Predatory parking? BBB says spies may be watching

Predatory parking? BBB says spies may be watching

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new report from the Better Business Bureau says spies may be watching you at private parking lots across the city.

According to the BBB, people are actually spying on lots and are just waiting to write parking tickets. They are parking attendants watching from a distance.

Kyle Kavas, who just happens to work for the BBB, said it happened to her Thursday night.

She says she parked in a lot to get a coffee at Starbucks then decided to quickly pick something up across the street at JELDWEN Field. A minute later Kavas says she found a parking attendant putting a ticket on her car.

"The company makes it seem like they are waiting to ticket people," Kavas said.

She says she explained to the man that she was a customer at Starbucks, one of the businesses attached to the lot, but he refused to tear up the ticket.

"He said, 'Nope, I have it all on camera. I was watching you from across the street. I'm issuing you a ticket right now.'"

The company he works for, Pacific Audit Solutions, patrols more than 150 parking lots across Portland.

Kavas was well aware of who was putting the ticket on her car because, as the spokeswoman for the Oregon Better Business Bureau, she was already preparing a report on Pacific Audit Solutions.

The report gives the company a D-minus.

According to the BBB, it has received 27 complaints about Pacific Audit since 2009 – not a huge number according to Kavas – but she says there is a pattern of people who say they "paid the proper fees" and still got tickets. Other drivers reported "improperly signed" parking lots and "malfunctioning ticketing machines."

It was just March when another woman, Barbara McNasser, told KATU News about getting a ticket after not seeing what she described as deceiving signs.

"It's just this little tiny thing saying who we are and you're not allowed to park here," she said.

The manager of Pacific Audit Solutions told KATU News the company made its signs more visible after its investigation first exposed the parking problem, and she says the company is cooperating with the BBB to clear up all disputed tickets.

But the BBB says Pacific Audit Solutions has not responded to the latest complaints and refuses to arbitrate with consumers. It's just more reasons why the BBB says it's giving Pacific Audit Solutions the D-minus report card.

The manager of Pacific Audit Solutions says her company is in 100 percent compliance with all Portland parking codes.