I’m often quick with an aggressive response on social media and in person, but this letter demonstrates my ability to write a well-considered and even-tempered letter of complaint.
I wrote another letter not long ago to Rogers, and it resulted in a brand new iPhone and a personal response from the VP of customer retention.
You can hire me if you want. I’ll break up with your boyfriend or rake Ford over the coals or whatever. I’m cheaper than a lawyer.

To whom it may concern,

My wife and I recently celebrated our 25th anniversary by taking The Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto. It was outstanding in every regard.

However, not long after arriving home we were informed by Car2Go Vancouver that we had been issued a parking ticket in the amount of $78.75 by the company that is apparently in charge of the lot in front of Pacific Central Station. As we had only stopped for approximately 5 minutes to unload, I found this amount to be excessive, and wrote the following email to Municipal Parking Services.
~~~~~~~~~~
Hello,

We were recently visiting Vancouver and were issued the above ticket (#18543).

As tourists in your city, we weren’t aware of the parking procedures and limits in the Via Rail parking lot. On the day the ticket was issued, it was raining and I made a short stop in order to drop my wife close to the door with our bags. I was there for only a few minutes, and feel that the fine imposed is overly punitive as it works out to more than $10 per minute.

I’m requesting that you charge me the regular rate for 10 minutes of parking and refund the difference.

The ticket was issued to Car2Go, so I’d need to contact you to arrange details if you agree to my proposal.

Thank you.
~~~~~~~~~~
That email was sent on November 13, and I haven’t received any sort of response at all. Not even a rejection of my reasonable proposal.

I feel that this gives VIA Rail – and Vancouver in general – a bit of a black eye. Not only is the parking fine unreasonable, but Municipal Parking Services “customer service” is apparently non-existent. A little bit of online research suggests that I’m not alone in my assessment as there have been many complaints against this company.

Better Business Bureau
CTV News

I guess I’ll end up eating the cost of this ticket. It’s not the end of the world, but it sure leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Unfortunately, this reflects directly on VIA and Vancouver. My suggestion would be for VIA to contact MPS and remind them that their poor business practices impact and reflect directly on you and Vancouver. You have other options for parking management, I’m sure. Perhaps you should be exploring them.

I’m not going to blast you with a bunch of hyperbole about “never riding VIA again” or “never visiting Vancouver again”. My wife and I really enjoyed our vacation, and we love visiting Vancouver. We’ll be back for sure…but this ridiculous ticket kind of put a damper on the experience, and the lack of response from MPS is disappointing (although not surprising if you read the links I have provided above).

Thank you for your time.


*UPDATE* 

Once I escalated the complaint to MPS’s business partners and other interested parties, it took them about 24 hours to respond. I’m satisfied with the response, but don’t think I should have had to escalate in the first place.
~~~~~~~~~~

We are in receipt of your letter of complaint submitted to Visit Vancouver and Car2Go with a copy to VIA Rail and Municipal Parking Services.

At Municipal Parking Services our main objective is to provide a friendly customer oriented service to the patrons that use the services at the Pacific Central Station and execute fairness at every chance we get when there is a dispute. 

From the picture attached, as well as from the picture printed on your ticket you can clearly see that the vehicle was left unattended at a metered space without payment for parking.

We understand that as a traveler you might not be familiar with some unique rules and regulations, however it is our belief that the same parking regulations are applicable in Calgary: unattended vehicles are subject to parking fines.

Despite the facts stated in the paragraph above that clearly shows MPS had not carried out any unfair practices, we have waived the violation ticket in the act of good faith: the $78.75 will be refunded to the credit card on file.

 

We do and will continue to endeavour to provide good parking services.