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Old 18th March 2023, 12:12   #226
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

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Originally Posted by J2022 View Post
Any suggestions how to deal with such a situation?
We should insist we ourselves will park our car. Else we should either engage a trusted call driver, or simply take a cab whenever we go to such places. There is no other way.
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Old 18th March 2023, 13:23   #227
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

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Originally Posted by J2022 View Post
An issue with self parking is that many hotels, restaurants, etc. often force visitors in a soft way to let the valet park. While I can be petty and possessive with a clear conscience it does look bad when I have others with me.

Any suggestions how to deal with such a situation?
Respectful firmness. And absolute brazen full blooded confidence. You’re the Paying Customer. Take a hold of your Rights.

Drop all the ‘others’ at the door step. Don’t be bothered whether they are personal friends or family.

Ask them to wait in the lobby. Politely tell the parking folks that you always prefer to park your car.
Go and Park your car and walk back.

On the way out, excuse yourself 5 minutes early, ask the ‘others to wait in the lobby. Go get your car. Pick them up.

It is Your car and they ought to ‘be understanding of your caution’. I frankly wouldn’t lose any sleep if they aren’t.

If your worry stems from a fear of anyone having a doubt that you’re an ‘El Cheapo’ trying to wriggle out of ‘tipping’ , just keep a C note in hand and give it to the chap who opens the doors for your guests.

If entertaining Company visitors or official guests simply make sure you always have a car and a driver at your disposal. This way there is no need to worry about parking and all that jazz.

I do exactly as I please in these matters. Couldn’t care less what anyone else may choose to ‘perceive’.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 18th March 2023 at 13:25.
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Old 18th March 2023, 15:05   #228
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
We should insist we ourselves will park our car.
You have that right, and we can all, always, exercise it.

The hotels, etc, also have a right: they can insist that we may not drive our own cars on their premises.

So I agree entirely with shankar.balan, but the answer may well not be insisting on using the hotel's car parking, but parking outside. Dropping one's companions at the main door and driving off is no business of the lobby/forecourt staff: they don't even know that we will be coming back on foot. There will be no pressure; it is only required to indicate to the guy with a key label in his hand that we are only dropping off.

We then might, depending on our knowledge of the area, be faced with a problem finding space or not. And it might be better to allow ten minutes rather than five.

There is another side to the whole topic. We are probably in a minority: the majority are either neutral about valet parking, or consider it a great convenience. Maybe, to some, it is a part of visiting a luxury establishment.
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Old 18th March 2023, 16:18   #229
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

I had two bad experiences with valet parking.

During the first incident, the valet spent a significant amount of time inside my car with the air conditioning on, which I discovered upon receiving my car back with a very cold cabin and frigid AC vents.

In the second incident, the valet did not know how to engage the reverse gear in my Palio and ended up messing up the gear selector. The reverse gear wouldn't engage afterward.

After these two incidents, I completely avoided giving the car to a valet.

Those who avoid giving the car to a valet should also be cautious of home delivery and pickup services provided by authorized service centers or third-party service centers, as their drivers will not handle your car with care. They will drive your car flat-out.
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Old 19th March 2023, 01:28   #230
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

Recently we had gone for lunch to a food court within a tech park (EcoWorld for Bangalore folks). There is some construction going on and half of the parking lot is closed off. This meant that the other half was full and the cars had to be double parked and the keys left with the valet.

Post lunch they couldn't locate the keys to my car as well as that of a few others. But I could see my car parked in the same location where I had left it. Went there with the security and find that the keys are left outside the car itself near the wiper blades The car was safe only because it was within a tech park and not some random public parking.

I generally don't like giving the car to the valet or even handing over the keys but this was an exceptional scenario where the parking lot was full and self-park was not an option. The only place where I avail valet is at hospitals when I have to accompany the patient (or I myself am the patient).
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Old 19th March 2023, 20:53   #231
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Respectful firmness. And absolute brazen full blooded confidence. You’re the Paying Customer. Take a hold of your Rights.


If your worry stems from a fear of anyone having a doubt that you’re an ‘El Cheapo’ trying to wriggle out of ‘tipping’ , just keep a C note in hand and give it to the chap who opens the doors for your guests.
Loved the writeup. One has to practice to fight for what they think is right for them. Well-written.

However, a C note for opening doors? Hmm. I'm sensing that we need a thread on "General Tipping" in India for people like me to move off the "El Cheapo" list. Citywise ( and perhaps outside India for some countries we frequently visit). Activitywise ( at the bar counter, at the restaurant table, a valet parking facility, a room usher's tips, at the barber's/salon, cabbie ) and gradewise ( 5 start vs 3 star vs unstarred ). Mods/anyone that is qualified, can we have a "Tips for a good tipping experience" thread ?
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Old 19th March 2023, 22:46   #232
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

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Originally Posted by airguitar View Post

However, a C note for opening doors? can we have a "Tips for a good tipping experience" thread ?
25 bucks per door in a 4 door car with a normal load.
Considering the establishments, the services and the actual value of a C Note in the real world.
And from my side it’s a big loud Yea for some good soul to start a Tipping thread.

I notice this often. In restaurants like MTR and A2B and all, very very few people tip. And in salons after having a nice haircut and pedicure and all I have observed a singular disinclination to leave a basic appreciation for the person(s) who perform the services.

Tipping therefore is a courtesy more often ignored than followed here in India, as per my observation.
Hence the ’El Cheapo’ jibe.
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Old 21st March 2023, 03:35   #233
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Respectful firmness. And absolute brazen full blooded confidence. You’re the Paying Customer. Take a hold of your Rights.

Drop all the ‘others’ at the door step. Don’t be bothered whether they are personal friends or family.

Ask them to wait in the lobby. Politely tell the parking folks that you always prefer to park your car.
Go and Park your car and walk back.

On the way out, excuse yourself 5 minutes early, ask the ‘others to wait in the lobby. Go get your car. Pick them up.

It is Your car and they ought to ‘be understanding of your caution’. I frankly wouldn’t lose any sleep if they aren’t.

If your worry stems from a fear of anyone having a doubt that you’re an ‘El Cheapo’ trying to wriggle out of ‘tipping’ , just keep a C note in hand and give it to the chap who opens the doors for your guests.

If entertaining Company visitors or official guests simply make sure you always have a car and a driver at your disposal. This way there is no need to worry about parking and all that jazz.

I do exactly as I please in these matters. Couldn’t care less what anyone else may choose to ‘perceive’.
Fortunately my days of entertaining official guests (or COs in my case) are over. Now it's usually a social lunch / dinner invitation, sometimes with another couple.

Retrieving the car myself is not a problem but I do get uncomfortable when the doorman/valet get forceful. I have won a number of such "encounters" but my spouse argues (perhaps rightly) that it makes me look petty (if not cheap). I will try to see if something different can be attempted by your comment but my courage deserts me in these critical moments!
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Old 21st March 2023, 03:52   #234
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

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Originally Posted by J2022 View Post
of such "encounters" but my spouse argues (perhaps rightly) that it makes me look petty (if not cheap). I will try to see if something different can be attempted by your comment but my courage deserts me in these critical moments!
Bon Courage Mon Ami!
It is Your car, bought with Your hard earned.
So You have every right to decide on whom you want to allow in the driving seat and indeed any other seat, as well as the right to insist on how it ought to be driven and handled.
In my case Ive made peace with the Spouse. Clearly stated that I will NOT go anywhere in the city or indeed anywhere at all, in ANY of my own cars, where safe self-parking is in question.
And I practise this by ‘digging my toes in and refusing to budge’ like the proverbial recalcitrant mule.
This stance also ties-in beautifully with my overall permanent cunning strategy of completely avoiding these god-blighted and tortuous evening functions, which require much skirmishing through acres of solid metal by way of traffic, on the non-existent surfaces of our pot-holed back-breaking city roads, amidst the vilest of horrid-tempered revolting creatures, in mostly adverse (to me) climatic conditions.

If some form of ‘Satyagraha’ movement is initiated by Spouse and it is decreed to be absolutely mandatory to go to that aforesaid function or get-together and the parking there is likely iffy and involves handing over my precious car keys to some drooling half-wit or untrustworthy critter, then in the first place, I submit with great reluctance, kicking and screaming and gnashing my teeth all the way, and as my secondary (cunning) defence, I roll over, paws in the air and play dead, actually succumbing to the inordinate pressure, by putting pressure of my own kind and demanding to only go all Tuxedo’ed and all, in a rent-a-chauffeured-cab. A sort of halfway house, if you will, engineered to preserve overall peace and decorum.

As an aside, I would much rather hang out with my much loved 4-legged pe(s)t, than go to these god-blighted afore-mentioned ‘functions’ which purport to promote forced bonhomie but thus actually create increased blood pressure.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 21st March 2023 at 04:22.
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Old 21st March 2023, 14:50   #235
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
... As an aside, I would much rather hang out with my much loved 4-legged pe(s)t, than go to these god-blighted afore-mentioned ‘functions’ which purport to promote forced bonhomie but thus actually create increased blood pressure.
Wonderful post!

My spouse could never understand why I would not have pick-up-and-deliver for car servicing. It is not just a case of trusting my car to an unknown driver... it's like sending my body to the doctor and not going with it! How can I get my car serviced without talking to the SA, both before and after?

She also does not understand that it can, for me, be more stressful to be driven by a cabbie than to drive myself. But where parking is going to be valet or difficult, it is the answer.
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Old 21st March 2023, 15:29   #236
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Re: Valet Drivers = Your car's worst nightmare

Ditto here!

Never felt comfortable handing over my car to the vale(t) {restaurant/mall/other places with valet facility insist "saar our valeT will park the car", with emphasis on the "T"!}

No terrible experiences/accidents so far, but once a restaurant misplaced my car keys, searched for it in vain for nearly 30min, finally found it dumped somewhere in that dungeon they call parking lot.

Another instance, the chap obviously misused my car, maybe even went out to buy grocery or entertain his missus, AC vents were misaligned, seats pushed too far back, mats soiled, my last played music folder changed etc.!

I had it enough, since then NEVER handover keys to the valeT, I park my car or else I checkout of the premises, thank you!

Biggest problem is when extended family is in tow - my spouse gives me dagger-looks, don't play this here! But I don't mind, as shankar.balan told, it's my car + also my money that I'm going to spend at their establishment - if they can't entertain my small whim of parking my vehicle myself - they don't get my money!
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