May 4, 2012
Good Morning KoOlina Resort and Marina Management,
Yesterday, May 3, 2012 my sister (visiting from California), my daughter, her friend and I, visited the Island Country Market store at approximately 4:00 pm. I've been there several times with other relatives and visitors before, and like the service and the touristy items that they sell there. After purchasing several items, (see attached file for receipts), we decided to eat at the Just Tacos Restaurant since it was Cinco de Mayo time. At approximatly 4:50 pm, we left the market and since it was a little early for dinner, my sister suggested we visit the Aulani before eating dinner. This was her first visit ever to the entire KoOlina Resort area. I took the time, to read the signs posted in the parking lot prior to leaving. It states, Customers Only, No Beach Parking, and 2 hours maximum. I complied with everything on the sign. We then walked across the street for a short 20 - 30 minutes visit (well within the 2 hour maximum time alloted). As we walked back to Just Tacos, my daughter noticed the bright pink sticker and boot tire lock that was on my van. This means, that someone from the Aloha Team must have been watching our vehicle, and the boot was placed on my van at approximately 4:55 pm through 5:15 pm well within the 2 hour maximum time limit. After calling the number on the sticker, Steve from the Aloha Team explained that once I left the premises, I was no longer considered a customer. The parking signs do not state this at all. Steve also said that this is private property and I could be considered "trespassing" if I did not comply with this unposted parking rule. He also stated that he would contact HPD if I didn't cooperate and pay the $50 fee. I truly felt embarrased and harrased. Clearly, the parking lot signs do not say that you are not a customer any longer if you leave the premises. We did not visit the beach, we did not stay longer than 2 hours and we did purchase items from the store there. I do not feel I "violated" any rules/laws as stated on the parking signs in this lot. I followed and complied with the 3 rules posted on the parking lot signs.
The worst part of all of this is that my sister who was having such a pleasant experience, was visibly upset and never wants to visit KoOlina again. We all didn't feel like eating tacos anymore, so Just Tacos lost out on our business because of this!! KoOlina has always been an area of calm and tranquility for me and my family. After this jarring and embarassing encounter, I feel angry and disappointed by the actions of this security company that calls itself the "Aloha Team".
I know I am not the first to encounter this and will probably not be the last, so I would like to offer these suggestions:
1) Have Steve from Aloha Team equipped with a laptop. He should be instructed to "give a warning" the first time this happens and not charge the $50 dollar cash only fee by looking up the license plate number from a database that lists "prior" vehicle license plate numbers. That's being a true "Aloha Team" security person.
2) Issue "Warning, Your Vehicle has committed a parking violation, your license plate number has been recorded" peel off stickers to post on vehicles "the first time" this happes.. Have Steve enter the license plate number/vehicle description onto a simple database at the time of putting on this first warning sticker. Then if this same vehicle with license plate shows up a 2nd time, you then put the tire boot on and charge a $75 cash only fee.
3) Add "parking violation if you leave the premises" and define "premises" on all of your parking signs in this lot.
I would like to get reimbursed the $50 and can be reached at TheArcios@gmail.com
I truly believe these suggestions are good ones for everyone concerned, and I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
cc: Island Country Markets (ABC Stores)
Aloha Team Security
Just Tacos Grill and Cantina