A Rotorua man is outraged after he and his partner received five parking tickets in the space of four days even though they paid for parking at the meter.
Paul Barton said they were both issued the tickets totalling $172 despite having proof all had been paid for.
Rotorua Lakes Council told the couple it could not find any record of the payments.
It took the council nine days to find the error in the system and wipe the infringement fee.
Council community and regulatory services manager Kurt Williams said the infringements were reviewed and four had been issued in error.
The council was helping Barton on a dispute for the fifth ticket.
"As with any multi-faceted system, there may be faults from time to time," Williams said.
But there were "very few issues" with the system which processed around 41,000 transactions each month.
Last Monday, Barton and his partner both received parking tickets in town for $40 each.
Both were in separate cars and he said both had paid at the meter.
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Barton said he emailed Rotorua Lakes Council that night and called the next morning.
"The transaction was completed and the payment meter was registering a different screen than normal but I waited until the transaction was accepted and completed," he said in the email.
On Tuesday, they each received another ticket.
On Wednesday, a council customer service staff member responded to Barton, saying all disputes in the first instance were investigated by i-Park, and suggested Barton lodge a dispute using the i-Park website.
"If the ticket appeal is unsuccessful, you have the right to request a hearing on the matter," the response said.
Barton's partner contacted i-Park.
An i-Park spokesman confirmed to the Rotorua Daily Post Barton had been in touch.
"His payments had been made and [the i-Park team] informed him in writing that his infringements would be voided."
In an email correspondence with a staff member from the council, it was stated that none of Barton's payments were in the council's system.
"Then bugger me, it's Thursday night and I get another ticket," Barton said.
"It's quite violent to get a ticket again and again and again when you've paid."
Barton was frustrated at being continuously told by council staff there was no one available to help him with his complaint, and no one acknowledging the flaw in the system.
"Somewhere, there's a problem and I've asked them where, but no one has told me."
"It's frustrating to not be heard like a human being," he said.
He said the poor communication "erodes the relationship the council has with the people in town".
"It's not only that I got tickets, I tried to have a conversation and tried to help them fix their system so they don't give more tickets to more people. And nothing happened."
Barton said he believed the council should be met with a penalty in the same way ratepayers were fined for late payments.
He has since asked the council for $80 compensation.
"Not once has the council said, 'yes there's an error, you have paid and we're sorry'," Barton said earlier this week.
He said others might not stand up to being fined in error and $40 per ticket was a lot of money.
"That's a hell of a lot of money. For some people, it would just break them for the month."
He suggested $5 parking tickets would still mean the council would make money.
The council this week apologised for the inconvenience and acknowledged Barton's frustration.
Williams said feedback from the community was listened to and adjustments were made where required to ensure the parking system was effective.
I-Park is contracted by the council to deliver parking services in Rotorua, including managing the disputes process, the ability to view the status of an individual ticket and to help customers with infringement payments and lodging disputes.