We received a parking ticket in Pistoia, June 5,2007. We entered a parking lot,tried to get a ticket from the machine, and none would come out - this was happening to all cars entering at that time. We parked anyway, and returned to find a ticket on our rental car. The owner of the B&B where we were staying called the Municipal Police about this matter, and they said to just forget it, as they knew the machine was not working. On Feb.16, 2008, we received a NOTICE OF PAYMENT BEFORE THE NOTIFICATION stating that we must pay 69.05 EUR, plus 0.85 EUR for postage. The owner of the B&B in Pistoia has again visited the Police Station, and they told her once again that we should not pay this fine...the paper sent to us states that we must pay in 20 days or less....what should we do??? Janet
Do you think the Italian Police are going to knock on your door and arrest you??? I don't think so. Until it shows up on your credit card I would totally ignore it.
Thanks, Tim -- I appreciate your input!! I just hope they don't have my credit card number!!
Janet, I am assuming that the rental car agency from where you rented your car provided your US address to the police, which is why you received this "Notice of Payment" letter sent all the way from Italy. Accordingly, it is very possible that in the event of nonpayment there may be an attempt to charge this amount on your credit card. In fact, I would guess this is quite likely what will happen and I have read many accounts of this happening in other forums. So while I would like to say "don't worry", there is much evidence out there to suggest that you should. It might not be a bad idea to contact your credit card issuer and explain the situation. I personally would like to know what they think about the possibility of a foreign charge not authorized by you being made to stick from a vendor you dealt with so many months ago.
You will note that the letter was sent by a collection agency..it appears the police don't try to collect themselves but farm this task out immediately.
One other point to consider is the fact that most rental car contracts contain a clause that authorizes them to charge any traffic violations to your credit card. By signing the rental contract, you have agreed to this. I'm not a legal expert, but you might be stuck with paying the fine?
I've noticed that there seems to be an increase lately in Posts of this type on this Forum and others, especially concerning Italy (Florence in particular).
It's difficult to say what the consequences would be if you ignore the ticket? The worst case scenario is that they decide to "make an example" of someone and arrest them if they return to the country (again, I don't know the laws of Italy so don't know what position they might take?).
Based on some of the examples I've seen here lately, I'll use ONLY public transport next time I'm in Italy!
Public Transportation is definitely the way to go! But until the charge shows up on my card I wouldn't worry about it. I guess you could always cancel the particular credit card in question...