NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After being charged $57 for 49 minutes in a Metropolis parking lot in downtown Nashville, Phil Weinstein figured there must’ve been a mistake.
“And they said, ‘No, that’s…that’s not a mistake,'” Weinstein said.
Weinstein visited Nashville in June to spend time with family and wanted to take his mother around downtown for a short walk. He found a spot in a parking lot that used to be operated by Premier Parking, but was acquired by Metropolis in 2022.
‘It was like $50 for overnight parking, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s okay. Really, we’re not going to be there that long,'” he recalled.
When he saw the charge, he reached out to Metropolis and didn’t get a refund.
Part of the response read, “special rates can be implemented at any time and are not usually displayed [on] the signage.”
Weinstein was one of 66 people who complained to the Division of Consumer Affairs within the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.
“They’re shaking down all these people that come and just to park for a night out in town,” he said.
Others who complained to the Attorney General’s Office this year said they were charged $100 or more for just driving through a Metropolis lot.
“On 15 May, 2023, I received a letter in the mail from Metropolis saying I need to pay for parking and a penalty which was very upsetting as I never parked,” one person wrote.
According to the complaint file, Metropolis’ paralegal agreed to refund the customer and offered an explanation.
“Like most parking garages, the timer for a customer’s parking session starts when they enter the garage. Because the customer’s visit was unpaid and past the grace period of 10 minutes, a violation was automatically generated. We recognize that sometimes parking facilities may be at capacity,” the representative wrote.
Metropolis also refunded other customers with similar complaints, according to the Division of Consumer Affairs’ records.
The Middle Tennessee Better Business Bureau said Metropolis has “a pattern of complaints” regarding their billing and customer services.
“Several customers have reported being charged for parking despite not actually parking in the facility. Meanwhile, others have stated that they saw signage indicating that their license plate would be recorded, and they would receive a bill later on. However, they received a bill much later than expected, which included an extra fee,” said the BBB in a statement to News 2.
The BBB said they are working with Metropolis to improve customer dispute response times to 48-72 hours and have signage posted in multiple places at each lot.
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However, customers said refunds and faster response times are just one part of the problem.
“Just figure it out so we can park like normal people,” said regular Metropolis customer Stephen Miller. “I mean for an hour, I’ve seen anywhere between $20 to $50 for three hours that can be, you know, ballpark of $100. So, it just…it just depends.”
In response to emails to their press office, help desk, and legal team, a Metropolis representative said News 2’s request for comment was being forwarded to the proper people.