In the new appified San Francisco, startup advertisements are everywhere: Our highway are lined with their obnoxious billboards, spinning-sign guys are used to recruit Lyft drivers, and ads dangle from doorknobs like pizza menus. Now, one startup is taking the scourge of parking tickets and using them to hawk quasi-legal services.
Got ticket at 12:39 pm, by 5:40 pm, somebody had attached flier for app to beat ticket. San Francisco, 2014. pic.twitter.com/jbp3GDPqZB— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) August 15, 2014
Fixed relies on violations that are debatable and parking enforcement officers who make mistakes. The app is relatively simple: Users receive a prompt to take a photo of the ticket and enter the violation code. The app looks up the violation and suggests common mistakes that might get it thrown out by agency administrators. It also prompts motorists to photograph evidence at the scene - properly curbed wheels or faded red paint, for instance - and checks the street grade against a geological survey map.
Then, because you can't quite disrupt the MTA yet, Fixed mails a hard copy of the complaint to the MTA. If it gets dismissed, the makers of the app collect 25 percent of the original fine. If it doesn't get thrown out the first time, Fixed can try again with a second mailing. If the driver doesn't emerge victorious, the whole process is free (except for that ticket, of course).
As far as the burgeoning crop of ridiculous solutionist startups go, Fixed actually seems to be one of the better ones. After all, everyone's itching for a way to avoid San Francisco's notoriously high parking ticket fines.
But, as SF Citizen points out, Fixed's ham-fisted marketing campaign offers the convenience of the on-demand economy to those of you that may have caused a greater inconvenience:
[In my opinion,] the first step after you get a ticket is figuring whether you deserved it or not. Well, were you blocking the street sweeper or not? Oh, you were? So why try to get the ticket "fixed?"
Photo: SF Citizen