Kentucky Fried Chicken - KFC Manager and DM Making Money Off of Towing Patrons Cars
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- On 5/8/2012, I parked in the parking lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken @ 3535 SW 22 St Miami FL 33145. It was about 11:30 am. There were no cars in this huge parking lot. I went to the mall that was located right next door to the KFC to meet my friend and then we were going right back to the KFC to have lunch.
When I got back to the KFC it was 11:50 am and my brand new Buick Enclave was gone from the parking lot. I looked around the parking lot and noticed a sign that said “TOW AWAY ZONE –Unauthorized vehicles or vessels will be towed away at owners risk and expense. Kings Wrecker Service” and their address and phone number. Nowhere on the sign did it say anything about KFC and there was NO sign in front of the parking spot that I was in. But as far as I was concerned if it did have to do with KFC, I was authorized because I was going to eat at KFC. I was only gone 15 minutes and there was no one even parked in the parking lot when I got there.
I immediately went into the KFC and asked for the manager. A Spanish woman came over and said she was the manager. I told her I parked my car and went to get my friend next door and was coming back here for lunch I was only gone for about 15 minutes and now my car is gone. I asked if they knew anything about it. She said no they didn’t call the tow company she knew nothing about it. So I then called the police because my car must have been stolen.
I waited outside for the police and a sergeant came by. I flagged her down and told her what happened. She told me I had the right to go and get my friend if I was coming right back here to eat. But she was not there for me she was actually going in to eat herself. But the other car was right behind her to talk to the other police officer and file the report.
I told the other officer what had happened. She mentioned about maybe the car was towed. I told her I had gone inside and the manager said they didn’t call the tow company and they didn’t know anything about it. She told me to call the tow company anyway. I did and they said they did tow my car. I asked why they would tow my car when I was going to eat lunch in KFC. The girl was kind of nasty. The policewoman asked me to ask her who authorized them towing my car. The Tow Company girl said she couldn‘t give out that information. I told her I had the police there and she wanted to know. She said she wouldn’t give me the information, so I asked the policewoman if she wanted to talk to her. She took the phone and identified herself and told her she needed that info for her report.
The girl still wouldn’t give it to her. I hung up and the police asked me to ask the manager to come out and speak with her.
I went inside and asked to speak with the manager again. After 10 minutes the same woman finally came over and I told her the police wanted to talk to her since no one authorized the towing. She said again, she didn’t sign anything and she didn’t call the tow company and she couldn’t go outside she was working the drive thru. I went back outside and told the police what she said. So the police called her lieutenant to have someone go to the tow company and have the person who towed my car arrested because no one authorized them to tow my car. She was waiting to hear back from him and decided to go inside to talk to the Manager herself. She went to the counter and asked for the Manager.
After a few minutes another woman (Kara[snip]) came over and said she was the manager and she authorized my car to be towed. I told her how she could do that when I was gone 15 minutes to get my friend and come back for lunch. And I asked why the other woman lied about towing my car. She just shook her head and walked away.
At that point, the police said she authorized it and there was nothing she could do. She added that it wasn’t right how the whole situation was handed and I should have been able to get my friend and come back. I could go to small claims court to get my money back.
In the meantime, I had to call my husband (which was an hour drive for him) to come and get me to bring me to the Towing Company that was across town. My wallet was in the car and I had no money to even take a taxi.
My husband came and we had to drive across town in the pouring rain. The towing charge was $101.00 for towing and $29.00 for other equaling $130.00. We asked what the other charge was and she wouldn’t tell us.
I spoke with a few officers that patrol that area and they all said that KFC/manager gets a spiff (a kickback) every time a car gets towed. I called KFC Corporate office and spoke with Customer Service and told them what happened. They said they would pass along the info and someone would call me. About 2 or 3 days later and Spanish man called me. I couldn’t even understand his name or who he was with his accent. It wasn’t till I heard KFC that I figured it was someone from corporate office. He told me he was the District Manager. I explained to him what happened and how the Manager (Kara) called the Towing Company the minute I got out of my car because they towed my car 10 minutes later. He told me I should have gone in and spoke with the manager to tell her I was going to go get a friend from next door and be right back and she would have authorized me to be there and I wouldn’t have gotten my car towed. Or why didn’t I go and get at least drink first when I got there.
He told me Kara saw me get out of my car and walk towards the mall next door. That’s when she called the towing company. He also told me that Kara saw three Spanish women the other day park in front of the store and begin to go to the mall and she told them they would get towed if they didn’t eat there and they moved the car. The way this store is situated when you walk into the KFC there are seats and tables and then a very long walk which you have to walk around in order to order your food. The employees cannot see into the parking lot. So Kara the manager had to be standing by the front door when she saw me.
So why didn’t she just open the door and tell me and I would have told her that I was going next door to get my friend and be right back and that would have been it. I wouldn’t have had to go through all this trouble and aggravation. Besides there was NOONE in the parking lot. It wasn’t like they was a crowd and I was taking a spot away from anyone.
The DM continued to tell me that the manager spends her whole day matching up cars with their patrons. She even goes in the bathroom to see if anyone is in there to match up their car. I told him I didn’t think that was very productive and I’m sure that isn’t in her job description. I told him that she was getting money for every car that gets towed that why she’s so interested in matching the cars with the customers. He asked me why didn’t I order lunch when I came back to the KC-maybe because my new car was gone?!
Well our conversation became a shouting match and he was very nasty and rude. He called me a liar and told me if I ever go back to that KFC and I am parked there for only 1 minute he will have me towed away. I wound up hanging up on him because I couldn’t believe a DM was actually speaking to me like this. I immediately called the KFC Corporate office and made a complaint against the DM. They put a supervisor (Mr. Marsh) on the phone and I told him what happened. I asked him how KFC could condone their managers spending all day matching cars with customers so they could make money off of the towing. I told him how the police was going to have the Tow Company driver arrested because their manager lied. He said he wrote everything down and someone from corporate office would call me back. I told him I would not speak with that DM again. He noted that the towing charge was $130.
I have since called KFC Corporate office 5 times and they all say the same thing they will pass it along electronically to Corporate Office and someone will call me back. It has been 7 weeks and no one has called me back. I cannot believe KFC would let this go on. They have definitely shown me that they do not care about customer service or their customers. I have been eating in and driving thru that KFC for the past 6 years, so I am a loyal customer. There is a towing company only a few blocks away, why are they using a towing company across town. Because there is a connection between KFC/Manager and Towing Company.
The bottom line is that I left my car there for 15 minutes in the morning with no one even in the parking lot only to get back to have my lunch and find my car towed so that the manager could make money. There is a big scam going on here and someone needs to investigate and put a stop to it. I wound up paying $130 for a $10 lunch with a big side of aggravation!
I have written a letter to the BBB of Louisville and the DM responsed by saying that the Store Manager saw me get out of my car with a pet and saw me and someone else walking towards the mall. So the BBB just dismissed the case. I didn't have a pet nor someone with me. The police could testify to that. So the manager and DM have lied to me, lied to the police and lied to the BBB and they just walk away from this. So now I can only believe that the DM is in on getting a kickback too. He is trying to cover his butt so he doesn't lose that income. I have called Customer Service 7 times and spoken with three different supervisors to make a complaint and to see why no one has followed up on this from corporate office. It has been three months and not one person from KFC Corporate has called me. Shame on them.
If anyone else has been towed from this KFC please write me and lets start a class action suit.