1. GA-English
  2. News

No way out: Couple couldn’t get out of parking garage in Bad Godesberg

No way out : Couple couldn’t get out of parking garage in Bad Godesberg

A couple went to get some groceries and couldn’t get out of the parking ramp at the “City Terrassen” in Bad Godesberg. For nearly an hour, they tried in vain, even the emergency number didn’t work. The owner says it was a technical defect.

Paul and Monika Haag got into a difficult predicament. As customers of the Rewe supermarket in the “City Terrassen” in Bad Godesberg, they parked on the fourth deck of the parking garage. At the entrance, a friendly cashier informed them that they could have the parking ticket validated with a purchase of at least 15 euros, which they did.

"But then we had a surprise: at the exit, the machine did not accept the ticket, and the barrier did not open." Haag hurried to the parking payment machine to pay for a normal parking ticket. The machine responded with the message: The customer has already paid. The couple reported that it then tried to insert the ticket at the exit in all different ways but to no avail.

They pressed on the emergency button many times but got no response. Other drivers asked about the problem but they could not help. Finally, they just had to move off to the side. They walked to the entrance to get a new ticket, but one couldn’t get a ticket without a car entering through the gate. Further attempts to reach someone at the emergency call button did not result in any contact.

"We felt terrible," said the Haags. Only after three quarters of an hour did a person answer the emergency call button. "Immediately, the barrier went up, and we were free." They will not forget the incident so quickly. It should be possible to drive out with a ticket validated by Rewe, say the customers. And a parking garage employee needs to be available to deal with issues that arise - parkers shouldn’t have to wait nearly an hour to get out.

Parking garage not operated by the supermarket

Thomas Bonrath, spokesman for Rewe Markt GmbH, answered a GA inquiry, saying the parking garage in the building was not operated by Rewe, but by the landlord. Rewe was not aware of the incident. Bonrath concluded that it was a “regrettable individual case, and an individual problem with the parking ticket or a short-term technical disruption.”

Because the description of the problem indicated that the parking fee had been paid, Bonrath believes it was a technical defect in the gate system. He said he would contact the parking garage operators about personnel not being accessible when the incident occurred, to make sure such an experience is not repeated.

The landlord of the parking garage regrets the incident as well. In response to GA, Anke Sostmann, Executive Director of Feldhoff & Cie. GmbH in Frankfurt said: "We are sorry that a customer experienced inconvenience because of an error in the gate system." There had been some maintenance work done on the gate on the morning of that day. However, to find out exactly why the emergency call did not work, they would need the exact departure time of the customer. "With validation of the parking ticket at Rewe, the customer may park exactly for one hour - otherwise parking fees apply," said Sostmann.

Orig. text: Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu

Translation: ck