CINCINNATI — Ever park illegally? That usually means a ticket or a tow, but some lot owners are switching to the "sticker of shame."
Joe Frankenhoff, a Madeira, Ohio, electrician, received one and is furious. He has a picture on his phone of a large fluorescent sticker that had been slapped on the window of his truck.
"This green sticker is plastered on the driver's side window, where your vision is, where you can't see," he said. "They stick this non-removable sticker right in your line of sight so you can't drive the car safely."
Frankenhoff and his wife were returning from Sunday brunch in downtown Cincinnati's Pendleton district when they found the sticker on their car. The bright green sticker claimed he was illegally parked. Frankenhoff said they had indeed paid to park but didn't realize they also needed to place their ticket on their dashboard.
"They should have a sign that says to put the receipt on the dash," he said.
But only the fine print on the ticket says that, not the sign board where he had paid by credit card.
At least he didn't get a parking ticket
Frankenhoff realizes it could have been worse, because he has no fine to pay.
Other lots will put a boot on your wheel or tow your car, which is a lot more serious and expensive.
We contacted Broadway Parking, the company that owns the 13th Street lot. A spokesman told us they are "doing this as a courtesy to parking violators" and "a $100 towing fee helps no one."
The spokesman said they don't want to chase people out of downtown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stickers like this are a new nationwide trend, and attorneys say it is legal as long as it is not placed on the paint, where it could damage your car.
Sticky glue makes them embarrassing
The biggest issue with the sticker is that you can't peel it until you get home.
"It took me 15 or 20 minutes of scraping and soaking and scraping," Frankenhoff said. "And then I had to get Goo Gone to get the last bit off it."
That's why it's called the"sticker of shame" — you have to drive around telling the world you are a parking violator.
Some people end up driving around with the sticker on their window for days.
While the sticker is frustrating, however, it sure beats having to pay a parking ticket or find and then pay cash to retrieve a towed vehicle.
Follow the instructions carefully when parking, and read the fine print, so you don't waste your money.
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