We are all familiar with that minor panic when we realize that our parking meter expired twenty minutes ago. We nervously approach our car, and let out a huge sigh of relief when we don’t see a ticket stuck under our front windshield wiper. But, what happens when you are 100% positive that you parked legally, only to return to a $366 ticket with your car nowhere in sight? Even more, how would you respond when you see that the spot you parked in had been converted to a handicap spot while you were away? Well, this is exactly the experience of a Tel Aviv woman. And, her response was to mount a social media campaign on Facebook to overturn her ticket.
Fighting the ticket
Hil Ben-Baruch knew she parked legally, and was rightfully indignant about her ticket and towing. So, using the security footage from across the street, she discovered how her bizarre ticket came to fruition: workers had painted the handicap spot around her car, and then proceeded to tow it. Making little headway in contesting the ticket through conventional ways, in a strategy steeped in today’s social-media-dominated world, she posted the video on Facebook.
The power of social media
Harnessing the power of her social network, Ben-Baruch’s video generated enough buzz to bring it to the city’s attention. In fact, the video’s virulence on Facebook meant that Ben-Baruch’s ticket made overlooking her contest to the ticket almost impossible. The city thus officially responded to Ben-Baruch in an official statement, admitting that “this was a severe mistake” and that they will examine their “conduct for the future so that these kinds of things won’t happen again.” And, of course, the $366 ticket was torn up. As a result, the city was better able to be held accountable to its citizens. Such an outcome would seem impossible before Facebook, but the result was a win-win for both parties.