Couple says unfair parking ticket ruined night out in Arena District

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A night of fun on the town turned to frustration for a central Ohio couple after they got stuck with a parking ticket, they said they were unfairly given. After getting the run-around from the parking company. They turned to Better Call Jackson for help.

In April Audrey and Joe Van Ostran celebrated a special night in downtown Columbus.

“We were going to a Tesla concert, at Express Live, for his birthday,” Audrey Van Ostran said. But their night of rock and roll ended on a bad note, when they found a 45 dollar parking ticket on their car.

“We paid for parking, we did everything right, we parked at the venue,” Audrey Van Ostran said. The couple had a 5 dollar receipt they told NBC 4 they got from an attendant at the Brodbelt lot downtown.

With their parking reciept and citation in hand the couple assumed it was a mistake and appealed the ticket online.

“All we have to do is clear this up, let them know that we paid,” Joe Van Ostran said. But their appeal was denied, and the couple was told if their parking ticket was not paid on time, it would increase to 75 dollars.

Then they called Better Call Jackson.

We tracked down the company to SP+ Parking Management in Chicago, Illinois, who told us the reason for the citation: “The receipt was not visible on the customers dashboard, so the citation was issued,” Jill Nagel, a spokesperson told NBC4.

But displaying their receipt on their dashboard is something the Van Ostrans told NBC 4 they were not told by the attendant, nor it is printed on the receipt. The couple call it deliberately unclear, “I feel like the system is designed for people to fail,” Audrey Van Ostran said.

However the Brodbelt lot does display a sign in its parking lot to have receipt visible. “There has got to be a lot of other folks out there who have the same issue, but just ended up paying it,” Joe Van Ostran said.

Once Better Call Jackson got involved and sent SP+ the information about the receipt and citation, the company told us they downgraded the ticket to a warning and waived the fee.

It’s the fair ending the Van Ostrans were looking for, leaving them with a nice night of memories of rock and roll, instead of the blues, “Our wedding song was a Tesla song, and it was his birthday,” Audrey Van Ostran said.

It’s important to note that the Brodbelt lot in the Arena district usually has receipt that tell drivers to leave them on their dashboard, but because the couple was there for a special event, they were given a different receipt by an attendant.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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