By Brooks Day
Posted 10:18 AM Apr. 21, 2010
Parking meters have lined the curb in front of Randy Dennis' 2 G's clothing store in Columbia's Five Points for the past few years. And Dennis says the meters have caused problems for his customers who have to rush through shopping to keep from getting an overtime parking ticket. He decided to help his customers out by feeding their meters.
"The customers like it. If we are in the store and a customer is saying I need to go feed my meter we tell them we will take care of it for you and put our own money in there," said Dennis.
You will see Dennis walking up and down Saluda Avenue dropping in a few coins for shoppers. Customers think what he does is great.
"It makes you feel more comfortable in the store when you want to shop. You don't have to run back out to re-feed your meter," said customer Sennie Johnson.
"I think customers are more likely to shop down here if they know someone is paying your meter," said customer Tiffany Melanis.
Dennis says when he sees a meter man coming down checking meters he will walk out of his store and start feeding meters.
"I get in front of him and go down the isle feeding the meters. It's kind of a funny thing once I start feeding the meters for everybody the ticket guy tries to get ahead of me to write someone a ticket," he says.
Dennis says he has spoken with city authorities and they say it isn't illegal for him to feed people's meters. So now he can meet his goal to make his customers happy when they leave.
"Now when people leave here they don't leave with a ticket. They leave with a good experience in Five Points."
Dennis says he wants to keep people happy by continuing to feed the meters so they will have some extra change to spend.