According to an article over at TechCrunch, an ambitious app is launching in San Francisco that offers to fight parking tickets. The new Fixed app is running under a limited beta trial, and would charge 25% of the amount fined if the ticket is cancelled successfully.
A user would take a picture of the ticket through the app and send that along with the reference number to an advisor. The advisor then looks up the type of offence, shows the likelihood of cancellation as a percentage, and quotes how much they would save by paying Fixed rather than the ticket. If you lose then you still have to pay the ticket, but Fixed get nothing. It’s not clear whether US fines work in a similar way to the UK, where they increase in cost after a fixed period, or sometimes simply because you have appealed.
With the huge sums collected via parking enforcement in cities around the world, Fixed clearly think there’s money to be made in contesting these. As TechCrunch mention, it’s not clear whether this idea can scale. Having spent 6 years contesting fines for a large corporate fleet in the UK, I know just how much of a bureaucratic nightmare this can be. It’s hard to imagine that the amount of effort and paperwork they will have to put in to appealing these tickets is worth the fees they charge.