Tech helped couple win dispute with towing company - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tech helped couple win dispute with towing company

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A Kunia couple dining in Waikiki earlier this month say technology helped them win a dispute with a towing company.

Steven and Jessica Parsell went to dinner on Kapahulu Avenue and parked in an open lot. They paid the meter using the new Park Mobile App, which instantly sends an email confirmation to the phone.

The receipt showed they had from 8:34 p.m. to 10:34 p.m. But when they got out of the restaurant about 10 p.m. that night, their car was gone.

"We didn't know if our car had been stolen," said Jessica Parsell.

They say two other families had also been towed, so they all rode together to Ace Towing on Makepono Street.    

Steven Parsell says he showed the employee the receipt on his phone, and a screen shot that said he still had time left on the meter, but he says the attendant at Ace Towing told him he needed to pay $190 to get his car back. 

"They didn't care," he said. "They said it wasn't their problem."

Refusing to pay the $190, the Kunia couple left without their car.

The next day, after making several calls, Parsell was told that there had been a mistake and the charges would be waived.

Mary Joe Rivera of Ace Towing says the dispatcher wasn't properly trained on the app procedures and gave the tow truck operator approval to take the car.

Rivera sent this statement to Hawaii News Now:

"I understand that we did make an error and apologized to Mr. Parsell.  We have taken action on making sure this error does not happen again. Ace Towing's contact information is posted on all the signs and if customers have questions they are welcome to call our office."

The Better Business Bureau says they have had a lot of complaints about Ace Towing  and the BBB Review gives it an "F" for failing to respond to eight separate complaints.

Gregory Dunn, president and CEO of the BBB, says what happened to the Parsells is bad for all the business in the Kapahulu area.

"If you get towed by a lot, you're not going to go back. Once bitten, twice shy," Dunn said

Steven Parsell says they had an amazing dinner at Uncle Bo's, but the parking issue left, well, a bad taste in his mouth.

"I love the restaurant. It's one of my favorites in all of Honolulu. But it's going to be awhile before I come back down (to Waikiki)," he said.

Jessica Parsell says she was glad that the Park Mobile App sends instant emails confirming payment.

She says it was the only proof they had and without it, probably would have had to pay $190 to get their car back.

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