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Chicago Parking Meters Now Offers Refunds

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The Parking Ticket Geek

The Geek is an idiot, who gets a lot of parking tickets, and knows how to fight back.

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It's taken the better part of a year, but Chicago Parking Meters, LLC now offers refunds.

Motorists who pay at a meter but do not receive a printed receipt to display on their dashboard, can now request a refund.

Despite the fact that this website has been whining and complaining about this issue for close to a year, it seems it took some snooping around by Tribune Problem Solver columnist Jon Yates, to finally push CPM to embrace this change in policy.

It seems Yates got a note from an Evanston motorist who plunked $3.50 in quarters into a downtown meter, pushed the green print receipt button and...nothing came out. When she called to get her money refunded, she was given the runaround until, frustrated, she reached out to Yates.

Coincidentally, CPM has decided to now offer it's customers refunds in situations like this according to CPM spokesperson Avis LaVelle in the Tribune piece.

"The city never had a refund policy for a meter, so there wasn't one when we started either," LaVelle said.

Chicago Parking Meters LLC instituted such a policy Nov. 20, she said.

"We listened to our customers," LaVelle said. "We also had the technology to discern and see if (the complaint) was true."

Sorry, but the excuse that the city didn't have a refund policy in place so CPM didn't have one either is a very lame one.

One of the great things about privatization is that companies are typically respond faster and are more customer service oriented than government. So, while CPM has embraced a lot of positive changes to street parking (new pay boxes, an acceptable website, fast repairs to broken meters, decent customer phone support, etc.), why would it take months and months of complaints to institute a refund policy?

CPM installed 4200 pay and display meters across the city in a record breaking pace of eight months, but it takes the same amount of time to realize they need a policy like this to take care of legitimate customer refund requests?

Despite taking an inordinate amount of time to implement, I guess the bottom line is the new CPM refund policy is a truly positive one.

If you do run into an issue where you require a refund, the CPM website instructs you to call the CPM customer helpdesk (877.242.7901) first to report the issue and the meter in question.

Then you'll need to download and fill out a copy of their refund request form. If it was a credit card transaction you may have to send a copy of your credit card statement.

Make sure you fill it out completely and you do it within 30 days of the original transaction date, or it won't be processed.

Once completed, mail your completed form to: LAZ Parking Chicag0, c/o Parking Meter Refunds, PO Box 8210, Chicago, IL 60699.

Then, you wait to hear back from the company and hopefully with a refund payment.

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