A B.C. man says he was shocked to receive a parking ticket recently even though he had paid for his spot.
“I was surprised when I saw a ticket on my car because I couldn’t figure out how that could happen,” Dale Laird told Global News.
Laird had parked at an Impark lot at the downtown Vancouver Costco along Expo Boulevard. He says he paid two dollars for parking at the ticket dispenser and proceeded to go shopping. He wasn’t required to place his ticket on his dash.
When he returned to his vehicle, Laird says he received a violation notice issued by Impark at 11:06 a.m. However, Laird had purchased his parking ticket at 11:05 a.m. – just one minute before he was slapped with an infraction.
“I parked within three parking spaces of the machine and 30 seconds to walk over to the machine and maybe a minute to get my money into the machine. So, the patroller didn’t he see me walking away or are they just oblivious to what’s going on around them?” Laird said.
Immediately, Laird says he contacted Impark.
He mailed the parking management company a copy of his ticket proving he had paid and told Impark to look at the times and cancel the ticket. He says Impark did not respond.
Instead, a month later Laird says he received a notice from Impark telling him he owed the company $65 for non-payment. Laird wrote the company again receiving no response. Two months later, Laird says Impark sent him a letter stating $85 would be going to a collections agency.
“It was very frustrating trying to get it cancelled because Impark just seemed to ignore me,” he said.
Laird reached out to Consumer Matters for help. After contacting Impark on Laird’s behalf, his parking violation was cancelled immediately.
Impark told Consumer Matters:
“We can report that the notice has been cancelled as a result of the information now provided, which confirms that the customer had paid for parking. We regret this process took this long to resolve and has escalated to the present level. Our team would have provided an expedited resolution and voided the notice had the customer contacted us directly.”
When Consumer Matters asked Impark to explain why Laird was issued a ticket in error and what the company is doing to ensure it doesn’t happen to future customers, Impark stated it is not able to discuss the particulars of a customer’s payment notice or operating procedures due to privacy concerns.
However, Laird says it should have been easier to get Impark’s attention.
“That was the most frustrating part. I know I paid!” he said.