Time’s Up

Without going into tedious detail, it took 6 tries over a period of 2 months to get my account set up with whoever it is that runs the pay-by-mobile-phone-to-park system.  It was hell and agony that only dealing with (a) muddy recordings and (2) mumbling morons can provide.  But we get ‘er done.

However, the parking meter still indicates EXPIRED.  So I call back, wait the 12 minutes for a cretin, and ask why.  He tells me it won’t change.  I ask what happens when the cop waddles by, sees the flashing EXPIRED and writes me a ticket.  He says it won’t happen — cops are aware of the pay-by-phone system and have a procedure to follow to verify.

This isn’t good.  What happens when the dumbfuck cop doesn’t bother to follow through?  What do I do with the ticket he writes?

Won’t happen, they tell me and I know I yam ge-screwed.

A few minutes before my purchased time is set to expire, I get a text message warning me, and asking me if I’d like to add time.  Yes, I text back.  Add 30 minutes.  Return text: “parking failed as text in wrong format.  Send LOCATION DURATION, e.g., 7002 10.”  I text back 82530 30.  Text back:” Sorry location not found.”  Doh!

There’s a little more but it’s moot: when I get back to planet vehicle there’s a parking ticket that was written 20 minutes after I parked, or, 70 minutes before my time was up.

I call back and raise holy fucking hell, even getting the nimrod I spoke to about this the first time.  I demand to know what happens, who calls the cops, who pays the fine, whose house I have to firebomb.  I get all Jersey on him to see if I can make him pis his pants or at least cry, but the best I get is groveling.  I manage to get him to tell me the name and number of somebody in his office I can scream at tomorrow, something I’ll start promptly at 9 AM and continue all day.

Why is this so difficult and ineffective?  These asshats can’t even tell me in straightforward terms what the procedure is when situations like this arise, as they must all the time.  Who do they call or write to?  Where’s my documentation of payment and receipt?  Somebody fucked up — them or the cops — and I’m on the hook for the penalty.

Anybody have any stories to share about this kind of experience?  Anything I should know or do?  I have 3 days to appeal.

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10 Responses to Time’s Up

  1. I never ever heard of pay via mobile phone for parking. What a good idea. So is a spray floor wax thats also a dessert topping. I’ve said this for years, the computers were meant to set us free and give us all the time in the world to frolic amongst the unicorn and Eloi in fertile fields with beautiful , willing naked blondes. In reality, they take away our freedom ( it take but a second to put the quarter into the meter) and btw, upon hearing where you parked, Great Leader Kim Il Jung called and asked why the hell you aren’t simply carrying change in your car to feed the meter and “don’t palk in that spot anymore…evelybody knows that fucking metel is bloken and why are you dliving a Scion, Capitalrist Pig”.

    • Hugh Bris says:

      Hey Duh-beneezer, caves worked fine to live in for thousands of years, too but there’s this process we civilized types call “progress” and some of us are smart enough to appreciate it.

      The phone/meter system is good because it provides a written record for expenses, can be managed remotely so you can add time without dashing out to the meter when you’re stuck somewhere, and of course makes it easier to use the meter because not everybody has 10 quarters in their pockets for 2 hours of parking, and carrying money around in the car is a bad idea in a place like Miami.

      It’s better than the Master Meter system which is a pain in the ass, with running back to the car to put a slip of paper inside (which also announces to break-in artists and car thieves how long the car will be unattended), and which can’t be added on to so ends up costing more money.

      I like this system a lot, which has been used all over Europe for several years now, and will probably become the default system in this country soon. One reason it takes so long is because of Luddites like you who refuse to embrace progress. You’re probably old.

  2. Ruh Roh says:

    I’ve used the system for about a year without incident, but yes, setting it up is outrageously difficult and I needed to talk to somebody, too before completing it. The better way to do this would be on-line, completing a form, but I don’t know if this is available. Another good idea would be for the company’s web site to appear on the meter so prospective customers could research it first.

  3. Barbara Ganousch says:

    I like it because I can take care of parking without getting out of the car and reaching into my wallet or pocketbook, which is a vulnerable position on the street. What happened to you here is something I worried about but never happened to me. Yet.

  4. Hose B says:

    Give up. I tried about 10 times to set up an account and couldn’t do it. It sounds like I’m lucky.

    The part that got me was the recorded explanation about entering license plate. There was something like, “Use a4x and 24y” that made no freakin sense at all. What’s so hard about just entering the plate number? But it doesn’t allow anything that easy.

    Always carry quarters.

  5. Mister E says:

    Ha ha. What were you thinking? Your big mistake was not checking out the company before you signed up. It’s probably some shitheels tired of running internet scams. Did you ever notice that the name of the company isn’t even posted on the parking meters, and that there’s no advertising with their name on it?

    But don’t worry — all they have from you is your name, license plate, cell phone number, email address, credit card, and your home address, too. What could possibly happen?

    Park in a lot. That’s what they’re for.

  6. Meter Made says:

    I don’t know crap about texting, but sexting seems like fun.

    I didn’t know this silly “Park O’ Phone” was run by prison inmates with names like…

    Text back to 82530 30

  7. 60s Radical says:

    Meter Maids (Parking Enforcement Officers) are not cops. Your ticket may or may have been written by a cop.

    Irregardless, (yeah…, I know…), the meters should be REQUIERED to take currency (coin or paper), “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private” applies to coinage as well.

    Remember when automated toll booths used to have signs that read, “NO PENNIES”? You don’t see those anymore. (Besides, there is no “penny” in U.S. coinage. Read one.)

    Finally, I remember going to college in a downtown location. The student body felt our cars were being unreasonably ticketed. We organized a Super Glue campaign. After several weeks the mayor met with the students and pleaded that we stop Super Gluing the meters. Not only did they lose the revenue, the repairs were expensive. The ticketing was not stopped but, it was relaxed. We gave up our gluing and felt we had won.

    You might want to invest in an industrial magnet and a backpack. Wear you magnet laden backpack as you stroll leasurly past the electronic parking meters and pause to rest frequently…

    Or, as previously suggested… CARRY QUARTERS!

    • Lovely Rita, Meter Maid says:

      These new systems are far from foolproof. Somebody made a mistake, either on the street or back in the office, but fortunately for you, if you’re right about your payment and the time the ticket was issued, there are records.

      Meanwhile, if I were you I wouldn’t trust this company a second time. Keep $5 worth of quarters in your car at all times, concealed from view. It’s not too much to lose in case of a break-in, and will usually be enough for any one time you need to park in south Florida.

  8. Meter Made says:

    CORRECTION: I believe he lives in South Park, Colorado, and rarely parks in South Florida.

    DISCLAIMER: All characters and events on this blog – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional. All celebrity names are impersonated – poorly. The following blog contains coarse language and due to its content it should not be read by anyone

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