Freak Out Moments











{August 12, 2013}   The Flaws of Park Mobile

Back in June I went out with my friend for the day, we had a great time wandering around the cemetery in Birmingham and taking pictures. We paid the parking in cash, got a ticket and then came back and thought it was still early enough to go into the city centre.

 

Following the course of sat nav we got ourselves to the parking meter, got our change together and then inserted the pennies as necessary. The machine came up with an error; I cursed and then got out my trusty iphone. AH problem! There’s no number for the fault to be reported on, but! There is a lovely number to call to pay it by card. So called them up, registered all the things it asked. Got told when the payment ended so I knew when to be back and off we went!

 

Dinner, relaxing walk around and then back to the car, supposedly a great end to the day before heading back to my home town. WRONG! SO SO wrong!

 

I got slapped with a parking ticket. I have raised a dispute and this is where I truly feel it turned from a “oh bloody hell” into an absolute sham.

 

So here is what I got back initially:

 

Good afternoon,

 

We are sorry to hear you have received a aprking fine on 22.6.13

 

There is no evidence that a session was booked and paid for on that day, hence the fine from Birmingham Council.

 

I have checked the call log for that day and can confirm that you did call to make payment at 12.56

 

The vehicle registration was ********** and location code 7666 was selected for a stay of 2 hours.

Unfortunately either the security code on the back of the payment card wasn’t entered or it was entered incorrectly as the call ended at this point before the session started.

 

You can try to appeal the fine with Birmingham Council using this evidence but we cannot guarantee the outcome.

 

Sadly there is no other evidence we can provide to assist your appeal.

 

Rregards

Parkmobile helpdesk

 

Ignoring the spelling errors it’s got … you can see they have acknowledged I called. So yes it appears that there was something there and I tried. But apparently the system didn’t take my number. Well it never told me. I raised the objection June 24th.

 

I then had to wait, and it was the 4th July when I got a response. I was angry, very angry because of the sheer number of problems with it.

 

In addition, l have noted your comments regarding the payment you had made Into the machine. In order that I may give this matter further consideration, I shall need the machine number of the pay and display machine that you had used or a sketch of its location.”

 

My original e-mail contained the details that they were asking for of the location. And sketch? So I had to go back to Birmingham to get a sketch? I won’t go into the rest of the e-mail but it was a joke, spelling errors and as I had pointed out there was no way to call them, no way to contact anyone and even to raise the dispute it’s all by e-mail or post. I replied the 4th July, I wouldn’t want to be seen to be sitting on this, after all they told me I had 14 days.

22nd July, still nothing. Sent a chase.

 

12th August – I got a response. Which actually made me so angry it was probably good I don’t live in the area!

 

They have no record of a fault, well no one was gonna call with there being no number were they? And of course I am clearly lying if that’s the case, despite the witness and the call. And hang on wasn’t the problem the park mobile and NOT the cash machine? I already pretty much indicated I gave up on that thing in the first e-mail.

 

“I have also noted that you had been unable to locate a contact telephone number on the pay and display machine. However, I would advise you that the contact telephone number is located on the front of the pay and display machine.”

 

I am also blind as well it appears. And so was my friend who was also there looking. So we’re both blind and both liars. Going well so far.

 

“I have also noted that you had attempted to use the Parkmobile application. However, upon checking our records, I can confirm that the CVV security number was not confirmed. Therefore upon checking your vehicle, the Civil Enforcement Officer was unable to determine a valid parking session, thus the Penalty Charge Notice was correctly issued.”


Attempted? I did use it, that’s my point! If the automated system cannot tell me that the information was invalid was I supposed to stand there until the time was up waiting?

 

“I regret, however, as I cannot find any evidence to support your claim that the ticket machine was faulty, I am unable to withdraw the Penalty Charge Notice and must request that payment is forwarded in settlement.”

 

Again! At no point was I complaining about the MACHINE I was complaining about the Park Mobile fault.

 

I have now copied in my MP – And I copy a summary of the major points here.

 

“I have a witness there, who tried to help me.

You have material evidence that I tried to call and pay by your own admission!

Your system failed to inform me on the call that the details were incorrect, which was completely misleading me into believing I had paid.

You seem to think this is about the fault of the machine, I was happy to ignore that fact as the bulk of this complaint is about the phone service being inept NOT the fault of the machine. As I had previously put I paid it, assumed it lost and then rang.”

 

Disgruntled? Yes YES I am!

 

Frag out.

 

 



{August 4, 2013}   Mental Health And Me

Hey it’s me again!

So what am I here for? Oh an update of a few things. I don’t know if anyone will much read this but I figured it’s a way to note it down and if stumbled upon all the better. I have suffered from anxiety/bi-polar depression since I was a teen. It started with the loss of my hair in small chunks, I had never heard of Alopecia before and the doctors pretty much said that the lot was going to fall out. Now it’s not the end of the world I get that but at 15/16 it pretty much feels that way. I already had a very low opinion of myself thanks to the bullies at school, they seemed to think that it was more important for me to fit in with their thin crowd and make my hair-style like they had than for me to get an education.

When I lost my hair I was in the transition that took me into college, I had no concept of the effects of depression past the experience I had with a cousin of mine who suffered it so badly he was institutionalised. A lot of people think that the closure of the old institutes was this fantastic thing for everyone, that people ‘trapped’ in the system were suddenly let out of this horrific mental asylums and everything was rosy. It wasn’t… my childhood experience of this was to see a man that had full care put in the hands of the state. He was lonely, depressed and he invariably felt such a burden on his own family he committed suicide. I have never truly forgiven the people that did this, and I am sure this story is not mine alone.

I am fascinated by the history of mental asylums, from the grizzly reality of the killer ice-pick lobotomy to the new age drugs. From the people shoved into workhouses, stored in rich family members attics to the average joe that used it as an artistic outlet. I want to understand my disorder because to me it forms an incredibly large part of my life. I am NOT the disorder of depression, but I carry it with me. Lately it seems that more awareness is being brought out about this, I am grateful for those attempts, I think the stigma of being “mental” is not always as funny as I might joke about it to be.

It hurts when people make fly comments like “oh off our meds are we?” Or “maybe those drugs aren’t working”… Drugs are not the only answer to combatting a disorder. They can aid it, they can give you the confidence to feel ready to tackle it but when it all comes down to the base reality two things can help me. Family and Friends, and you as your own person. I’ve been up and down with suicidal thoughts since I was a child and it’s horrid. You hide the reality from people because you don’t want them to worry, or you think they will run for the hills. I guess the harder part is that you fear rejection so greatly you find a way to lie about who you are, and invariably eventually it eats you from inside to out. I am not always “okay” I am quite often anything but, however it’s often easier to say you are.

“Cheer up it’s not that bad.” Is possibly the most annoying, ridiculous thing you can say to me. I KNOW it’s not that bad, trust me. I know there’s a third world out there, I know cancer sufferers, terminal patients and people in far shittier places are out there but my brain has decided it is that bad. I can’t just flip a magical switch and be happy, I don’t want drugs that make me into a dribbling mess or give me a fake smile. I want my emotions to be mine, I want to feel and love, smile and cry. However, the utter flipside to this is the stab in the heart, when you are having a bad time or utterly manic you can’t even claim you are your own person, like a whirlwind you’re brain decides to sweep you around on an adventure and you’re not always a willing participant. I never paid for the ticket that made me a complete cow and I never paid entry to the one that makes me think driving a car into a building is a good idea, another person/entity brought it for me and surprised me with it.

As I write this I am once again reminded of how lucky I was to have had the mom I did, even now I am getting that choking feeling because I miss her so much. My mom was a rock, a legend, a support in everything I did. Loosing my mom was the scariest thing that happened in my life. I didn’t see her everyday when I moved away from home, I rang as often as I could and we talked so much. I lost not just a mom but a best friend. It’s been over four years now, and I still feel like the world was robbed somehow. I love my mom, I wish I could tell her it today still. I guess I can but you know what I mean I am sure. My mom was amazingly understanding and patient, it must be awful as a parent to have a child that goes through that and feel helpless. I would like to say to parents that are feeling that, you are not helpless, just listening and letting your child know that you are there is more support than so many might imagine. Closing doors on people is what makes it harder, so if you’re worried that just saying I love you and you know where I am isn’t enough, it’s probably doing more than you could imagine.

Wow lengthy post I know. However I hope that if even one person stumbled across this and felt less like they were alone with what they go through I think it’s a worthy blog.

And thank you for taking the time to read this.

Gearsgirl.

 

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