Car Sharing Co. Gets the Boot–Literally–After Landlord Locks Up Mercedes
Car2Go customer illegally parks Mercedes in Seattle neighborhood, landlord charges company storage fees in kind.
Car-sharing services are usually a great option to have when you need a car for a short period of time, such as a quick trip to the store or to pick up a few friends on the way to a get-together at a restaurant, but with the ability to drive yourself instead of leaving it all up to a stranger, then park it in the appropriate place for the next renter to pick up and start the whole process again.
What you shouldn’t do is park the short-term rental on someone else’s private property. Alas, someone did just that in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle with a Car2Go Mercedes CLA 250. Landlord Dan Smith was not amused by this misdead, and according to KIRO-FM, he took matters into his own hands (plus a hammer and a few nails) when all else failed.
“I immediately called Car2Go and let them know, and I gave them a six-hour grace window, basically,” Smith said. “I told them if the car wasn’t gone, moved, within six hours, I’d call a tow truck. I called the tow truck, they said, ‘Call the police.’ I called the police, they said, ‘Call a tow truck.’”
After three attempts to get a tow for the displaced Mercedes, Smith told the car-sharing service he’d move the car for them. Car2Go said he wasn’t allowed, that only their customers had the authority. Then, they brushed him off for a week.
That was when the hammer and nails came out to play.
“I wanted to be very careful because the car is not my property,” Smith said. “So I tried to think very carefully, what do I have the right to do?”
What he did was build a pig pen for the wayward Mercedes, then took on a new business as a storage manager. Smith informed Car2Go and its parent company Share Now that they would be charged $65 a day for using the space, $300 for the labor in building the pen, and up to $500 for wasting his life on dealing with the service’s clients. In fact, seven such customers tried to check-out the car to no avail the day the impromptu impound lot was established.
“I’m not trying to hold it hostage, I’m trying to be a good businessman … They’re forcing me into a business relationship,” said Smith.
“People are not made aware of where to park, where not to park and how to use them,” one of Smith’s renters, Asid Rasheed, told sister TV station KIRO-TV. “This is a common occurrence. This once a month, once every two months. You see cars parked there.”
Share Now told KIRO-TV that they were trying to reach Smith to get the Mercedes back out on the road, but emphasized they were not going to pay the property owner for the illegal theft of his property. Meanwhile, Smith told KIRO-FM that the company threatened to call the police on him for holding their car hostage.
As for the jerk who started the whole thing? They’re probably looking for another Mercedes to illegally park in Seattle. For their sake, let’s hope Sir Mix-a-Lot’s posse doesn’t run up on them on Broadway “in the black Benz limo with the cellular phone.”