupancy. Over in the Seven Peaks area, we have to deal with people parking EVERYWHERE. Why? because units zoned for an occupancy of 3 have 4 and 5 people in them. Since the city doesn’t actually do anything about it, we have a LOT of extra cars – and no place to park them.

    Oh, sure, the city can claim that they have made it difficult to park by requiring passes to park on the street. However, this has simply created a black market for those passes. I see people all the time parking on the street that then walk to MDU’s that aren’t allowed (according to the city) to have parking passes – yet there they are. The parking restrictions just make things more difficult for those of use who are obeying the laws while not really causing those that it is meant to restrict more than a minor inconvenience.

    Enforce the laws that are on the books and you’ll get my vote. Otherwise, count me out.

  239. Anonymous

    Let’s be honest. The world would be an extremely better place with UNIVERSITY PARKING. University Parking is built to prey on students and steal their money. I have seen them waiting in corners to pounce on innocent students. For instance, the other day a friend of mine was moving into his apartment. He has a bunch of friends come to help him move. He parked his truck at the bottom of the stairs for just a couple of minutes so we could take the heavier things up stairs. While we were gone LESS THAN 2 MINUTES University Parking came and booted his car. We later found out that he had been hiding just around the corner watching us and waiting for us to go upstairs so he could put on the boot. Also, I have had a couple friends take University Parking to court and win because their tactics are so over the line. The problem is that most students cannot afford this.

  240. At this point, the only solution is to use handicap parking passes. That way they can’t get us.

  241. Anonymous

    Clearly posted visiting hours at apartment complexes or 15 minute parking options would be worth looking into. I used to live on 700 North 700 East next to a smaller single housing complex and the tow truck would come at all hours of the day, making it impossible for any sort of visitors. The lot was usually half full at best during the day, so it seemed like a non-issue to me for a non resident to park for visiting, but one day I saw a woman in hysterics because she came out as the guy was trying to tow her car and she had only been there for a few minutes to visit a friend. There was no street parking for two blocks so options were really limited. The thing is, parking lots have those parking enforcement signs up but there’s no knowing how it’s actually enforced because it’s never consistent from parking lot to parking lot and no one tells the tenants so they can’t inform their visitors.

  242. Anonymous

    Just last week my brother had a terrible experience with University Parking. He lives in the Elms and thought a parking belonged to the Elms when it actually belonged to the Brick Oven. I can understand that there is justification for some type of action in this situation but University Parking stepped over the line. A boot was put on my brother’s car. When we came out and saw the boot he called University Parking. They said they would meet him in the parking lot in 15 minutes. Then they never showed up. He waited and waited and called multiple times but no one ever responded. Unsure what to do he waited until the next day. When he came outside his car was gone. After calling multiple numbers he found out his car had been towed and he would have to wait until the next day to get it. When he went to get his car University Parking tried to get him to pay for the car to be towed even though they were the ones that never showed up. They tried to claim my brother never called and even showed him their cell phone to prove that he never called. My brother asked to see the cell phone noticed that they were showing him the dialed calls instead of the received calls. When he went to the received calls his number was there and he was able to prove that he called. THIS COMPANY IS INCREDIBLY DISHONEST. PLEASE, SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!

  243. Anonymous

    I call the police every time that any of my friends get a boot or a tow. It wastes the cities resources but it also keeps a tow truck operator there for another 30-90 minutes. This is time that pisses him off and time he can not be booting/towing other people. I hope the owner and employees of University Towing all die from some horrible disease that has them begging to die sooner. Sadly I am not even joking, I think it would be a fitting punishment for them.

  244. I lived in Provo for 5 years, and the towing and booting situation was so bad that I’ve been paranoid about where I park even after moving away. Honestly, it’s such a problem that I will probably never visit Provo ever again. I understand that it’s only a problem because of a few ethically-challenged business owners, but it’s adversely affecting the entire city. It’s a mystery to me why this has been allowed to go on for so long.

  245. Good on the Mayor for speaking out about this. It’s gotta stop, preying on poor college students is wrong and we all know it.

  246. you’re going to get a million stories because every student has gone through this. honestly, at byu i was booted twice and towed once. which for a city as small as provo is actually ridiculous. what you guys need are more parking spaces and maybe make spaces re-zoned. apartment parking is a nightmare, parking for a school is a nightmare, it’s just all out of control. provo needs a multi-level parking center in a few choice locations. i’m really not sure why those don’t exist outside of the business sector.

  247. Anonymous

    I’ve been towed even after parking in visitor parking. I thought I would be safe, but it was marked 30 minutes and although this was too worn to be read in the dark when I parked there, they made sure to make me feel right at home in Provo with my first run in with parking enforcement. I was visiting a friend to do laundry there and save money, but obviously that didn’t work out. Since I was new to the area I didn’t know the time frame and also didn’t know how expensive it would be to get my car back. They assume everyone in Provo knows and has read the fine print on their signs. Also since I had class and had to work around friends’ schedule who could take me to pick up my car, I had to pay the extra fee because I didn’t go during “regular business hours,” even though they didn’t tow my car during those hours and it had been less than 24 hours.

  248. One evening my roommates and I went to The Terrace (now The Atrium) apartments to pick up our dates. When we pulled into the parking lot, there was a car with its headlights on, engine idling, facing us in the back of the parking lot. The person in the car was on the phone. We didn’t think much of this vehicle and ran up the stairs to get our dates. When we came back down about a minute later, our car was booted and the person in the idling car (now revealed to be the booter) was back on the phone. When my roommate approached him and asked why he didn’t warn us that we were going to get booted when he clearly saw us pull up and park, he replied, “I was busy.” And made us pay the outrageous fee in order to get our car mobile again. He could have warned us, but he wanted his commission and preyed on people who were in the parking lot for only a short period of time.

    Another time, my parents were meeting my future wife’s parents for the first time. We met to eat at Leatherby’s when it was on Canyon Road near the practice field. My parents parked in the parking lot just west of Leatherby’s, right under the Leatherby’s logo on the wall and we had a nice time together. When I finally left and started for home, I got a call from my parents (who are from out of town) and they told me their car was missing. I turned around and came back to the parking lot, only to find that the lot under the Leatherby’s logo was, in fact, Burger King’s parking lot and the predatory company that patrolled that lot had towed my parent’s car after Burger King had closed. It was a miserable experience to then find my parent’s car and try to get it back, all the while explaining to my parents why the booters and towers preyed on Provo residents.

    The booting and towing situation really is out of hand in Provo. I understand the need for control, but some of the companies are greedy predators who are training their employees to use unfair and unethical practices to squeeze money out of the students and visitors to the city. And, honestly, it makes Provo a less desirable place to visit.

  249. After experience with towing “services” I have learned to thoroughly scope out the parking policy wherever I park. I have to definitively, positively identify whether there is a limit/restriction on parking. That may involve an extensive scan, looking behind tall grass, overgrown tree branches, junk piles, or even deciphering faded/damaged signs. I realize the burden is on the “parker”, but if the penalty is going to be so severe (legally stealing your car and holding it hostage across town) I think the burden should be on the “enforcer” to make the terms and penalties clear. Most of the time it seems like these predatory parking enforcers are implementing the minimum (or less) to post clear notification.

  250. Anonymous

    My husband was playing in a basketball game on a Friday night and got hurt very badly. We had to rush him to the hospital, and so we left my vehicle in the parking lot. Obviously, hospital trips are not “quick” and so we were there until after 1 in the morning. I came back to find my car towed, and we went to pick it up. I talked to one of the guys and he told me that because it was an “emergency situation” I would be reimbursed my money and all I had to do was fill out an “appeal” and send in his hospital documentation to prove he was in the hospital. I did all of this right away. I received a letter in the mail stating that I would not be reimbursed, because I was out after “BYU Honor Code hours”. Since when does University Parking enforce the BYU honor code? And in emergency situations? Really? This is out of hand!

  251. Anonymous

    I lived in an apartment complex that shared a parking lot with a neighboring complex. Once I got back late and found most of the spots on my side were occupied. I had my sticker and everything so I decided to park a couple spots over since the far side of the lot was mostly empty. When I went to move my car in the morning I found it had been booted just a few spots away from my regular parking spot. Apparently there is an invisible line that separates the two sides of the parking lot.

  252. I had just had ACL surgery and was only able to get around on crutches. I had a temporary handicap placard that I used so I didn’t have to park in the booneys. I went to go out grab a bite to eat. When I left my house, my truck was being taken away by Express Towing. I was able to get his attention and speak to him. He told me that I legally had to have the placard hanging on the rear view mirror. He said the dash wasnt the right spot even though it was perfectly visible. He showed me the picture he took. The guy took a picture in such a way that the placard wasnt visible at all, even though anyone who looked could see it! Very Tricky and evil.

  253. Second story ( I have many, but these two are the best): My buddy was moving in. He hadnt purchased a sticker yet. We left his doors open and keys in the ignition as we moved his stuff in. In the time that we had grabbed his dresser and moved it in. Express Towing was so kind as to shut his doors, and move his keys out of the ignition and tow his car. And then charge us full price!

  254. Anonymous

    well my story is i was helping my dear cousin take her grocery’s up stairs to her apartment i was maybe inside her apartment 10 minutes if that just enough time to put the items on the table and then look around and go. i walked outside and my car was gone i thought someone had stolen it. so i kept walking hoping that they had not gotten far when i found my car on a tow truck being towed down the street.i was not happy in order to get my car back i had to pay a $229 dollar bill that was going to be my money for food for the next while. thanks towing companies i think there should be a rule that says hey if you ware going to stop for a quick minute to help someone you should not be towed. thanks Provo.

  255. Anonymous

    Brigham’s landing is a dangerous place to park. I know of numerous college age kids who went to one of the businesses there for a date, only to have their car towed. They will nab you if you are only a few minutes late. Guess what Brigham’s Landing businesses, because of your parking policies, I now avoid you entirely.

    Please do something about the corrupt University Parking Enforcement towing company!

  256. Anonymous

    How could the city allow a complex like The Village at South Campus to be constructed without enough parking for the residents? They have HUNDREDS more occupants than parking spots. Furthermore, they removed ALMOST ALL of their visitor parking to rent the spots to tenants. The parking issue here resulted in blatant neglect by the complex and a city who irresponsibly issued or allowed them to ignore the terms f their permits!

  257. My aunt and her boyfriend came into town and we wanted to go to downtown provo and catch a show at Velour. We parked in one of the totally empty bank parking lots at 9pm at night (Key Bank, maybe?!) and came out of the show to find the car towed. University Parking was INCREDIBLY slow to show up at their offices and the whole ordeal took a few hours. Was there a sign that said “no parking?” Yes. My aunt took her chances and lost. The problem here is that we have lots of parking spaces that go unused because companies like University Parking have talked businesses into deals to “protect” their parking way outside of normal hours. During bank hours, if a non customer is using Key Bank parking should they be towed? Yes, absolutely. But at 9pm at night when there’s a totally empty lot with no cars it in, should UP be enforcing the usage of these lots? Heck no–it’s a huge drag on the downtown economy and makes the experience terrible for everyone. If you’re car isn’t out by 8am–the start of business the next day–tow it. But all the arbitrary enforcement of empty lots at absurd hours when people are trying to go to restaurants, concerts, plays, etc… downtown is a main reason why no on wants to go downtown.

    1. Anonymous

      Here, here!

  258. Anonymous

    If legislation was passed to place limits on the price of a tow, why are the companies allowed to introduced subsidiary charges to increase that amount by over $100? What needs to happen here is not just a change in regulation, but actual consequence for the illegal practices of companies like University Parking Enforcement over the past decade.

  259. Dustin B.

    I was helping a sister-in-law (student at BYU) out a couple of years ago when her car would not start in her apartment complex parking lot. I watched as a “parking enforcement” vehicle drove through the parking lot multiple times and always slowed way down when he came to the area where I was working. I had my car parked in the stall next to hers in order to have better access to my tools. The word predatory would not be out of line in the case of this towing company.
    As I finished working on her car I looked around to make sure the parking enforcement guy was not around and took her car out for a test drive around the block. I literally was not away from my car for more than 2 minutes and when I arrived back it was booted and the guy was no where to be found. When I called the number I was told it would be “several hours” before anyone can come back and unlock it and that it would be a $250 charge. I told the person on the phone that I happen to have the tools to cut the boot off myself and that it would only take me 10 minutes and save me $250. The parking enforcement vehicle showed up within two minutes and unlocked the boot. When I told him how sleazy I thought it was that he watched for me to leave so he could boot me, he explained how nice he had been all day by letting me keep my vehicle in a parking spot that it never should have been in. He gave me a “discount” because I was helping someone out and reduced the fine by $20.
    Thank you Mr. Mayor for addressing this issue. Please listen to the frustrated citizens and find a way to make parking in your city more of a pleasure while still allowing the rules to be enforced in the kind of manner that people can be appreciative of.

  260. My favorite story is about my friend who was handicap had her car towed because her handicap sign was on her dashboard and not dangling over her rear view mirror. Makes it hard to drive to school after a total foot surgery and have to walk a mile to get your car. I will post this on my blog so more people can read about this, and submit their stories as well. Im so happy this is finally being taken care of! I cant stand the towing by the Branbury or Carriage Cove.

  261. Story two:

    My mom was helping move back to school after a summer working. I was moving into “Condo Row” (aprox. 750 N 820 E). Obviously there is no “guest” parking there so she parked as close to my building as possible so we could move in the furniture and other large items we had brought down in her van. The parking lot was one designated for my building and we were moving thing in around 2pm in the afternoon. The van had the keys in the ignition, the back door wide open and large furniture items being moved in and out of it. It was pretty clear what was going on and that she was no long-term parking abuser. While we were in the middle of a trip taking things into the house our friendly neighborhood University Parking employee slipped a boot on the car and then stood there waiting for us to return. When we came back out from that load he stood there and explained my mom couldn’t park there. He then signaled to the boot on the car and indicated she needed to pay $65 to get that off. She was floored–we parked in the lot designated for my building, I was a legitimate resident of the complex, it was obvious she was there helping me move in, and we were actually in the process of moving stuff out of the van as he coyly put the boot on while we were inside. Truly incredible stuff.

    Parking enforcement DOES serve a purpose. If the spot I paid for is always occupied by some stranger stealing it, I’d be pissed. But the way University Parking enforces parking is totally out of control and is a net cost to everyone in our community except UP. I have no doubt that what they do is legal–if it weren’t everyone would be suing them–but it is not in the best interest of our community. There has to be a better way than preying on our family and friends who come to visit and on those who take advantage of totally unused parking spaces at non-business hours. The shameless way they extract fines for parking–as was done to my mother in plain daylight while helping me move in and there was no other parking option–is truly a disservice to our community and reflects poorly on a local government who allows this kind of behavior.

  262. Anonymous

    What kind of business or property owner solicits one of these towing companies to enforce their parking lots??!!!!?!! Why would you, as a business or property owner care if someone parks on your property for a few hours when you are not open. I can understand that you don’t want people camping out on your property but there is a better way to enforce no overnight parking. I don’t often visit businesses in downtown provo because of the towing risk lurking around. I have seen people visiting the provo area ending up having to pay $300 + fees, or young girls being left alone after dark with no car after it was towed. I have stopped supporting those provo businesses that hire these vulture towing companies. I was surprised to see even businesses like United Way have solicited the unethical towing companies to enforce their lots. Why would a charitable organization care if someone parks in their lot after business hours. Makes you wonder if the businesses that hire these companies to tow get a kickback. It’s a very lucrative business! I was standing by our van one night to make sure it didn’t get towed while my family was unloading equipment. Even though I was in a legal area, the towing company was towing other cars away anyway. During my 30 minute wait, I saw this sneaky, foul mouthed, abusive man tow away about 10 cars. That’s over $3,000 for 30 minutes. We’re talking about the potential of $10,000 a night. Sleezy. It does not serve Provo business well. I’ve heard people say they will never come back to provo! Boycott all business that hires these towing companies!!! It’s bad for business and bad for Provo. Go to American Fork, Orem, anywhere but Provo until they kick these sleezy towing companies out of town!

  263. Anonymous

    What kind of business or property owner solicits one of these towing companies to enforce their parking lots??!!!!?!! Why would you, as a business or property owner care if someone parks on your property for a few hours when you are not open. I can understand that you don’t want people camping out on your property but there is a better way to enforce no overnight parking. I don’t often visit businesses in downtown provo because of the towing risk lurking around. I have seen people visiting the provo area ending up having to pay $300 + fees, or young girls being left alone after dark with no car after it was towed. I have stopped supporting those provo businesses that hire these vulture towing companies. I was surprised to see even businesses like United Way have solicited the unethical towing companies to enforce their lots. Why would a charitable organization care if someone parks in their lot after business hours. Makes you wonder if the businesses that hire these companies to tow get a kickback. It’s a very lucrative business! I was standing by our van one night to make sure it didn’t get towed while my family was unloading equipment. Even though I was in a legal area, the towing company was towing other cars away anyway. During my 30 minute wait, I saw this sneaky, foul mouthed, abusive man tow away about 10 cars. That’s over $3,000 for 30 minutes. We’re talking about the potential of $10,000 a night. Sleezy. It does not serve Provo business well. I’ve heard people say they will never come back to provo! Boycott all business that hires these towing companies!!! It’s bad for business and bad for Provo. Go to American Fork, Orem, anywhere but Provo until they kick these sleezy towing companies out of town!

  264. Anonymous

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  265. Anonymous

    First Problem: Towing&booting

    Thank you for taking up this issue. I live in an apartment complex – literally 1 block away from the “University Parking” towing company. On Saturday, my date drove to meet me at my apartment complex. She parked across the street in the VERY empty parking lot across the street. She took the courtesy of parking in the middle of the lot away from all of the stores – thus allowing the direct patrons to park closely. She saw no signs prohibiting parking. After the date, her car was towed. Apparently, there were signs at the entrances. They were about 2’x2′, and in 1 inch font. Most signs to be read by cars are 4-6+ feet in each dimension 6″-24″ font. Instead of ticketing, or booting, she got a $145 tow, and THEN another $30 “administrative fee.” Really? Really. This was not willful ignoring, or parking in the read. It is because there is not enough parking for apartment complexes, residents have to park in the street, and there is no room for anyone else visiting. Or delivering brownies. And many of the complexes have ZERO designated visitor’s parking.

    Oftentimes at night, at about 9:50 the towing truck is idling int he parking lot, waiting until 10pm when they can tow. At 10pm they go. This is predatory. If wanted, I could probably even get you a video of this.

    THIS IS WHAT SHOULD BE DONE:
    Towing companies NEED to be specifically requested to remove/ticket/boot a car, and must retain said recording as proof. Otherwise the person who got the ticket/boot/tow gets the full refund PLUS $50 for their problems.

    Second problem: Parking

    A second problem that I have heard about: Provo has been allowing apartment complexes to build less and less parking per resident. This is because they can make more profit building buildings than asphalt lots. You can’t pay for that much? — then don’t build it: basic principles of economics. At the same time, because of neighbor complaints, I have heard that people have thought of only allowing the “normal” residents to park on the streets, and to ticket/tow others. To be blunt, who gets screwed? The students — they have no options then. They can’t force the building permits to require more parking spaces. While I understand that families may not always like college students, it should also be realized that the University + 35,000 students + some wife’s/husbands of the students contribute significantly to the economic well being of Provo. Being a students or being poor should not make one a second class students — and being here we got counted int he census for Provo — not our home towns.

    1. Anonymous

      I agree – %&^*% towing companies

  266. I have paid ~$500 supporting various parking agencies in the Provo/Orem area. Here are my top 3 worst experiences in no particular order:
    1) Picking up a new car on a Saturday evening and driving back to my apartment complex. Since the office is closed until Monday morning, I would not be able to obtain a parking permit until MONDAY MORNING. Even though the office is closed, that doesn’t mean UPE was not in full force. I came back to my car on Sunday morning to find a boot. I filed a claim but of course was denied a refund because let’s face the facts, I am a parking criminal.
    2) My(at the time) fiancee’s apartment complex has a grand total of 6 (SIX) visitor parking spaces with four hour limits. I exceeded the limit and UPE was kind enough to remove my vehicle. They towed it literally 200 ft to their impound lot and I was charged $150 plus a $25 storage fee.
    3) My (at the time) girlfriend came to pick me up at my apartment. She was parked in a non-visitor space at the bottom of my building for literally 3 minutes to run up and get me, and then leave with me. When we got back to her car, we ran into UPE who was just about to put the boot on the car. He sees us hustling to her car and hurries and snaps the lock.
    These are only three incidents I’ve detailed here. The parking situation in Provo is nothing short of predatory. You will never be ticketed if you can be booted or towed. You will never be booted if you can be towed. It is hard to justify visiting this city and spending my money at businesses there knowing I’m always a few minutes away from spending hundreds for the privilege of driving my own car home.

  267. Anonymous

    When it comes down to it, yes most of us were parked “illegally” in a private parking lot. The only way the towing companies make money is by being predatory. The city obviously does not want to do hard regulations on a private company that brings revenue into the city by paying their business and property taxes. That being said, something must be done about the tow companies.
    My father used to own a business in Provo. My dad’s building had a sign on it stating that parking in their lot was for business customers only and that a vehicle could be towed at the owner’s expense by a towing company. They did this because the lot only had six spaces and there was a large apartment complex across the street. They would frequently have students or apartment visitors park in the business parking lot overnight and when the business opened at 7am, it could cause problems. But, when my dad contracted with the tow company it was with the regulation that they could only tow IF my dad called them. Well, I worked in the building next to my dad’s and a coworker and I would often go to Salt Lake together on Friday nights to meet up with friends. We would move her car over to my dad’s lot, next to the building, so that it would be less of a target and out of the way of other people wanting to park in our business lot. One night we got back to Provo and her car was gone. After some phone calls, we found out it had been towed. We went over to the tow company and I explained to them the situation. They made me call and wake up my father so they could talk to him. They let us get the car out, no charge, and they apologized. Fine, let it be. But, they towed it again a few weeks later! Same car, same spot, same day of the week! I was furious! They had no right. It was contracted that they had to hear from my dad before they towed a car. I went in to the tow company and explained the situation, again and told them that they would hear from my dad come Monday. They let us get the car out again, no charge. My dad did end up calling them and letting them know they were out of line and if it happened again he would find a different company.
    My point, is that even under a contract, they still did whatever they wanted to make money. Luckily, they didn’t make any money and wasted their resources. The tow companies are ruthless and unwarranted. There are so many options that are better: warnings, tickets, visitor spaces, open parking, etc. A lot of this is in the realm of the apartment complexes and their management of their parking lots. I live in Orem in an apartment complex that has enforced parking but ONLY IF a complaint is made by a resident about a vehicle in the resident’s marked stall or a vehicle is illegally parked. No predatory tow trucks or booting companies. It is handled by management first because a resident made a complaint. Why can’t Provo apartment complexes be the same? Do they get a kick back from the tow companies so it becomes easy money for the complex? Fine, put in parking meters, we would all rather pay $1 for an hour of visitor parking than $50 for a boot or $250 for a tow.

  268. Anonymous

    I recently visited Provo for the first time. A large group of my friends and I were meeting up. I’ve lived all over the country and never have I lived somewhere with such poor city planning ie public parking. It is essentially non-existent. I arrived in the evening and it took me two hours to find a parking spot! Once I finally found parking near my friends’ residence I found that a tow truck was sitting on the other side of the road watching the spot. I stopped to figure out what the deal was, noting that the tow truck probably wasn’t hanging around for no reason. I had been told by everyone I talked to to watch out for tow companies in Provo, thinking that a city of a religious institution would have higher moral standards I didn’t pay much attention. After I got out and actually looked around I found that there wasn’t anything wrong with the spot. So, I walked over to the vulture in the tow truck and asked him what the deal was. He replied that if I parked there I would be roughly 6 inches too close to the curb and that he would tow me. I was then told I was ignorant for not studying the city ordinances of the places that I visit. I promptly got back into my car, called everyone that was supposed to be meeting us in Provo and told them the story. We immediately decided that it would be better for us to stay in American Fork, instead. We went to the event that we had planned to attend in Provo but refused to spend any money inside of Provo. I will not support a city that supports these types of businesses and has no regard for visitors.

    I hope that something is done to remedy this problem. I was so shocked by my experience I started googling it. Look at this thread… it isn’t just me. Provo can have our business once it swallows its pride. I really feel like that whole university doesn’t live up to the moral standards it tries to preach. What a shame and shame on you, Provo.

  269. I agree with others that the real underlying problem is the lack of parking in the area. We have these big church parking lots where no one is allowed to park – even on weekdays when they are sitting completely empty.

    The other thing I really have a problem with is the attitude of the towing company employees. I have never had such rude interactions. Once when my husband and I were dating, he went out about 5-10 minutes after midnight and found a boot on his car. (I lived at Glenwood.) He had to call to get someone to come, and the guy who came to take the boot off was incredibly rude and kept making comments like, “What, did you forget about the honor code or something?”

    My husband and I parked in the church parking on of the church near 900 E and 700 N and went to FHE at a nearby apartment. We returned less than an hour later to find our car towed. There were other cars in the church parking lot (something going on at the church that night) and we thought we’d be fine to park there, seeing as we were going to a church activity. They insisted that they had gone inside the church to ask everyone there if they owned our vehicle, and then had towed it after. I still don’t believe them. We tried to appeal, seeing as we were at a church function, and no luck.

    The worst I think was when we got a ticket on our car at our own home (a duplex on 620 N and 900 E) because our car was hanging out onto the sidewalk some. We were not parked on the side, but apparently we hadn’t pulled quite far enough into our own driveway, so our back bumper protruded out onto the sidewalk, and they were quick to come and ticket us for it a little after 10 pm.

  270. Anonymous

    I got booted in a friend’s parking lot fifteen minutes before I came out to my car. It wasn’t even curfew yet and I assumed I had plenty of time before I got in trouble for being there. I had lived there the year before and the lot never filled up. I never heard of anyone getting booted or towed. I was told that tickets weren’t issued until curfew. An hour later when parking enforcement was able to come back to remove the boot I asked what time I had to be out of the parking lot if I came to visit again so I wouldn’t have a repeat incident. He told me technically I was never allowed to park there since I was not a resident. The lot has no visitor parking, the street curbs surrounding the complex are all painted red, and the parking lots and neighborhoods nearby all had No Parking signs. I asked him where he suggested I park. His reply suggested I was out of luck – better walk next time.

  271. Anonymous

    A Provo mayor who actually is talking about doing something substantive to demonstrate he doesn’t take students for granted? I’m honestly truly shocked. This is an historical post.

  272. Anonymous

    I have been to every major metropolitan city in the USA and I have never experienced the hell of trying to park anywhere quite like I have in Provo. I have been towed a half a dozen times because I wasn’t quick enough to get to my car before the parking Nazis towed it.

    Give a person a ticket, and you give them fair warning. If they don’t pay the fine, then add interest on it. You don’t pay the fines then you get taken to collections. You get caught parking illegally again, then you get towed.
    This serves 2 things:
    1. Gives the owner of the car fair warning that where they parked was illegal.
    2. Generates more revenue
    3. Educates

    The standards a towing company has varied from employee to employee, and lot to lot. Without clear set boundaries, you can’t expect anyone to be psychic and know what ALL towing company employees think is correct parking. Have the employee take a picture to have on file.

    I have left my car running while I ran into a relative’s house to use the bathroom and when I came out less than 5 minutes later, my car was gone, and I got the pleasure of having to borrow money to get my car out of impound.

    Honestly, the racket that is parking in Provo is ridiculous and criminal. I highly doubt any other town/city in Utah has laws or allows tow companies to run the way Provo does. I attended University of Utah and never got my car towed, all the while never having purchased a school parking pass.

    I think the City of Provo is benefiting somehow from the towing companies. I agree with some of the other people who have commented on this that it’s an ethics issue. Someone on the food chain is reaping the benefits.

  273. MH

    My mother visited me at The Regency Women’s Apartments on 820 N 760 E (after traveling across the country) and parked in their parking lot for just 10 minutes as she came up to my apartment, and the car got booted. I understand that it was the apartments’ lot, but it was during the day, the lot wasn’t full, she was there only briefly, and there isn’t an option for visitor parking. The parking official was in the process of booting her car, and refused to remove the boot until she paid the $50 for it.

  274. Anonymous

    One night i came out of my apartment to get into my car in my assigned space at belmont and noticed a car parked in front of the mailbox with the engine turned off and no one in sight. I thought i would stick around because i knew within minutes a university parking attendant would be around to boot the car. Well i was correct and within minutes he was there writing down the vin number and checking out the license plate. he asked me if i knew who owned the car and i lied to him saying “yes” just so i could stall him a little bit. i preceded to run up to random apartment doors hoping i could find the visitor who parked up against the side walk out of everyone’s way. well i failed to find the person who owned the car so i gave up and the guy booted the car anyways.

    Well when i drove back around the corner about 10 minutes later i noticed that the owner of the vehicle and her friend were talking to the university towing guy and were getting pretty upset so i decided to step in and help. Long story short the girls ended up paying to take the boot off, but when the guy tried to take the boot of he couldnt do it! It was because the girls didnt realize they were booted and rolled forward in their car which pinned the boot inside their rim! The guy was completely mean to the girls and even myself, handing me the keys to the boot in frustrating asking me to try and get the boot off! He threatened the girls with ANOTHER 150 charge to have to cut the boot off because they tried to drive on it….he told the girls to change the tire and said that he wouldnt be touching their car! He expected two innocent girls to change a tire on an SUV at 1130 at night. So i changed the tire for them and when we got the tire off we had to wait about 30 minutes for the guy to come back with the key to try and unlock the boot again! He was super short with us and was a complete jerk! we eventually got the boot off and avoided the $150 charge. The guy then told us that all of this could have been avoided if the girls had just put their hazards on…because apparently you are allowed to park their for 10 minutes if you have your hazards on! These girls were just dropping off food for a sick friend and were literally inside for 5 minutes and were out $75 because of a technicality! And were almost out another $150! These people need to be stopped! They have a monopoly in provo and take advantage of college students!

  275. David

    This has been a big problem for a long time. It happened to me about 10 years ago visiting a girlfriend at her apartment. I haven’t been to Provo since and that memory is a huge reason why I avoid Provo at all costs. My blood is boiling now just thinking back on that horrible experience so many years ago.

  276. I was booted, in my own assigned spot in my parking garage. my sticker was not yet in my window, and when i brought it out and showed it to them they told me it was too late. bigeest waste of $50 ever.

  277. Anonymous

    A gentleman’s car broke down in the middle of an intersection. I pulled into a business that had a “towing enforced” sign, but since I was pushing a fellow driver out of an intersection I’d be okay. Came back within 3 minutes (pushed him into a gas station) and a tow truck was backing up to my car. I tried talking with him but they are unreasonable. University Parking was the name of the company. We need to crack down on both the towing companies, but also the places of business that hire these towing companies to troll their parking lots.

  278. I actually just got towed at the Village because Awful Waffle does not provide parking. I just had ACL surgery and cannot walk very far so we parked in the Church parking lot across the street because my injury is not bad enough for me to have a handicapped license.

    Mind you I contribute to the Church via tithing and have helped, in a small part, fund the building and parking lot that I parked at. Within 10 minutes my car was towed and I was charged a $25 fuel surcharge to par for their 3 mile drive to stash my car at their lot, then an $25 day charge for keeping my car for 3 hours. then a $65 after-hours charge, which their “business hours” are from 8-5, which no one really gets towed during that time.

    I think that to poach from a Church is wrong on all sorts of levels and that the Church actually gave the “ok” for them to do that is sickening as well. Then they make up these ridiculous fees and you are legally obligated to pay them for stealing your car.

    This is the main reason why I vehemently HATE Provo, and I am moving out of hear as soon as I can.

  279. Anonymous

    I, too, am a victim of towing companies. I parked my car at Park Plaza, where I lived and had a sticker, but because it was dark when I parked and the lines were very faded, my car was over the line. I was booted for being “double-parked,” which is incorrect (double parking is blocking another car in with yours; Wikipedia says “The term “double parking” is sometimes used ERRONEOUSLY to describe parking over the lines separating two designated parking spaces in a parking lot and is derived from situations where cars take more spaces than necessary. … The egregiousness of double parking in this fashion is usually judged depending on parking space availability. It can provoke anger and even vandalism towards the offending vehicle when parking is scarce.”). I was told that there were not enough spaces in the parking lot to allow parking like that, although there were 42 empty spaces at the time of the boot. I learned about the appeals process and decided to do it. I took pictures of my car and one of each empty spot in the lot (many of which were near my car) using my girlfriend’s camera which had the time-stamp on it. I sent in the e-mail with the evidence and the company told me no. Plain and simple and heartless.

    I just hope something actually happens to remedy the problem. My pessimistic attitude would say no, because that requires doing something, but I sincerely hope I’m wrong. Fortunately I am soon getting out of this awful city and don’t have to worry about it for much longer.

  280. My girlfriend (at the time) lived at Raintree Apartments in Provo. I remember walking her to the door of her apartment while leaving my car running, windows down, music on, lights on, and hazards on in a fire lane. I must have spent a few minutes talking to her or her room mates on the front porch or just inside, but by the time I got back the car was gone.

    The problem isn’t just the tow companies. It’s the property owners as well. They sign exclusive contracts with “Parking Enforcement” companies, who have employees who actively watch lots of different apartment and commercial lots. When these employees see a vehicle parked illegally, they scramble to get a boot on it as fast as possible. I would be willing to bet their compensation is based in part on number of boots and tows. They set a very low time limit (often less than 1 hour), and if you aren’t there or calling to have the boot removed, the tow enforcement company employee then calls the actual tow company. They remove the boot only to load your car up on the truck.

    The tow companies of course give kick backs to the tow enforcement companies, and the property owners also receive kick backs from the tow company and/or tow enforcement company. The property owners get a cut of every boot fee, or tow fee that vehicle owners incur.

    I grew up in DC and have spent considerable time in other major metropolitan areas like NYC and Tokyo and Buenos Aires, and the practices in Provo are the most ruthless and unethical I have ever seen.

    Good on you Mr. Mayor for working to put a stop to this! Maybe you could allow private parking enforcement companies to tie into Provo City parking enforcement system, and document a specific number of parking tickets before a boot is allowed in the first place.

  281. While my girlfriend lived in a complex patrolled by U.P.E., her car was hit by the tow truck itself during their “service”. I witnessed the hit and is likely the only reason the guy didn’t simply run. She ended up with a rental, and was told by her office complex AND U.P.E. to simply put her rental contract in the rear window. U.P.E. then towed her rental anyways. I called to explain the problem, ( as their negligence caused the issue in the first place), was called a liar, cussed at and then hung up on. They refused to release the rental until a total of $265 was paid. While some enforcement companies may just have a bad rep, but general honest practices, U.P.E. is simply a scam run by thieves and should be shut down.

  282. I had recently moved into my apartment complex fresh off the mission. Which means I had no money, no job, and had just moved to Provo from Minnesota. I was booted in my own complex lot because I didn’t have tape to tape my pass to my windshield. Did i mention that my pass was inside the vehicle? Upon them arriving and me showing them, they wouldn’t budge. I was forced to pay the fine.

  283. I’ve had so many of my friends get towed from their own apartment because the guy didn’t see the permit sticker that was clearly there. Really???

    My friend got a boot for being LESS THAN ONE minute late to get to her car. The time was 2 am and she got there right at 2 and the guy already put a boot on it. Considering the time frame, he had to have put the boot on before 2 am for it to even be possible that we didn’t catch him as he was putting it on.

    And the stories continue, we got towed and had to pay $295 for parking in a lot for 15 minutes to run up to an apartment and come right back. A boot would be reasonable but NOT a tow of $295, the fees included towing, tax of some sort, storage, and every hour that it is in storage is also a cost. Ridiculous.

    Not only all of this, but one of the towing guys actually got into a physical fight with one of my friends that got booted.

  284. All these towing companies are able to go after all the college students because Provo passes laws that make it so we can’t park on certain streets, and they allow places like The Village to be built when knowing there isn’t enough parking for every single student living there. Once Provo fixes that problem then we won’t have to worry about the towing companies because we will finally be able to park our cars.

  285. Anonymous

    The big problem is that there is not enough parking. The apartment complex I lived in for two years didn’t have enough spots for all of the residents’ cars, so if you came home late at night you had to park on the street. But everyone in the neighborhood had the same problem, and would often park on the street in front of my complex. Not all of the residents had cars, and neither did I, but if I happened to borrow a roommate’s car I often had to park two or more blocks away. Also, the roads are always in such bad condition because of the weather, that it’s almost impossible to tell where the red curbs are. I don’t think a couple of flakes of red paint is sufficient.

  286. Anonymous

    http://www.facebook.com/ProvoParkingGettingCarriedAway

    We need to harness the power of Facebook to help spread the word and get more attention for this pressing issue!

    Thanks to Mayor John Curtis for recognizing something that will truly increase the quality of life in Provo if something is actually done about this!

  287. James

    I went to an apartment complex to drop off my date, and in that 2 minutes when I dropped her off there was a guy already attaching a boot to my car. Maybe I should just let girls walk themselves home.

  288. Please stop this. I left Provo a few years ago, and yes, I have my own boot/tow story. I will not return. Provo is very hostile to visitors with parking; don’t expect a warm welcome. I feel bad for businesses there, but I will take my money somewhere else.

  289. Peg

    I’ve heard a lot about the apartment complexes, but it’s not just them. My daughter parked in the Burger King parking lot on University Ave. She thought she was carefully obeying signs by not parking in spots that were where the arrows pointing specifically said BK customers only. She parked next to the Costa Vida van (because there were no “BK customers only” signs there and she assumed those spots were to be used by Costa Vida since their van was there). She was actually trying to be law-abiding and came out to find her car gone. As a mother who lived 2000 miles away, I was furious that she would be expected to walk home in the dark to the other side of campus. (Don’t we tell our teen daughters to NOT do that very thing?!) She had to figure out how to get the money and how to get to the towing company to pick up a car that she honestly believed was parked legally. I went and took pictures of all the signs and happened to agree with her assessment and took them to the towing company when I came out to visit. Had I lived here I would have taken it to small claims court, but my sophomore daughter couldn’t take the time from school to do so. I was treated as though I were an idiot, was told to take it up with Burger King because they are the ones who contract with the towing company, and was given the run around when trying to get in touch with the owner (who conveniently was never in town when I was there). (I will say, however, that we do not frequent that Burger King because they’ve contracted with what we believe to be an unsavory company.)

  290. I am so glad this is going to be addressed. Coming from out of state it was a real disappointment when the first day I moved to Provo I was towed while moving in!

  291. Anonymous

    this isnt just happening in provo it is happening downtown in salt lake also. the other day i went to the IRS. after the IRS i had to get my brakes and alignment checked so i went to firestone on the same exact street. on my drive from the IRS to the firestone, a tow truck followed me. i thought nothing of it at first. i parked in firestone parking and went inside to give my keys to the mechanics so they could check my car. i went out side because it was packed in there and when i looked over in the parking lot my car was being towed. i was only inside for maybe like 2 minutes, and the truck towing my car was the same on that was following me. i caught him just in time though, he said if i came out even 2 minutes later my car would have been gone. i had to pay him $72 just for him to drop my car. immediately after though i went inside firestone and took my keys back and i will never go to that store site again. tow truck companies are vile and need to back off when it comes to towing.

    personally i think they followed me cause they thought i had a lot of money, because of my nice sports car,when in reality i am just a hardworking citizen who knows how to save for what i want in life.

  292. The alternator on my car died at 1 am at the intersection of University Ave and University Pkwy. I had to push it into the (nearly empty) parking lot nearby. I walked all around, but found no direction for who to call to advise of my situation. I left a note in the drivers window explaining my situation. I came back the next morning just a few hours later to tow it to a nearby service station, but had to send the tow truck away because there was a boot on my car. They didn’t care that my car was dead in the middle of the night – they would not take the boot off till I paid.

  293. Anonymous

    My friend got her car towed while she was moving into a new condo. They charged her double because they billed the car and trailer separate. They had about six people helping them move, but all were inside for about ten minutes putting a bed together and came out to find it gone.

    I was booted by University Parking once while visiting my boyfriend at his apartment, about one minute after the time they start checking. I ran out to my car and they had already gotten several boots on in the lot, which makes it clear that they had spent more than the last minute in the lot.

    This is quite ridiculous in Provo, I’ve lived in other cities across the country and have never had a problem with this. I understand why this could be a problem for BYU Parking Enforcement if there were no regulations and crowding on and around campus, but for the most part it is out of hand and just a scheme to make millions off of students who cannot afford the outrageous cost of parking permits or the boots that they get even when they try to follow the rules.

  294. Anonymous

    To-do list:

    – Require apartment complexes to have CLEAR signage indicating what spots are available for visitors and at what times.

    – Crack down on unofficial signs. I’ve seen people in houses putting “do not park here” on the roads in front of their houses because they find students annoying, but…legally anyone can park there. One house owner last year had me illegally towed for parking in front of their house. I had to go to small claims to get my money back.

    – Regulate commission-based “free” towing services that encourage vulture behavior.

    – REALISTIC PLANNING on new complexes like The Village and The Isles. I remember when city planning was claiming up and down that The Village would not cause parking problems. Well I live three blocks away and Village residents/visitors park on the street by my complex. They also have tried parking in our visitor slots and then walking to the Village!!

    – Obviously most complexes will not build a parking spot for every resident claiming that some residents will not have cars. If so, they need to ENSURE in their contract that these students actually do NOT have cars and will not be taking up street parking. ONLY ASSIGN PARKING STICKERS FOR AS MANY SLOTS AS YOU HAVE. If you only build parking slots for half your residents, the other half need to sign contracts saying they are NOT bringing cars and therefore will not be clogging the city streets.

  295. Anonymous

    Oh, don’t get me started about towing especially University Parking Enforcement. My car was towed FROM MY OWN SPOT!! When I called to protest, the people at the UPE said that I would still have to pay the fee to get my car out and that I would have to go through the appeal process to get my money back, it took months and I never got my money back! Here’s the hilarious thing, they didn’t even verify that the person who towed my car owned the spot. I still have no idea who towed my car, from my very own spot! They even had video showing that the car was towed from my spot and I brought a copy of my rental agreement!

    1. Oh, they talk about an “appeals process”, but I’ve never heard of anyone getting their money back from University Parking Enforcement. They practically just laughed at me when they suggested the appeals process.

  296. Anonymous

    I think requirements should be made to accurately mark the parking limits in front of each row of parking stalls (or along curbs when appropriate). If you cannot clearly see the rules for parking in an area, how can people expect to abide by the rules?

    Also limits should be placed on when boots are placed vs. towing. These companies obviously make more money on towing cars and have no reason to limit an infraction to towing unless they are using a vehicle without towing capabilities.

  297. Went to see a friend at King Henry Apartments in Provo and stopped by for 20 minutes at 10 PM on the weekend. None of us saw a sign saying anything about cars being booted at a certain time. Came back to my car to find a boot and we all asked the guy where the notice was. Even he had to take time to find the sign that was covered by a bush and replied that it was my fault. I haven’t been back to Provo since. If the Mayor does anything about this, it will make Provo more welcoming for once in my book.

  298. I was booted for parking on the line in my spot at Liberty Square last year. My roommate was out of town that weekend so there was no one in the spot, and plenty of room on the other side. $65, painful on top of the $80 I paid to park there for a year.

  299. Anonymous

    At any other university/city this kind of predatory behavior would naturally have been mitigated by violent opposition. This has been a problem for decades. I finished in 99 and would have loved to have had Clamp Man meting out justice on my behalf. Go clamp man go!!!! MAYOR, PLEASE!!! MAKE THESE DIRTBAGS GO AWAY!!! AT MINIMUM GIVE US RECOURSE AND ALLOW US TO PENALIZE THEM IN A SUFFICIENTLY PAINFUL WAY!!! UVU and BYU fees could cover a wheel clamp/boot for all students for offending towers. How many of the apartment owners also hold ownership in the towing companies? I would like to know.

  300. i have 2 instances. first i lived at king henry in provo and they sold more parking passes than they had parking spaces so i parked in a janitors parking place hoping someone would move their car that morning. to my supprise i woke up and found that my car had litteraly been towed out of my own complex by university parking. i was so livid i voed to never live in provo again and avoid going there at all costs. I even publicly pronouce how much i hate provo due to their unjust parking practices and lack of mercy when it comes to a quick visit to a friends house or to drop in and pay a 15 minute visit. The parking enforcment is so ridiculous in provo i dont even want to go practice with my band members in provo due to the fear of a losing a months rent or have my car turn up missing or have to wait for an hour for a boot to be taken off my car. This last week i was chared 50 dollars for running into my friends apartment to drop off a cd and when i came outside i found a boot on my car. some of the employees just sit and wait for drivers to leave their cars

  301. First off, Thank you so much for addressing this problem. A good mayor is one who understand the situation and needs of his city’s people.

    My story: I’ve seen cars parked in driveways of their own home being towed because they had “a wheel on the road” when it was in the curb where the driveway started.

    During the Stadium of Fire event, I see a swarm of tow trucks invade a parking lot to tow cars left and right (customers of stores or not!) and figure it out after the fact.

    The problem: Parking enforcement is paid on commission. The more cars they tow and boot, the more they get paid.

  302. Anonymous

    Towards the end of this summer I was on a date. We had just gotten back from a dance and needed to go change so we could watch the meteor shower. I pulled into the side parking lot by Raintree Apts., and ran inside at 10:02 p.m.. We came back out at 10:06 p.m. and watched my car being towed off. I called the guy and asked him to bring it back. He said he was already at the lot and I would have had to pay him an extra $50 for him to turn around. I told him I was watching him drive down the street with my car, but all he said was I had to go to the lot to pick it up or pay the extra $50 (on top of the $214.50 I already had to pay at this point).
    Side note: My friends and I drove to what we thought was the company who towed us to pick up my car. It turns out it was the wrong place, but while we were there talking, we found out the company that towed my car owns the lot that I parked in and they park “decoy cars” there so other people think it’s okay. The company patrols the block and just waits for students to park next to the decoy cars. (I know this now because I watched and figured out they drive around that same block about every 10 minutes). Since then I have seen 4 cars get towed by this trick.
    Anyway, we eventually got to the correct company who had towed my car and found we had beat the tow truck back and had to wait another 5 or so minutes before he showed up. I got charged for the mandatory dock fee, the gas fees, a $25 storage fee (even though I beat him there) and the actual $140 or so fine for parking in the lot. On top of everything, they were rude to us when we were filling out the paper work. Not the best night.

  303. Anonymous

    It’s ironic that the Mayor is posting this considering the fact the parking situation in Provo is his and his predecessor’s fault. Let’s look at the facts.

    Business and private property owners don’t just randomly choose to hire an enforcement company. It is a negative experience and flies directly in the face of being customer friendly. They HAVE to hire towing companies because city officials are allowing HUGE apartment complexes to be built in Provo without accounting for where all of the potential tenants are going to park. A perfect example of this would be that new complex just finished by BYU, The Village at South Campus. Look at the tenant to parking ratio, at capacity that complex would displace nearly 300 of its tenant’s vehicles to parking off-property. It’s not like parking enforcement was never an issue in Provo before this complex was approved to be built (by your elected city officials). This problem has been building for years! Billings did nothing about it, and neither will Mayor Curtis. Why? Could it be that the city makes boat loads of money from property owners? We all know parking problems aren’t enough to make the never-ceasing migration of Mormon freshmen come flocking to Provo. So, as in the past, the city council and Mayor will keep pointing their fingers at towing companies so they don’t have to take the heat and finally change their policies on how a rich millionaire or bank can’t build a monstrous complex with no parking.

    Hey Mayor Curtis, get on TV and tell us all that Provo City knew The Village at South Campus would be built without enough parking for nearly 300 of it’s tenants and then complain again about the towing issue you and your predecessors created in the first place.

    1. Anonymous

      Provo loves its mega-apartment-complexes, they welcome them with open arms.

      Provo hates the small accessory apartments. They do everything in the power to stop people from renting out accessory apartments. Provo claims they increase crime, traffic and parking issues, and Provo makes it nearly impossible for anyone to rent one out.

      However, Provo thinks nothing of allowing the mega-apartment-complexes to be built (with insufficient parking I might add) which cause more traffic, crime, and parking issues then any small accessory apartment ever could possibly cause.

  304. Anonymous

    Wow! After reading some of these stories I am nervous to send my kids to BYU. I fear for my daughters’ safety in a city that allows young girls to be left on the streets late at night with no transportation. Anyone who has been to college knows that late nights and early mornings are a necessary part of life. My husband and I have lived in Provo for 20 years. We graduated from BYU and chose to stay. Towing/booting/parking tickets were annoying when we were students, but we didn’t have experiences like those above. However, we live in a lovely, non-student part of Provo (contrary to the belief of some students, Provo does exist outside of you and does so quite nicely) and a couple of years ago, my friend stopped by my home to drop something off. We stood outside on my front porch to chat for a moment while her kids were inside her running car parked in front of my house (on a cul-de-sac, far away from any student housing.) While we were standing there, a police jeep pulled up next to her running car and a young kid jumped out with a pad he was already scribbling on. We couldn’t imagine what he was doing and joked that the police must be allowing high school interns to drive their jeeps. Within a few seconds he had plopped a ticket on her window. We were just 20 feet away. I asked him what he was doing and he told us he was ticketing her car for facing the wrong direction on the street. (In a cul-de-sac?) The kid looked like he was barely 16 and I explained to him that we didn’t need parking enforcement in our little cul-de-sac. We were perfectly capable of taking care of any parking grievances amongst ourselves. Really? The city trains their young staff to ticket running cars in front of people’s homes while their owners watch? My friend paid the ticket. I tried to convince her otherwise. She’s a nicer person than I am.

  305. Anonymous

    Predatory towing and parking enforcement are the two of the three main reasons I would never live in Provo or Orem. I went to school down there and was victimized several times by these companies. I had an opportunity to take a great job in the area and decided not to take it because of the numerous bad experiences I have had with Provo and Orem Police, parking enforcement and towing companies. As a consumer I choose where I want my taxes to go, and they will never go to Provo/Orem if I can help it. When police and those to whom they delegate power over personal property start harassing citizens more often than protecting them they risk that those people who pay their salaries will move away or take the law into their own hands. Either way, the scales are about to tip Provo/Orem, and not in your favor unless you fix this problem

    1. So, funny story about one of them. To quote:

      “University Parking Enforcement has been providing parking enforcement for the properties Hidden Vale manages since August 2002. Hidden Vale highly recommends this company. They have been dependable in every aspect of our association. Please call our office if any additional information is needed.”
      Joy Eves, Manager
      Hidden Vale Management

      Well, Joy Eves and Hidden Vale Management may not be the best people to offer a recommendation. For a while, they were managers of the Old Mill property on 724W 1720N. What happened was $100,000 went completely MISSING. GONE. When the roofers asked for payment for what they did, there was no money, so each owner of each condo unit had to cough up $3000 per unit. Later, another $60,000 was unaccounted for.

      My point: the quality of the people/companies recommending this business may not always be the best.

  306. Carriage Cove Parking lot – the guys would come in at 8:58 and wait till 9am to start towing people right at the second. It’s not about the traffic, it’s about getting a pay check from students and that’s wrong!

  307. I was borrowing a friend my textbook. I parked in the visitor’s parking right outside the complex, ran up to her apartment to drop off the book, and when I returned my car was being loaded up by a tow truck. I asked him what was going on and he said I had parked illegally. I pointed out that I was in visitor parking and he said that I was in visitor’s parking for the apartment complex NEXT to the building HE WATCHED me go into. There were no signs anywhere stating this so he just sit there waiting for people to make the mistake. He refused to unload my car until I paid $125 (half the towing fee) and when I called the company to discuss it with them they were very rude and stated he had acted in accordance to their policy. I hate Provo.

  308. Hi Mayor- This is an appeal that I wrote to University Parking last summer, after I got towed from my own complex in a lot that I had registered and paid to have my vehicle in. I never heard a word of response from them, nor have I ever heard of them responding to any appeals.

    “Dear University Parking:

    I am submitting this appeal regarding my vehicle being towed on Wednesday July 20, 2011. It is my hope that I might provide the necessary information for you to reconsider the disciplinary action you saw fit to take.

    I pulled into the Raintree Commons parking lot late Tuesday night (approximately 1 AM) after work coming from the south entrance. Showing clearly in the rear window of my vehicle was a permit to park in this lot that I paid for at the commencement of my residency at the complex. I saw ahead of me a cement, unpainted parking barrier, which in every instance I have encountered marks a parking spot. As I pulled up alongside of the spot and then past it to back into it, I saw nothing that would give me pause in choosing to park there. There were no clear markings that would have been visible from any vehicle at night. So, without any thought that I might be parking in an area that I was not supposed to, I backed into it, and made my way to my apartment. Photograph #1 (attached to this document) was taken the following night at virtually the same time and lighting, and illustrates my view of the space and I pulled up to it.

    The following morning on my way to work (at approximately 8:20 AM), to my honest shock and horror, my vehicle was gone. The spot I had parked in was empty, and in the full light of the day I was able to observe faded diagonal striped yellow lines beneath the parking barrier. The stripes showed only about a foot and a half near the top of the spot, fading completely beyond that.

    I now personally address whomever it is that might be handling this claim. I implore you to consider the situation: I parked my vehicle in a spot that clearly looked like a parking spot in a lot that I had paid for a permit to be allowed to park in. If I had any scruple about where I was parking I would have parked elsewhere- there were more than enough spots. It was an honest mistake with absolutely no intention of wrongdoing or rule breaking. The $175 fee felt like and a ginormous blow for such a minor offense. Especially when the “offense” in no way impeded the convenience or safety of any individual. As a college student, financial times are tough- for all of us. Planning for the fall with the start of school, every penny counts towards rent, books, and food. This was a blow I had not planned for. One has only to look at the vehicle that you towed from my lot to see that I beg reconsideration of your fee not to spend frivolously, but towards necessities that even working long hours all summer cannot cover alone. Again, I humbly beg your reconsideration.

    Thank you for your time in considering my appeal. If there is anything more that I may supply in the way of pictures or oral testimony to help plead my case, please contact me and I would be more than happy to oblige.”

  309. I had a parking permit to my own apartment complex’s parking lot, but one day I had to switch cars with my sister. I forgot her car wouldn’t have a sticker/permit so I parked in my parking lot. Keep in mind there are usually empty spots in this parking lot. Then I was towed out of my own parking lot! When I went to pick it up from being towed I tried to offer proof that I lived in that complex but they wouldn’t hear any of it. Their reputation for being notoriously rude and uncaring is well-deserved. They know they don’t have to listen because they are not accountable to anyone and won’t have to answer for being unlawful. My housing management was completely on my side but said they couldn’t do anything about it because the towing companies are impossible to deal with. And they are the ones who hire these people to patrol the apartment complexes!

    I wish some investigative work could be done to see how many of their booting/towing incidents are from real cases vs. people who had a right to park there or were less than 30 minutes past the deadline.

  310. Anonymous

    When I lived in the Branbury, University Parking Enforcement booted everyones car one weekend. The problem, it was the weekend after everyone moved in and we had last years parking pass. Being we just moved in, I assumed I had the new parking pass. Problem #2 University Parking waited until Saturday night to boot cars. Everyone had to pay to get the boot off in order to get to church…then to top it off…the apartment office was closed on Sundays so everyone had to wait until Monday to get a new parking pass. So what does University Parking do…well they go and boot the same cars Sunday night. And when asked for a copy of payment, the driver informs me I have to get it from the office. University Parking is by far the worst company to deal with and absolutely preys on students who make little to no money. As a police officer now, I don’t understand why cars are not getting parking tickets or pink tagged to be towed?

  311. Anonymous

    I was down near the Village when I saw a house on fire with a widow holding her 2 infant children in one hand, and kittens in the other crying from the window. I parked quickly and ran to her aid. I doused the fire with my caffeine free diet coke that I picked up on my way back from volunteering at a homeless shelter. After a brief moment to make sure the women, kittens, and children were ok, I returned to where my car was parked. My car was no longer there but there was a ransom note left, written in the blood of a virgin saying that I need to pay $500 to have my car returned to me. These evil towing companies need to stop!!

  312. Even with a parking pass for my apartment complex, I’m afraid to park my car at night because of the possibility of it being booted or not being there in the morning. Last week, even with my parking pass, I had a warning taped to my window saying that I would be towed the next time they came through if I parked there without a parking pass.

  313. Anonymous

    Let’s be honest here Mayor Curtis, we all know nothing will change. This meeting will give the illusion of the city looking into things, and is just a big placebo to make people happy. After all, this is just an issue between private property owners and private businesses, and not a matter for the city.

    In reality, everything will remain exactly as it is.

  314. I got a boot for parking on top of the yellow line in the complex where my wife and I lived. I was probably a quarter of an inch over the yellow line That was one of 5 times I was booted in the complex where I lived and paid rent. These parking enforcement companies are just making up whatever rules they want. The parking companies fees dont just need to be change the fundamental rules and regulations that allow these companies to actually tow or boot need to be change. These guys have made their money screwing people over for far too long. The owners of these companies say they are “following the laws of the state and city” lets change the laws of the state and city. We need to rein these lying manipulative fools in.

  315. This last Saturday my Husband, Brother in law and Nephew went to the BYU game. They parked in the US Bank parking lot just north west of the stadium on University. There was a parking tennant there packing up her stuff leaving. The guys asked if it were okay to park there and she said it was and that no one else needed to pay. They even went in and made sure it was okay with the manager of the bank. BYU game ends and the guys along with many other people get to the parking lot only to find that all of their vehicles had been towed. They got a hold of the cops and all had hitch rides to the lot to get their vehicles back. They couldn’t believe what was going on.

  316. I lived in the branberry while attending BYU. As I was pulling out of the parking lot I noticed my apartment front window was open and I could see a rain storm was on the way. I pulled up in front of my apartment and ran in to close the window. While closing the window I saw the University Parking Enforcement truck pull up. I ran out of my apartment right as he had placed the first towing hook on. I told him the story about closing my window. He informed me because he was hooked up to the truck I would have to pay a fee to unhook(drop) the truck. My fee was $80! How many more stories is it going to take to get legislation changed? I have a few more.

  317. Another story. I was at kiwanis park playing glow the dark ultimate frisbee with some friends. We knew parking enforcement was going to be on our cars so we left a few min early. The parking lot closed at 12am. We got to our cars at 12:00:45am, two of the three cars had been booted and the third one was gone. We called University Parking Enforcement, they said they’d have someone come over and unlock them. The same guy pulled in at 12:05am min later with the third car still in tow. We had to pay for the one to be dropped and the boots to be removed. Goodbye groceries for the next two months!

  318. I Guess this post is about Orem, but university parking enforcement. I parked at Walmart to go grocery shopping and eat at mc Donald’s, but when I got inside there were too many people in line so I decided to walk over to the other one in the parking lot. when I came back with my bag of food my car was gone! they towed it! it had seriously been less than 10 min! they told me they caught my on camera at wal Mart walking away toward UVU. even after explaining myself and showing my food they made me pay! and it took over an hour to get my car back! still mad to this day!

  319. In an appeal to contest a booting fee, which I felt I had mercilessly received when my car had broken down conveniently in a half empty University Parking enforced lot at 4 am, I was treated condescendingly by their staff when I visited their lavishly furnished office. With their expensive new SUV’s they had purchased at the cost of less than well off students lined up just outside, they denied my appeal, justifying their actions with no regard but for themselves and despite my ability to have removed my car in a reasonable amount of time. My issue with them is that they make no effort to offer exceptions to their unreasonable and unyielding rules, and charge ridiculous fees at every offense. They are a dead weight loss to our society and lazily pray off honest individuals who fall into misfortune.

  320. 429 comments in one day, clearly there is a problem. Does towing have its place? Yes, but University Parking has been especially aggressive in their unethical towing practices and has gone way past acceptable and reasonable business policy. This problem has plagued Provo for years while these goons pad their pocketbooks. It needs fixed immediately. The people have a voice, and the majority is telling Provo City that they must put and end to the tyrannical reign of University Parking. There is little justice in their system of reviews. I will take my business and tax dollars elsewhere and encourage others to do the same until this criminal company is controlled.

  321. University Towing IS THE WORST! My dad was visiting out of town and got a visitor parking pass from the apartment complex. Their pass was broken so he could only sit it on the dashboard. They towed his vehicle which also happened to contain important medications that he needed. When we went to get the vehicle at near 2AM the tower said he had video proof that we didn’t have a permit on the dashboard but refused to show the “proof” to us. We opened the car and the permit was sitting on the floor of that car. Well what do you think happens when you raise the front of a car 4 feet off the ground? Stuff on the dashboard falls to the floor!

    Such a scam. These people really are the scum of the earth.

    Ryan Haldeman

  322. Whatever you do, thanks for taking a look at this. It extends far beyond Provo. Even though I live in Payson and my opinion is moot, I encourage you to do all you can to stop the predatory booters. I was afflicted in Salt Lake by a lowlife outfit called “Salt Lake Valley Protective Services,” which was nothing more than a front for bullies to take advantage of people at every opportunity. I support driving the drones out of the market. Thank you.

  323. Anonymous

    My husband and I were helping my little sister move into her new apartment one night around 11 pm. We were carrying things in and out and at one point stayed inside for a couple minutes to help her set something up in her bedroom. When we came outside, our car was gone. We had no idea where it had gone. We had left our phones at home or in the car. We ended up having to walk in the cold February night halfway across town to wake up a friend who could take us to the impound lot where we found out our car was being held, since we lived almost two miles away. To make matters worse, we had to sit at the impound lot for a full hour because the towing company had dropped our car off and left to continue taking other people’s cars. We’re college students, trying to help someone out and got saddled with a $175 bill that we somehow paid. We definitely didn’t eat well that month.

  324. Anonymous

    I’ve had my car towed and booted twice by this same company, I did a little research and it turns out these guys make a killing, like over a million+ a year, towing and booting poor BYU and UVU students. They’re pretty much the only outfit in town and have a lot of contracts open. The tow drivers get a commission for every tow/boot also. It definitely is predatory… There are a few youtube videos and online blogs you can find complaining about this company.

  325. Anonymous

    I was living in an apartment complex over 5 years ago where we had more than enough parking spaces but still had an over vigilant tow company. Two examples: one friend’s tire was touching the parking striping and got a boot for that and the corner of another friend’s parking sticker was peeling away from the window (which the company said indicated that he was sharing his parking pass which is an illegal practice, even though no sharing was happening)so he got a boot as well.

    I now live in a house and have a whole new set of issues. People will park in my drive way that don’t live in the house and are not even visiting people in our house. People will also park along the street in front of the entrance to our driveway completely blocking us in. Our house is situated on a corner lot and lately we’ve been having people park all the way to the street sign at the intersection which makes seeing pedestrians difficult as well and intersecting traffic. I’m surprised there are not more accidents by our home to be honest. I frequently have had to call the Provo police because I can not get out of my driveway to get to work. During one of their visits, I asked if I could repaint the flaking red paint on the curb near by the intersection because it was obvious that it had not been painted in years. They informed that they no longer paint the curbs where parking is illegal and that I couldn’t either. Why not Provo, why not? Also, people have been moving our garbage cans off the street and up onto the sidewalk so they can park. Consequently, the garbage doesn’t get picked up. It would be nice if residents were allotted a few feet on either side of their driveway that could also be painted red for ease of backing out as well as for placing garbage cans.

    I have read through many of the posts made to this blog and many have acknowledged that they were parking illegally and yet still mad because they were only parked for a short amount of time. Those kind of stories are not going to illicit change and generate sympathy for the situation. Please be careful in which situations and stories you relate. I don’t care if you were dropping off a plate of brownies to a friend, blocking people’s driveways is illegal as is parking in others’ stalls, so don’t be mad when there are consequences to your actions. Plus, Provo police will try to contact you to have you move your car before they give tickets, at least that’s what they have done every time we’ve called in a car.

  326. Marilyn

    John, I have lived here for 12 years and had no idea the students were subjected to such unsavory practices. I am ashamed of myself, my city, and BYU for allowing this to go on for years. 438 responses and counting. What can we, as citizens do to stop this?

  327. I want to thank all of you for affirming my decision as soon as I graduated to “get the heck out of Dodge”. Things are much better EVERYWHERE else I’ve lived – especially parking. The laws are written in favor of the vultures. There is no “spirit” of the law, only the letter. The mayor is fighting an up-boot-hill battle that constantly turns a deaf ear to the concerns of students. You’ll never see me come to Provo to spend any money – I don’t have enough for the extra parking tax.

  328. Anonymous

    I was living at Brownstone on 450 N and I swear there is NO parking anywhere. The problem with Provo is there is never any parking, forcing students to try to squeeze in where they can. If they can’t find a spot, what does the city think they should do? Sleep in the car, oh wait, they couldn’t park it! There is no way everyone can fit. Apartment complexes need to either make their lots bigger and make sure everyone has one spot, or we need to make parking garages around town for everyone to park. The tow trucks that sit and wait at golds on 9th are ridiculous also. People who are working out and come out at 12:10 or like ten minutes after they close come out with no car! TEN MINUTES! Provo has become ridiculous and it is embarrassing to tell people they have to park in a certain place or else they will get a towed. This is a college town where people come and go, and no one wants to come happy and leave upset.

  329. Greg

    I was at my girlfriend’s apartment parked in the “guest” parking area, where you are allowed to park until midnight. I left her apartment as the clock struck 12 and could see one of University Towing’s employees putting a boot on my car. I yelled to him that i was already on my way to the car so he didn’t need to boot it, but rather than exhibit any sort of humanity or understanding he proceeded to finish putting on the boot and charge me $75 to get it off. It hadn’t even turned to 12:01.

  330. Back when my husband and I were dating in 2007 a guy in a very fancy car sat by and watched us get out of the car only to walk up and start putting a boot on it within 30 seconds of us leaving the car. We watched him get out and ran back to the car to address the fact that my husband was within feet of his car and did not need a boot, the guy still made my husband pay the 50 dollars to “take the boot off”, seriously? It is ridiculous this issue has been out of control for at least 5 years!!

  331. Anonymous

    Not only do the University Parking employees spend their time charging broke college students astronomical fees, but they apparently can’t do it fast enough, because every time I see one of those black short-bed single cab University Towing duallies, they are driving it like they stole it. You would think that someone who drives a tow truck for a living would be a little bit cautious, but they drive like absolute banshies. One of them almost took a girl out of the crosswalk by Brick Oven the other day.

  332. Angela

    My friend and I went to a midnight showing of a movie during winter. We parked next to the theatre in a row of cars that was already there. We couldn’t see any lines or paint to see where we were to park because of all the snow. I checked for any signs that said no parking and there were no signs around where we parked. We saw the movie and came out two hours later and my car along with the entire row of cars were gone. Other people that went to the same movie came out and we discovered that all our cars were gone. At 2 in the morning, we got a ride to the towing company to get our cars. The man at the towing company said that we parked in a fire zone. He said that the curb was painted red. But, the curb was covered in snow! There was no way we could tell it was a red zone! Each car cost $250+ to get out of the yard. There were about 15 cars that were towed from that same place where there was snow piled on the curb. If that many people made the same mistake by parking there, clearly the red paint could not have been seen under the snow. This towing company was out to get the movie goers and their money.

  333. My friend and I went to a midnight showing of a movie during winter. We parked next to the theatre in a row of cars that was already there. We couldn’t see any lines or paint to see where we were to park because of all the snow. I checked for any signs that said no parking and there were no signs around where we parked. We saw the movie and came out two hours later and my car along with the entire row of cars were gone. Other people that went to the same movie came out and we discovered that all our cars were gone. At 2 in the morning, we got a ride to the towing company to get our cars. The man at the towing company said that we parked in a fire zone. He said that the curb was painted red. But, the curb was covered in snow! There was no way we could tell it was a red zone! Each car cost $250+ to get out of the yard. There were about 15 cars that were towed from that same place where there was snow piled on the curb. If that many people made the same mistake by parking there, clearly the red paint could not have been seen under the snow. This towing company was out to get the movie goers and their money.

  334. Anonymous

    I have a Ford F-150 4wd that was towed by University Parking. Being a 4WD, it should not be towed without the transfer case being shifted into neutral. Well, U.P.E hooked up and towed me anyways, and did damage to my front end and transfer case, because it was not shifted into neutral. They claim “it doesn’t harm the transfer case” despite me showing them the owners manual which clearly states “Your truck is not designed to be towed. If you must tow it, shift the transfer case into neutral.” They refused to own up to their mistake, and left me with a damaged truck.

  335. Anonymous

    People date in Provo. I hope that is no surprise to you. My date was picking me up and I asked him to wait just a minute while I put on my shoes. Just then a friend of my ran in asking if one of us had a car parked outside because the booters were out and about. It was my dates car they were after and he caught him just in time to fork over $70 to remove the boot. That was an expensive date. Please help us poor college students out.

  336. Anonymous

    It’s a shame that this is such a problem in Provo…it is one of the main reasons my husband and I were so eager to move out of the city. Part of the problem can’t be helped because there are so many students, but the city needs more public parking.

  337. Jeff Greenland

    My fiance (now my wife) used to live in an apartment complex right off campus. I went to pick her up for a date, parking in one of the complexes several available spots.

    I walked to her building, went up the stairs to her floor, and rang the bell to her apartment. She immediately answered the door, grabbed her purse and jacket, and we were off.

    When we reached my car, I found that I had been booted and ticketed. I then had to wait approx 25 minutes for the company responsible to send a rep back out to me, so I could move ahead with my evening.

    In less than 5 minutes, I lost over $150, my day’s plans were seriously affected, and I had no real options for recourse.

  338. Anonymous

    One thing the city can do is stop giving zoning permits for new complexes if they don’t build enough parking spaces for their residents. For example, the new complex on 700 E 500 N. I’ve never seen so many cars parked on the road until that place opened. The same thing for all of those new buildings BYU is building. There is no parking available for its tenants. If the City wants to prevent parking issues, it needs to require enough spaces for it’s residents. Not only is towing an issue, but so is the safety of pedestrians. When the streets are lined with cars, it’s harder to see pedestrians as they cross the street.

  339. My brother came back to his apartment one night to find it under construction. The management told him to park on the street and it would be fine. They towed his car. He explained the situation, but they wouldn’t give him his car until he paid the $250. After he paid, he said he was going to take it up with the police. They immediately refunded his money, because they knew they were wrong. They hope that people will be too intimidated to stand up to it.

  340. Anonymous

    Too many students and not enough parking. Especially for all the students who live by Seven Peaks.

  341. Anonymous

    Yeah this is a serious problem. Mine involves poor sign placement of towing companies. I was towed Friday night at a little parking area near The Velour because I fell into K.P.E.’s towing trap. It was dark when I pulled in and made a conscious effort to see if I was allowed to park and could find no signs. One of of the lot said reserved parking but the other half said nothing. I parked and come back hours later to find my car had been towed. I was supposed to be charged the ridiculous amount of 145 but instead they decided to charge me 25 dollars for 30 minutes of storage and 30 dollars for gas. Apparently it takes 30 bucks of gas to go from 101 N. University Ave. to 1652 Grandview Lane.
    These towers are criminals and should be investigated and put in jail.

  342. Anonymous

    I had my car door open as I walked up the stairs to pick up a date at King Henry Apartments. I stepped inside the door and one of my friends yelled my name from the parking lot. I looked outside knowing that my car was probably being towed. I ran down the three flights of stairs and kept yelling at the tow truck driver to stop lifting my car, but because the tow truck at lifted my car two feet off the ground he charged me 175 dollars. HE DIDN’T EVEN GET BACK IN HIS TRUCK AFTER HE LIFTED MY CAR. I know gas is expensive these days, but I highly doubt it cost him 175 dollars to let his truck idle for 15 seconds. Thanks University Parking Enforcement. I wouldn’t feel any remorse if their entire business was shut down. They are ruthless and predatory.

    I would also like to bring up a point about parking in general in the city of Provo. There are far too many restrictions on parking on the city streets. I know people who don’t go to college live here, but the restrictions on parking in residential neighborhoods is outlandish.

  343. I got towed because I parked in a reserved space up on a side street near Seven Peaks. When I asked how I was supposed to know it was reserved, I was informed that the curb was clearly painted grey. GREY?! I was supposed to know it was a reserved space because the grey sidewalk was grey.

  344. Anonymous

    I could write a novel here, but one of the worst I know was when my friend was dropping off his girlfriend (now wife) at 12:00 and standing leaning up against his car. A University Parking Enforcement guy drove past and said that since it was past midnight he wasn’t allowed to be in that lot. He explained he was just saying goodnight and would be there a minute (obviously he was hoping to get a kiss and trying to be patient). The UPE guy actually snuck up behind the car and booted his back right tire and then sped off! They are criminals, I still want a refund for one they gave me that I didn’t deserve.

    Also, I think Provo city should look at their own parking enforcement crew. There are these white Jeeps that drive all around BYU campus all day and give out tickets. I am willing to bet that 90% or more of parking tickets are given in the one mile radius around campus. Have you ever seen those Jeeps in a rich residential area, because I bet there are expired registrations there too and they aren’t poor ramen noodle-eating college kids.

  345. I lived at University Villa and had a parking sticker to park anywhere I wanted in the complex. I had parked legally where I had parked hundreds of times before and got a boot overnight because the parking enforcement “could not see my sticker clearly”…?

    The sticker was (and to this day still is!) on my back window where it had been every other bootless night. When I tried to talk to the guy he showed me the pictures they took that were at these terrible angles and in terrible lighting (night) that made my parking sticker not very clear. I showed him the sticker and even talked to management to prove to this guy that I had a sticker… and the guy just said that I could have just put the sticker on there and that the only way I could get them to change their mind was to take them to Small Claims Court….

    Seeing how I was already 2 hours late to work… (time spent waiting at my car for the guy to show up in “15-20 minutes”)and his insistence that the only way he could legally take my boot off is if I paid the money or waited to appeal them.

    Question 1: Is that even a city law that they cannot “legally take a boot off until it is paid?”

    Question 2: how am I supposed to wait for all this to go through a small claims court? I have a job in Spanish Fork I have to drive to and by the time I got through appeals court my car would have probably been towed and I’d have to pay more.

    Seems to me that this system is broken in many ways:

    -The parking enforcement gang is paid by commission so they have ZERO incentive to give anyone a break… ever. They also have no risk to their own business, so they have no incentive to make signs clear and visibly mark their territory… they can be as ambiguous as they want, and they know it.

    – The system is stacked against the car owner… there is no logical way for us to counter any of their claims. They took pictures of my car to hide my sticker that was very much there on my car… and there is nothing I can do about it. Parking Enforcement (just like the landlords in Provo) hold all the power and students are not able to counter any claims against them unless you have lots of resources and time (which are things that students historically DO NOT HAVE)

    TO fix it:
    – Stop paying parking enforcement by commission! Stop giving them incentives to rip people off!
    – Apartment Complexes should have yearly contracts with parking enforcement companies… that way if a parking enforcement is behaving badly and residents complain the complex can drop them and find someone else.
    – The city should create a more simple appeals process in which students and visitors can report suspicious boots and tows straight to the city and plead their case… not through the parking enforcement company, which is not in a position to be impartial… If a company is found at fault, the city should not only make them repay the boot/tow but also fine the hell out of them or remove their license. Not only would this make the parking enforcement companies have some of their skin in the game, but also could help raise revenue (through fines… lets face it based on this comment board alone, you could be making a LOT!) to help pay for more public parking around the community and to make sure all red zones are actually PAINTED red and marked clearly.

  346. Anonymous

    A friend came over to pick me up after a rough day. She was parked there 10 minutes before the time towing was to begin. She came to my door and we walked back to her car together. It seemed fine- then we rescued a cat from running into the street, brought it back to the apartment it belonged to, and 2 minutes before the towing time, there was a boot on her car. We had to wait 30 minutes for them and then they charged her $50 that she didn’t have, so I had to pay it for her to be able to go back home. Not nice. Another friend parked in a visitor spot (she was a visitor) and she got booted. $50 and a pizza came out of my wallet to pay for this friend to have the boot removed of her car. It was unlawful. University Parking is vicious. Parking is limited everywhere and the campus parking times have just changed so that instead of free parking at 4 PM, we now have to wait until 7 or 8 PM to park there. If we are not allowed to park anywhere when we need a place to park, the least that can be done is to add extra levels to the parking lots and make them garages. And please bless that campus towing are not authorized to tow or go up there. Over anxious meanies. They say they are sorry, but if they really were, they would not have booted undeserving cars.How about towing begins AFTER curfew. Then they can choose to boot or tow those who should not be there in the first place.

  347. I was just towed last week. My theatre company is renting the Echo Theatre (trying to bring some art and good theatre to Provo) and I was dropping off some scenery behind the theatre. I was in the alley and part of a parking lot. It was 9pm at night. The actors came out to help and I helped bring in the last piece of scenery. It was very clear that we were unloading the scenery. I was gone 5 minutes and came out and my car was gone! I had to pay $230 to get it out. I don’t believe the signs are big enough to notice at night. I also know that some towing vulture must of been watching. He must of seen I was unloading scenery. This problem is out of control and does not make Provo an appealing city. Something needs to be done. Where is the common decency in these situations?

  348. Anonymous

    It amazes me how many college kids in Provo DO NOT pay attention to the WARNING signs. Anyone who lives in Provo have seen all the many WARNING signs posted near the entrances of the properties. Can we at least admit that we see those driving around?!? That being said, I know with today’s technology of cell phones friends and distractions it is easy to not pay attention. These are college students not taking accountability or heeding warning blatantly posted all over the city. I challenge you to pay attention after reading these comments to the obvious non hidden signs EVERYWHERE in Provo. Bottom line is pay attention!!! It is city ordinance that these booting & towing companies have to post a 24 hour dispatch number on the signs. If you don’t know ask if you don’t feel comfortable asking the tow company ask a resident of the complex you are visiting they know or they know someone who has been towed or booted. I promise you if they live there they are well aware of what it takes to get towed or booted. The majority of boots are between the hours of 10pm to 6am when residents are supposed to be able to park when they get home to rest & sleep for the night. Common sense needs to be used here people let me give you a tip and a good rule of thumb to go by. Generally speaking if you are on a BYU housing complex chances are they enforce. This is how it usually works %80 to %90 of the time. If you are a tenant a valid tenant parking permit is usually required adhered to your vehicles window. If you don’t have one for WHATEVER REASON DON”T PARK THERE YOU WILL GET BOOTED! I promise you that you will get booted don’t justify it to your landlord roommate mommy or daddy just KNOW you are in violation of NOT HAVING A PERMIT. Also, they will tow you if the only available spot happens to be a red zone or handicap spot that is why it is available is because it is a high risk tow spot not reserved for you UNLESS you have a handicap placard to display on your review or you are an emergency vehicle in need of a red zone. 1-Look for signs at the entrance this is law 2-If you don’t know specifics ASK 3-BYU housing has an honor code to uphold so these complexes enforce parking to prevent over night visitors and create parking for paying tenants. We obviously know parking is a problem! Shouldn’t the people who pay to live in these complexes have first dibs on being able to park not fighting friends family and visitors who DO NOT live there for a parking spot? You need to remind yourselves that this is a college town with a strict adherence to the BYU honor code. They don’t want a night life of friends congregating around town encouraging crime and violations around or near this church regulated school. They have curfew & regulations to discourage this which yes involves parking enforcement for these complexes. I wish the mayor good luck with a master solution for the growing number of students in the area as it is a real issue with parking.

  349. I was living in Alta apartments and had the required parking sticker. My car was totaled and I was given a rental car by the insurance company while I figured out what to do next. I parked in our lot and my rental car was booted. I paid to get the boot removed and followed the usual petition process through University Parking Enforcement, which they denied even though I was legitimately parked in my own lot. I have never heard of someone successfully petitioning University Parking Enforcement, regardless of the circumstances.

  350. Anonymous

    What a lot of people don’t understand is that insurance companies can dictate a lot of this. We own a duplex and a six-plex we have a parking lot that sits between the two buildings. Our insurance company requires that we do not allow non-residents to park in the lot. Their reasoning is that if something happens like a fire, they don’t want to be liable if a car gets damaged that doesn’t belong to someone living there. So the parking rules at apartment complexes are there for more reasons than just the convenience of the residents.

  351. Anonymous

    I’m glad that this is being brought up and it needs to be addressed. Good on you mayor for speaking up. Ask what happened in Orem Last year on black sunday near the wal-mart.

  352. Anonymous

    EVERYBODY, HERE IS A LINK TO UNIVERSITY PARKING ENFORCEMENT’S BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU PAGE. PLEASE DON’T LET YOUR VOICE BE PASSIVE, AND FILE A COMPLAINT WITH BBB IF YOU’VE HAD LEGITIMATE ISSUES WITH UPE:

    http://www.bbb.org/utah/business-reviews/towing-automotive/university-parking-enforcement-in-provo-ut-13001053/complaints

    Pass the link on as well! The owner, Michael Lamont, thrives off of this false image of them ‘being one of the good guys in a bad industry,’ and the BBB is one avenue of exposing them.

  353. I was moving into the Elms years ago. One of my roommates parked her car on the street and let me take her spot as my car was FULL of stuff and I had not picked up my parking sticker yet. I was there late Friday night and early Saturday morning I found a boot on my car. The booter was unwilling to negotiate though my roommate explained I was in her spot and it was ok, AND I was moving in myself, I just had to get my sticker. It was frustrating and simply wrong.

  354. Anonymous

    From Fox 13’s article on this

    “We’ve matched up a lot of these blog posts with actual company records,” said Michael Lamont, Owner of University Paring Enforcement. “The times aren’t working out or the fees aren’t really working out, as far as ones we’ve been named in.”-Michael Lamont

    The problem is that they lie about almost everything so why should we believe him now? 90% of the times and stories in this comment thread are accurate. University Towing should be shut down. I really do hope that everyone at University Towing and especially Michael Lamont die from some horrible disease.

  355. The most frustrating thing about much of downtown Provo after 7:00 PM is that the place is a ghost town. The banks have closed, most of the shop and gallery owners have left for the evening. The vast majority of parking lots are empty. There is no end to parking space in downtown Provo at night. Yet, more often than not, when I go to a show at Velour or Muse I am forced to hoof it several blocks through dark streets with no surveillance. And heaven forbid you’re visiting from out of town, because your car will be towed within minutes. At these venues they usually warn patrons before the shows begin, but it is often already too late.

    I am all for reasonable parking restrictions, especially on game days or during business hours, but I have to wonder what property/business owners in downtown Provo have to gain by preying upon the unsuspecting, long after their customers and employees have gone home for the evening. I know that it has affected my personal inclination to patronize downtown businesses, and I find myself making the trek up to Salt Lake on Friday nights. It’s a shame because it is a convenient location with lots of retail and PLENTY OF SPACE FOR PARKING!!!

  356. My husband and I had a friend visit us from France. He parked his rental in the strip mall parking on University Parkway behind BYU’s intramural fields at about 11:00 pm. Because he didn’t speak English he didn’t realize that he wasn’t supposed to park there. When he left us just before midnight his car had been towed. When we finally got a hold of the company it was after midnight. Apparently “midnight” is officially another day, so even though the company only held on the the car for just over an hour we had to pay the special two-day fee to retrieve the car. We asked to file a petition and were given some paperwork, which we filled out and gave to them. We never heard back–definitely not with a refund, and not even a “your petition has been rejected because…”

  357. On the night of the premiere of the Hunger Games movie, I went to pick up a friend, parking in her complex’s parking lot for a few minutes while she got ready. She took a few minutes, and when I walked out, a tow truck was behind my car. As I protested, the tow truck people shook their heads and said there was nothing they could do. I offered to just move my car, especially since they hadn’t hooked anything up yet. They hooked up my car while I was standing there, stewing, and charged me full price for them to unhook it.

    1. Anonymous

      very typical story. they do this all the time. Best option is to always jump in your car and drive away, even if that means driving over a lawn because they blocked you in.

      I hate University Towing

  358. Here is the “Provo Booters” video from the SpinStudentLife.com in 2007. It sounds like things have gotten worse since then.

  359. Anonymous

    Imagine if anytime, anywhere you broke a law – no matter how minor – you were instantly fined the maximum penalty and sent to jail. There would be no appeals, no mercy, no warnings, you instantly go to jail and pay your fines. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

    That is exactly what is happening with these predatory towing companies. They find a car in “violation”, immediately boot/tow it, and after you pay your fines then you’re released. The punishment for being in “violation” is excessive.

    I say “violation” because the cars in the majority of these stories are on private property, and are not in “violation” of any city laws, just “private property rules” which are not laws.

    The enforcement of these “violations” has grown out of hand. There is no due process, no appeals, no mercy, and the punishment is excessive.

  360. I had surgery on my ACL and was on crutches. I had been issued a temporary handicapped parking permit. My permit had slipped off of my rear view mirror onto the floor of my vehicle in sight and I was still towed. When I went to claim my vehicle, the handicapped parking permit was laying on the floor of my vehicle. They begrudgingly gave me a discount because of their mistake and only charged me $100.

  361. Mr. Mayor, Do you think we could reschedule the meeting to be on the 5th of November?

  362. Anonymous

    When I was dating my then fiance (now wife), I parked in her apartment’s restricted lot, walked her up to her door, talked for about 15 seconds and said goodbye. When I returned to the car after what was literally less than 3 minutes, I found a private parket enforcement employee putting a boot on my car. He was literally raising up from putting the boot on the tire when I quickly said, “I’m here, sorry, I’ll move.” He looked at me blankly and said, “I’m sorry, I can’t.” “What? I’m right here, I’ll move it right now.” He then robotically said he could cut the fine down from $100 to $50 (I believe that was the amount, but I believe it was cut in 1/2). He kept saying there was nothing he could do due to company policy. I angrily gave him my credit card and vowed to fight the ticket.

    I was of course furious as I had only been parked for 3 minutes and was there as he was putting the boot on, meaning he could have easily just taken it off. I tried to go through the same hoops that I’m sure others have to dispute the offense but I literally was never able to get anyone on the phone…it was always just the same voicemail message where I was told to leave my complaint. If I recall correctly, they did have office hours, but they were so limited, it was ridiculous that I, or anyone could even make it in time to talk to someone in person. They of course never got back to me and I joined the masses who had been royally accosted by the parking enforcement in Provo.

  363. Anonymous

    A few years ago when my wife ( then fiance ) were living in Provo, we were looking at duplexes in that newer neighborhood in South East Provo. The one right next to the mountain..4 miles south of campus. We drove out to visit with a disabled lady who was looking to sublease her condo to us. My wife and I had both lived in Provo for a number of years, and understood how these vultures (towing companies) work. As we pulled into the neighborhood that night, we kept a close look out for University towing signs. We saw none. We parked outside the condo, and visited with the lady for about 25 min. As we walked outside, our car was gone. I called University towing, and sure enough they confirmed that they had taken our car. My wife and I were completely stranded 10:00 at night miles away from where we were living. I had to call a friend to come get us. While we were waiting for him to come, we looked all around the neighborhood for tow signs and finally found the ONLY ONE! It was buried behind some bushes at the far end of the neighborhood. Seeing as it was at night, how were we supposed to see it???!! This is one of many reasons why we will never move back to provo

  364. Anonymous

    I got booted once while visiting my sister and her husband to watch General Conference. I had been borrowing her car for the semester. I parked in visitor parking (since I was a visitor) but got booted because there was a resident sticker on the car. I tried explaining it to the guy from University Parking who was going to make me pay to take the boot off that I parked in visitor parking since I actually was a visitor but he would’t do it. I even had the actual residents AND the manager of the complex talk to him to prove that I wasn’t a resident but he still wouldn’t take it off. He did seem to think it was logical that I, as a visitor would park in visitor parking but said “well, I’m basically already done the paperwork and everything for it so you’ll have to pay and try to get a refund at our office.” I think the majority of their employees are on a big power trip.

  365. D Crane

    I saw the article on KTVX news and I wanted to share an incident that happened to my son, who attends BTU. Last fall his jeep, which is our vehicle, was towed. We came down to find out why it was towed. My son was at a private residence taking a music lesson. He was parked in the driveway at the residence and the car was towed from the driveway. The towing company, Knight towing, could not say why it was towed. They only told us that they had authorization to tow anywhere on the block. We even had photos of the residence and there are no sign posted as to a tow ordinance. The address from where they said the car was towed was a non-existent address. We ended up paying over $200 to this company to get our car out of tow. I called Provo city police and talked to an officer. They would not address the towing issue.They said it was between us and the tow company. I feel my vehicle was stolen as my son was parked in an area that was not marked for tow zone. We ended up turning a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. We received a letter back saying the tow company refused to respond and that they would not do anything about it. At this point, we will not do business in Provo city. I feel these tow companies are predatory on the college students. Provo city allows free reign of these predators on our young people by allowing them to tow anywhere, anytime and with no accountability.

  366. Anonymous

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  367. Oh, my goodness, I am SO glad this is getting addressed! I’ve been meaning to write some kind of editorial about this because I’ve been seeing so many ridiculous problems with this! My first horrible experience with towing here in Provo came when I was moving out of my last apartment. My parents were visiting from out of town and generously offered to help me clean and move out. After spending hours helping me clean my apartment, we finally started making it out of the apartment around midnight. My dad had parked our car just right outside my door, and been driving back and forth to drop some of my things off at my aunt’s in Orem, and only stayed long enough for us to fill up the car with the next load of things. Finally, it was time for the last load. My dad just stepped away from the car long enough to double check and make sure there wasn’t anything else we needed to load, and was planning on coming right back. He even left the keys in the car, which he NEVER does, since he knew he would be leaving in just a minute. But within that very short amount of time, a tow truck had come, and we walked out just in time to see the tow truck driving away with our car, loaded with my things, and with my dad’s keys and mom’s purse still inside. Fortunately, we saw it driving away, and were able to grab someone to help follow after it, otherwise we would have had no idea where to go. They had no understanding whatsoever and charged us $250. How on earth is anyone supposed to move out of their own apartment if they can’t even leave a car there for two minutes to load all of their things???

    Another issue is that most places don’t have visitors parking. At my new apartment, there isn’t any visitors parking and there is no place on the side of the road for guests to park either. The worst of it is that there are empty spaces in the tenant parking, and once my roommate’s friend parked down there, unaware of the no-guest-parking situation, and got towed–but there were still plenty of free spaces! I think someone should only get towed if they are really hindering the actual tenants from parking, and the tenants actually call and report them. The tow truck companies have no need to prowl around and tow visitors from nearly empty parking lots. Otherwise, more options for guest parking need to be established.

    One other episode came when my boyfriend and I wanted to go for a walk in the park. We parked, and weren’t even fifteen feet from the car when we saw a little white Jeep approach the car. I recognized it as a parking police car so we walked back. The officer was writing us a ticket, saying that there was apparently no parking there after a certain time, which we were completely unaware of. We apologized and said that we had just arrived and could leave immediately, but he said, “Nope, I’m here, you’re here, you’re getting a citation.” There is just no mercy or understanding at all. We went to the park in the first place because there was no guest parking at my apartment where my boyfriend could park, but it seems that we can’t go anywhere without getting in trouble with the parking police or tow truck companies. I agree whole-heartedly;things are getting ridiculously carried away, and something seriously needs to be done about this so that tow truck companies will stop preying on and squeezing pennies out of poor college students, and so there actually are places for people, particularly visitors, to park.

  368. Anonymous

    I got booted in MY OWN PARKING SPOT for my apartment that I paid for in my rent because all of a sudden, a parking sticker was required in our lot (even though we each had our own designated parking spots and nobody else is allowed to park in mine). I was never informed about the new stickers, nor was I issued one. The boot cost me 75 dollars at a time when I did not have 75 dollars. It was University Towing and they claimed they would refund it if I emailed them explaining my situation. I did, they never responded.

  369. When I moved from Idaho to Provo to start college, my entire family came. When we arrived in Provo about 10:00 at night, we decided to stop at Costa Vida near Bulldog Ave for a very late dinner. It was a Saturday night, and there were cars everywhere. We circled the building trying to find a spot to park, and when we came around to the South side of the building, we saw the Costa Vida truck parked there, and parked next to that. 30 minutes later, we walked out of Costa Vida to find our car gone. Turns out, we were parked in Burger King’s parking lot, not Costa Vida’s. The reason the Costa Vida van could park there was because it was right up next to the building, and therefore wasn’t on Burger King’s property. We had NO idea we were parked in Burger King’s parking lot, and obviously a tow truck had to be parked across the street to watch us physically walk into Costa Vida and not Burger King. A couple mile walk down the road to the tow-truck yard, and $250 later, we got out car back. That was a nice welcome to P-Town.

  370. Anonymous

    When I moved into my apartment, I was told that I didn’t need a parking sticker to park in MY designated space. Well, I got booted while parked in my space. I payed the fee and got the boot off, and then promptly went to go find out where I could get a parking sticker. Before I could get my sticker, my car was booted again. That was TWICE in less than 24 hours in MY PERSONAL parking space.

    1. Anonymous

      It is amazing to me that so few people can just take responsibility for their actions. YOU parked in the wrong spot, YOU didn’t have a permit, YOU didn’t read the sign, YOU didn’t care, until the consequences came along. If you don’t want to follow the rules, you shouldn’t complain when you have to pay the piper.

  371. My car was stolen last week. I reported it stolen to the police as soon as I knew that it was missing. Two days later I got a call from the police stating that my vehicle had been found. Whoever had taken it had ditched it in the parking lot at Riviera. Since I don’t have a parking permit for that place, because I don’t live there and have never even actually been to that complex, my car got towed. After towing, the company then checked to see if the vehicle was stolen. Great. I called them up and asked if I could come get it. They told me it would be $175. I asked them politely if they could work with me to at least reduce the price since I was a victim of a crime. They refused. They failed to mention anything about tacking on an additional fee for “storage” and when I went to pick it up after work that day, the total came to $200. I again asked if they could do anything for me since I was a victim. They again refused. Seems messed up that these guys get to make a profit off of victims of theft. If that’s the case then car thieves who ditch the car somewhere for it to get towed must be a dream come true for the towing companies. It’d be nice if they had to check if the vehicle was stolen or not BEFORE they towed it. The very least they could do would be to reduce the price for victims.

    Here is a link to the KSL story about my situation: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=22627636&nid=148&title=towing-company-says-impound-fees-responsibility-of-stolen-cars-owner&s_cid=queue-4

  372. When I lived at Monticello on 800 N in provo I got towed on Christmas Eve. I was staying at my parent’s house over the break but had to go back to my apartment to get some stuff. Since it was snowing my dad let me drive his jeep instead of my car because I don’t have 4 wheel drive. So I didn’t have a sticker on his car but the parking lot was completely empty because it was break so I parked in the spot right infront of my door (three spaces over from my actual parking spot) which belonged to my roommate who was in California for the holiday. I was in my apartment for about an hour and when I came out my car was gone. We had to pay $250 to get it back.

    The towing companies are vicious. Just because you can tow someone doesn’t always mean it is necessary. Towing companies are hired to keep other people from parking in apartment lots for long periods of time which would prevent the tenants from having parking. Towing one car from an empty lot does a service for no one.

    Also, the problem is that apartment complexes don’t have enough parking for all of their tenants. The city keeps approving complexes that only have enough spaces for 60-70% of tenants, and it only makes the problem worse. Especially because the new complexes are typically where the kids with cars decide to live.

    1. What towing company was it? Do you remember exactly? It would help if we had some evidence of repeat offenders of towing misconduct. I was towed by Knight’s Parking Enforcement, who is a sister company to Amber something Towing, and a few other names.

  373. Anonymous

    Many experiences:
    1) Walked my date to her door at Belmont (parked in a random slot, and left my hazards on to let them know I’d be right back – 90% of the spots were open), 2 minutes later I got back and my car had been towed. The tow guy also caused a 2 foot crack in my front wind shield and I had really no proof, and therefore no recourse.
    2) Got booted in my own parking lot at University Avenue Condos – had a sticker and all. The guy refused to take the boot off until I payed and told me to go through the company – after an hour of arguing with him, I payed him. I sent 7 emails to the company, no response. I went in multiple times, and was quickly brushed to the side each time and told the manager was out, every time.
    3)Got towed for parking ON the parking slot line at King Henry. They said it was improper parking. Has anyone here parked at King Henry? My Honda Accord doesn’t fit between the lines there.
    4)Got towed for parking the wrong direction on the street – apparently you have to park with the flow of traffic.

    In the last three years I HAVE SPENT OVER $750 because of predatory towing practices. There is only one reason I ever lift my middle finger – and that is EVERY time I see a tow truck in Provo.

  374. Anonymous

    While I was living in the Raintree apartments, where I also had a parking pass, there was snow covering many of the lines in the parking lot. I pulled in that night at the very end of the parking lot(with 50+ vacant spots at 11 p.m.), and apparently made the unfortunate error of parking with 1 wheel into the next stall(empty, as were the 50 other adjacent spots), and came out an hour later to take my fiance home only to find a boot on my car. I called them, they came, I complained to no avail. Seems a little much when the lines aren’t clear due to the snow.

  375. I went to a potluck on a dark, rainy Sunday evening. I didn’t want to park in the complex parking lot because I didn’t want to get a ticket, so I parked in an empty parking lot (long after the business would have been closed had it been open on a Sunday in the first place)thinking that would be the considerate thing to do. I came back less than an hour later and my car was gone. Walked home in the pouring rain at 10pm. I had class the next day from 9-5, and found that I had to pay an EXTRA $70 because I couldn’t pick it up soon enough. On top of that, they don’t accept checks. I was furious.

    1. What complex were you visiting? What lot did you park your car in? This situation sounds very similar to mine.

  376. Anonymous

    I’m a very poor Return Mission student living a block away from University Parking Enforcement (unfortunately). I had to borrow my brother’s scooter less than two weeks into the semester. I parked the scooter in my apartment parking lot and came out the next morning to find it gone. At first I thought it was stolen until I realized it had probably been impounded. I had to pay $175 at the beginning of the semester to get it out. Not only that, but I was late for work which made me miss out on more money. ISN’T THE POINT OF PARKING PENALTIES TO teach the trespasser to correct their action? I THINK MOST POOR STUDENTS WOULD UNDERSTAND THEY HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN PARKING AND CHANGE IN THE FUTURE BY PAYING A $25 TICKET, NOT AN EXPENSIVE BOOT OR TOWING CHARGE! Sheesh!

  377. Anonymous

    Sometimes you do run into good people at tow companies. I am one of those blessed ones. You hate them when you are knowingly in the wrong, you love them when you’re not.

    Recently, my apartment manager got permission for our complex to park our vehicles in a business’ parking lot while our parking structure was repaired. The business manager allowed us to park cars there during their non-business hours (night-morning). Our apt manager let us know it would be a good idea to go move our cars 10-15min before the curfew expired and also gave us permits to put on our dash that showed who to contact at the business about the permission, the times we were allowed to park, our contact info, and our landlord’s info. Day 7 of parking overnight at the business, I went to move my car 15min before the curfew and found the boot sticker on my car. I was the only car in the lot at that time. I actually laughed about it, then went into to the business offices, found someone in charge, showed that I was allowed to park there, and I arrived in plenty of allowable time, and then without asking, the store manager called the towing company to remove my sticker. Done. Towing fella was nice, but probably because I smiled and waved as he came up to my car (I don’t think they see that too often). I calmly showed him the times I was allowed to park there. Just turns out the company was misinformed about what time they could boot/tow and how many days we were going to be allowed to park there overnight (wish whoever placed the boot would have read the permit and made a phone call either to the business or their boss though; ability to recognize when and needed initiative to go beyond the norms of work). The strong, buff fellow took the boot off and we left with a friendly handshake (he offered his hand to me).

  378. Tom Jarman

    I don’t mind the towing companies. If not for them, there would never be a place to park where I live. I have been towed once before, and since then, I always check to ensure that where I am parked is not going to create problems for me.

  379. This comment has been removed by the author.

  380. I moved into my new apartment complex the second week of August 2012. Upon my arrival I found a note from the management of the property stating that because new parking permits would not be available until a later date, parking would not be enforced until September 28, 2012. Having this letter on-hand and double-checking with the current residents that this was indeed the case, I felt comfortable parking in the back lot of my complex. The very next morning (August 11, 2012) I found my car booted and when I called to explain the situation they told me that I would still have to pay the fine to remove the boot and to get my money back I would need to go through the appeals process. I contacted my property manager to be sure that I had understood the note currently and he assured me that they were not supposed to be enforcing parking. He called and left UPE a message clarifying such and encouraged me to submit an appeal.

    Upon submitting the appeal I was instructed that the process could take up to 6 weeks. About 8 weeks later, I still have not heard anything. I made several phone calls and emailed multiple times trying to find out what was going on. Neither my phone calls nor emails were responded to. I physically went into the office and spoke to an employee who reluctantly explained that my appeal had been misfiled and they had not even looked at it yet. He told me they would review it the next day and have it in the mail by Friday, October 5, 2012. Knowing this I waited until October 13th to contact management again because I still had not received an answer. The manager responded that my appeal response had been mailed out Wednesday of that week (October 10, 2012) and that it was now in the hands of the postal service. He advised me to be patient and give it a few more days. On October 19th I received the notice that I had been reimbursed $25 (half of the price of the boot fine) and noticed that the check had not been written until October 16, 2012 and that it was post-marked October 18th. I was furious over the fact that I had not received my full amount back and that the manager had blatantly misled me about when my appeal was sent.

    For the record, I am STILL fighting them on this.

  381. On October 16, 2012, my roommate and I were going to visit a friend at Alpine Village on Freedom Boulevard. We didn’t want to get a parking ticket for using Alpine Village’s parking, so I decided to park at the empty lot of Taylor’s Bike Shop, right across the street. I parked my car at around 10:30 and when I came back out later that night, I found that my car was no longer there! It was towed by Knight’s Parking Enforcement. I called the company and figured out where my car would be, then agreed to meet them at the impound lot. Due to their terrible directions, I found myself wandering through a trailer park at about 1:00 AM all by myself. I finally got a hold of them again and they told me to meet them out in front of the impound lot in 5 minutes. I waited there until two shady characters in their mid to late 20’s showed up. They both smelled like smoke and acted like they were amused by my business. It turns out that they towed my car at 10:45 PM, not even 15 minutes after I parked at the bike shop!! There is no way that they could have gotten to my car that fast unless they were sitting somewhere nearby, watching that lot. I was furious, but gave Chris my debit card and made the payment… It ended up costing me $229, even though the hidden and poorly-lit sign in front of Taylor’s Bike Shop said it was $145. They kept adding on bogus fees, such as a full-day storage fee of $25 and a fuel surcharge of $29 (to tow my car two blocks away.) I wish I would have known about this problem at the time, and maybe I would have given them a harder time, or tried to threaten them with a lawsuit.
    I am also suspicious of the 24-hour laundromat next door to Taylor’s Bike Shop. If you are a customer of the laundromat, then you have permission to park there. But I’m wondering if somebody in the laundromat is being paid, behind the scenes, to watch the parking lot and notify Knight’s. This would be giving Knight’s Parking Enforcement business, while putting a little extra cash in the pocket of an unknown middle-man.
    I want to stage a stakeout by parking in the same spot, then actually going into the laundromat to do laundry. I wonder what would happen then… Would they come and try to tow me anyway? Would they even come in the laundromat to check if it was my car? What if I was in the bathroom when they came in to check?
    SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!! I will personally appear in court to testify against these vulture towing companies! I would like my money back, but I doubt that will happen. However, it would make me feel good to know that rip-off towing companies like Knight’s Parking Enforcement get put in their place, or even out of business.

  382. Anonymous

    The towing companies give kickbacks to the property owners that allow them to tow cars off their property. This is actually against the laws and regulations already enacted in Provo. The towing companies give the kickbacks in the form of services like changing flat tires, assisting when keys get locked in the car, etc. Additionally, even if you are present when they are starting to boot your car, they charge you $50. They should not be able to pay their employees on commission. They should not be allowed to give kickbacks. And they should be required to unboot your car for free if you see them while they are booting your car.

  383. I was at a friend’s birthday party. Almost all her guests, including me, had parked along the street in front of her house. We saw no signs or indication that we had to park otherwise. After a couple of hours, we discovered that for almost an hour the city had been towing and booting around 15 people’s cars, mine included. They stated that some sign back at the beginning of the street designated it as a “private road”.
    Now I can understand towing if me and maybe one or two other people had missed the sign. But if almost TWENTY PEOPLE missed the same sign, it obviously was not placed in a visible position and therefore the city’s fault. Paid $200 to get my car back that night.

  384. Amy

    I was once dating a guy whose car died in the parking lot of my apartment complex at the time, Glenwood. It was after 11 PM in the Summer when there were plentiful parking spots available. He decided to wait until the morning to get estimates on where he should have his car towed to for repairs. We left a note on the car asking not to have it towed because it was dead, but alas, when he returned the next morning, his car was towed. We never went out again. I think somehow I got blamed for the car being towed since it was at my apartment.

  385. I showed a property in provo, mind you to help the neighborhood by selling the home and we weren’t in the property but 5 min and already had a parking violation ticket on my windshield, needless to say my client that at the time had some interest in the property no longer wants it because of that turn off.

  386. Anonymous

    I’ve watched a tow truck lift up a car NEXT to the one it was trying to tow. Had that been MY car, properly parked, I would have been upset that they were moving it around. Towing companies have the equipment to steal vehicles, and that makes me nervous.

    And their trucks have come within an inch or two of my car before as they tow other vehicles out of the lot. I’ve been ready with my camera in case they bump/scratch/ding my car, but would I be assured reconciliation if they did damage? Some of these lots are small and there’s no way for them to maneuver.

  387. Anonymous

    Stop whining about consequences for breaking rules. If the sign says 10 they can tow you at 10:01 and it doesn’t make them mean or unfair or a bad person. You are the one breaking the rules. What Provo needs is parking garages instead of No Parking signs all over.

  388. Anonymous

    Recently I sold my car and bought an old one to pay for school and bills. I parked the car at the apartment complex where I lived and got a temporary parking permit from the property management company where I lived. I put the permit up and hung it on the rear view mirror and parked the car overnight in the parking lot WHERE I LIVED. That night, I left the window cracked and the permit blew down onto the front driver’s seat. The next day I came out to use my car and found a boot. I explained the guy from the towing company that I lived there and had a permit and showed him the permit ON THE FRONT SEAT before I even opened the car. He told me there was nothing I could do (I even called my apartment complex manager who said there was nothing she could do.) I put her on the phone with the towing guy and she verified that I lived there and had a permit, but he still would not remove the boot and told me I’d have to make an appeal. I was in a hurry so I had no choice to pay him, even after showing him my valid permit. I made an appeal and took a few pictures of my car with its permit on the seat. Predictably they never got back to me. I called again and they said they had no record of the incident. These companies are not a service. They are a dishonest predatory industry here and are only in business because we haven’t come up with a better solution. It sucks.

  389. Barbara and I decided to meet our son Blake at Thai Village restaurant for dinner this evening. We both arrived and found that while most restaurants were very busy tonight, Thai Village was closed. We were disappointed because we recently had some excellent curry at Thai Village.

    We decided leave one car in the Thai Village parking lot and go to a different restaurant together in one car. We were certain no one would mind since the restaurant was closed and we are customers of that restaurant. If I were the owner, I certainly wouldn’t mind letting a customer who was disappointed to find my restaurant closed use the parking lot while going elsewhere to eat. In fact, as an owner that would be exactly what I would want a customer of mine to do.

    Upon our return we were surprised to find that our car had been towed. Not towed from a busy parking lot where we were taking up a valuable space from a customer who wanted to use Thai Village’s services, but from an empty parking lot at night belonging to a business that wasn’t open this evening. This towing “service” was provided by Amber/KPE/Express towing- a predatory company trolling empty parking lots trying to make money from situations where towing is just not justifiable. I have read the state ordinances regarding towing and while their fees are mostly likely compliant with the maximum amount allowed by law, paying $214.50 to be towed two or three miles is outrageous and absolutely feels like theft. I spoke to the Provo Police who are powerless to do anything because a crime was not committed since the parking lot is private property.

    I plan to speak with the owner of that restaurant as well as other businesses in the area using this towing company and ask them to terminate their towing agreements. This kind of activity hurts rather than helps our local business owners. I would also like to see the laws changed so that towing is restricted to ethical, rational, justifiable situations. Anything you can do to help curb the kind of predatory activity we encountered this evening would be greatly appreciated.

  390. Similar story, I don’t often visit provo so I didn’t whole business about parking lots closing. So after visiting a friend at her apartment I can out at 2am to find my car gone. This event has caused me to vow to never return to provo unless I have to, which is too bad, grad school there would have been great, but parking is a number one pet peeve with me and school. If my car is not welcome there then I assume I am not either. Sorry Provo! Come visit me in Salt Lake!

  391. It’s unbelievable, These type of errors are also happen in the big cities. It’s totally related to the activeness of he person.IF peoples, Vehicles Park in Commercial Parking. These happenings are avoidable.

  392. Brad

    Tonight, Express Towing (credit card receipt says Express & the invoice says “K.P.E.”) towed my 16 year old daughter’s car from the lot at Pro Title Co. by the Velour. She had gone with friends & had a great time at a concert. When she pulled into the lot at 7PM there was very thick fog & the one temporary sign warning 24 hour towing at the closed business was not visible. When she pulled up in the parking space there was a wall in front of her-a perfect place to put no parking signs. If she had been able to see a sign she wouldn’t have parked there. None were posted there. I have owned a sign company in Provo since 1995 & my dad started the company here in Provo in 1958. Most of this time to tow a car required posting every space. I called the Provo non-emergency police number & asked if it was legal to just post one sign sign per entire property & not per space & the dispatcher was very familiar with the situation & said some businesses are now “contracting” with tow companies & that the practice of barely meeting the law by placing one sign on a lot & tow companies being familiar with the hours of show times at places like the Velour is rampant & accepted by the city. I asked the dispatcher if the property owners get kickbacks from the tow companies which I assume to be the case. My little girl who was so proud to have a Friday night out & spend the $30 she had saved from her part time job is tonight tearfully promising to pay her parents back the $214 we lent her. It’ll take her weeks to pay us back at the rate she earns. When she & I went to pick her car up I asked the 25 year old inside the shack at the yard if he was at the lot taking my daughter’s car & did he think the thick fog blocking any view of their sign warranted a reduction in what she owed. We pay Don Shelley towing located here in Provo $50 to come cross-town & tow anywhere in Provo. Their charges seemed steep. The other employee standing outside the shack heard me ask this & ordered me to leave, to get off their property several times. I told them we were going to pay & take our car with us or I’d call Provo PD. They let me pay & we took our car while I was baited & insulted by the one employee. I feel Provo City is complicit in this activity. Going back to the simple law of requiring every stall to be signed would stop most of us from ever having a parking problem. By the way I quit doing signs years ago & I’m not looking to get rich making parking signs. As it stands, Provo is a finely tuned parking trap.
    There are reasons businesses over the years have left or located outside of Provo. This is one to add to my list. As I left my business this afternoon & I choked on the stench coming from the green waste dump that’s contracted with Provo City-way worse that Kuni’s smell ever was. This stinks Too!

  393. I know this is an old post but a few years ago my boyfriend (now husband) helped me into my apartment with some laundry because it was a dark area near the Provo river, late at night, and he wanted to make sure I was safe. My apartment was very close to the lot, so we couldn’t have been gone more than two minutes. He arrived back outside to find a University Parking employee getting back in the car. He called me and we tried to explain the situation to him, he hadn’t even printed the receipt yet. Instead he said he couldn’t remove it unless we gave him $50. Awesome.

  394. This happened today. Went to pick up my date and 5 minutes later come back to find my car towed. $229 to get my car back. Ridiculous.

  395. Erin

    I took one weekend to visit Provo and see friends going to school there. I parked in my friend’s apartment parking lot (BYU approved housing) and she told me that it she had never heard of anybody having been booted there so as long as I was out of the parking lot by 10:30, I should be fine. I showed up to the parking lot shortly after 10:30 to find my car booted. I called the booting company and then had to wait 45 minutes for him to show up so that I could pay the $75 fine to get the boot off.

  396. Renee

    My son just moved to Provo on Monday. Had the apt rented for a month before he was even able to get down there. Filled out the paper work for a parking pass….sorry you are on a waiting list we are all out. Think there was a misunderstanding about what the PARKING PASS means. There was NO explanation of TOWING either. He had been working on his car after coming home from his mission and doesn’t have much money and neither do we. How do you rent an apt out without a place to park??? Wednesday night it got towed. $176.00. He had to work on it and to move it to the lot next door in the shade. Was not going to leave it there, had gone in the apt came out….got towed again….$206.00. Someone is making bank off of poor kids and unsuspecting people. Where is someone to park in PROVO when they live there and don’t have a PARKING PASS? Did they run out of ink need a temporary pass? They need to be more specific and maybe, just maybe give a warning instead of putting the blood money in their pockets. Not every one in there on Mommy and Daddy’s dime and there are real people that struggle and have to