According to AT&T Employees, this sign says 'AT&T Employee Parking Only'. Where??!! Maybe they need LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow app from Kickstarter!

According to AT&T Employees, this sign says ‘AT&T Employee Parking Only’. Where??!! Maybe they need LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow app from Kickstarter!

1900 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

On July 10, 2014 I parked at AT&T Wireless in a lot labeled “AT&T Wireless” with warnings they would tow others. I went in and inquired on some rate plans and phones. I then saw where I was and there was a friend across the street so I left to see how they were and noticed a tow truck heading to my car. The AT&T Store manager  had my car towed moments later. I stopped the tow.

They CLAIMED the lot I was in said AT&T Employee parking but one look at the sign says “AT&T Parking”. The employee said it was an employee lot but I proved the sign simply says ‘AT&T parking’ and advised me to park in front of the store, then advised me they tow there too. So where in the WORLD is one to park ? The unmarked employee lot ? The regular lot where they tow too ? There’s no marking that the regular lot is even an AT&T lot!

AT&T Wrireless then claimed the lot on which THIS sign was - is AT&T marked. It is not. It is simply a tow sign! NO AT&T Markings!

AT&T Wrireless then claimed the lot on which THIS sign was – is AT&T marked. It is not. It is simply a tow sign! NO AT&T Markings!

I was told then it was because of construction cutting off other parking. So many reasons and yet not one good one. They SCRAMBLED to try to explain this. They kept trying to give excuses as to why I was towed. I was baffled at why the manager didn’t break away to explain this to me. I understand prioritizing customers but this conversation took place within 6 feet of the manager on duty.

Associate tried to cover for manager and the Tow driver was frustrated because I showed him the proof of my visit (a time stamped email sent BY the sales associate to me) and was called out unnecessarily. – I do not know if she gets kickbacks from tows or not but something was up. Who tows after 15 minutes in a space? Unless there is a FINANCIAL GAIN by the manager. Manager was there but would not speak to me.

This doesn't say 'Employee' on it. The AT&T Rep claimed this was marked 'AT&T Employee Parking'. LeVar, let's get AT&T the Reading Rainbow App!

This doesn’t say ‘Employee’ on it. The AT&T Rep claimed this was marked ‘AT&T Employee Parking’. LeVar, let’s get AT&T the Reading Rainbow App!

Interestingly enough the spots in the ‘Employee Parking Lot’ were marked as pictured, ‘AT&T” but the spots in front of the actual store are unmarked and there is no AT&T parking sign, just a towing sign. Another question – when we shot these photos there were a TON of employees parked in the lower lot and virtually no one in the upper lot. There were not many employees ‘inside the store’ visable. Some may have been in the back. But still, no tow truck, many cars, are some of these cars manager’s friends who are allowed to park even though customers get towed? Just wondering.  Maybe the manager is pocketing money to allow others to park there and I didn’t pay her off. It’s really hard to say here.  Not even speculation, just wondering.

Recommendation is to drive a block or so to T-Mobile. Big lot, parking policy is laid out along with Five Guys. No fake signs that don’t say “Employee” parking.

The Upper lot. Empty. Many more 'Employees' than customers when photographed, assuming all the lower lot were indeed 'Store Employees' which I actually would question given how empty the store really was.

The Upper lot. Empty. Many more ‘Employees’ than customers when photographed, assuming all the lower lot were indeed ‘Store Employees’

Let’s explore TMobile’s parking just ONE block down the road. When you go to TMobile, you find a totally DIFFERENT situation. The lot has a parking machine and you are allowed 2 hrs without paying. They are very parking friendly, there’s a 5 guys built in. AT&T is stand alone so that’s less demand, 5 Guys is a top notch burger place, with MORE demand. You’d figure parking would be MORE of an issue than at AT&T given the higher demand and all the neat places surrounding such as Jack in the Box.

I went into Tmobile to discuss their network, on a recent trip from Nashville to PA I only had coverage in Nashville, Greenville, Harrisburg, and NYC. Nothing in between. My backup AT&T Gophone had coverage the ENTIRE trip. I inquired whether it was the coverage map or my device that caused the outtage. Incidentally it was the same conversation I was having at AT&T!  I wanted to get down to the bottom of it.

My main concern was AAA – I had JUST bought a $125 AAA package and knew it was a 2600 mile trip, I needed access to AAA, and if your phone is not getting signal, as the T-Mobile phone was not, AAA is usesless, they use the phone to send updates on service calls and tows. My Go-Phone from AT&T actually was my AAA lifeline.  I wondered why T-Mobile couldn’t be this phone.

My Go-Phone from AT&T is an old Motorola Razr V3xx, 3g and fairly reliable – I get 1 or 2 calls out before the battery dies – the phone is ancient – but it’s just enough to call AAA and get a callback, which is all I need from it on the AT&T Network.

T-Mobile, 2014 W End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

T-Mobile, 2014 W End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

As it turns out, TMo bought Verizon spectrum and started expanding West to East which didn’t help my road trip last month.

Back to TMobile’s parking just one block down, you can see from the photos their policy, the lack of parking in general and yet it’s managed so much more efficiently and when I got back from TMo AND A quick bite to eat at Jack-in-the-Box, my car was still there.

I am a TMo and AT&T Wireless customer, and yet had a MUCH better experience at TMobile’s store, just one block away. It was baffling to me why things had to be that way at AT&T Wireless’s new store. It was just built, so it’s not like there were constraints from 20 years ago on this building!

T-Mobile's setup is 2 hrs parking free, plainly marked.  Much friendlier downtown policy. The Uncarrier is also the Friendly Parker!

T-Mobile’s setup is 2 hrs parking free, plainly marked. Much friendlier downtown policy. The Uncarrier is also the Friendly Parker!

It’s crazy because the T-Mobile lot is SMALLER than the two AT&T Lots and yet much better managed, just 1 block down the road, on the same side of the street!

The T-Mobile lot pictured is a lot smaller and yet my car was there upon return. You can see how everything is posted, everything is clear, and there are no tow trucks!!

In fairness the parking spots in FRONT of T-Mobile, the metered ones, are magnets for tickets but I’ve seen the staff WARN people parking there that the spots are ticket magnets. So once again the ‘uncarrier’ scores a point on MaBell 2.0.

Why does AT&T need to tow so fast? Are there kickbacks from the tow company? Do they need the spots to charge others to ‘park there’? Why is this ? The tow company was upset when I showed them the email that proved my visit to the store minutes earlier. This isn’t speculation, just wondering.

The T-Mobile Lot.

The T-Mobile Lot.

Coverage is weaker but improving so I’ll stick with T-Mobile. At least with T-Mobile I know where my car will be after a visit. Same street. 1 block from each other. And totally different takes on parking. I’ll stick with the ‘uncarrier’ and wait for the network to improve, but I’ll also maintain my GoPhone for emergencies and AAA.

There was a rolling road-block that hour as Vice President Joe Biden came to visit downtown Nashville. I wonder if AT&T towed his car??!!

Update: 7/14/2014:   T-Mobile’s John Legere’s twitter folks favorited our post about this incident while AT&T has yet to comment on it.

It just shows another difference between the UnCarrier and MaBell 2.0

I’ve dealt with AT&T before, in the mid 2000’s I had to prove, via faxing payments and bills that I didn’t owe them money, I was offered a candy bar phone and had to fight for a Razr after being with them for 9 years, and when that Razr was lost a few years later, they gave me a hard time and that’s when I came to T-Mobile. I had been with an incarnation of AT&T since 1996. Left in 2007.

john-legere-favorited-tweet

T-Mobile’s John Legere favorited this tweet to this review. AT&T’s CEO referred it to executive customer service who referred it to a district manager who hasn’t reached out. Once again, the UnCarrier ROCKS! Mabell 2.0 slacks.

Update: See photo below: