GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Joe Scidurlo and his wife Katie like to get away sometimes, particularly to California.
"We've been to San Diego many, many times with friends and family or just she and I," Scidurlo told 3 On Your Side. "We've been there a lot."
But on a recent San Diego trip, things did not go so well. "This is arguably the single worst experience we've ever had," he said.
Here's what happened. Scidurlo and his wife recently checked into a San Diego Rodeway Inn, which falls under a major chain called Choice Hotels. "The front desk lady was really friendly and even gave us some food recommendations that we were really excited to try."
While the couple was leaving the hotel office, they were given what they said was a generic piece of paper to put in their car indicating they were paying guests and that they were authorized to park on the property.
"This would be the parking pass," Scidurlo said as he showed us the paper. "It doesn't indicate anything about a parking necessity or a tow company if my car did, in fact, turn up missing."
Scidurlo says he put the paper in a visual spot and parked. But, a few hours later, he says the unexpected happened. "When we decided to exit the hotel room, our car was gone."
It turns out, Scidurlo and his wife's car had been towed, and he says other vehicles were about to be towed as well. "It was shock and awe. I mean, we were stunned," he said.
Scidurlo shot cellphone video, which he says shows the property manager, the tow truck driver, and other guests arguing over the issue. Scidurlo claims that the so-called parking pass he was given did absolutely no good, and he was forced to pay to remove his vehicle from the tow yard.
"How much did you have to pay to get your car out?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked. "$545," Scidurlo replied.
Scidurlo says the issue is a misunderstanding on someone's part and asked 3 On Your Side for help getting his $545 back. So, I got a hold of Choice Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains globally, and they say they're investigating the matter. Scidurlo says he's certainly happy to hear that and is glad 3 On Your Side is involved.
"I'm hoping that this doesn't happen to anybody else. That's the number one thing," Scidurlo said.
Again, the hotel chain says it's actively looking into the issue. I'll let you know what they find out and if any money is returned to this viewer in a follow-up report.