White Castle has apologized and donated $5,000 to the National Guard after having 25 guardsmen’s (and their family’s) cars towed while they attended a welcome home ceremony at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The manager had given permission for the cars to be parked there, but White Castle had them towed anyway. [Chicago Tribune]


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  1. RaptorsAhead_GitEmSteveDave says:

    I just picture some stuck up manager in training questioning every patron if those are their cars outside. When everyone said no, he rubs his hands together and calls the towing company w/o asking the manager. He then expects to get praised the next day.

    • Bladefist says:

      @RaptorsAhead_GitEmSteveDave: Ya I think usually you would be correct, but this sounds like just a lack of communication between the person who approved it, and the person who called it in.

    • coan_net says:

      @RaptorsAhead_GitEmSteveDave: Yup – I agree – lack of communication.

      Places like that always has to watch out for people trying to park their car for free on their lot instead of in the lots they are suppose to be at – and during events, they probable often get cars towed.

      Someone said it was OK – and did not pass the word along. Nothing against White Castle – sounds like a simple mistake and they have done what I consider to be a good job at trying to make it right (pay for all the towing costs – offered some extra money to their “fund” – and even offered some free food.)

  2. HoooooooT says:

    How exactly does one donate to the National Guard? I couldn’t imagine wanting to donate money to the Navy or anything…it’s a government-run enterprise, so I kind of see it like donating to the IRS.

    • valarmorghulis says:

      @hooooooot: If you click on the link it says they donated the $5K to a fund for wounded guardsmen, not to the Guard itself. I think consumerist missed the most important point of the news blurb though:

      “He said White Castle would also refund the towing costs and provide the soldiers free food when they visit the restaurant. “

  3. Nighthawke says:

    Predatory towing companies at it again?

    • valarmorghulis says:

      @Nighthawke: Nope, it appears White Castle actually had the cars towed at their request. Most likly due to a shift-change and the info wasn’t passed on.

  4. AD8BC says:

    Yeah, I think WC just had a lack of communication. In fact, I’ll give them kudos for their response. Over and above.

  5. bohemian says:

    There were people screaming for a national boycott of White Castle over this even after the corporate office said it should not have happened and made the gesture to compensate the people who had their cars towed.

    Sometimes a boycott has a purpose. People need to use a bit more restraint about when they start trying to stage one or the idea loses impact. I fought with Mr. Bohemian over shopping at Target for months because of some inaccurate chain letter floating around that Target was unfair to veterans.

  6. whatdoyoucare says:

    I almost got really mad until I took the time to read the orignal post from the Chicago Trib saying that the WC chain paid everyone’s towing fees plus offered them free food in addition to the $5000 presented to the National Guard. IMHO, WC did a good job correcting the error.

  7. RandomHookup says:

    Never tick off people with access to tanks.

  8. crashfrog says:

    Sounds like bad management to me – the manager made a promise and then neglected to tell anybody else about it.

    Happened to me a few times working at a hotel – the manager would occasionally give people permission to be in the pool after pool hours, but wouldn’t tell any of us anything except “remember, absolutely nobody is allowed to be in the pool after hours.”

    So what were we supposed to do? I ran them out of the pool and locked it up like I was supposed to, because I was given the impression that my job kind of depended on doing just that. Their protestations that “the manager said” meant nothing to me – that’s exactly the lie I would tell to get what I want (and I had a lot of customers lie right to my face about stuff, it was just that kind of place.) I sure as hell wasn’t about to call my boss at 1 in the morning.

    It’s bad management, no question. Managers who make those kinds of promises either need to be around to see it through, or make their promise known to their subordinates.

  9. baristabrawl says:

    Wow. It sucks to live in Indianapolis, now. First my Kroger and now my…okay, I’ve never had White Castle.

  10. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    White Castle has always seemed like a trashy little restaurant/stoner haven (Harold & Kumar really didn’t help their image that much) (the fact that they agreed to the H&K movie makes me like them even more)
    the fact that they admit to the screwup and remedied it in [what appears to be] a timely manner makes me like this company

  11. extremenachos says:

    I live in Indy, I really don’t see why those guys parked at White Castle when there is plenty of parking just south of the new stadium, that was most likely free given that it was for the National Guard. but Delaware Towing is two streets east of that White Castle and are terrible about predatory towing.