Dear Diamond Parking Services

A few days ago, I received at letter from Diamond Parking Services, LLC, stating that I was late on a parking fine they charged me. Trouble is, I was out of state when the ticket was issued, so could not have been the one who parked poorly. In the letter, they stated that if I felt there had been an error, that I had to submit an appeal, in writing, within 30 days – or they would assume the debt was valid.

While I normally prefer to handle such matters in person, I do sometimes miss the good old days of writing letters. So, I decided to oblige them with a written notice of my claim to the invalidity of their fine.

If you are unaware of how they work – their business model is to monitor parking lots and issue their own, private, parking tickets when someone hasn’t placed their car correctly. They claim this¬†authority comes from signs they have randomly placed in the lot as notice… I find that a bit questionable, as far as business models go. And the ticket for parking outside the lines is apparently $43. I find that a bit unreasonable too.

But, if they are going to waste my time writing them letters about fines for infractions I didn’t commit – I may as well make it enjoyable for myself. So, without further ado, here is my letter to them:

Dear Diamond Parking Services LLC – Collection Department,

This letter is in regards to a recent letter from you in regards to a Parking Penalty Fee – reference number 1000496002 – recently issued to a vehicle registered in my name. Per your letter, this Parking Penalty Fee was issued for failure to comply with all agreed and posted terms, conditions and requirements for parking.

I regret to inform you that there has been a grave error concerning my account. While I do own the car in question – a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon, License Plate 193YHO-WA – it is not a car that I actually drive. I have a really awesome Subaru WRX that I bought back in September and haven’t put key to ignition in the Tiburon since then. If you’ve ever driven a WRX, you will understand. But, this letter isn’t to inform you about the awesomeness of my car purchase (although, I kind of wish it was).

I guess I should try to explain by what circumstances my car ended up in a parking lot that you monitor. I, being of a friendly and helpful disposition, have made use of my old car as a loaner to friends whom either don’t have a vehicle or don’t have one suitable for the errand they need to run. Have you ever tried bringing a flat-pack Ikea bookcase home on the back of a moped? It really is a dangerous undertaking!

Unfortunately, in times like this, it becomes apparent why rental companies charge so much. Be that as it may, I was not driving the car or a passenger it in when the ticket was issued. Furthermore, I do not believe I have ever been to “Location A140.” Had I been, I can assure you that the car would have at least been properly parked. I’ve never understood how people can be so bad at something they have to do every time they drive. It makes you wonder how these same people manage to stay within the lanes and posted speed limit, too. But, we are talking about one of my friends, so I guess I should give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that the poor parking performance wasn’t intentional.

I know you are probably reading this and thinking, “the old, ‘my friend borrowed the car’ routine. How original…” So, to put your mind at ease, I must also inform you that I wasn’t even in the great state of Washington on the date in question, January 30, 2012. In fact, just the day before I grabbed a flight to San Jose, California for a 4-day business trip. I can provide records of this trip upon request. Since I was away and mostly unreachable, I can’t say that I know who borrowed the car or that I expressedly gave them permission on that occasion – other than the implicit invitation to use my car freely, since they had keys to it.

One more time, for good measure – I hereby whole-heartedly dispute the validity of this debt – every portion of it. I will not be held liable for notices that I did not, and could not have read. I was not in the car, or even the State when the ticket was issued. You will not be getting the $43 fine from me, or the $30 late fee. I’m granting you permission, one time, to contact me for evidence that I was out of the State at the time.

Any further attempts to contact me (other than for records of my travels) or collect this debt are prohibited. By reading this form you hereby agree, on behalf of Diamond Parking Services LLC, that each of these further attempts will be subject to a $100 Harassment Penalty Fee payable to myself.

If it works on signs in parking lots…

I’ll try to keep you posted on any interesting developments.