Parking meter credit card scam?

Is Hoboken unlawfully charging drivers who pay via credit cards?

Hoboken411 has received countless emails from residents and visitors alike – who are using the new robotic muni-meters placed throughout the city.

The big “hurrah” with these new meters was, according to the city, that you “don’t have to fumble for quarters anymore,” since the new pick-pockets meters are modern and accept credit or debit cards.

The general problem which the city failed to mention – is that if you want to just park for 15 minutes to pick up your dry cleaning or groceries, and have no quarters – you will not pay 25 cents if you pay by credit card.

The city charges you the FULL $2.00 when paying with plastic.

Is a class-action lawsuit against HPU on the horizon in Hoboken?

I’d recommend anyone who pays via credit card and gets charged the full amount DISPUTE THAT CHARGE with your credit card company. Because the fact that there is no disclosure on the meter itself – and the machine charges you at the end (you have no way of backing out).

That is deceptive and fraudulent.

In fact – God knows how many people have been charged this full amount in total since the meters were rolled out – it could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars already – and might be worthy for a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT.

Any hungry lawyers out there?

19 Responses

  1. BklynHobo says:

    I use my credit card on these meters pretty often. I am not sure where you are getting your info from but I don’t get charged then $2.00. I just double checked my credit card statement and the correct amounts were charged (anywhere from 0.25-2.00). It can be easy to hit the Max Time button if you’re not paying attention and that will charge you $2.00 and print your receipt.

    • HudsonGuy says:

      I have been charged the $2 when I just wanted 15 minutes of time, but I would chalk that up to the machines not being very easy to navigate. I hit a wrong button and the next thing I know I am being charged $2 to park for 15 minutes. The machines are a piece of crap.[quote comment=”214654″]I use my credit card on these meters pretty often. I am not sure where you are getting your info from but I don’t get charged then $2.00. I just double checked my credit card statement and the correct amounts were charged (anywhere from 0.25-2.00). It can be easy to hit the Max Time button if you’re not paying attention and that will charge you $2.00 and print your receipt.[/quote]

      • BklynHobo says:

        Being charged $2.00 because the machine is “hard” to navigate is different than the scam described above. [quote comment=”214655″]I have been charged the $2 when I just wanted 15 minutes of time, but I would chalk that up to the machines not being very easy to navigate. I hit a wrong button and the next thing I know I am being charged $2 to park for 15 minutes. The machines are a piece of crap.[/quote]

    • foxymophandlemama says:

      Agreed. I’ve paid with my credit card for less than $2.00 multiple times with no problem. Just have to put in the correct amount, not very difficult. These machines are much better than the old quarter meters. If you can’t figure out how to use the machine maybe it’s best you stay off the road completely.

      [quote comment=”214654″]I use my credit card on these meters pretty often. I am not sure where you are getting your info from but I don’t get charged then $2.00. I just double checked my credit card statement and the correct amounts were charged (anywhere from 0.25-2.00). It can be easy to hit the Max Time button if you’re not paying attention and that will charge you $2.00 and print your receipt.[/quote]

  2. emarche says:

    Oh please. Like anyone in this town would EVER pay for 10-15min of parking? They’d rather double, triple, etc. park before taking the time or making the effort to actually park, let alone pay for the privilege.

  3. ohnoivotedforher says:

    I usually go against the Zimmer regime, but in this case it’s user error. You can still sue though

  4. showme789 says:

    I got hit with the $2.00 charge twice last week. It seems that this is a new addition to the way they steal from us. I did everything the way I always do with the machine and when the charge was “authorized” it was for $2.00 even though I only put in for 30 minutes. Something is wrong, but it just started a few days ago. I called the parking utility and was told that now $2.00 is the minimum charge you can put on a card.
    So the story is indeed correct and something needs to be done to stop this garbage.

    • BklynHobo says:

      I used a machine on 7th and Washington this morning. I was able to chose 50 cents, I got a receipt for 50 cents, and I just checked my credit card activity, and I was charged 50 cents. Seems you are another person that finds the machine “hard” to navigate.[quote comment=”214671″]I got hit with the $2.00 charge twice last week. It seems that this is a new addition to the way they steal from us. I did everything the way I always do with the machine and when the charge was “authorized” it was for $2.00 even though I only put in for 30 minutes. Something is wrong, but it just started a few days ago. I called the parking utility and was told that now $2.00 is the minimum charge you can put on a card. So the story is indeed correct and something needs to be done to stop this garbage.[/quote]

  5. timetes says:

    no problems with the system here, i love it…..the best part of this is if the meter isn’t working you can just go to another meter across the street and get a receipt there. The meter along the W hotel on river has been out of service for over a month….

    also the new system is so accurate because the receipt is in your car. With the old meters …….id put a quarter in and within 5 min it was blinking showing money was needed, those old meters were so inaccurate, it reminded me of using quartered washing machines…..constant rip off. 😕

  6. ohnoivotedforher says:

    Dam crooks, figures first time I say something nice about the Regime, they prove me mistaken. Who audits the debit process?

  7. BklynHobo says:

    I will have to give it a try tomorrow and I will report back.

    On another note, I used an almost identical machine in Buffalo this week, and they clearly stated there is a $1.00 minimum charge with a credit card. If this now the case in Hoboken, they need to redo the signage…

  8. YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

    So you swipe your credit card first (a little shady but OK), and the meter defaults to 15 minutes for $0.25 (so far, so good), but you want to add some time and follow the instructions to ‘use arrows to left’.. OK here’s the rub, there are 3 up arrows and two arrows that point left and right: which one do you use to add time? Seems to me that the right arrow might increment and the left would then decrement the time. But if you make that mistake and hit the right arrow, you are charged the max $2 with no confirmation/notification prior to the transaction being completed. That to me is absolutely a flaw that should be addressed. (In fairness, I do agree that the new meters have multiple benefits. But who tested these things and approved the usability before they were installed?)

  9. animal_lover says:

    I like the fact that the next town has removed these silly boxes. Thanks Mayor Stack.

  10. YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

    I think that if the parking machines were under the control of the equivalent of a NJ Casino Control Commission like a slot machine, they would never fly as they are currently configured. They are deceptive with credit card charges. On the other hand, I used to park in front of old style meters that were so full that quarters were spilling out of the coin slot, because they weren’t properly emptied (and I probably would have been ticketed for parking in front of a meter with an error condition). Your credit card company may reject a charge for < $1.00, and that's fine, but if you want to park for less than the max time and you use a credit card, you run the risk of hitting the wrong button and being charged $2.00 because the machines' interface is defective (vs. today's standards for automated commerce). Is it worth someone's time/effort to sue? Probably not, but that's why the problem exists.

  11. homeworld says:

    There is no scam, it’s user error.

    However, they should be a confirm and cancel button.

  12. YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

    I don’t know when they fixed it, but I’ve used the parking meters over the past two weeks and the ‘max’ amount selection now does require that you hit the green button before it processes the credit card transaction.

  13. animal_lover says:

    They are a nuisance. If a meter has to have so many words and colors and it still can’t communicate a simple procedure it needs to be removed. I was in court today where a man fed the muni meter and got a ticket. It is not like other cities where it records your position on the meter rather than having a piece of paper that you have to walk back to your car to put on the dash. Believe me on a bad day with a broken meter and having to walk to another meter ( with no assurance that meter works) and then back to your car again it is just not worth doing business in Hoboken.

  14. YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

    Here’s one… it was 7:35 PM on the clock and I wanted to pay for parking through 9 PM, so I inserted quarter after quarter watching the time tick up to 8:50 after 5 quarters; so one more quarter should get me paid up through the 9 PM ‘safe zone’, right? Nope! The screen showed something like ‘time exceeded’ and spit my 5 quarters back out the coin return. I could only pay for parking til 8:50. Defies logic (maybe not computer logic, but human logic).

  15. livestrong says:

    It will not end well. The control over others will reach a boiling point. History has proven that. Time after time after time.

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