Did you know that valet parking services at hotels are usually provided by third party vendors, not actual hotel employees?
Typically when a valet parking fiasco strikes, like keys getting lost, and cars getting damaged or even stolen, hotel management points their finger at the valet company and says "We have nothing to do with that. Deal with the valet company."
This denial of responsibility often takes customers by surprise, since they assumed they were dealing with a quality, customer-focused hotel that values their guests.
Welcome to the real world!
This is straight out of the hotel manager's playbook at many top brand hotels. They immediately pass the buck and shoo away the victims!
A hotel customer in Houston experienced this at the Doubletree Hilton by the Galleria in Houston, Texas in May 2015.
He paid $50 to keep the car upfront, according to a KTRK ABC News report.
By morning, it was gone. The valets had allegedly given the car away during the night.
According to the report, a man claiming the 2014 Porsche Panamera told the valet he left his claim ticket in his room.
Apparently, that was a believable story. The car has not been seen since.
The hotel told the victim to deal with the valet company. Well, it turns out the valet company had insurance that covered damage, but not vehicle theft.
The victim's own insurance company was only willing to pay $68,000, according to this article by Chron.com.
Unfortunately, according to the story, the replacement value of the car is around $125,000. Also very unfortunately, the customer is still paying his $2000 per month auto loan payments (YOW!), even though his car has been missing for over a year.
So now the victim is suing the valet company and entities associated with the hotel. More than a year later, the matter still appears to be nowhere close to being resolved. (And the legal fees obviously are piling up.)
It's a great case for why you should have a valet client photo ID attached to the one key you give the valet attendant. I offered these on Kickstarter and nobody wanted one.
If those valets saw that the photo on the ID did not match the face of the person claiming the car, probably the story of the lost Porsche would never had happened.
I blame the hotel for contracting with a valet company that had inadequate insurance.
I blame the valet company for not training their employees well enough.
And I blame the victim for not taking adequate precautions.