7 On Your Side

Bulky bins block storefront for months

Friday, October 12, 2012

Call it a "double fault." Two hulking steel storage units were blocking out business for a local tennis store.

For the past three decades, Mark Mason's battled to keep his mom and pop tennis stores going. But last March, he was dealt with an over-hand smash made of steel.

"They elected to put it right in front of our shop!" he said. "We thought it was only here for a few days!"

Those few days turned into seven months.

"This totally hurts my visibility," Mason explained.

Mason said the colossal container leaves his business out of sight--and mind--from customers costing him big bucks.

"It really hurts us," Mason said. "We've lost about six figures in income from this storage bin."

"It's been a hindrance, a big hindrance," Mayling Chang said.

And when Mason and his manager tried to get action from the company renting the big bin, they said they got nothing but backspin.

"It was supposed to be moved at the end of May, and at that time, communication stopped," Chang added.

Worried about more lost business before the U.S. Open, she filed a complaint with 3-1-1 and DOT issued a summons, but a month later, the bin still hadn't budged.

"We had a beautiful window, and you couldn't see it from the other side of the street," Mason said.

So, 7 On Your Side tracked down the company renting the bin, TC Electric. Their manager said he thought they had a valid permit, but 7 On Your Side found out it had expired back in May.

"It's the only retain store on the block, and it's been right in front of their business for the last almost seven months," Nina Pineda explained on the phone to the company.

Twenty-four hours after 7 On Your Side set them straight: first, one bin was emptied and removed, and a few days later, the tennis store was served an ace--as the bigger bin was hauled away in the dead of night.

"It means so much to us," Mason said to 7 On Your Side after the storage bins were removed. "We went through so many channels. You were the only channel to get anything done."

The DOT said this company was fined $750 and has had violations in the past.

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