In the mail last week, I found an envelope that was sent from a local suburb municipal court. Inside was a bill for $200. There was no explanation as to what it was for, or why I needed to pay…just the amount and PAY NOW.
So, of course, I didn’t PAY NOW, and I called to inquire instead. And do you know what it was for? Do you know why I was being asked to pay $200 NOW? I was evidently pulled over for speeding, and their records indicated that I had not paid.
It is no secret that my driving habits are somewhat…in a hurry. But I always pay my fines. Always. Even when I earned a whopping $400 in speeding tickets from hidden devil cameras, I still paid. Knowing this about myself caused me to be extremely confident in the fact that there must be a major error on the part of the court. There MUST BE! So I called them. I called them and calmly asked them the date of the alleged charge.
Them: June 28, 2000
Me: I beg your pardon?
Them: June 28, 2000
Them: Yes. June 28th.
Me: of the year 2000?!
Me: As in SEVEN YEARS AGO, 2000??!!
Them: Yes. Would you like to take care of that over the phone today with a credit card?
Me: … [click]
…several days later after looking back in my files seven years and finding that I had paid this ticket with a check…
Me: I already paid this. Seven years ago.
Them: We will need proof. You’ll need to contact the bank and send us proof.
Me: I need to PROVE that I paid a bill seven years ago?
Me: Do you know how completely absurd this is?!
Them: I’m sorry , Ma’am. Would you like to take care of this over the phone today with a credit card?
Me: No, I would NOT like to take care of this over the phone today with a credit card.
Them: The bank will probably attach a fee for finding the canceled check, and you will be responsible for paying it.
Me: So you are telling me that I received a ticket for speeding in the year 2000, I paid it PROMPTLY, and because someone working for the city LOST IT, I now have to PROVE that I paid it, and pay a FEE for proving it?!
Them: Yes, that is correct.
…Me calling the bank that I used seven years ago…
Me: I have the account number
Them: Are you Joshua?
Me: No. That was my ex-husband
Them: Well, our records only go back five years, Mrs. Pence.
Them: You’ll need to call our credit department.
Me: [click] [BANG! BANG! BANG!]