So a few weekends ago I parked a car at a private lot run by IMPARK.
Here’s the ticket I purchased from the machine there:
You can click to zoom in — apologies if I’m over-zealous in censoring sensitive information about my car and credit card. You’ll see why shortly.
Imagine my surprise when I return from dinner and see this $75 parking invoice on my windshield, right next to my paid parking ticket:
I say “invoice” because this isn’t a ticket you can fight in court; when you use an IMPARK lot you enter into a contract with them as per the fine print posted behind a dumpster or somewhere else that you’ll likely never see.
But that’s beside the point — lest you think I’m a moron for ignoring that 6pm expiration on my ticket, remember that this happened on a weekend, and guess what the weekend rate is at this particular lot?
That’s right, six bucks! So while IMPARK may have me on a technicality, at the end of the day I paid the posted rate, so this “invoice” was clearly issued in error.
I got in contact with IMPARK through their website to explain this, providing also the documentation you see above. Here’s what they emailed back:
After carefully reviewing the information available to us at this time, including information provided by you, we regret to inform you we are unable to cancel this notice but we can offer you a reduction on the amount owing. The notice was issued because receipt expired at 18:00pm.
The amount owing remains $20.00 and is a debt owing to Imperial Parking.
Gee, how nice of them to knock down their bullshit charge from 75 to 20 dollars.
Am I going to pay it? Would you?
The further fly in the ointment is that the car isn’t actually mine, but belongs to one of Toronto’s car-sharing services (the good one). As of right now IMPARK can only come after me via phone or email, but they can use the vehicle’s license plate number to sick their collections people on its owner — who will presumably pass any penalties on to me. Better that than to paying IMPARK directly, though. And seriously, if they’re going to go to that much trouble for twenty bones they’re scumbags and stupid.
TL;DR If you come across an almost-empty lot in midtown Toronto there’s probably a good reason for it. Avoid parking at IMPARK lots if you can.
UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me by the hivemind on reddit that I am indeed in the wrong. As penance, I’ve paid the damn twenty bucks.
Nothing to see here, folks… Please move on.