Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Me thinks I don't protest enough

Fury. An emotion to be experienced, examined, savoured, and dredged up again later when writing a relevant fictional scene.

Source? The City of Melbourne Parking and Traffic Branch, who have sent me an obnoxious letter refusing to let me out of my parking fine.

I simply cannot believe it. They are wrong. I checked the signs. I went back the next day and took photos of them for heavens sake. I do not for one minute believe they went back to check. Instead, they rely on my not wanting to take it to the Courts for a measely $54 fine. They send a rude letter stating I have only one internal review (which I've now had). So now it's "pay the infringement notice" or notify the Courts.

They are quite right in thinking that I am not going to take the latter course for a $54 fine, but I am seriously mad at being bullied like this.

I wonder how often they do this? It's probably some deliberate revenue-earning strategy. This is the problem with a time-poor, cash-rich society. They (ie me) would rather pay money to keep the hassle away. It's simply not worth $54 to me to spend the time and effort fighting this through legal channels.

My other letter of protest (re the netball finals) has ended unsatisfactorily as well. I received the most pathetic (and badly written) e-mail in response to my second message:
I appreciate your disappointment and now that if we had of selected
another state to host the finals, we would have been faced with similar counter
arguments. We remain committed to producing what will be a fitting end to
the Commonwealth Bank Trophy.

They are seriously deluded. Sometimes I think the world is just out to rip people off.


  1. This is really terrible - and as you said, a clear case of bullying. If I was in this situation, I would almost be inclined not to pay. If they really want their money, they have to come after you. Of course, that is tempting fate, but it might just work in your favour

  2. It's tempting, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot and end up in bigger trouble, all over a pathetic $54. I am going to try a few more things before I pay - I've got a month before it's due.

  3. Oh, that is *so* annoying. I remember the day it happened telling you about my brother. He did take it to court and won, but he quite likes a good fight. I'm like you. I'd rather pay the fine and be done with it. But in the end you are left feeling like they will think they're right because you're paying. (To be truthful, they're so big and we're so small, they probably don't even notice. But it sure *feels* like they do.) Rick and I have had a couple of minor speeding fines in the last few years (doing 53 in a 50 zone and 63 in a 60 zone -- both on roads that used to have higher limits) and have had to pay each other's fine. Chalk it up to the world's injustices and knowing that, alas, sometimes the bully does win.

    (My big gripe is still our daughter's singing teacher who's been refused a permit because she's too old and doesn't have enough money behind her. You may not need "specialist skills to teach singing to the general public", as that bullying immigration dept have decreed after ignoring our protest letters, but tell them to find another in the western suburbs. We've just gone through the registered list, and there isn't one in the west. Not one. Makes me furious.

  4. I am going to write another letter before I pay anything. And if that doesn't work I may try the phone. But I am really not at all inclined to take it to court.

  5. Mind you, I'm sure they'd throw it out. But as I've said: I'm with you. Who wants to have to organise time off work etc? (And I'd be a bit nervous, I have to admit.) But it sucks that you've done nothing wrong, and they've done this to you. I mean, we were really annoyed with the speeding tickets when they were so marginal, but evenso we *were* in the wrong. You're completely innocent. They're complete jerks and, as you say, bullies. It's not fair.