Are booters out of control?

I’ll never forget the day I got booted. In a big, white Atlanta Journal-Constitution truck.

I was sent to cover a story outside the Fulton County jail and I decided to take a company vehicle. My colleagues in television thought nothing of jumping the curb in their monstrous trucks and hopping out. The TV trucks were lined up, on the curb, as if to say “Yeah? So?”

But not me. I’m a reporter, not a stunt driver. And I wasn’t sure the trusty AJC truck could handle the off-road heroics of jumping up onto a curb. Instead, I parked across the street from the jail in front of a small building housing a bail bondsman and some other company I can’t remember. Then I walked across the street and interviewed people who had just been released from jail, along with their supporters.

By the time one of my colleagues pointed out the AJC truck was getting booted, it was too late. I got booted. I paid my $75 to have the ugly metal removed, and no, I didn’t ask the company to reimburse me for my mistake. But I fumed about it, and I learned my lesson, I guess.

My AJC colleague Jeremiah McWilliams has recently written about the tactics employed by booters. Do you think they are out of control, providing a vital service or both?

52 comments Add your comment

Edward Hodges

August 27th, 2012
12:57 pm

Don’t do the crime if you can’t pay the fine.


August 27th, 2012
1:32 pm

The lot owners, boot company owners, and employees should be made to fear for their lives until this criminal practice is outlawed.

Honest Citizen

August 27th, 2012
1:32 pm

I think booting companies are run by leeches they prey on everyday citizens.

The companies that contract with them probably get a kickback of the 75 dollars.

Just inform the companies that you will no longer do business with them unless they kick the booting companies to the curb.

Mr Bean

August 27th, 2012
1:35 pm

I no longer go into Atlanta due to the booting problems. Just shop and go out to eat in the burbs.


August 27th, 2012
1:38 pm

Where the parking lots and spaces are resrved or private, i.e., for the use of property owners/tenants/customer, and have signs announcing as much, it’s tough to work up any sympathy for some whiny scofflaw who thinks it’s his god-given right to park wherever the heck he feels like without consequence. Do booters provide a “vital service?” Of course not. But does that justify feeling free to ignore clearly marked parking restrictions? Again, of course not.

Wrongful Blame

August 27th, 2012
1:45 pm

Just more examples of people wanting something for nothing. Booting companies are doing as instructed by property owners/managers. Don’t break the property owners rules and expect them to cut you a break.

Greed is the word

August 27th, 2012
1:57 pm

It’s not about cutting people breaks, it is about common decency and fostering a sense of community instead of greedy individualism. If signage was concise and sufficient and you didn’t have predatory kick-back incentives, people who are booted wouldn’t be so put out. It is the principle of it. But again, pricinple and decency are easily overlooked when greed gets involved.

Greed is the word

August 27th, 2012
2:06 pm

So much for the booting companies and private property owners doing everything above board and having nothing to hide. Not to mention freedom of speech. Apparently the comment I posted highlighting the place I experienced an improper booting was requested removed. Probably because there was something to hide, too many details that I attested to. But to the person that requested my post be removed, It is okay, I have submitted all of the pictures, including those of the police officers that thought the whole thing was funny, and the boot driver transacting with the officers, to many officials both state and city. Maybe if you ran a viable business where you made money on the merit of your product or service you wouldn’t have to defend yourselves so much.


August 27th, 2012
2:13 pm

I got booted but thank goodness there was a “crack” head nearby. He took it off in no time for a measly 10 bucks! I gave him 20 and we were both happy campers.


August 27th, 2012
2:18 pm

I don’t see what the problem is. Stop parking in places where you are not suppose to park. I guess people feel they are entitled to park where ever they so desire.

Add your comment