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Monday, November 21, 2005

You can't pay parking tickets online

Remember how I got (3) parking tickets last week?

I just went online to pay them.

CAMBRIDGE
Cambridge says the parking ticket #'s I entered are invalid.

Not true.

The ticket #'s are valid, they just haven't been keyed onto Hollerith punch cards at the city data processing center yet.

D'oh.

I wrote out a check and mailed the payment.

BOSTON
The City of Boston RMV website let me pay online, and gave me a trascation #, but an email I just got told me that the transaction did not go through:
Citation Number (M1234567) does not exist on the RMV's computer
for one of the following reasons:
* The Citation number you entered is incorrect. Please verify that the
number you entered is correct. If the number was incorrect please
resubmit or
* Your Citation number has not been entered onto the RMV's computer.
Please contact the Telephone Center immediately to have the citation
information and payment entered by a telephone center representative
.

If you have questions, please contact the Telephone Center at 617-351-4500
(within 617/781/339/857) or 1-800-858-3926 (within 351/413/508/774/978)
from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday - Friday, except holidays.

We welcome your feedback!
D'oh!

Can't I just skip the phone call and mail in the payment?

Why did they accept payment online?

Their phone system is inefficient too.

It's a maze of voice mail prompts with a final on-hold destination where you are experiencing heavy call volume.

Even though you say so, my call doesn't seem so important to you.

10 Minutes Later:
Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

After listening to a recording for over 10 minutes to tell me that I am important, a live operator came on the line:

Operator: Massachusetts blah blah blah, can I help you?

Me: Yes. I just paid a ticket online and then received an email telling me that the ticket # was invalid and to call.

Operator: Can you say that again?

Me: Yes. I just paid a ticket online and then received an email telling me that the ticket # was invalid and to call.

Operator: What is the citation #?

Me: M1234567

Operator: That ticket has not been entered into the system yet, you need to either mail it in or stop by to pay it.

Me: OK. Bye.

So WHY did their email to me say:
Please contact the Telephone Center immediately to have the citation information and payment entered by a telephone center representative

WHY wasn't she listening to me when she asked how she could help me?

WHY can't tickets be entered into an online sytem in a timely manner?

WHY can't police officers accept credit cards on the scene?

WHY?

3 comments:

  1. Steve,

    I enjoy reading these accounts of your battles with inane entities (like the ongoing gym fee saga) -- it's somewhat cathartic... and helps temper the Hulk-like rage I could fly into when I have my own such dealings.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Could you just not pay for the ticket since it's not in the system? I mean for me, it's been like 20 days and it's still not in the system yet and I live in a different state.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Its their job to enter our ticket information into their computer. Why should we specially request them to put my own ticket no?

    What if you don't tell them to enter the ticket no ;)

    Will you get out of it without paying and getting any bad record on your license ??

    ReplyDelete