ServiceOntario & City of Toronto gangs up on the public

 

There’s an old adage – “Be careful of the company you keep.” How you are perceived can be greatly influenced by the people and organizations you associate with. It’s a warning that ServiceOntario might want to heed.
ServiceOntario is the Province of Ontario’s doorway to the public for things like licenses, certificates and other official documents. They’re actually pretty good. The people are generally helpful and seem to place a lot of value on customer service. Not the same can be said, however, for all ofthe other government organizations they have to interface with. Take the City of Toronto for instance:
In late 2011 I used a pay parking lot in Toronto. Bought a ticket from one of the machines, and dutifully displayed it on my dashboard. The parking police came by when I was gone, and, apparently not seeing my parking stub, decided to write me a$30 ticket. My two choices were:
1) pay the ticket; or
2) bring the notice to a city of Toronto parking office to register for a trial.
But here’s the problem. I live in Ottawa, some 400 km away from Toronto. Since I didn’t have time that day to search out one of the offices, and drove home that night, my only options now were to
1) pay the ticket; or
2) spend 12 hours driving and $200 in gas to contest my $30 ticket in a city of Toronto parking office.
I tried calling – not once or twice, but dozens of times – never able to get through. Finally, a month laterI was defeated. I had already exhausted well over$30 of my personal time. The City of Toronto’s strategy of ignoring the public worked. But, I thought, maybe if I don’t pay it, it will force someone to actually have to talk to me. I am so naive sometimes….
Yesterday, in the mail, I got my licence platerenewal form from ServiceOntario, and – you guessed it – they are now telling me that I can’t renew my licence, until the ticket is paid. Only now, the ticket amount has more than doubled – to $66!!
Still nobody to talk to – and nobody seems to care. How can “Service” Ontario continue to use that name?
 
 

ServiceOntario & City of Toronto gangs up on the public
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