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Ah, bureaucracy 
6th-Nov-2007 02:30 pm
empty threats
While my mum and my brother were still in Aberdeen, we had rented a small car for them to roam around and golf after ybunny and myself went on honeymoon.

We've never owned a car, so we don't have a holder permit. Every time we rent a car we're forced to pay parking stickers while we're parked near our flat.

On Saturday morning, we woke up and looked to move the car onto the school zigzags where it is free on weekends and weekdays after 5pm. No luck. So the car stayed in the regular pay spots.

I fished out what change I had...it happened to be 3 pound coins. This is the beginning of our problems.

There is a glitch in the parking sticker machines on Esslemont, one that I'm guessing is all over town. If you pay in £3, you don't get the maximum amount of parking time (normally a cost of £2.40). Instead, you get a sticker that displays the same time as the time of printing, but is dated for the following business day.

Just to be clear, I've now got a sticker expiring not 3 hours after 10:51, but one that show it expiring at 10:51 on coming Monday.

11 minutes after I put the sticker on, one of the Maroon Dragoons (parking attendants) came by and slapped a ticket on the car.

We returned from church, 2 hours later, to find the ticket.

Incensed that they would ticket us for a problem they caused, I wrote a note to the Parking Office, stating the reason why they needed to take the ticket and shove it.

A week ago, I received a letter from the Parking Office letting me know that they had waived the violation.

But, here's the kicker: they said 'we will be unable to waive further violations of this same nature'.

Wait...what? It's your machine's fault, but if I overpay it again...if I happen to be without exact change, you'll charge me £60?

Yes, the word you're looking for is ridiculous.

Brilliant council. You make so much sense.
6th-Nov-2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
I love, love, love local government logic.

Except not really.
6th-Nov-2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
I bet it's just there standard letter and they didn't bother to read it before sending.
6th-Nov-2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
I'd agree. Blech.
6th-Nov-2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Indeed, it was probably a form letter - please take a moment to write to your councillor asking them to raise it with the roads dept.
6th-Nov-2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Good idea. I'll do that. Cheers.
7th-Nov-2007 12:27 am (UTC)
Take half a moment, just email them about that. They should probably have a "you screwed up, but we'll let you off" and a "mea culpa" form letter. It's in their interest to generally make people think they were lucky to get away with it the once but if what they're doing is immoral, it'll soon resolve itself regardless of what they did last time.

the hatter
6th-Nov-2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
All the government we can pay for, eh? :)
6th-Nov-2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
As your friendly neighborhood bureaucrat, absoultely. However, my agency gets a 90:1 ROI, so I figure we're ok for when the revolution comes.
6th-Nov-2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Good point. I'll check next time I'm down that way.
(Deleted comment)
6th-Nov-2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Good ole Aberdoom. :)
6th-Nov-2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
It's how councils make money astonishingly.

Round our way the parking policies have got so complex, involving texting your registration number to people blah blah, that people have stopped parking. Because no-one is parking, there are no parking fines and the council allegedly is loosing money.

Yes, the work you're looking for is ridiculous also :-)
6th-Nov-2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
I often come across traffic wardens skulking behind trees and in bushes waiting to pounce on a car that's ticket has expired. Everyone I know who has parked near me has had a ticket at some point. There's a huge fuss at the moment about a new CCTV near us that is racking in a fortune catching people stopping outside the station. I'm more concerned that sometimes it poiting into our lounge window. Max waves his willy at it....
6th-Nov-2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
Good for Max. :D

CCTV seems like a really mixed blessing. I can see the point, but it's really invasive. :-/
6th-Nov-2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
Holy crap. That is more trouble than it's worth.
6th-Nov-2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
Lovely, just lovely.
6th-Nov-2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
It makes you think that cars are almost more trouble than they're worth. -Jake
7th-Nov-2007 12:42 pm (UTC)
Ignore them. I've only paid one ticket in Aberdeen(and I shouldn't have paid that one either on reflection, at the time I didn't know though). They just can't seem to make them out by the book.

I usually get off them on either the make of car(mine is a yank import - no offence, and de-badged) or on the wrong place, i.e they'll say for example kings court, when in actual fact kings court is the block of flats, the street is actually unnamed road or something. I can't be parked IN a residential building can I?

If you get another, post about it before you pay anything.

7th-Nov-2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
Will do. :)

What car do you have?
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