No Parking Meter Refund

WSVN — The day was just like every other one for Max Nahon, beginning with a visit to his synagogue in Surfside.

Max Nahon: “I was going to prayer in the morning. I was going to prayer early in the morning. We pray very early .))

Before he goes in to pray, Max makes sure to do something: feed the parking meter.

Max Nahon: “I paid with my credit card, and when it came to printing the actual receipt of the time that I bought, nothing came out.”

Max went to another machine, paid $2 and got a parking receipt. Then after the morning service, he came out and saw a parking officer.

Max Nahon: “And I basically explained to him that I put money in the machine and I never got a receipt. [He] told me, ‘You need to go to the police station.'”

It was only $2, but after being brushed off, Max was bothered, so he went to the police station. No luck there, but they did tell him to call the phone number on the machine. Max did.

Max Nahon: “And then I get the answer, ‘No, the machines don’t give any refund,’ and their telling me flat out that, tough luck.”

Turns out the paper in the machine was jammed. It ripped off a friend of Max’s the same day. But no matter, no refunds, and Max says this is not about the money.

Max Nahon: “Two bucks. I spend more money on God knows what, but it’s not the two dollars, it’s the principle behind it. To get the answer, ‘There is no refunds’ is simply not acceptable, and I’m sure this does not happen a million times, but when it does happen, there needs to be a certain policy in place which we can appeal.”

The machine does say no refund, but people assume it means you don’t get money back if you don’t use all the time you paid for, not that you don’t get it back if the machine is broken. Max says no business would get away with that and no government agency should, either.

Max Nahon: “There is no business in America where you would go and say, ‘I pay for something for merchandise. I never got it. What are you going to say, tough luck?’ You are out the money and you don’t have the merchandise. That doesn’t exist anywhere.”

Well, Howard, Max put money in the parking meter and got ripped off. Can a government agency say, too bad?

Howard Finkelstein: “Sometimes the law is complicated and sometimes it’s simple. Whether it’s a business or a government agency, if you don’t get what you paid for, you get your money back. No ifs, ands or buts.”

We contacted the Surfside chief of police. He told us, “I am unaware of the incident. The process is to call or come to the station, explain the situation and we will resolve it if we made a mistake. This should have happened the first time. We sometimes make mistakes and we apologize for them.”

If the city had refused to correct their mistake, Max had proof cause he used a credit card. If he had used cash, that makes it more difficult.

Howard Finkelstein: “If they pay cash, the only way to prove it is your word, and in most cases, that’s good enough. The lesson here: Use a credit card to pay for things, because then you have a paper trail.”

When we caught up with Max again, he was at the synagogue, in his daily prayer, and glad to know that a minor problem for him has been resolved.

Max Nahon: “Thank you very much to Help Me Howard to resolve this issue, and at least there is a process which everybody can go by when there is an issue with the machine.”

Interesting that you have to rely on the government official trusting you if the parking meter keeps your cash, but lets hope they do. I mean, it’s only a few dollars. Most people would not go through the hassle when the machine kept their money. Max only did because he felt like he was getting brushed off, and called us because he couldn’t believe they didn’t return his money. Glad it was a mistake and they do issue refunds.

In receipt of a problem you want to sign over? Park it with us. We can’t promise you will cash in and can’t promise you will meether … but you will meetus. That’s bad. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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