Private lot in Denver voids parking tickets after app error

Private lot in Denver voids parking tickets after app error

DENVER — Contacting Denver7 is getting results from one of the most common complaints in our inbox: People who pay to park in private lots downtown but still get tickets in the mail. Consumer investigator Jaclyn Allen has been digging into the issue for the past year, helping people cancel their tickets.

The latest case began with a complaint by Jim Moody, a Denver resident who parked in a private lot across from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts last month.

“I felt like it was all very slippery,” Moody said.

According to Moody, the posted sign listed the evening price as $25, but the app charged him $35. Then at 8 p.m. he received a notification that his payment had expired and there was no possibility of renewal.

“Ten days later, I got an $82 bill in the mail. One of the things you’ll see in the mail — the leverage they have — is that they’re threatening to report it as bad debt,” Moody told Contact Denver7. .

Moody reached out to Contact Denver7 and the City of Denver.

The city tracks the number of 311 private parking complaints, and over the past three years, that number has risen from four in 2020 to 89 in 2022.

“We’ve heard a lot of extreme stories,” said Eric Escudero of the Denver Department of Excise and Permits.

Escudero said that since more cameras were added last year, there has been a spike in ticket complaints.

While the city investigates all complaints, employees cannot legally become involved in civil cases, according to Escudero. However, the department has a say in licensing, fines and signage requirements.

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“People feel victimized, so we’re looking for ways to improve the transparency requirements for private parking lots within the city,” Escudero said.

As for Moody’s case, Parking Revenue Recovery Services has now voided his ticket and told Contact Denver7 that the operator made a mistake because the app payment expired early and the problem lasted about three weeks.

“We’re looking into getting a refund for everyone who was affected,” said John Conway, co-founder of Parking Revenue Recovery Services. “Our cameras and the new ARC system allow us to access data sooner and pinpoint issues.”

Conway said that after verifying the records, Parking Revenue Recovery Services voided six more tickets and sent people written notices to ignore the erroneously issued notices.

“I just really want to express my gratitude to the city,” Moody said.

After 20 years of parking downtown, he now fears receiving an unexpected ticket in the mail.

“There’s no way I’m going to park there again. I don’t really know what the terms of the deal are. I don’t know how to find out what the terms of the deal are – I know buyer beware – but I really feel like this is going too far” – Moody said.

Editor’s note: Contact7 seeks student tips and feedback to help people in need, solve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need that our hotline can address, or if you have a story idea for our investigative team, please email us at [email protected] or call (303) 832-7777. You can find more Contact7 stories here.

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