Saturday, 4 November 2006

Parking meter complaint

Dear Mr ***,

I am writing this letter in order to complain and ask for compensation with regards to an incident I have had with a parking meter in Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, on Saturday 28/10/2006.

Before providing the details of the incident, I will explain why I am addressing this complaint to you.
On Thursday, 2/11/2006, I called the phone number provided on the City of Port Phillip website for parking related issues (9209 6228).
There I was provided with a Fault Registration Number (***), and I was told to call the Assist Centre on 9209 6777.
The Assist Centre provided me with a Record Number (***) and with your details, and has instructed me to provide you with the details of my parking meter complaint so that it could be assessed. This letter would hopefully provide you with all the information required.

As for the details of my complaint:
On Saturday 28/10/2006 my wife and I took visiting overseas family members, two adults and a one year old baby, with us in our car to St Kilda Beach. Our visitors had only a few hours before they had to catch their flight back to the UK, so we decided to park near the beach and pay for the parking in one of your parking meters. The decision was made simpler by the fact it was a rather cold and windy day.
We parked next to parking meter JAP1 and got out of the car with everyone waiting for me to get a parking docket from the parking meter.
However, the next thing that happened was that they all waited for almost 10 minutes while I wrestled the parking meter. The parking meter would not accept most of my coins: I had to try again and again with different coins until eventually it would be courteous enough to accept one of them. As we had to pay around $6 we had to run through many a coin in the process, and again and again we got frustrated by the meter’s lack of acceptance (the one year old baby was not overly happy with waiting in the cold, either).
Eventually, I got my docket for two hour parking. However, during the process, your parking meter has swallowed an estimated $2-$3 extra in coins over the total sum I was trying to pay.

As you can probably imagine, the trouble involved with the two phone calls I had to make and this letter I am writing now far surpasses the damage caused to me by losing $2-$3, 10 minutes of my time, and the overall discomfort of having to spend 10 minutes of our lifetimes wrestling with a rather ungrateful machine.
However, I feel it is my duty to dedicate my time and complain about this incident, because I think the incident reflects on the way the authorities misuse the power given to them by the people in order to serve the people.
I fail to comprehend why a visit to St Kilda Beach has to involve a wrestling match with a parking meter. If the City of Port Phillip needs the money that badly, then the City of Port Phillip has the duty of making sure that the facilities for acquiring that money are in working order; and if they are not, as in my case, then the City of Port Phillip has an even greater duty to make sure that my problem is smoothly and quickly handled, rather then send me through a maze of phone calls and complaint letters.

I therefore demand to be compensated for the money swallowed by the ticket machine and for the effort and expenses I have spent alerting you of this problem.
I would also like to thank you for your time and attention in handling my complaint.

Moshe Reuveni


Project Manager Parking Systems said...

Thank you for you letter concerning the problem with JAP1.

I have authorised a refund of $5 to cover the lost revenue in the machine and for costs associated with phone calls, this will be forwarded this week.
The problem associated with the machine is the coin validators in that area of Jacka Blvd are regularly being damaged as a result of people attempting to steal
money by inserting met cards in the coin chute and then attempting to pull the coins that block up out with wire, which then in turn damages the validators.

I apologise for the inconvenience.

Project Manager Parking Systems.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Dear ***,

Thank you for promptly addressing my complaint and for taking the time to explain the source of the problem.
Do note that I still think that people who come to truly enjoy St Kilda - like me and my family - should not be made to wrestle with parking meters and then go through several phone calls and letters for compensation. If you know there those parking meters are being tinkered with, then maybe you should not put them there in the first place; or maybe you should think of an alternative way to collect money. I know that I will definitely think more than twice before visiting that area with my car again, as I have better things to do with my time.
I am just hoping that through conveying my thoughts to you I would manage to, hopefully, improve things.

Best regards,
Moshe Reuveni

emmaronan said...

I have also just contacted the Port Phillip council (28/10/14) to complain about $2 which the machine took and failed to add minutes to my parking, essentially stealing my money.
I got a 'wipe of the hands' response with no refund being issued due to the fact that I could not prove the machine was faulty.
I am not a meter technician nor do I have internal access to the machine to prove it stole my money.
So I am left annoyed once again at another local council for trying their hardest to do absolutely nothing to rectify an issue.
Please use the money wisely Port Phillip and perhaps you could get some machines that work.