Parking Rip-Off

96

We boarded up our home, made hotel reservations and evacuated Palm Beach Gardens due to Hurricane Matthew. Governor Scott showed a touch of class waiving tolls and warning about price gouging. We really enjoyed our time in Fort Myers Beach. The Island has a great laid back, whimsical and old Florida feel with great beaches and nice people.

Regretfully, something awful happened. While enjoying lunch near the Pier, my girlfriend gave me $2 to put extra time on the parking meter. I ran to my spot, put $2 in the meter, pushed a button and out came a receipt. Put it on the dash and ran back to finish lunch. Upon returning 20 minutes later, a $35 parking ticket was on my windshield. I called the number on the ticket to dispute. I was told … “you did not follow the instructions and must have canceled the transaction and no refunds are given.” Next I called the head of the parking division, same story. Next I called the Mayor and the Town Manager with the same outcome.

Instead of City Hall showing some class by wrapping a bow on our visit and waiving the parking ticket, these fools just grabbed money. Imagine at Publix, putting a $100 bill into the self check out machine and getting the same outcome… because you did not follow instructions, Publix keeps your money, gives you no refunds and you get no groceries. That is exactly how one feels when these parking pay stations rip you off.

I was not the only traveler who was ripped off by them last weekend. No wonder your town hosts a Pirate Festival. Perhaps a billboard should be placed on the bridge going into town with a WARNING LABEL on it…. Hold onto your valuables or else the Pirates who run City Hall will rip you off.

Daniel S. Robins
Palm Beach Gardens, FL