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How to Instantly Lose $290 at the Local First AZ Fall Fest

beware of things that bite

This is an open letter to Local First Arizona after 19 of the Arizona businesses that attended the Fall Fest each ended up with $290 parking tickets after parking in a dirt lot as instructed by Local First AZ.

The violation? Parking on Non-Dust-Free Lot or Area. 

Talk about having a teed-off, 117-mile ride back to Phoenix that evening!

Please Note: The headings were not part of the letter sent, but added to make it easier to read.

Here Comes the Letter

Hi Thomas,

I am one of the 19 Local First Arizona vendors who received a $290 parking ticket from the City of Phoenix after parking in the lot at 1102 N. Third Street as specifically instructed by Local First representatives. As you know, this ticket was issued on Nov. 4, 2017, to a number of vendors attending the Arizona Fall Festival.

The ticket was accompanied by a note from your organization instructing me NOT to pay the ticket and to instead request a hearing.

Since the note stated that Local First AZ would help us businesses fight the ticket, I am confident your organization will indeed provide assistance since this fiasco is in no way the fault of the vendors who were following your precise parking instructions.

Double Woe for Tucsonans

Because I run my writing and art business out of my Tucson home and making the 4-hour round-trip drive to Phoenix would result in loss of full day’s loss of wages, the assistance I require includes:

  • Requesting a court hearing on my behalf
  • Showing up for the hearing on my behalf as a representative as I cannot sacrifice yet another day to drive to Phoenix and back
  • Successfully fighting the ticket at the hearing, explaining how Local First AZ is responsible for the parking violation since the group instructor vendors to park in the aforementioned lot
  • Payment of the $290 fine by Local First AZ if the hearing is not successful on behalf of the vendors

Triple Woe for One-Woman Show

I am a small, single-person operation. Attending the fair required a lot of time, effort, energy, resources and money. While the overall experience was satisfactory, that satisfaction was quickly annihilated upon finding a $290 ticket jammed beneath my windshield wiper after the event.

While Local First AZ is an organization aimed at helping local Arizona businesses, this parking ticket fiasco hurts them dearly. I do hope your organization steps forward to correct the problem on behalf of the handful of local businesses that were merely following your instructions.

All the Blah Blah Enclosures

Attached please find a copy of my vehicle registration and the parking ticket. I am NOT mailing back a request for a hearing, as the ticket indicates this action should be taken ONLY by registered vehicle owners who can show up in court (or risk a default judgement being taken against them).

For Local First to request a court hearing on behalf of the registered owner of the vehicle, the ticket says to:

  • Call 602-262-6785, press 3, then 2

Please confirm you’ve received this letter and that the actions outlined are part of the Local First strategy for helping the businesses to which you’ve promised assistance.

Thank you,

Ryn Gargulinski | Ryndustries

Booth W40: Books, Art and Wheels

local first az fall fest
Rynski at the fall fest in happier times before the $290 parking ticket
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Open Letter to the Old Farmer’s Almanac

UPDATE: The Almanac responded to my letter on Aug. 9, 2017. Here’s what they had to say:

Dear Mr. Gargulinski,

We apologize for the inconvenience.  You were on a continuity program. We have cancelled the billing and removed you from the program. You may keep the Almanac with our compliments.

Sincerely,

Kaye Dunn
Almanac Products, EMail Customer Service

Moral of the story: Don’t let the big guys push you around.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I used to adore the Old Farmer’s Almanac until I met with unscrupulous actions like those outlined below. This letter was emailed to the company Aug. 5, 2017 (without the Scam Alert Bug illustration).

Dear Old Farmer’s Almanac:

Thank you! for the free gift you sent my way. After all, I am assuming the hardcover 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac you sent is a free gift since:

  • I did NOT ORDER IT.
  • I do not want it.
  • I am not paying for it.
  • I have not the time, energy or desire to deal with sending it back.

Since this is a free gift, please adjust my account balance to zero and credit out the invoice for $20.90 that accompanied my free gift. I refuse to pay an invoice for an item I did not order. I also refuse to waste my time, effort and packing tape to send it back.

Unsolicited items = free gifts.

If you do wish for me to send back the unsolicited item I neither want nor need, I would have to bill you for my services and supplies:

  • Return shipping rate: $7
  • Handling charges: $11
  • Time to pack item and ensure it is placed in location for outgoing mail: $25
    • My general hourly rate for services is $50; I would expect this hassle to take about 30 minutes, provided the packing tape dispenser doesn’t jam.

What you owe me to return item: $43

The choice is yours. You can either:

  1. Wipe out the invoice and charge for the item you sent my way WITHOUT my order or consent
  2. Mail me a check for $43 and I’ll send back your book

Any action on your part other than the two options listed above will result in a report to the Better Business Bureau.

And please don’t give me a song and dance about being on an “automatic mailing list” that gets the almanac sent every year. You tried that one on me a few years back, and I called one of your reps to be removed from this unscrupulous list.

Have a nice day,

Ryn Gargulinski

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