Jason Accardi, CEO of 717 Parking Enterprises, is seeking to have all metered and free parking in the city of Tampa re-designated as ‘accessible’, which would result in anyone parking in these spots without proper disability parking credentials being subject to fines and towing.
“This is something I want to get done on behalf of the handicapples or whatever we’re supposed to call them now. The fact that it would benefit my company is a coincidence that I haven’t even thought very much about every single time I see a car parked somewhere that doesn’t put money directly into my pocket”, said Accardi, standing outside Tampa City Hall soliciting signatures on a petition labeled ‘Paint ‘Em ALL Blue’.
717 is a predatory fine-collection and vehicle-towing referral service that markets itself without irony somehow as “the nation’s leading parking provider… committed to exceeding the hospitality goals of facilities across the U.S.” with the stated goal of creating “an immediate positive impression. With courtesy, professionalism and an acute attention to detail… unparalleled service and performance”.
Regarding 717, the Better Business Bureau notes that “files indicate that the business has a pattern of complaints concerning refund disputes”, with 61 complaints filed in the last three years, including 14 filed in 2020. Many of these complaints have received ‘courteous’ and ‘professional’ responses from 717 management featuring misspelled words, bad grammar and the sarcastically dismissive farewell of ‘Have a great day!’
When asked if he was concerned that this latest endeavor might further negatively impact his scummy company’s already deeply negative reputation, he shrugged and said, “Nah. I mean it will, but I’m not concerned about it. I’m not concerned about any aspect of customer service as it relates to anyone’s experience and perception of us as providers of that service. Why would I be? People already refer to us as ‘the parking mafia’, which is absurd because the mafia conducts its business with a degree of honor. I might care what people say or why they feel the way they do if I wasn’t too busy cashing their checks.”
“Listen, 2020 has been tough on us because Covid is keeping people from going out like they usually do”, he continued. “We’ve been trying to supplement our revenue losses by having our agents lie to Uber Eats drivers about where they can park long enough to pick up their orders so we can fine the shit out of them and that’s been pretty good. But we could be doing much better and this whole ADA parking dodge…err, I mean community outreach initiative… I came up with would help us. It’s not personal it’s business because we’re in the business of personally fucking with people.”
Further explaining his plan, he said, “It’s pretty simple; if you’re not a stumbly-wumbly with a magic hang tag or license plate, you can risk a $250 fine by parking on the street or you can just park in one of our lots, which we don’t monitor for your personal safety or the security of your vehicle and for which we take no liability. All you have to do is attempt to use your credit or debit card at one of our inconveniently located, frequently malfunctioning automated pay stations for somewhat less than that.”
At that moment, a woman in a wheelchair approached Accardi to sign his petition. “God bless you for doing this”, she said as he held his clipboard just low enough for her to reach it. At the same time, a tow truck that had been called by a 717 attendant arrived to take her vehicle to be impounded somewhere in Brandon. She noticed what was happening just as the truck was hooking up her van to haul it off. “Hey, what the hell!”, she exclaimed. “All the Christmas presents I’m delivering to homeless kids are in there!”, to which Accardi replied, “Have a great day!”