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Old 29th September 2009, 23:35   #106
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Being a Fiat owner has one major drawback - the little ring at the base of the gear knob needs to be pulled upwards before reverse is engaged. I know it. My drivers know it. And anybody else with an iota of sense would know not to yank the shift into a gear if it protests. Seems everyone knows this, except the valets at The Park, Madras.

Net result: a car which only went one way - forward. The reverse gear lock had been annihilated courtesy some valet muscle power. VST gifted me a Rs.5K bill for this. The Park of course didn't feel obliged to reimburse me.

This happened in 2006. Since then, I haven't gifted a valet with any of my beauties (incl. our Amby).

Couple of things I normally do when going to an unfamiliar restaurant/hotel:

1. I call the place up in advance and get some information on parking facilities available

2. I scout out for possible parking spots as I near the place, so that I know where to head to if they have valet-only parking

3. I NEVER compromise on a location's safety just to avoid giving it to a valet. I choose the safer place that gives me a brisk 10 minute walk rather than the shady gully a couple of minutes away
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Old 8th August 2010, 13:43   #107
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Even the men(who are supposed to assist in parking) in basements of shopping complexes and malls are ruthless.They just ask you to park in every damn space they find.They tell you to squeeze your car wherever they find space-behind and in between pillars where there is a high chance of getting your car scratched while reversing or cutting although usually there is ample free space lil' ahead

This incident happened in CityCenter Mall in Hyderabad.
My friend was removing his brand new Logan from the parking space and person was hand-signalling to reverse.The strange part is that even after hitting a pillar he was still signalling to come back.So ruthless.
Hand signalling being that persons job it becomes an involuntary action for them to just keep waving their hand when a car is being parked or being removed.Just by waving hand that person and most of us also think as if he is doing us a big favour but they do it for tip.Don't trust these guys.
Their action is also so automated that they wave with their left hand and no sooner you finish reversing he comes saying "Namaste Saar" with his right hand expecting tip.
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Old 25th August 2012, 12:19   #108
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

When I left my Punto with the valet driver for the first time, I realized that these guys know nothing about the headlight - wiper switch position. When the car came back the windscreen had marks of the wiper running on dry screen. I was so angry. But it was my mistake. I should have told them.

The next time I made sure I tell them about the combination switch position. The car came back fine.

Last month I went to a wedding where they had valet drivers. I preferred to go and park my car in a safe corner near by than give it to these guys.

Yesterday I went to Trident Hilton. When I gave my car I told him and the guy smiled and said he is familiar with European cars. When the car came back driven by another attendant, it had visible marks on the windscreen. I asked him what it is and he blamed the attendant who parked it. Useless guys. Useless blame game.

Wont the driver even know anything about the machine he sits in. Although I have a Punto, I regularly drive a Jazz and a Santro and I'm comfortable about their combination switch. What is stopping them from understanding the machine.

From now on, no matter where it is, I'm going to park my car by myself.

Guys, I have a question - Do star hotels allow owner driven cars to be self parked?
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Old 25th August 2012, 12:34   #109
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by tud View Post
Guys, I have a question - Do star hotels allow owner driven cars to be self parked?
Some don't. And I have walked out of one in Delhi because of this reason.
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Old 25th August 2012, 12:45   #110
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

had given my Chevy UVA for valet parking in the basement of Total Mall, Madiwala. I observed the from wheel bore heavy damage because the valet driver had brushed the vehicle to one of the pillars.
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Old 25th August 2012, 17:56   #111
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

I was once told by a office cab(indica) driver that during festival times they do part time job of valet parking in malls on weekends. Not blaming any particular individual, but we all have some or other time observed how the office cabs are driven and no wonder these folks will tend to drive other cars in the same way.

Once, I had given my car for valet parking and while bringing the car back in front of me the guy drove over a huge stone
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Old 25th August 2012, 19:00   #112
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

Quote:
Guys, I have a question - Do star hotels allow owner driven cars to be self parked?
Depends. Mostly if you stress on self parking the guys dont have problem. If nothing works take the valet guy to sit next to you and do the parking yourself.
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Old 25th August 2012, 19:02   #113
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

I have lost count of how many times I've seen my cars wheels screeching on shiny marble at the hands of valets at hotels and stuff.

Suppose I am really touchy about who drives my car, I've always wondered can I pull up at a hotel ask the valet to jump in beside me and guide me to the parking lot? Instead of handing the car over to him?

Also, there must be a reason why people with fancy cars (read Porsches) get to park on the porch itself. The management doesn't dare having their valets park them and I guess the hotel likes to appear flash with such cars parked at their porches!
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Old 27th August 2012, 08:30   #114
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy View Post
Some don't. And I have walked out of one in Delhi because of this reason.
If valet parking is "at owner's risk" the owner should have a choice of not taking the risk - what do you guys think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by promit View Post
Also, there must be a reason why people with fancy cars (read Porsches) get to park on the porch itself. The management doesn't dare having their valets park them and I guess the hotel likes to appear flash with such cars parked at their porches!
I think it's more for the latter reason, adds to the brand image of the place.

In the US most of the valet drivers employed by restaurants and hotels are 20 yr old kids who rip expensive cars. There is a video on youtube (not sure if it is authentic though)
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Old 27th August 2012, 11:57   #115
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

We manage to avoid valets, but what about the guys handling our cars at the service centres? A couple of months ago I had taken my car to MSM for a water wash. The SA who drove the car to the wash bay hit a barricade, broke the front bumper and bent the lower cross member. Stupid fellows.

Even though they offered to bear the full cost of repairs (recoverable from the errant SA's salary), I was apprehensive they might cut corners. I wanted to replace whatever needed replacing, so made them do it under my own insurance. The resulting loss in NCB was made good by them and deducted from the fellow.
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Old 27th August 2012, 12:08   #116
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

One of my friend had given his fabia for valet parking in a restaurant at indiranagar, bangalore. Dont know what the driver was doing, the car hit a Scorpio, an electric pole and a bike.
This happened more than a year back. Legal case is still going on for the insurance. my friend has considered that as a complete loss and now bought a new Dzire.
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Old 27th August 2012, 12:32   #117
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoeingDriver View Post
If nothing works take the valet guy to sit next to you and do the parking yourself.
Thats a good idea, I'm sure they cannot refuse this one.

But we also have to make sure the keys dont stay with the valet guys after the parking. Because they still have a chance to move it front or back to facilitate more parking space or make way for another car.
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Old 27th August 2012, 13:18   #118
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Default Re: Valets = Your car's worst nightmare

I refuse outright to hand over my car keys to any valet. A firm shout and bullying behavior has made all of them toe my line until now. There is now law AFAIK which states I must hand over my car to a valet for parking. Apt Amitabh line to copy here: 'India me sirf Force chalta hai'
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Old 15th August 2013, 00:28   #119
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Default Valet made a hole in the Wallet

Recently – a few days back, I went to a famous hotel in Secunderabad along with my family for dinner. Since it was Ramzan period, my daughter wanted to have Haleem. After reaching the hotel, found the board glowing and announcing – Parking available.

There were another two cars before me to enter into the cellar and people were disembarking. I waited behind the two cars. After the passengers of those two cars got down, (my wife and daughter already got down and waited at the entrance of the hotel), I moved forward. Suddenly in a flash a white Maruti 800 cuts before my vehicle from the right side and enters the cellar, overtaking me. Shocked, I took an evasive action and gave a small sharp turn to the left. I hit a two wheeler guy standing on the left. Luckily nothing happened to him but I was left with a scratch on my left front door.

I went down the parking behind the Maruti, wanting to give a mouthful to the rash and idiotic driver. To my utter shock, I found that it had been driven by a so called ‘Valet’. I could not control my self and went and confronted the fellow. Suddenly from nowhere a ‘Bouncer’ comes and rudely asks me – whats the matter. I told him what has happened and by this time a guy (supposed to be a partner / manager / owner) wearing a blazer ( yes, in that hot weather) comes and asks the same question. I told them how their ‘Valet’ performed an overtaking manoeuvre in his Ferrari aka Maruti 800, and put Michael Schumacher to shame and how I shamed myself by getting shocked and managing to shock a biker and in the process handing over a ‘band-aid’ to my beloved car. Immediately, the ‘blazer’ tells me that he will suspend (BTW, is it a government job?) that fellow (who by this time disappeared to get another Mclaren Mercedes for parking) and instructs the ‘bouncer’ – we will suspend that fellow.

I did not know what to say. So I simply came out of the cellar, joined my family, went into the restaurant, had Haleem and Biryani (BTW, the food was good). Then after paying the bill, I asked for a suggestion / complaint / feedback card. On that I wrote the whole fracas and conveyed my displeasure.

The next day, one guy, identifying himself as a manager of the restaurant, called me up and enquired and said sorry. SORRY! Is this enough? I don’t know. Does this going to help in getting my car repaired? Getting my car painted, will cost me 6 to 7 times of the bill I paid to the Restaurant.

Now, why am I writing about a small accident is, because, this did not happen on the road. If it was, it would have been a normal incident. This happened in a parking lot of a restaurant. Moreover, this happened with a ‘Valet’ at the wheels of another car. A valet trying to overtake another car, which is also trying to park in the same hotels parking lot! Is this not ridiculous?

In recent times, almost every Restaurant, Mall, Cineplexes, Multiplexes etc are 'boasting' of providing valet parking. So this is supposed to be a Value addition concept in the form of providing enhanced facilities. But the moot question is how serious are they in providing such service. Is it a service or disservice?

I went to the restaurant for having a good time. If such an incident happens without any fault of us, who is to be blamed? I know that the man in the blazer was actually making fun of me when he was saying that he would suspend the particular valet.

The term ‘Valet’ is defined by Wikipedia as follows:
Noun[edit]
valet (plural valets)
1. A man's personal male attendant, responsible for his clothes and appearance.
2. A hotel employee performing such duties for guests.
3. …..
4. …...
5. A person employed to clean or park cars.
6. A wooden stand on which to hold clothes and accessories in preparation for dressing.
Now see the description at Sl.No.5 - A person employed to clean or park cars – what? Cleaning and parking?

Now this whole issue raised some questions in my mind :-

1) So, is a valet not required to hold a driving license?
2) Is there any qualification for a person to be recruited as a valet?
3) what is the method adopted by the hotels and restaurants in selecting a person for this job i.e., parking cars(since many kinds of male attenders are called valets and not only those who park or fork the cars)?
4) If such mishap as happened to me occurs, who is to be held responsible?
5) What is the liability of the hotel / restaurant in such a situation?
6) Any legal remedy?
7) what is the situation in other ‘developed’ countries?

I for one, told the manager who called me, that the basic problem lay in the method of recruiting some guys and allowing them to do many kind of jobs, one of them being to park the cars.

We just imported the concept of ‘Valet Parking’ but not in its full form. No specific training is given for any job – since everything boils down to economics and balance sheet. This is the biggest problem in our country where we are all ‘generalists’ and not experts in any field. There is no incentive to be one. Jack of all but master of none. Chaltha hai! What I mean to say is, if a guy in US says he is into bike racing, he is serous and actually participates in bike racing and more importantly, he does have a knowledge of the bike mechanism itself. Here, in India, we all are great racers on public roads but cannot even replace a clutch wire. Yes, a subject needs to be dealt in its totality.

Posting this so that experiences and opinions of the members can be aired here since I could not find the exact subject on other threads. If there is one,the Mods may kindly forgive and move the same.

- Sai

Last edited by Vihari : 15th August 2013 at 00:39. Reason: adding a point - the complex part.
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Old 15th August 2013, 04:38   #120
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

The people who work as valets at restaurants and malls usually are young, uneducated men, who are probably getting to use good cars for the first time. It is not surprising that sometimes they get overenthusiastic while driving the cars into their parking spots. I have noticed the same in other countries also.

Once I was shocked out of my skin when I saw a kid driving a Figo inside the A.S.S. in a manner that would have put Vettel to shame. He was the boy who was employed by the A.S.S. to drive the cars into place apart from washing and wiping them. It would be really surprising if he has not damaged even one car in his career.

If you read the backside of the card which is given to you by the valet, it would mention something to the tune of the firm being absolved from any liabilities in case of damages caused by them. However I very much doubt it will stand in a court of law, since you don't sign your agreement on them. So you can hold the firm responsible in case of any issue.


I for one hate giving my car to a valet. Unless absolutely unavoidable, I park the car myself even if it takes longer and I have to walk a bit. The very thought of some random guy playing around with my car gives me the jitters.
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