FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- My husband was stupid enough to try to save a little money and park our car with United Airport Parking / USA Auto Rental in Ft. Lauderdale when we went on our cruise in February 2009. He found United Airport Parking on the internet and because the web site looked professional and the rate was far less then any other company that offered parking for Port Everglades he made a reservation and prepaid for a weeks worth of parking.
This place is a dump. Unkempt with knee high weeds. It was down right scary. All sorts of junk cars parked about and rusted old fencing that was falling down in places.
I had a bad feeling about this place, but my husband said everything would be fine and I was over reacting because I was nervous as this was to be my very first cruise.
The shuttle driver was not very nice. Not rude but not friendly either. He smoke while driving us to the ship and didn't really offer to help with our luggage.
When we returned from our cruise we called the phone number as directed and instead of the 15 minute pick-up we were promised on the web site we waited for over an hour and a half. After 3 phone calls to the office and their assurance we would be picked-up in 15 minutes we finally decided to take a taxi.
The taxi driver got lost and our fare became $25. Upon arrival at the lot we were told because we were late we would have to pay for an extra day. No apology for lying to us and not picking us up as promised and having to take a taxi. The girl at the counter even told us that "they don't do refunds for taxi's" because they have their own vans. Yeah right...their own vans which don't pick up their own customers!
No refund. No apology! And the nerve to charge us for being late when we were late because they didn't pick us up! What a scam they have running! Leave their customers at the port by not picking them up and then charge them for being late!
This really boils my blood and my husband and I fought all the way home about why he chose this place over other more reputable places just to same a little money!!
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Horrible and Rude Parking Service Provider
Posted by Cruisecritic on 03/19/2009
FORT LAUDEREDALE / PORT EVERGLADES, FLORIDA -- Recently my husband, another couple and I parked our mini-van at this parking lot when we went on the Holland America Maasdamn cruise out of Fort Lauderdale/Port Everglades. From the day we arrived I was sceptical about leaving our vehicle with them. Upon arrival it seemed that they we very unorganized and unprofessional in their mannerism as we were never greeted nor did they ever offer to help with our luggage as their web site claimed they would. We were taking a 10 day cruise and their were four adults, so we did have some luggage some of which was a little heavy for 60-70 year olds to handle. The man who checked our car in was not at all pleasant just demanding our driver's license and our credit card even after we showed our pre-paid voucher printed out from the parking website. Never smiling or trying to be friendly and the whole time talking on his cell phone to who I imagine was his friend about "last" night. When he finished the paperwork he then tells us we will be driving to the port in about an hour because we really don't need to board until after 1pm. It's 11:15am and 1pm is almost 2 hours away? My husband tells him we have advanced priority boarding but he insists that the cruise doesn't leave port until 5pm and "what's the rush"?
Because of our ticket status we needed to be on board to upgrade our cabin before noon as per the directions in our information packet. After threatening to call a taxi he relented and had his driver, who smoked the entire distance from the office to the port, take us. The driver never once lent a hand with our luggage and when we got to the ship stood close by with his hand out expecting a tip for doing nothing.
After our cruise we called the number attached to our claim ticket and was told that we would be picked-up in about 15-20 minutes and we were directed to wait in a certain area for their shuttle van. We waited patiently for 40-45 minutes and then called back. The man who answered said that we were waiting in the wrong spot and that that had sent the van and since we weren't where we were supposed to be we would have to wait another 20-25 minutes. I tried to explain that we were waiting in the correct spot and that his original directions indicated. We waited another 40 or so minutes and still no van. At this point my husband called the office and again we were told we were waiting in the wrong spot and at while talking to the office on the phone their van pulls up. I asked the driver about where the correct pick-up area was and he said I was standing in it. I also ask if he has passed by earlier and he said no. I then inquired if there were any other van drivers and he said it was just him working.
When we got back to the office and were checking out I was told that since we were late there would be an extra day charge added to our bill. I explained that if we were late that was because he had failed to come and collect us are the web site promised, in a timely manner. I then asked why he lied to me and said that the van had passed us and we were waiting in the wrong place. He couldn't give me an answer!
At this point I called him a thief and a liar and that he was taking advantage of us because we were elderly. He just smiled at me and told me the late charges were processed on the credit card. I was now furious!
Another man then approached us and said his name was James and he was the owner and told me never to call him or his employees thieves or liars and that we should just leave his business and never come back!
We went outside and loaded our luggage again into our van and then noticed that one piece of luggage was missing. I had to go back into the office and suffer through the humiliation of these men laughing and grinning and since there were no other customers I can only assume that they had been speaking about us, and tell them about our missing luggage. They said we should go check the pier even after I explained that I had put this piece inside the back of the van.
It has been now over three and a half hours since we disembarked the ship and were we once again waiting in for their van. As their van pulls up we asked to look inside and Mr. James said no and that we would have to leave the property or he would call the police! Luckily my husband had walked over to the van and spied my bag as I was in the process of the confrontation with Mr. James.
In my bag was my heart medicine which I desperately needed after this experience.
To all those people who try to find cheap prices, sometimes the cheapest price doesn't equate with an honest business or good reliable service. I was fooled by United Airport Parking's clean professional web site. Next time I use the internet I will seek to learn more about the company I intend to do business with!