advice needed on erroneous parking ticket

Last week I parked at what I thought was a Toronto Parking Authority "Green P" lot, but apparently is a lot operated by a private company called Imperial Parking, or Impark.

The machine appeared to take my money (credit card payment) but did not print out a receipt. This had happened to me once before at the same lot, and I learned that I was supposed to call the phone number on the machine. I tried to do so, but couldn't get through.

I left a note on my dashboard saying that the machine wasn't printing receipts.

When I came back, I had a ticket.

I called Impark the next day, and was told that, since I was already on record as having had a ticket cancelled, and at that time had been informed to call from the parking lot, they would not cancel the ticket.

However, since I paid by credit card, when the payment showed up on my statement, I could fax the statement to them and they would accept it as proof of payment.

I found this very annoying. Their machines don't work properly, but the onus is on the customer to prove that she has paid. Surely if the machines weren't printing receipts, I am not the only person this happened to that night. Can't they check the system to see if the machines were off-line or malfunctioning? No. I have to take the time and expense to fax a copy of my credit card statement to Vancouver.

Payment for parking usually appears on a credit card statement in 3-5 days. I've waited a full week, and still no payment has posted. Obviously the machine appeared to take my payment but did not.

Today I called Impark again. They will not cancel the ticket, because they have already cancelled a ticket for me and cannot - make that will not - cancel another. I was supposed to call from the parking lot. I told the agent that I tried, but couldn't get through. She said that's not possible because it's an automated, 24-hour number. I was supposed to leave a message. I heard no opportunity to leave a message.

The agent informed me that she could reduce the ticket from $42.61 to $30, and hold that amount for one week. After that, it will become an unpaid ticket at $74.15.

I offered to pay for the cost of parking, which was $5.00, but she said she can't do that (and acted like I was insane for suggesting it).

I have contacted the Toronto Parking Authority. They have no jurisdiction over Impark, a private company, so I asked for the name of the agency that oversees private parking companies. Presumably Impark is awarded a contract by the City of Toronto, so there must be some oversight. The Toronto Parking Authority said to their knowledge there is no oversight agency.

I'm not paying $30 for $5 parking, which I tried to pay in the first place, because this company's meters are not properly maintained.

Any ideas on what I can do?

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