3 companies in Eyewitness News investigation told to shut down

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Several long term parking lots near John F. Kennedy International Airport are facing scrutiny from the New York City Department of Buildings following an Eyewitness News investigation.

'7 On Your Side Investigates' recently examined problems with multiple third party websites that provide booking platforms for parking lots to advertise available spots.

We found several companies advertising parking on the websites with no apparent business license and in violation of city zoning laws.

Eyewitness News reached out to DOB about our findings and a department spokesperson confirmed investigators would examine the lots for violations.

According to that spokesperson, the department's padlock team has begun enforcement on three companies advertising on those third party websites ordering them to stop the illegal parking activity.

The department has also issued violations to another two companies accusing them of offering illegal parking spots.

A spokesperson confirmed investigators would be visiting additional questionable lots identified by Eyewitness News.

We began looking into the issue of illegal long term parking spots, after receiving multiple complaints from individuals traveling through JFK about unprofessional service, vehicle damage and even illegal parking tickets.

Most of the travelers had secured reservations through third-party websites that provide booking platforms for parking lots to advertise available spots.
"I just wanted the nightmare to end," Kathy McFadden said.

McFadden said she initially booked at one lot near JFK ahead of a tropical vacation only to find that lot was full. She said she quickly revisited the booking platform she had used and booked a subsequent backup spot.

When she returned from her vacation, she says she was shuttled to the long term parking lot where she had left her car in a vehicle without enough seating, operated by a driver more occupied with his phone than the road. She says she then spent nearly two hours looking for the keys to her car.

"There were like a hundred other keys in this box," McFadden said. "There was no label put on the keys. There was no tag of any sort."

Booking with an unlicensed company puts consumers at a higher risk and limits the resources they will have should a problem occur.

Before booking a parking spot online, consumers can check for a vehicle's license by visiting the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs website.

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