GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Joe Scidurlo is not very happy with Choice Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains in the world. "Stunned! I’m absolutely stunned. It's unacceptable,” Scidurlo told 3 On Your Side. "I think it's arrogance. They know how big they are. Little old me will not make a big deal to their pocket."
In a previous 3 On Your Side report, Scidurlo explained how he and his wife booked a trip to San Diego and wound up staying at a Rodeway Inn, which falls under the Choice Hotels umbrella. "The front desk lady was really friendly and even gave us some food recommendations that we were really excited to try," he said.
But their excitement did not last long when they left for dinner. "When we decided to exit the hotel room the car was gone," Scidurlo said. Scidurlo says his car had been towed by hotel management. And he wasn't the only one. Scidurlo says two other cars were being towed from the property. In fact, he shot cellphone video showing the hotel manager, a guest and the tow truck driver all arguing over the towing.
Here's the problem. The hotel guests, including Scidurlo, were told they did not properly display their receipt in their vehicle indicating they were guests. The receipt, he was told, acts as a "parking pass" for the property even though the words "parking pass" are not mentioned anywhere on the paper.
But Scidurlo says the paper was displayed as he was told to do and his car was still towed. To get his car back, Scidurlo says he had to pay the towing company $545.
3 On Your Side got involved and asked Choice Hotels to investigate and to also consider reimbursing Scidurlo $545 for the misunderstanding.
In an email, Choice Hotels responded, " ... the parking lot is restricted to hotel guests who display a document that serves as a parking pass ... "
" ... the vehicle was towed because the pass was not visibly displayed."
They go on to say, "The hotel informed us that unfortunately, at this time it is unable to reimburse the fees assessed by the towing company."
Scidurlo says he's disappointed. "I know 3 On Your Side is well-respected and constantly viewed. But I know a large demographic may never see this video or story."
As a result, Scidurlo says he's not standing still. He intends to launch a social media campaign regarding his parking fiasco. "My goal at this point is to exhaust every other resource that I have whether it's social media or my circle of friends. I need everyone to know what they're getting involved with if they stay at Choice Hotels."