On December 19th of 2008 while taking my son to the airport, I received this ticket because my windshield was cracked. The officer told me that I just needed to get it fixed and it would be dismissed.
I had the windshield replaced the following Monday. The next day I went to my local sheriff's office and had the correction of the violation verified and the ticket signed.
I read through the instructions and I could not figure out the amount of the transaction fee. I called the automated number but neither my citation number nor my driver's license number was registered. I was also not able to get through to speak to a live person. I tried to go online and search for violation codes and transaction fees but I still was not able to find that information.
Out of options, I made a copy of my receipt for the windshield and the ticket. I mailed it to the court address above.
I thought well there must be a notification that will be sent to me, it can't be this hard. They will notify me of course, when they get my proof without the transaction fee, that I need to pay the transaction fee and then I will know how much it is. I filed it away. I am a single mother and a full time medical student. I work long hours at the hospital and my responsibilities at work and at home are vast. I can barely keep up with my responsibilities. I have no family here either to help me with my son. I constantly have to keep a list of things to do, all important things, because there is no way I can keep tract of them in my head without a list. When I corrected the violation and sent in my proof, I crossed it off my list.
On May 20th 2009, I received a notice in the mail from GC collection agency for a total amount of $726!
When I called them to try to explain to them the circumstance, they did not care at all. They told me there was nothing that I could do about it and that my license was in the process of being suspended right now. They were very rude. Then the story changed, I was told that if I paid it in full by May 26th, there would be $150 taken off the total and that I would pay $576 instead of $726. I was also told that if I paid it in full then my license would not be suspended but if I decided to take the second option and make payments on the $726, then my license would be suspended. Ten days from the date of notice, May 13th, 2009 would compute to May 23rd, 2009, but since it fell on a Saturday and Monday May 25th was Memorial Day, I had until May 26th to pay the $576.
I planned to call the court to find out if I could appeal this somehow but I was unable to get a break during business hours to make a phone call to the court for the next 3 days. If I knew it would be a quick phone call, then I could probably have found the time. However, I assumed it would not be a quick phone call. It's just not that easy for me to make a phone call for an unknown length of time during business hours.
I did not finish at the hospital today until 4pm. Today is May 26th. I called the collection agency to ask if they could give me a couple days extension on the $150 discount. They refused of course. They are very rude about it. They treated me like I was not only guilty of a crime but like I was someone who does not pay bills. They kept repeating the fact that I was failure to appear.
I called the number on the ticket; I listened to the automated system. I guess I was supposed to receive a courtesy notice; I never did receive this courtesy notice from the court. I would have paid immediately had I received a notice.
So I tried to call back, I guess I am going to pay the $576 today and save the $150. I don't have an income, just student loans so making a payment plan does not help me, saving $150 helps. When I called back they informed me that since it was after 3pm, I no longer qualified for the discount. When I told them that the letter does not indicate a before 3 pm deadline and I also was not told before 3 pm, they did not care again. Then they flip it around and start asking why I did not pay it on the 23rd, because they are open on Saturdays? Lying and claiming my actual deadline for qualification was the 23rd. (see attached proof of deadline for discount)
I paid the balance online today, according to the website I was still eligible for the discount and in fact I entered the amount of $726 and it automatically deducted the $150. I called them back to give them the confirmation number and they still tried to tell me that I owed an additional $150. I asked them to provide evidence that I was informed of the 3 pm deadline and they told me that they did not have to provide that evidence.
I paid the amount due; here is the proof that I paid the amount on time which was by May 26th, 2009.
They never informed me of a 3 pm deadline, it was a lie. The motive was because if I paid by phone they could claim that I owed the additional $150. However, I paid online and caught them in a lie, there is no 3 pm deadline, and it was a tactic to try to get additional money out of me. In addition, I also believe that the threat of suspending my driver's license was also a lie. I had a cracked windshield which I repaired immediately, I cannot believe that my license would be suspended for that, nor does it state on the collection letter any threat against my license.