To the editor:
I am writing this letter after a rather disturbing experience my husband and I had in the city of Kelowna.
We live in Armstrong and had an appointment with a specialist in a professional building on Richter Street.
We arrived in Kelowna to have lunch before our appointment. After we had our lunch we headed off to our appointment and arrived about 20 minutes early.
We parked in the parking lot attached to the professional building and decided to go for a walk around the block before our appointment as we had time to kill.
So, we parked the vehicle, got out and off for a quick walk around the block (about eight or 10 minutes) and then back for our appointment.
When our appointment was over and we went back to our vehicle, there was a parking violation ticket under the windshield wiper.
We looked it over to see what it was about and were surprised to see it stated “vehicle occupant left the parking facility without the vehicle,” fine $33.60 if paid in 10 days, $56.00 after 10 days.
This was placed on our windshield within two minutes of us heading for our walk. The person watching did not approach us to say, “Hey, you can’t leave the parking lot” or ask, “Where are you going?”
They watched us leave (obviously did not see us come back very shortly) and promptly put the violation on our vehicle.
After we arrived back home, I sent off an email to the company (in Vancouver) explaining the situation and stating that as I did have business in the building and did not enter any other building.
I did not feel obligated to pay the fine. They told me I would have to prove this.
So, I sent them another email giving them the name of the specialist and the time of our appointment and seeing how they have someone right there in the building—and I live 40 miles away—they could check with said office.
They couldn’t be bothered and sent me another bill. So, again I emailed and again explained and told them to contact the office for verification. I have since been contacted by a collection agency about the outstanding amount.
Now, the last I checked, we live in a free country and going for a walk around the block was not an offence. I could see their point if we had parked here and then gone on to do business elsewhere, but such was not the fact.
So beware when parking in Kelowna parking lots, because Big Brother Diamond Parking in Vancouver will get you.
Kelownanites and visitors to Kelowna take notice that a Vancouver-based company is monitoring your parking lots and they don’t give a damn other than to collect money.
Unfortunately for us, we must see this specialist every six months so we will have to go to Kelowna and park somewhere for our appointment.
But we will come to Kelowna, attend our appointment, and get the hell out of dodge without doing any extra shopping because we just can’t afford the expense.
I know we are just a very tiny minnow in a great big pond but people should be aware of the big bad shark.