LAKEWOOD, Wash. - Bill Ajifu bought his '79 BMW a few years ago. Since then it's become the family's spare. With 125,000 miles on the odometer, it doesn't go far from his Lakewood home.
"It doesn't go anywhere except Lakewood. I think the farthest north it made was to Tacoma Mall," he said.
And that's why Bill was surprised to receive a $60 notice from a company called Parking Enforcement Services last month. Iit accused Bill of parking in a University District Jack-in-the-Box lot and leaving the premises over a year ago.
"I haven't been to Seattle since about 2004," he said.
Bill says they didn't even get his car's make and model right. The plates are the same, but that's about it.
"They said it's a Ford and it's red. How can they make the mistake?" he wondered.
Bill tried calling Parking Enforcement Services and even sent a certified letter disputing the ticket. They never responded.
The company has been in trouble before. In 2007 they settled with the Attorney General's Office for $50,000 over allegations they misrepresented themselves as law enforcement.
I've tried tracking this company down before, even stopping by their place of business, which turned out to be a Belltown mail stop.
I finally got them on the phone. They said they didn't want to talk on camera, but they did send us an e-mail admitting their mistake and dismissing the ticket.
Bill just doesn't get why they wouldn't check their tickets before they send them out.
"I'm pretty sure there are other people that wouldn't want to go through the hassle and they would just pay the $60 and forget about it," he said.
In an effort to make a clean break from the problems of Parking Enforcement Services, one of the corporate officers says she's winding down the business and started a new company, Platinum Parking.
If you ever get a ticket from a lot you know you didn't deserve, you need to dispute it in writing and file a complaint with the AG's Office. Don't pay for something you know you didn't do.
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