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Old 15th August 2013, 08:40   #121
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I never go to places where I have to give my car to a valet. Even the much vaunted five star hotels have very poor quality parking services available.

If I have to go, then I call a taxi for those few hours. Spending Rs 1000 is better than having the paint work and engine and clutch on your much loved car, torn to shreds, or shot to bits in an uncaring manner by some uneducated, third rate, lumpen lout!

I always prefer driving and parking my own vehicle because all these paid attendants do not really care and they do not really have any respect for someone else's hard earned property.

Certainly I would say that these road side restaurants and so on, however famous they may be, are best approached in a taxi.
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Old 15th August 2013, 09:35   #122
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

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I always prefer driving and parking my own vehicle
A practice i shamelessly follow no matter where i go. There are times the restaurant is adamant and say only Valet, i ask the valet to accompany me as i drive.

Not because the car can be damaged by the valet, but because i rather damage it than some unknown guy.
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Old 15th August 2013, 09:41   #123
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

In some malls where the basements are not well designed from the entry-exit point of view, there exist such valets who help drivers by taking the car into the basement. Not once have I entertained such fellows no matter how tricky the parking is. I see them driving cars as if there is nothing around, spinning wheels while launching, making handbrake turns etc. Its rather a joy for them to play around with our cars. If there is no parking in that specific place, or rather valet parking, I ask them where they go and park and I drive there myself. A few minutes of extra care will help avoid probable damage to the car.

In your case, you should not have avoided him. Instead of hitting a third party bike, if he had hit your car, on the spot you could have created a scene. Instead of one owner here, the owner of the other car would have teamed along with you. Now you just have a huge bill coming up :(
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Old 15th August 2013, 20:09   #124
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleEye View Post
The people who work as valets at restaurants and malls usually are young
The valets in this hotel are all middle aged, rugged and definitely not good drivers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleEye View Post
So you can hold the firm responsible in case of any issue.
The Hotels know very well that we do not have time for legal wrangles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleEye View Post
I for one hate giving my car to a valet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I never go to places where I have to give my car to a valet.
I always prefer driving and parking my own vehicle
Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
A practice i shamelessly follow
In fact, I am exactly like you guys, never give my car to a valet even if it means and appears a step down from the appropriate social behavior! Even in this case, as I have explained, I was waiting in my car to park and the valet driving some other car, made this mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
In some malls where the basements are not well designed from the entry-exit point of view, there exist such valets who help drivers by taking the car into the basement.
Exactly that was the issue. The basement entrance is narrow and the valet literally 'squeezed' his car into it.

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
In your case, you should not have avoided him. Instead of hitting a third party bike, if he had hit your car, on the spot you could have created a scene. Instead of one owner here, the owner of the other car would have teamed along with you. Now you just have a huge bill coming up :(
This never occurred to me!

In fact another interesting point which I failed to mention is, after going into the basement, the cars are NOT parked there. They are taken out from another exit in the basement (which is any way a very small place) and they are parked at about half a Kilometer from the hotel, on a public road, near a hospital!

Hence the whole issue of taking the cars inside the basement is itself a SHAM!


- Sai
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Old 15th August 2013, 21:14   #125
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

I never give any of my cars in a valet's hand. NEVER!! I prefer parking the car myself even if I have to walk a km to get back to the place I was going to. And I always drive my two main cars myself, my driver is just for cleaning it and driving the other smaller cars around for the family.

If you love cars, you don't let unknowns handle it...
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Old 16th August 2013, 01:06   #126
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

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Originally Posted by Vihari View Post
Recently –

The next day, one guy... 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.

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?
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..

We just imported the concept of ‘Valet Parking’ but not in its full form.. There is no incentive to be one. Jack of all but master of none. Chaltha hai!
Dear Vihari sir,

I will give you a free tip: Don't ever hand over your keys to parking attendants in Bombay anywhere.

The horror stories I have heard and seen will give you sleepless nights.

First, to answer all your questions:
1. Although legally a valet is required to hold a valid license, it is never implemented here.
2. Some of the 5 star hotels have some requirements such as some work experience etc. (one of them even listed the valet should have had some sort of training in etiquette schools!), but even they run short of staff plenty of times. Rules are bent on such occasions.
3. Most commonly, work experience.
4. On paper, the owner.
5. On paper, none.
6. A good lawyer can wriggle out sufficient compensation. But, it will take money, time and perseverance.
7. As mentioned below.

To be frank though, most people who have more expensive cars usually have a driver. So, they don't have to bother much about the valet problems. The following explanation is purely for those who don't have a driver.

Did you know that there are a lot of people (me included) who hand over the car keys to the valets knowing full well that the bloke most likely is a pathetic driver who does not value the customers ride?

Valets are woefully underpaid, and mainly rely on tips for a decent income. Its not the job they want, they are forced to do it since there is little else on the offing. Given this scenario, MOST valets will not care about their job. If they are fired from one place, they'll land up another job NEXT day. The demand far outstrips the supply.

And no, 'crows are black everywhere'. This problem is not unique to India. As a matter of fact, its equally bad in the western countries. I'll give you one such example here:
http://jalopnik.com/5925788/i-used-t...rk-my-car-ever

There are a lot of such articles from different media publications of different countries. If you wish to know more, let me know.

Now, you may as me as to why I hand over the keys to the valet inspite of knowing that he'll not treat my car well?

Simple, most of the places I go to, I know the owners of that particular place very well. The valets also recognize me (or my family members) and hence are a lot more careful with my cars. I tip them reasonably well. If any damage were to occur, I know I will be repaid in full. To me, peace of mind is far more important, and I have more important priorities to deal with rather than find a place to park (which not only takes time, it drains my energy as well, which I could have utilized in other more important matters). Why don't I just hire a taxi then? Again, I have 2 reasons:
1. Usually, I carry a lot of stuff in my car which I need. I have organized it as such, and its too cumbersome for me to shift all the stuff and carry it around in a taxi.
2. On many occasions, I have had to make a statement when going to certain important meetings. That means, I have to take out the more expensive cars at my disposal. Yes, it's ugly, but believe me, it is necessary at times (and quite beneficial as well).

Why don't I arrange a temporary driver then? Again I have 2 reasons:
1. If a particular occasion is planned well in advance, I always have my driver with me.
2. If it is unplanned, then well, such services are not always reliable (I have given them 2 try's. Bad experience on both occasions).

I rarely go out with my full family now, but when I do, I would prefer spending all of it with my family members and not on thinking where to park and whether it will be safe or not, whether some leaves will damage my car. When I have to go to such places (where valet parking is available), it's almost always for work related purpose or for a full family gathering. During all such occasions, my mind always has other priorities.

What I do will not go down well with majority of the enthusiasts here, but I take my chances. I am fully aware of the risks associated with valet parking, and you'll be surprised to know that a lot of people here in Bombay are also fully aware of it as well.

Also, as a matter of fact, people in the so called 'Western' countries also are aware of the risks associated with valet parking. They don't care much even when their cars do get damaged. I agree that we have a lot to learn and catch up with respect to our western counterparts, but you'll be surprised to know just how lucky we are in a lot of aspects. You just have to see where nobody else is looking..

Thanks,
Simple_car

P.S. Some of the better 5 star hotels have paid me in full for any damage that occurred in their premises, despite the fact, that legally they are not liable. It depends fully on your relationship with the hotel. Yes, some of my relatives are patrons in such places
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Old 16th August 2013, 08:18   #127
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

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Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
7. As mentioned below.
Simple, thank you for your elaborate reply covering all parts of the topic.

I agree 100% with the fact that, valets are underpaid and they do depend on the tips from the customers. This is true for many jobs in the service industry. I have seen many times, the waiters 'waiting' for the tip.

This is not neither a fault on the part of that particular employee nor it is the fault of the owner for not being able to pay a decent amount as salary since as I have already pointed out, the fact that ours is a poor country and poor economy gets reflected in such situations. More no. of people 'sharing' less No. of jobs available. The average comes down!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
P.S. Some of the better 5 star hotels have paid me in full for any damage
Oh! Doctor saab, you are 'privileged'! ( I told you, you are not simple!)


- Sai
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Old 16th August 2013, 09:47   #128
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

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Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
First, to answer all your questions:
1. Although legally a valet is required to hold a valid license, it is never implemented here.
2. Some of the 5 star hotels have some requirements such as some work experience etc. (one of them even listed the valet should have had some sort of training in etiquette schools!), but even they run short of staff plenty of times. Rules are bent on such occasions.
....
Valets are woefully underpaid, and mainly rely on tips for a decent income. Its not the job they want, they are forced to do it since there is little else on the offing. Given this scenario, MOST valets will not care about their job. If they are fired from one place, they'll land up another job NEXT day. The demand far outstrips the supply.
True. Just to add to what you mentioned on the valid license part, the common argument or understanding (from the employer's perspective) for valets not requiring a license is that the car will just be moved around the hotel portico / basement premises, or just the surrounding 50-100 metres near the hotel, so they are not actually driving the car as one normally would. They just go for the cheapest labour available and serves the purpose for them on crowded days. Like you mentioned, attrition is rampant among Valets. In fact, from what I heard, most of them aren't even hired on permanent employment basis. They are paid on per-day basis and turn up only on Saturday nights and such crowded occasions.

Quite often, the valets tend to get caught up in the routine job, get used to parking in their usual nooks and corners and become overconfident. In the process they become rash when parking customers' cars, increasing the probability of mishaps like the one Vihari encountered.

On a related but slightly different note, I don't hand my car over to Valets at all after a few bad experiences with my old cars. One Valet had scraped the Accent's bumper somewhere when I went out for dinner with family, which I only noticed the next morning when washing the car. Obviously the hotel chaps denied and said it could have happened on the road on my way back . On another occasion, a valet had probably parked our Swift in some 'adjustment' place when moving out vehicles, for which we received a no-parking violation ticket from the traffic police after a week. On a third occasion, a pair of Polaroid sunglasses and a USB stick were flicked from the Accent's glovebox compartment. I can't be expected to empty out all the belongings from my car (and carry them) when going to a hotel. It is after all a hotel, not a car service centre.

I am done with Valet parking for good, instead prefer finding my own (legal) parking spot in an adjacent lane, even if it means I take 10 minutes extra or need to walk back half a kilometre to join my folks at the hotel.

Last edited by KarthikK : 16th August 2013 at 09:54.
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Old 16th August 2013, 11:27   #129
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

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Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet
That really catchy title, pulled me to read the thread. I am glad that the episode did not resulted in dent on pocket.

I agree the valet service is joke in India, with practically every restaurant is doing it as VAS without knowing intent.

Giving instances of Pune, there are few restaurants on Karve Road , wherein the 'valet' guy takes car and park on a public road and gets back after "tip" is served. You would amused to know that they block the parking for these cars, by putting their staff bikes in such a way that "aam" junta will not be able to use it in vicinity of those restaurants.?
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Old 16th August 2013, 13:39   #130
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

Added to all the above, here is my experience with a valet service at Manipal Hospital.

There is one at an added cost of some 50 bucks/hour. Even though I have never opted for it I have seen many doing so. One day after I dropped by dad at the main entrance, I move on towards parking. Alas!! I see one speeding Vento towards me in ORVM. The stretch from entrance to parking is hardly some 200 metres and the driver was breaking all records.

He comes speeding all the way and honks (mind you, honking is forbidden in Manipal campus), I give him some space to go ahead and to my surprise i saw him wearing uniform of the Valet service. I never expected this at such a reputed hospital. No one cares a damn about the general rules, forget about respecting your car.

In those 5 mins they get, they squeeze every juice out of your car and that too with a disclaimer. Avoid them as much as possible.

Last edited by GTO : 17th August 2013 at 13:51. Reason: No inappropriate language please (sh*t). Thanks
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Old 16th August 2013, 14:37   #131
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

Since there are legitimate responses we have already received for questions you raised in original post, I will only add my personal view point and experience.

I completely agree with general mood here - don't use valet or any unknown/ known person who does not have right skills and attitude to drive your car, period. But there are instances you can't escape and so be prepared for it. Luckily I never had any trouble. And that may be the reason I don't hesitate to valet park - but again its not often.

On the contrary I have few drivers at my work who I hand over the keys to my car and keep praying for well being of the car. Many times I have to step out for meetings and wont have preferred work vehicle available. I wont drive at these times because the stress affects your performance in those meetings and important events. So I ask someone from those available drivers to take my car instead of work vehicle. Sometime I have to ask them go to my home and pick up my family so i can join them for dinner outside or go for holiday shopping. (yeah, working late makes you do all these arrangements to keep your promises!) They are reliable people I have known for more than a decade so safety is not an issue but driving skills are always questionable :(

And when there are no options but I have to drive, I take my chances. Since meetings are always at a decent place where my company has "great" relationships, I know that even if there is any issue I can get them to pay for their mistakes literally. And of course as Simple_Car said, I give reasonable tip.

The only other time where I don't have a control and every time I see it, there are butterflies in my stomach - its the dealer garage where I service my car! Some stunts I always see every time I visit them. A person trying to park in non-existent parking slot or taking a U turn inside the narrow garage and "testing" brakes are common sights I see. But I can't do much about it. I have never seen it happening with my vehicle but certainly I know someone must have been doing this with my car while I am away.
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Old 16th August 2013, 14:58   #132
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

I think this well known outlet was Paradise. Was it?

If yes, then the arrogance is nothing new. They were in the news sometime back as well, for the wrong reasons of course.

http://writersoulme.wordpress.com/20...adise-no-more/
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Old 16th August 2013, 15:03   #133
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Default Re: Valet made a hole in the Wallet

You can find such morons in Authorized Service Centers as well. I have seen them testing cars and also just driving it from one bay to another bay within the shop floor as if the world is going to end. . I really never understood the reason .
My car has a FFE and it makes me burn when the mechanic or service advisor takes the car from the front of the service center were I park, to the floor since they get all kicked by the sound and start revving and speeding .
Actually I have noticed the mechanics are all not like this, but the service advisors are as good as the valet drivers mentioned here.
Long back I had taken the Swift for an issue and the SA took it on the road and started flooring it and mashing the gears, I just looked at him for few seconds and told him that he is not going to figure anything by driving like that .
Bottomline, just like similar characters we see on the road, avoid.

Regards
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Old 6th May 2014, 01:24   #134
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Default Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

See how a valet parking bumps an Aventador into a RAV4 - http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-vide...=1459_56592344
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Old 29th June 2014, 21:22   #135
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Default Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

Entrusting your car to a valet is becoming more and more of a liability and for the past many years after a string of such incidents my parents have NEVER let an unknown person drive / park any of our cars. In the last 3 years there were Two instances and both ended up with car damage. The first was at Hotel Hindustan International, Kolkata where we had gone to meet a big group of family friends who were in India from the US for a religous vacation. Even though it was late night (10 pm+), a careless valet scratched some paint of our 1 month old VW Polo.

Then inadvertently some 10 months back my mother handed the keys of the Polo to a female valet at Medica hospital in Kolkata when she went for a check-up. The girl made an ugly dent on the side skirting (looks like a brush with a pillar) which is being tolerated for now because it is hard to make out and no paint has come off.

That's 2 out of 2 times in 5+ years that a valet has damaged our car.

Needless to say, I make it a point to park myself at all malls, hotels and clubs. Fortunately other than some curious looks (Guess Indians find it odd why someone would turn down what is a 'status symbol') there have been no problems with it.
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