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valet parking... took her for a spin

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Old 08-09-2018, 10:08 AM
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Default valet parking... took her for a spin

I know for fact that a someone from the valet parking at the hotel were I stayed overnight, took my car for a drive, 15 miles more showed up in the morning and dynamic drive engaged. I do have an appointment, for other reasons, next week with my dealership, but itís unclear whether theyíll be able to retrieve any informations from our first chat.
Iím trying to retrieve information from the car that can prove their wrongdoing. Do you think it could be possible to retrieve any kind of infos from the computer system, like drive time, speed, location (I wish), etc..? I generally donít use valet parking but they left me know choice.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:36 AM
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Disclaimer- I am not a lawyer

I am not sure what your legal options are. To file suit, you have to have damages. To have damages you must have...well, damages: is the car dirty to where it now needs a detail? Are there squeaks or rattles or handling issues which require repair? Are interior components damaged e.g. scratches from a wedding band on your leather steering wheel (that happened to me from a valet once, and I made the valet company replace it...true story)? Are your expensive tires measurably less in tread than they were before? Can you get an affidavit from a certified Audi mechanic stating that the car was improperly driven and will likely experience premature failure down the road to the extent of $X or has diminished in value by $Y as a result of this experience?

If so, great... you could bring suit in small claims court and likely recover those costs. You would need to prove you have damages; dashcam footage would probably seal the deal but it sounds like you don't have one. Otherwise it is your word against the valet company's and you would need timestamped photos of the odometer etc before/after, data from an app, etc. to try your best to prove it.

If not, well, you'd be able to sue for the $2 of gas drained from your tank at most.

But if you don't have damages that result in personal out of pocket money for yourself, you are going to have no basis to file suit and recover anything. In the US at least it is not usually possible to sue for "inconvenience" or "pain and suffering" or other such auxiliary costs unless there are also damage. It will be difficult to prove that 15 extra miles on your odometer have measurable damages that are even worth the filing fee.

As far as your non-legal options go...maybe do this:
1. Call the hotel and explain the situation. Maybe they will award you some loyalty points or a free night's stay to make this go away. If that gets you nowhere,
2. Call the valet company. At minimum they may fire the guy, which to quote Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, "It would have been worth him doing it if I could catch him doing it." If that doesn't get anywhere,
3. Call the local news. They might be very interested to do a 6pm piece on a certain valet company joyriding in customer's $60K luxury cars while guests sleep at a local hotel. You could use explain to the two parties above that this is your next step if they do not take this seriously, as leverage.

Edit...and in the future, don't ever valet a nice car again. I learned this lesson a long time ago. The correct option here is always "self valet, here's $40 for the use of one of your curbside valet spots for the night...but I'm keeping the keys with me."

Last edited by mplsbrian; 08-09-2018 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mplsbrian View Post
Disclaimer- I am not a lawyer

Edit...and in the future, don't ever valet a nice car again. I learned this lesson a long time ago. The correct option here is always "self valet, here's $40 for the use of one of your curbside valet spots for the night...but I'm keeping the keys with me."
NEVER, EVER valet park a car you care about!!!!?

WHY?? ďWatch Ferris Buellerís Day OffĒ ó that provides the answer.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:54 AM
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Maybe you can ask the hotel for a review of the video surveillance of the car departing and then returning...
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by uberwgn View Post
Maybe you can ask the hotel for a review of the video surveillance of the car departing and then returning...
Yes - that is your best bet for some sort of proof that the car was officially used in a 'joyriding' manner. Probably take a loooong time to review that footage if they let you.

Depending upon the state the offense occurred, there may be options available to you.

https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.co...-joyriding.htm

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Old 08-09-2018, 11:17 AM
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I worked in the hospitality industry for almost 10 years ranging from the Sheraton up to the St. Regis. I worked in Security when I was at the St. Regis before moving into accounting. This is the number one luxury hotel in Houston only real competition is the Four Seasons downtown. I'll be completely honest with you. If you don't have any damages the hotel is not going to do anything. If you do have damages and you are not able to prove the valet caused the damages then they still will not do anything. If I worked there I would honestly be scratching my head trying to figure out exactly what you are trying to accomplish if there are no damages. I would be upset as well if it was my vehicle but **** happens and are we really that in love with our vehicles that you're this up in arms over 15 miles? I don't know maybe I just don't fully see the picture. There has to be more important things going on in ones life.

Last edited by evanseric21; 08-09-2018 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by evanseric21 View Post
I worked in the hospitality industry for almost 10 years ranging from the Sheraton up to the St. Regis. I worked in Security when I was at the St. Regis before moving into accounting. This is the number one luxury hotel in Houston only real competition is the Four Seasons downtown. I'll be completely honest with you. If you don't have any damages the hotel is not going to do anything. If you do have damages and you are not able to prove the valet caused the damages then they still will not do anything. If I worked there I would honestly be scratching my head trying to figure out exactly what you are trying to accomplish if there are no damages. I would be upset as well if it was my vehicle but **** happens and are we really that in love with our vehicles that you're this up in arms over 15 miles? I don't know maybe I just don't fully see the picture. There has to be more important things going on in ones life.
While I agree with you with regards to the likely outcome, I disagree with the bolded piece.

It's the principle of this thing.

Today's it's 15 miles and no damage on an A5.

Tomorrow's it's 30 miles on an RS5.

Next week it's 60 on an R8.

And next month it's a priceless vintage collector that the owner brings out once a year to stay at this hotel with his wife on their anniversary, and the valet careens it into a barricade. Or it's a brand new RS7 that the valet hits a pedestrian with, and now that car is seized into police custody for a year+ while awaiting trial, and the owner is forced to maintain loan payments on it the whole time.

Which of these do you pursue? Do you say nothing until it's the last scenario? Or do you nip that s#!t right in the bud before this joker of a valet service hurts someone or their property?

Good info to those who posted about joyriding laws. Didn't know that was a thing but happy to see it was a thing. I didn't even consider that...then again, as stated IANAL.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mplsbrian View Post
While I agree with you with regards to the likely outcome, I disagree with the bolded piece.

It's the principle of this thing.

Today's it's 15 miles and no damage on an A5.

Tomorrow's it's 30 miles on an RS5.

Next week it's 60 on an R8.

And next month it's a priceless vintage collector that the owner brings out once a year to stay at this hotel with his wife on their anniversary, and the valet careens it into a barricade. Or it's a brand new RS7 that the valet hits a pedestrian with, and now that car is seized into police custody for a year+ while awaiting trial, and the owner is forced to maintain loan payments on it the whole time.

Which of these do you pursue? Do you say nothing until it's the last scenario? Or do you nip that s#!t right in the bud before this joker of a valet service hurts someone or their property?

Good info to those who posted about joyriding laws. Didn't know that was a thing but happy to see it was a thing. I didn't even consider that...then again, as stated IANAL.
I appreciate your feedback. I think your examples are a bit extreme though. Obviously anything can happen but that is not what happened and I don't like to play the what if game. I just feel that some people on these forums have an addictive kind of infatuation with their vehicles that I just don't have. My vehicle is a luxury toy. For instance I do not look at my miles when I get my car valet parked. I think that is a bit extreme but again that's my opinion. Bringing this up to the manager at the hotel or the valet manager would cause them to have a talk with the individual. They are fully aware of the risk and do not want to pay for a new vehicle or even worse medical bills or lawsuits. Now if there were damage of course this would be a whole different conversation. Also reading the laws in that article regarding joyriding would not apply to this situation. He gave them permission to drive the car when he handed them the keys. They also did not deprive the owner of the car. Neither one of those arguments would hold up in court. I get it he is pissed someone drove his car, but dude make a complaint and get on with your life. There are real problems in this world.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:55 PM
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Iím well aware of the challenges. Itís mostly a matter of principle and I want to teach them a lesson. Also look at it this way... someone that you donít know comes in your living room and uses it at his pleasure, how would you feel? Second there could be legal implications. I donít know were these guys went, they couldíve gone to rob a bank as far as Iím concerned. They could have gone through red lights recklessly. So, I have reasons to worry about it and I want to take precautions.
By the way at first manager agreed watch the video together, but then, obviously his supervisor made it impossible...

thanks for for sharing your thoughts!
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mplsbrian View Post
Disclaimer- I am not a lawyer

I am not sure what your legal options are. To file suit, you have to have damages. To have damages you must have...well, damages: is the car dirty to where it now needs a detail? Are there squeaks or rattles or handling issues which require repair? Are interior components damaged e.g. scratches from a wedding band on your leather steering wheel (that happened to me from a valet once, and I made the valet company replace it...true story)? Are your expensive tires measurably less in tread than they were before? Can you get an affidavit from a certified Audi mechanic stating that the car was improperly driven and will likely experience premature failure down the road to the extent of $X or has diminished in value by $Y as a result of this experience?

If so, great... you could bring suit in small claims court and likely recover those costs. You would need to prove you have damages; dashcam footage would probably seal the deal but it sounds like you don't have one. Otherwise it is your word against the valet company's and you would need timestamped photos of the odometer etc before/after, data from an app, etc. to try your best to prove it.

If not, well, you'd be able to sue for the $2 of gas drained from your tank at most.

But if you don't have damages that result in personal out of pocket money for yourself, you are going to have no basis to file suit and recover anything. In the US at least it is not usually possible to sue for "inconvenience" or "pain and suffering" or other such auxiliary costs unless there are also damage. It will be difficult to prove that 15 extra miles on your odometer have measurable damages that are even worth the filing fee.

As far as your non-legal options go...maybe do this:
1. Call the hotel and explain the situation. Maybe they will award you some loyalty points or a free night's stay to make this go away. If that gets you nowhere,
2. Call the valet company. At minimum they may fire the guy, which to quote Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, "It would have been worth him doing it if I could catch him doing it." If that doesn't get anywhere,
3. Call the local news. They might be very interested to do a 6pm piece on a certain valet company joyriding in customer's $60K luxury cars while guests sleep at a local hotel. You could use explain to the two parties above that this is your next step if they do not take this seriously, as leverage.

Edit...and in the future, don't ever valet a nice car again. I learned this lesson a long time ago. The correct option here is always "self valet, here's $40 for the use of one of your curbside valet spots for the night...but I'm keeping the keys with me."
This is the way to go! I always toss them a few extra bucks and ask them to leave it up front and sometimes I just pull it up myself and they are perfectly fine with that.
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