TV news organizations love a good valet parking fiasco story...

The website "" titles the story: "Valet Service Forgets To Mention They Smashed Customer's Porsche."

CBS News 13 Sacramento titles it: "Valet Crashed My Car And Didn't Tell Me."

That's the way it is... A typical valet parking service will do all they can to squirm out of a damage claim. Generally, they aren't going to tell you about damage they caused. It's up to you to find it.

The consumer in this story didn't find the damage until after he left. THAT'S BAD.

In this situation the usual line is: "Since you drove your car off our ramp, a fair determination of where the damage actually occurred cannot be made. Therefore we are denying your claim."

Most people give up at that point. 

Driving away before you find the damage drastically reduces your chances of getting compensation, but there still is slim a chance. You have to dig in and fight.

This consumer got lucky and found a witness to the incident. Then he got ballsy and got a TV news station involved. 

Television news stations are receptive to these stories. Valet parking fiascoes are sensational, attract viewers, and have strong viral potential.

If you have a really bad valet parking experience, this is a viable avenue for bringing pressure down on your opponent.

Give them a chance to make it right first. But don't show your cards. Just be firm about the treatment you expect, the timeline you expect, and the compensation package you expect. Your demands should be in proportion to the damage and hassle caused.

If your reasonable terms are being ignored, don't give them any warning. Just whack them with a high visibility story. Maybe your opponent will change their position, like how things seemed to have worked out with this story.

In another part of the country, a woman's keys disappeared after handing them to a valet service. She got NEWS4 in St. Louis involved.

Yes, her keys were returned several hours after they went missing, but this customer wanted her locks re-keyed. All of them! After the valet company resisted, she brought in the media and got results.

Why somebody would hand a valet service the keys to their life is something I don't understand. Valet services lose keys. (My blog article about what to do after a valet service loses your keys is my most popular article!)

Anyway, it's not a particularly scandalous story, but this news station still bit on it. Valet parking fiasco stories are of interest to them.

Got a fantastically bad valet story happening? Need some muscle to move things along in your favor? Go to the number one television news station in your area. Get in touch with their consumer reporter. See what happens.



"What to do when valet damages your car..."