You park your car; pay for your parking space for the next hour and then; this happens, what do you do?
Coming back to my vehicular transportation and and and finding its been clamped.
A distinctively yellow hideous excuse of a handcuff hugging one of the wheels tightly, like a crazy lover who won’t let you go; forever…..
“What’s this?” I ask the Parking Marshall, kicking at the offending yellowness with the toe-end of my shoe.
“It’s been clamped Sir” replies the Marshall; fiddling around with their mobile parking receipt machine.
Slowly I count to ten and exhale.
“I can see that it’s been clamped” I speak with a calmness that belies the fury by which I punctuate each word with a kick to the clamped tyre.
“Why has it been clamped? I paid my dollar for the hour and I still have time on clock too“
“You have an outstanding unpaid parking bill of $2” replies the Parking Marshall.
“May I know when I incurred this parking bill and why you did not inform me of this earlier when I paid for parking? Why did you wait until I had gone to clamp my car, like a thief in the night except its daylight robbery.” I speak gesturing at the midday sun.
“Unfortunately Sir, my system doesn’t show unpaid___”
I interrupt before the marshall can finish that ridiculous sentence;
“Then pray tell, how did you divine that I had a parking bill“
“My supervisor from Control called to notify me of the outstanding amount and advised I clamp your vehicle. The system there has access to that information. I can call Control and you can speak to them if you wish” the parking attendant tries to explain.
“No!” I quickly respond tersely. After a few second of silence I proceed to raise my points of concerns.
“…….And how would I know that the person I am speaking to is from your parking company and not someone you are in cahoots with to swindle me of an easy buck. I am not refusing to pay, I simply want to know first of all when these supposed parking violations occurred and secondly I want to see it on something official. I will simply not just take you or your supervisor’s word alone.“
The Parking Marshall then makes a phone call and speaks briefly, I do not catch the conversation but she attempts to hand me phone mouthing the word “my Supervisor“. I refuse I flat out, shaking my head of locks, like a ghost from Macbeth.
“I don’t want to talk to that person if that’s your Supervisor, tell them what I told you.“
The Marshall converses on the phone and must have come to some sort of understanding with the person on the other end.
“My supervisor says he can send you an email statement,” the Marshall relays.
I hand over my business card with an email address at the back and the Parking Marshall passes on the information.
“If it’s OK with you I will wait in the car” I say as I unlock the car and sit inside.
It’s a good thing I can check emails from my phone; so I wait and wait, I wait forever boredom begins to set in. I start the car, for fun. The Marshall looks at me in alarm, as if I might be crazy enough to drive off.
Fortunately before I can test the theory of how crazy I can get, the phone beeps an alert, new email notification. Opening the email I scroll through the itemised bill I scroll and scroll till I find the two entries.
October 2017 according to their records the vehicle parked and did not pay; how can anyone verify something from 8 months ago; who was even driving? What if they just randomly pick dates from long ago and claim unpaid parking fees; I mean the car has a steady history of paid parking; why did they not pick up on the amount due earlier if they have a computerised system but of course arguing with the Parking Marshall is pointless because The System does not negotiate, especially once your car is clamped, The System wants money.
I pay the $2 and the car gets unshackled…. It’s a good thing I have no other appointments or I would have been two hours late………
Where are the City Fathers and what kinda of Mickey Mouse operation is the prepaid parking company running?????