The City of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has announced that they owe as much as $6.1 million to people who either overpaid, or double paid, parking and transit tickets between the years of 1995 and 2012. You have until next week (March 3, 2016) to file a claim. Here is the complete searchable lookup list of names of people who are owed money (we personally know several people who will be receiving between $50 and $100 or more).
Why are we posting this here? Because the SFMTA simply created 9 behemoth PDFs and posted them online – in a fashion that makes them completely search-unfriendly, especially if you are on a mobile device (did they not foresee people wanting to search it from their smartphones?)
What bonehead did this?
Probably the same bonehead that decided that it was a good idea to use SurveyGizmo for you to submit your claim form for your refund. Now, don’t get us wrong, we love SurveyGizmo, in fact we have good friends who are original founders of SurveyGizmo. But when a municipal agency says “go to this survey site to claim the money we owe you”, well, that seems just a tad bit sketch. (But we hasten to add that it is legitimate).
As SF Gate first reported, “Several hundred individuals and a number of companies either double paid or overpaid parking and transit citations between 1995 and 2012, and are now owed a collective $6.1 million. But the Municipal Transportation Agency is warning residents that on March 3rd, ‘unclaimed funds will become the property of the City and County of San Francisco.’ ”
That would be the same MTA that has not made it as fully easy as possible for folks to even find out if they are owed this money. And, as we said, we personally know of several people who are owed between $50 and $100, or even more (and there are several people on the list who are owed multiple refunds, as well).
Here’s what the SFMTA has to say about it:
If you made duplicate payments on a citation, or for an amount higher than what was owed, the balance will be applied to any open citation(s) on your account. If you are due a refund you will receive a verification letter in the mail to sign certifying that you are the individual who is owed the refund. As an alternative, submit a claim form online. This does not apply to refunds on Administrative Hearing deposits which will be automatically refunded if your citation is dismissed.
This does not apply if you have paid for a citation that you are trying to protest, or are trying to protest your citation.
The SFMTA has given notice of approximately $6.1 million in unclaimed funds for overpayment and duplicate payments received for parking and transit citations issued between January 1, 1995 and June 30, 2012. These funds are being held in the SFMTA’s Operating Fund. Claims for return of monies held may be filed by filling out a claim form online by March 3, 2016 after which time the unclaimed funds will become the property of the City and County of San Francisco.
Now, here are the instructions you would have to go through if you were looking at the lists on the MTA site:
“The documents below, organized alphabetically by registered owner’s last name, provide detail on the overpayments. To research your information 1) Download the appropriate file below, 2) Open the file in Adobe, 3) Search for your name or license plate number by typing “Ctrl + F” on your keyboard, or by clicking “File” and “Find” in the upper left hand corner of the document.”
But we are trying to make it easy for you, so here are links to text-based, fully searchable lists. These lists are massive, which is why we have them broken down into 9 different pages (which we are hosting ourselves to make it easier for you. Why? Because it’s what we do.)
NOTE #1: In some cases, first initials have been treated like last names for purposes of alphabetization on these lists (hey, don’t blame us, we’re just the people providing a text-based searchable option for these lists!) So, for example, if your name is Jane Doe, but you sometimes go by J. Doe, you should search both the D list and the J list.
In fact, in some cases they have first and last name swapped, so even if you never go by your initial, you should search the lists for both your first name and your last name (i.e. Jane Doe would search both the Ds and the Js).
NOTE #2: Included in the C-D list are a whole bunch of random names starting with all different letters under the “c/o” section (because, you know, “c/o”), so search that list too.
Here are the lists:
So, are you owed a refund? Let us know!
And if you are owed a refund, you can fill out your SurveyGizmo claim form here:
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