Petula Clark Was Wrong

"We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares and go
Downtown, things'll be great when you're
Downtown, don't wait a minute more
Downtown, everything's waiting for you."

Yeah. Sure.

On Saturday night we celebrated my parent's 60th Anniversary with a family dinner at a fancy-schmancy Downtown Hotel. We had them transported there earlier by stretch limo, with roses, champagne and music from 1948 awaiting them in a luxurious room they were occupying that night.

However, when we arrived for dinner shortly after 6 pm, the parkade was full so I had to resort to parking in a gravel lot across the street. And because most drivers are either:

1) Idiots
2) Inconsiderate jerks who don't give a damn about other people

there were at least three spots too small to even try to get into because some people can't seem to grasp the concept of parking "in between" the yellow lines.

Finally we found an empty space we could just barely squeeze into. So I let my family out before I parked, exited out the side slider door and walked over to the parking machine to pay and get a receipt for our dash.

Checking the sign, hubby and I noted that evening parking was a flat $ 4 after 6:00. Cool. As per the instructions, a Toonie and two Loonies were inserted into the laundromat-style dispenser and the machine spat out a receipt that I tore off and placed face up on the dash of the car.

After dinner, we left about 11 pm, thankful everything went without a hitch... until we get back to the car, that is.

After I climbed in, I notice an envelope flapping about in the rain tucked under the windshield wipers.

Thinking it was simply flyer, hubby got out and retrieved it.

I was dumbstruck when I read it.

Aw crap!

A parking ticket!!!

What the hell?

It was too dark to read the damn soggy paper until we got home. When I was able to take a look, my blood began to boil when my eyes fell on this:

Oh, crap, this is going to be a case of my word against theirs that I really did have my receipt FACE UP ON DASH. (And hubby's comment "You're lucky they didn't tow you away" really didn't help things at this point.)

But then I noticed they had our receipt number on it... what the hell? If they could read it, they SAW it! They KNEW I had paid!

Then when I saw this, I flipped:

I stewed about that damn ticket the rest of the weekend... so first thing this morning, I looked up ImPark online and found a few people discussing "scams" by this company. I felt sick. They mentioned they send collection agents and can affect your credit rating if you don't pay.

I was so pissed off, I was ready to report their scam to The Better Business Bureau, the City and anyone else who would listen.

Then I found out this was the same parking company that I use for my monthly parking pass at work.

Crap! I was going to have to pay.

But I still wanted to know WHY, so I called as soon as their offices in Vancouver opened this morning. I put on my nicest demeanor (at least to begin with unless things got ugly) and politely enquired as to my infraction. Surprisingly, the girl at ImPark was very pleasant. She looked up the lot number and asked me how I paid, and I told her. She explained that at this particular lot they still used the old style machine... I was ticketed because I didn't put in one Toonie, push in the lever, get a receipt for that, THEN put in two Loonies, push the lever again to get another receipt. I had put in all the money at once, pushed both levers together and got a SINGLE receipt.

Holy Crap. You gotta be kidding me...

Needless to say, she cancelled the ticket, gave me a cancellation number and her name and that was that.

Criminy. I think next time, I'LL take the limo downtown and forget parking altogether...

"Things'll be great when you're Downtown" my ass, Petula.

20 People would rather be commenting:

Babs (Beetle) said...

Two tickets for one car? Why two? That has got to be the daftest thing I've ever heard of!

Forgive Petula, She sang that song before the world went crazy ;O)

Anonymous said...

@Babs - Only in Winnipeg I suppose. Only in Winnipeg !
I've see even more retro in Montreal. Put in coin - turn knob. Put in another coin turn turn turn.

You are fortunate that the person on the other end of the line was very cooperative !
I'd almost think she was a God-send. LOL !

Irene said...

The world is going to hell in a hand basket, except that you got a very nice person on the phone, so thank goodness for that, those are the little stars in the firmament that give you hope. This is not a user friendly planet anymore.

Anonymous said...

Good grief - and did the instructions on the machine TELL you to get two receipts? I'm guessing not.

Good for you for ringing up and getting it cancelled!

Heather said...

You've got to be kidding! How dumb!! At least you got out of it! :)

Swubird said...


I thought those things only happened to me.

I felt your pain all the way through the story. It is so frustrating to have something like that happen when you tried to comply with their requirements. And then, like you said, you get scammed.

You should visit the Con Man's site at Http:// and tell him about this story. He writes about all sorts of interesting scams.

Good luck next time, and remember...

Happy trails.

JoJo said...

That is just CRAP. I mean, I'm really glad it's all sorted out, but how many other people get ticketed and just pay it? They should put the proper instructions on the damn machine.

Whenever I get a pleasant customer service person on the phone, who helps me and does what I ask, I assume, "She must be new". lol

Anonymous said...

Parking enforcement and towing seem to exist in some alternate lawless universe governed by rules developed by third graders.
You are one of the fortunate few to have survived with sanity intact.

Cupcake Blonde said...

Uhm, souldn't there be a sign on the damn machine explaining this procedure of getting two receipts? Are you just supposed to know this process automatically or are they banking on people not knowing and then ticketing them? Sounds like a scam to me! I would report them any way!

Kathy said...

Oh for crying out loud. I'm glad it worked out in the end. I would love to hear more about your parents' night out. Wow! 60th! That's amazing.

One side note about the Petula Clark song. The stuff I remember. Here goes. When I was 12, I took part in a musical show with my school. Each grade had to perform some kind of dance or act. We did a little number to the Petula Clark song. We wore pink satin sleeveless dresses and if we were any older, we would have looked like hookers. We also wore long white gloves. Anyway, when I was being measured by the seamstress who was making the dresses, I was standing in a room full of other girls when she exclaimed "My, someone's getting her breasts early!" I died a little and that's what I remember any time I hear that Petula Clark song. The day I got noticeable boobs.

The end.

Technodoll said...

How absolutely horrendous, retarded and ulcer-causing!

Am proud you stood up to them and won against their nonsense - somebody had to!

Tara R. said...

That's why we stay home and have pizza delivered. Criminy!

Bruce Johnson said...

This parking concept brings to mind the Geico Insurance Television commericals here in the States...."So Simple, A Caveman Can Do It!".

I think it is safe to say, we would have ALL gotten a ticket given the same set of circumstances. Welcome to my world.

JD at I Do Things said...

That's insane. I wonder how many people don't bother inquiring and just pay the damn thing. You crazy Canadians! It's no wonder things are so screwed up, with your Loonies and Toonies! Who can take that money seriously! ;-D

JD at I Do Things

Cupcake Blonde said...

Pssst! I tagged you for a meme! :)

Day Dreamer said...

And you were supposed to know HOW!!??

"Ohhh, I was supposed to close my eyes, insert coin, do a backflip, sing Rainbow Connection in my best Kermit voice and THEN I could park there!"

Glad you didn't need to drag out the mean voice!

Janet said...

Whew! Glad you got that handled. How irritating!

But what the heck is a Loonie and a Toonie??? Scratching my head here in Iowa...

Maureen said...

Babs: I know! And yes, that song is from an era long gone…

Jaffer: Ha! But the parent company is from Vancouver, so I blame them ;) Fortunate is right!

Irene: Yes, thank goodness for her; I was almost convinced I would have to pay.

Jay: Nope, no instructions. But now I know; and I’m telling everyone else too!

Heather: Not kidding. And it could ONLY happen to me…

Swubird: Har! Nope, I seem to attract these situations like a magnet! I’ll go visit that site, thanks!

JoJo: I do wonder just how many people they’ve gotten. Har! I love your assumption; you are probably right!

Dan: Yes, I am fortunate. And you are right; they seem to have their own rules alright!

Vegas Princess: You are correct. They purposely fail to list those little details; and I’ll bet they’ve raked in the fines for those who fail to call.

Kathy: That is hilarious! That story is post-worthy… you should share it on your blog!

Technodoll: Thank you! I sure felt a LOT better after I hung up!

Tara: Yeah, but pizza wouldn’t really go over well at a 60th anniversary party… otherwise that’s what I prefer to do as well!

Bruce: Ha! My condolences, by the way… ;)

JD: Ha! Better watch out… now YOU guys are finally making your money coloured. Next will be dollar coins too…

VP; Yikes! I am responding to all these comments from my hotel room in Toronto; I’ll pop by your blog later and check it out, thanks! (But I really have to practice my presentation again tonight).

Day Dreamer: Hahahahahahaha! Actually, I DO a great Kermit. And yes, I am glad I didn’t have to get angry either; I hate that.

Janet: Loonies are dollar coins, Toonies, two dollar coins. We’ve had them for years now. They last so much longer than bills. We call the dollar coins Loonies cause they have a Loon on one side. (and Toonies for “two”).

Carol said...

That's the Looney-Tune-iest parking lot I've ever heard of.

(Pssst. What are loonies and toonies?)

toners said...

Geez, how did they expect you to know all that stuff? Were you supposed to receive a psychic message from them??

LOL about the word "Loonies" though!!

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