Technology serve consumers, governments serve themselves (TechCrunch):
Fixed, a mobile app that fights parking tickets and other traffic citations on users’ behalf, has had its parking ticket operations blocked in three of its top cities, San Francisco, Oakland and L.A. after the cities increased the measures they were taking to block Fixed from accessing their parking ticket websites.Brutal.
[...] Founder David Hegarty once noted that over half of tickets have an issue that would make them invalid, but the city didn’t tend to play by its own rules when arbitrating disputes. That made Fixed’ “win” rate only 20%-30% on tickets, as of earlier this year. (When the company won, it charged a success fee of 25% of the original fine – a reduction in what a customer would have otherwise paid.)
However, even when customers didn’t beat their ticket, the app could help automate the payment without having to use a city’s often outdated website. A more recent addition, “Ticket Guardian,” handled tickets for you automatically and alerted customers to new ones by monitoring government websites.
Of course, the cities haven’t been welcoming to an app that was aimed at helping locals not pay their tickets by automating the process of jumping through legal loopholes. When Fixed began faxing its submissions to SFMTA last year, the agency emailed the startup to stop using their fax machine. When Fixed pointed out that it was legal to do so, the agency simply shut off their fax.
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