Author Topic: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment  (Read 4660 times)

APowers

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Okay, I'm a bit flummoxed on what my standing is on this. Let me sum up.

I run an Airbnb out of my home.
My city requires a short term rental permit.
My permit came up for renewal in September, and I did the whole process*.
Received an email saying I had paid the fee, and was sent a PDF of my permit for '23-'24.

Now, two months later, I get an email saying they didn't receive my payment and I need to log in to the permit system again to pay the fee.


Am I required to pay a fee for which I already have received payment confirmation? What if, by some fluke, the payment didn't go through back in September---what responsibility do I have for that? Am I somehow legally liable for their error?

On the one hand, this feels automatically sketchy-- asking for payment again from someone to whom they've already acknowledged payment from?
On the other hand, mistakes do happen, and do I just log in and pay *again*?
On the other other hand, how am I liable for the city's mistake?
On the other other other hand, if I choose not to submit payment again, can the city take me to court? What are they going to say that overrules the receipt in my email inbox? Or is an email stating that permit fees have been paid not sufficient to constitute a receipt? What is the legal scenario where a vendor issues a receipt of payment, but then claims to have not received payment?

I'm not trying to get out of paying for the permit, if in fact the payment didn't process, although I think making people pay for permission to use their own property as they please is mostly absurd. But also, if the city has a system going bonkers, it would be nice to ensure they get it straightened out so this is not a recurring issue for me or anyone else. Also, this permit system is a royal pain to use, and if I can be as much of a pain to the system as the system is to me, that could be an added bonus.





*Complaints notwithstanding...the city switched to this online permit system a year ago, and it. is. TERRIBLE. Clunky, *very* unintuitive, run by a third party, and just generally an absolute pain to use-- definitely not user-friendly.

seattlecyclone

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2023, 03:23:47 PM »
I'd check my credit card statement to verify the payment went through. Assuming it did, I'd reach out to whatever contact seems most appropriate at the city, forwarding them the confirmation email, attaching my credit card statement, and asking them to please sort it out on their end. I would not be inclined to pay twice under any circumstances.

Freedomin5

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2023, 03:35:14 PM »
I'd check my credit card statement to verify the payment went through. Assuming it did, I'd reach out to whatever contact seems most appropriate at the city, forwarding them the confirmation email, attaching my credit card statement, and asking them to please sort it out on their end. I would not be inclined to pay twice under any circumstances.

This.

You can easily check your bank account to determine if payment went through. If yes, then attach proof along with your receipt. The bill should include a customer service number so you can talk to someone if in fact you have already paid. If the payment didn’t go through, then put a stop payment on the previous transaction, and submit payment again.

reeshau

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2023, 03:35:33 PM »
If the system is terrible for you, and run by a third party, it might be just as terrible for the users on the city side.  Chasing down automated process errors is itself a pain, but I would do exactly what @seattlecyclone says.  You may also look on the website for an FAQ or Contact Us for dispute resolution or questions.

If you actually have a permit pdf, and not just a payment receipt, you are done.  They have some record keeping to fix.  If they took you to court, that's your Exhibit A.  But even in that case, it becomes your problem when you try to renew again, and they think you are delinquent.  Best not to let it fester, hoping it gets resolved without you.

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2023, 08:52:43 AM »
I did a cursory check of my bank statements, and didn't notice an obvious transaction, so I'm not sure what's really going on. I DO have an actual permit PDF; I DO have an actual legal receipt showing they've received payment from my checking account. This seems like a case of "I wrote you a check, you gave me a receipt, then you never bothered to cash the check"-- which doesn't seem like it should be my problem at all.


I sent an email back yesterday:

-------------
Hi,

There seems to be some confusion here. I submitted payment in September and received an email receipt [screenshot attached] showing I have paid for my short term permit. Perhaps you can verify why I should think otherwise?


Thanks!
-----------


I will keep y'all updated as to what happens next.


Samuel

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2023, 09:32:48 AM »
You can very easily determine if they actually took your money or not. If not your transaction is not complete, regardless of the e-receipt and permit PDF their crappy system generated.

You mostly seem annoyed at having to do this at all and are hoping they'll forgo actually collecting the money as some kind of moral victory since you don't feel you should have had to pay for this in the first place. 

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2023, 09:59:43 AM »
You can very easily determine if they actually took your money or not. If not your transaction is not complete, regardless of the e-receipt and permit PDF their crappy system generated.

You mostly seem annoyed at having to do this at all and are hoping they'll forgo actually collecting the money as some kind of moral victory since you don't feel you should have had to pay for this in the first place.

I am a bit annoyed at having something that shouldn't be my problem being made to be my problem. I fully expect that I'll have to make payment, but also, I don't think this should happen to *anyone*, and if me making it a hassle can provide impetus to an actual fix of the problem in the system so it doesn't happen again, then I'm happy to let my annoyance accomplish that.

charis

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2023, 10:38:04 AM »
You can very easily determine if they actually took your money or not. If not your transaction is not complete, regardless of the e-receipt and permit PDF their crappy system generated.

You mostly seem annoyed at having to do this at all and are hoping they'll forgo actually collecting the money as some kind of moral victory since you don't feel you should have had to pay for this in the first place.

I am a bit annoyed at having something that shouldn't be my problem being made to be my problem. I fully expect that I'll have to make payment, but also, I don't think this should happen to *anyone*, and if me making it a hassle can provide impetus to an actual fix of the problem in the system so it doesn't happen again, then I'm happy to let my annoyance accomplish that.

I think it's kind of silly to be mad that you may have to re-execute a payment that you thought you already paid.  Is it really that big a problem for you?  Clearly a mountain v. molehill situation.

jrhampt

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2023, 12:03:31 PM »
I would be pretty irritated if this happened.  It's just that these things pile up and you get sick of general incompetence and having to do things two or three times that should have gotten done right the first time.

ChickenStash

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2023, 01:13:45 PM »
The city probably already knows that something went haywire in their (vendor's) system which is why they are simply asking for folks to pay and not trying to hassle for late fees or whatnot. I'd double-check my statements to make sure they didn't already take the money and, if not, just pay the bill and maybe send them a note with a lightly worded complaint about having to redo things. There's not much the frontline people can do about it so making them read a nasty-gram isn't helpful, anyway.

In my experience, these niche payment systems are usually crappy, particularly gov't systems. From experience, running a payment system that is reliable, secure, and user friendly requires considerable effort from quite a few people that can command very high salaries in the "real world," well outside what most state and local agencies can justify when they have a captured audience of people that have little choice but to use them. My state's license plate renewal site looks and functions worse than ecom sites I wrote as a highschooler in the late 90s (I worked for a small town web company part time). Same with my city's water-sewer dept - it is seriously sketch to the point I still semi-manually send my payment through my bank's system, instead.

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2023, 01:25:51 PM »
Updates:

Message from the city:

Quote from: City Planning Dept
Good morning,[APowers].  Although the system provided you with a receipt for your payment on 9/27, that payment was returned on 9/30.  The failure message was “No account, unable to locate account”, so it could be that you entered the account number incorrectly.  I would ask you to check your bank records and, if you can provide proof that the payment was made from your account, please reply back to me.  Otherwise, this payment needs to be made again in Accela.  Thank you.

[attached image of a spreadsheet showing transaction information as described above]

My reply this morning:

Quote from: APowers
Thank you for your prompt reply!

In the image you've attached, it appears that my payment information is correct, which makes it less clear why you might show a returned payment. However, it doesn't show a full account number. Can you please send me the full account number that you have so I can have my bank look into this in comparison with my bank records?

I'm not sure what's going on, but I'll do my best to figure it out.

As a note, it seems unreasonable for me to respond with my payment information to an unexpected message from an ostensibly credible email/sender. I'm not an IT professional, but that feels sketchy to me. On my end, I show a legal receipt from time of payment and no timely notice of payment default or rejection. Unless I can verify via an independent third party that the payment information entered in September was incorrect, or that my receipt was issued in error, I believe it is in my best interests to take no action.


Thank you,
[APowers]


I figure if I can see what account they tried to make a transaction with, I can verify that with my bank to see what actually happened.


Then got this response:

Quote from: City Planning Dept
[APowers] – The notification below was provided to me by our Accounts Receivable department and I’ve copied them on this email.  We do not have the full account number.  That is hidden for security reasons.  The receipt you received is proof that the payment information was entered into the system, not that the payment cleared your bank.  It should be fairly simple for you to search your cleared bank transactions to confirm that the payment of $119 was paid out of your account.  If you can provide a screen shot of that transaction, I’d be happy to take care of this on our end.  If, however, you cannot provide proof of payment and you choose to take no action, your short-term rental permit will be referred to code enforcement for non-payment.  Thank you.

That's where it's at currently. Somehow the burden is on me to furnish proof, unwillingness to share the information they have for "security reasons", assertion that my receipt is not a legal receipt..... and threat of code enforcement.

ChickenStash

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2023, 01:43:22 PM »
...
That's where it's at currently. Somehow the burden is on me to furnish proof, unwillingness to share the information they have for "security reasons", assertion that my receipt is not a legal receipt..... and threat of code enforcement.

In their defense, it is likely they do not actually have your full account number anymore. It is common to simply forward that info straight to the payment processor at the time of the transaction and not even store it in their system. Storing bank account info and CC numbers opens the door for major security issues.

reeshau

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2023, 01:53:16 PM »
Yeah, they won't want the liability of having full bank account numbers to be hacked or leaked.  It's probably one of the top 2 reasons this function was outsourced in the first place.

sonofsven

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2023, 02:01:49 PM »
Sorry OP, but I think you're being a little bit impossible here.
All you have to do is send them the bank record from your account; the fact you won't do that tells me you don't have it, correct?
Are you trying to get away without paying, or are you just arguing for arguings sake? Either way, the easiest path forward is to simply pay the ball and move on. You've already spent more time on this than it would take to simply pay it.
"Don't sweat the small stuff".

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2023, 02:36:39 PM »
Sorry OP, but I think you're being a little bit impossible here.
All you have to do is send them the bank record from your account; the fact you won't do that tells me you don't have it, correct?
Are you trying to get away without paying, or are you just arguing for arguings sake? Either way, the easiest path forward is to simply pay the ball and move on. You've already spent more time on this than it would take to simply pay it.
"Don't sweat the small stuff".

I haven't done thorough research with my bank yet, but on preliminary inspection it seems like there wasn't any withdrawal of funds. But I think that's not the point. They've told me one thing "you've paid", and now they're telling me the opposite, and ALSO saying that the proof of payment they gave me earlier doesn't count for anything, and that *I* am now required to provide proof of payment. There's something seriously wrong here, and me just ponying up and paying doesn't fix that.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2023, 02:41:08 PM by APowers »

scottish

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2023, 05:36:43 PM »
Sorry OP, but I think you're being a little bit impossible here.
All you have to do is send them the bank record from your account; the fact you won't do that tells me you don't have it, correct?
Are you trying to get away without paying, or are you just arguing for arguings sake? Either way, the easiest path forward is to simply pay the ball and move on. You've already spent more time on this than it would take to simply pay it.
"Don't sweat the small stuff".

I haven't done thorough research with my bank yet, but on preliminary inspection it seems like there wasn't any withdrawal of funds. But I think that's not the point. They've told me one thing "you've paid", and now they're telling me the opposite, and ALSO saying that the proof of payment they gave me earlier doesn't count for anything, and that *I* am now required to provide proof of payment. There's something seriously wrong here, and me just ponying up and paying doesn't fix that.

Seriously dude, how hard is to check if the payment went through?     You got a nice reply from some bureaucrat telling you how to fix things up, just do it.    Everybody makes mistakes even government employees and systems.  (Hard to believe isn't it?   The guvmint making a mistake?)    There are many people in the bureaucracy with nothing better to do than make your life miserable, don't give them an excuse.

Mustache ride

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2023, 06:03:52 PM »
You are being unreasonable and you know it.

AMandM

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2023, 09:05:22 PM »
What if, by some fluke, the payment didn't go through back in September---what responsibility do I have for that? Am I somehow legally liable for their error?
What seems most likely is that the payment didn't go through because you mistyped the account number. You are responsible for fixing that.

Quote
I'm not trying to get out of paying for the permit, if in fact the payment didn't process,
The payment didn't process, as evidenced by your bank records and the employee's description of the error message. So pay up.

Quote
. But also, if the city has a system going bonkers, it would be nice to ensure they get it straightened out so this is not a recurring issue for me or anyone else. Also, this permit system is a royal pain to use, and if I can be as much of a pain to the system as the system is to me, that could be an added bonus.
You are not being a pain to the system, you are being a pain to the city employees who have zero influence over the third-party system. Furthermore, the system is not going bonkers--it accepted your payment info, and then when that turned out to be incorrect, it generated a new request for payment. It's not that they didn't cash your check, it's more like your check bounced.

I think the fundamental problem is that you are attaching too much weight to the original receipt. When you think about it, almost all non-cash receipts are issued in anticipation of the actual transfer of funds from payer to payee.


Dicey

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2023, 12:49:12 AM »
All this for $119?

If it didn't clear, pay it again. Easy-peasy.

You didn't say that they're trying to levy fines or penalties. It seems that they're being reasonable.

Maybe you can be reasonable, too?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2023, 06:40:06 PM by Dicey »

ATtiny85

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2023, 03:54:48 AM »
I am confused. You say the payment info they sent “looks correct” but it doesn’t show the complete account number. How can it look correct if you can’t even see it? Seems more likely that you made an error in your original submission. That the system assumed you didn’t screw up and gave you a receipt is somewhat normal. I assume you agreed to some terms of service at some point, what did they say about this? You read them, right?

Miss Piggy

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2023, 07:17:00 AM »
I think you're being unreasonable. It appears you're arguing for the sake of arguing.

A mistake was made somewhere--maybe on your end, maybe on their end--and the payment was unable to be processed. You are being asked to try again. Why is this such an issue for you? It seems like a 2-minute fix, but you've already spent far more time agonizing over it than that. And so have we.

Sibley

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2023, 09:37:16 AM »
OP, have you ever heard of a thing called a bank reconciliation? It's this newfangled process you do to figure out what transactions have cleared the bank and which ones haven't. The ones that haven't cleared the bank you can look and decide if something might have gone wrong, and if so take steps to fix it. This magical process is so new and revolutionary that I'm not sure if you've heard about it yet. It's recommended that you do this monthly, and once you get the hang of it really doesn't take long.

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2023, 10:00:39 AM »
I am confused. You say the payment info they sent “looks correct” but it doesn’t show the complete account number. How can it look correct if you can’t even see it? Seems more likely that you made an error in your original submission. That the system assumed you didn’t screw up and gave you a receipt is somewhat normal. I assume you agreed to some terms of service at some point, what did they say about this? You read them, right?

There is some truncated account/payment info: the full bank routing number, the last four digits of the account number, plus name/address/phone#. All of that information is correct, and is why I asked for the full account number, because then I could completely verify whether the mistake was made on my end or theirs.


Villanelle

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2023, 10:00:58 AM »
You know you didn't actually pay it.  You looked and saw there is no transaction posted.

Of course they don't have the entire account number.  It would be irresponsible for them to give multiple employees access to someone's payment information, and to send that around in emails. 

You bought a thing and your payment didn't go through.  So you have to pay if you want to keep the thing.  I don't blame you for first verifying they didn't take the money, and then maybe even sending a note to try to understand what happened.  You've done those things and the outcome is that 1)yes, they never got/took the money and 2) they offered a viable explanation for how that happened and why you still got the receipt.

You are being unreasonable and petty. 

Villanelle

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2023, 10:02:22 AM »
I am confused. You say the payment info they sent “looks correct” but it doesn’t show the complete account number. How can it look correct if you can’t even see it? Seems more likely that you made an error in your original submission. That the system assumed you didn’t screw up and gave you a receipt is somewhat normal. I assume you agreed to some terms of service at some point, what did they say about this? You read them, right?

There is some truncated account/payment info: the full bank routing number, the last four digits of the account number, plus name/address/phone#. All of that information is correct, and is why I asked for the full account number, because then I could completely verify whether the mistake was made on my end or theirs.

Does it really matter?  Either way, you have something for which you haven't actually paid.  Even if you entered the info correctly and "the system" somehow didn't pull your money, you can clearly see that the money was not taken out of your account. 

BlueHouse

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2023, 10:18:13 AM »
Sorry OP, but I think you're being a little bit impossible here.
All you have to do is send them the bank record from your account; the fact you won't do that tells me you don't have it, correct?
Are you trying to get away without paying, or are you just arguing for arguings sake? Either way, the easiest path forward is to simply pay the ball and move on. You've already spent more time on this than it would take to simply pay it.
"Don't sweat the small stuff".

I haven't done thorough research with my bank yet, but on preliminary inspection it seems like there wasn't any withdrawal of funds. But I think that's not the point. They've told me one thing "you've paid", and now they're telling me the opposite, and ALSO saying that the proof of payment they gave me earlier doesn't count for anything, and that *I* am now required to provide proof of payment. There's something seriously wrong here, and me just ponying up and paying doesn't fix that.


I had something similar happen where I paid a bill, then for some reason, their bank could not accept payment on that specific date, so their bank rejected my payment.  The company gave me a late fee and said I still owed the money.  A quick call with my bank straightened out my end of the matter, and provided me proof that I had actually paid on time.  So yes, I did the legwork to avoid a late fee, and then I just sent through another transaction to pay what I owed.  These things happen occasionally. 

I find it more annoying that banks take money out of my account before the other party accepts the payment.  So I really have no way of knowing if a payment has "gone through" other than asking the other party "hey, did you receive the payment I sent?"  THIS is the real problem to me. 

And, running an AirBnB is a business.  You have a responsibility to treat it like a business, including all the regulatory requirements in your location.  This isn't the government making a land-grab on your personal home. 

Catbert

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2023, 11:21:59 AM »
Time to drop the rope.  You must have something better to do with your time.

RH

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2023, 03:06:18 PM »
Can't you just look at the date of your receipt and then look at your bank statement. If the payment didn't go through, then just pay it. You're spending more time on MMM than what this issue is worth. Move on.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2023, 03:25:44 PM »
I often have similar things happen at my work, where a form is missed (or lost) that was submitted, or someone owes a small amount of money for something along those lines.  Admittedly sometimes these things are my organizations fault (sometimes my fault, I'm human, I make mistakes occasionally). What I want to say is you would not believe the amount of people that will fight/persist/deny a simple task that I am asking them to do.  Yes, these people are sometimes doing me a favor, but so often they would rather jump through hoops or make me jump through hoops instead of re-sending a letter/document etc. 

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2023, 07:10:28 PM »
More updates:

I sent this email this morning:
Quote from: APowers
Good morning,

I'm still not sure exactly what's going on, but maybe I haven't been clear? I'm not unwilling to pay fees that I may owe, and I'm not trying to be uncooperative. However, the way this email discussion has happened has me *very* concerned.

First, I don't know how to verify that this isn't an elaborate phishing scheme spoofing an official entity like I've been warned about countless times by my IT friends. How can I know that this isn't that?

Second, if it's not a phishing attempt, is something being done to fix whatever glitch is happening in the system so that two months from now, in January, I won't get another message asking for payment yet again?

And third, assuming that all you've told me is legit, which part am I supposed to trust? Do I trust that the messages I receive directly from the City that literally say I've paid mean actually that; or do I trust the messages months later that tell me the first ones were wrong and mean nothing of the sort? I'm not sure how to resolve the opposing messages here.


What assurances do I have to allay these concerns-- that I may have my identity stolen; and that I can trust documentation from the City in the future?


Thanks,
[APowers]
And got this response:
Quote from: City Planning Dept
Andrew – I’m sorry that you feel like this is an elaborate scam.  You can search my name in Google and see that I am a legitimate employee of the [City].  If you’d like to call me, my number is [###-###-###].

Let me be clear that your $119 payment was not paid by your bank.  Again, it would be very easy for you to confirm that by reviewing your September bank statement.  Either there is a charge for $119 or there is not.  We don’t have your bank account number and I am not asking for it or for any of your private information.

There is no glitch in the system.  You submitted your payment online and you were given a receipt of that payment being entered.  It takes a few days for transactions to reach the bank, at which time your payment was declined by your bank because the account number you entered was incorrect.  I created a new invoice in the system, so that you would be notified that the payment was still due.  I also notified [employee who wrote first email], so that she could reach out to you and explain what happened.

To reiterate, any further refusal to pay the $119 owed for your short-term rental permit will result in revocation of said permit.

More happened after this exchange today, but I wanted to address AMandM's comment as a digression.
-------------------------------------
I think the fundamental problem is that you are attaching too much weight to the original receipt. When you think about it, almost all non-cash receipts are issued in anticipation of the actual transfer of funds from payer to payee.
Actually, I DON'T think I'm attaching too much weight to this. If anything, perhaps not enough. I think this is a *very* serious issue, on a legal level, particularly for the City as a government entity. The government body is issuing legal payment receipts and then claiming that those receipts don't matter when it comes to proving receipt. But that's the *entire* point of a receipt. That's it. If that function is abrogated on principle, business is inoperable. Either a receipt IS a proof of payment, or it is a giant unmitigated legal principle disaster.

We all know this when it comes to a large private party sale, say, a car; which is why we do not, under any circumstances, give the buyer a bill of sale until we have the money actually in hand. Because the receipt *proves* the payment. We can't go back later and claim it only proves they gave us their account numbers.

This is exactly why the bounced/cashier's/stopped check scam works-- I sell my thing, take the bad check, it bounces, and now it's too late, because now they are in possession of a document (a bill of sale/receipt) that says I sold them my thing in exchange for fair payment. The receipt is legal proof of payment.

I think the fact that I have proof of payment when no payment actually took place is a BIG deal in a small instance. But it's the principle of the thing, and the principle really is massively important.
-------------------------------------

Okay, so that was the email exchange this morning. I'm not operating in bad faith here, and the City person gave me a way to verify her legitimacy as not a scammer, so I made a trip to the City offices to do that. Prior to that stop, I stopped at my bank and had them thoroughly check for any City transactions, just to make sure I knew what was actually the case on my end, before talking to someone at the City. Bank could find no trace of a payment or authorization to pay the City.

I got to the Planning Dept, and asked for the employee by the name on the email, and she knew who I was and what the issue was. That was good.

In talking to her, I realized that there was even more confusion than was apparent. The multiple people responding from the Planning Dept didn't get the screenshots and docs that I had initially shared with the person who started the email conversation. When I explained what was going on, she asked to see the receipt I had, and when I showed it to her, her whole demeanor about the exchange shifted. She agreed that my receipt showed actual payment confirmation, and that that was a real problem. I offered to pay the fee, but only if she could give me honest legal proof of payment; she did, and processed my payment. I also asked who I needed to speak to about the problem of sending payment receipts with no actual payment, and she said she will be personally meeting with the people in charge of the system to address this issue.


And, running an AirBnB is a business.  You have a responsibility to treat it like a business, including all the regulatory requirements in your location.  This isn't the government making a land-grab on your personal home.

I agree, and I think part of running it as a business is taking time and effort as warranted to hold the regulatory bodies accountable to good practices, instead of just cowing to any action they may desire.

Time to drop the rope.  You must have something better to do with your time.
Can't you just look at the date of your receipt and then look at your bank statement. If the payment didn't go through, then just pay it. You're spending more time on MMM than what this issue is worth. Move on.

Eh, I don't feel like I've spent an inappropriate amount of time on it. I think I've gotten at least as much value out of this whole deal as effort I've put into it.

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2023, 07:11:04 PM »
Sheesh, all y'all ganging up on me to just shut up, pay up, and get back in line feels a little authoritarian. It almost makes me want to press the issue further.

nessness

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2023, 09:19:38 PM »
Imagine you walked into the office to pay. You hand the employee a check, and they issue you a receipt. But you've spilled water on your checkbook, so the account number is washed out and they can't cash it. They call you and ask for payment.

Would you refuse to pay, because, after all,  you have a receipt? That's basically the situation that occurred,  just with more computers involved 

reeshau

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2023, 09:45:12 PM »
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

If something actually comes of this, more power to you.  You certainly moved out of a realm of whining and self-interest when you went in person.  It's more than 99.99% of people would do.

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2023, 10:31:54 PM »
Imagine you walked into the office to pay. You hand the employee a check, and they issue you a receipt. But you've spilled water on your checkbook, so the account number is washed out and they can't cash it. They call you and ask for payment.

Would you refuse to pay, because, after all,  you have a receipt? That's basically the situation that occurred,  just with more computers involved

Would I refuse to pay? No, because I am an honest person. But *could* I? I think, legally, I could. And that's why it is a big deal that their system is generating "paid" messages whether payment goes through or not.

But that's not exactly the situation-- it's more like they hold onto the unusable check for two months before calling me, instead of attempting to rectify the problem immediately, and then also claim that the words on the receipt that say "fees are paid" don't mean that the fees are actually paid.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2023, 08:54:28 AM by APowers »

ixtap

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2023, 07:21:52 AM »
It happens. I recently set up an ACH. Money didn't come out of my account, so I called to check. Their system showed everything as A OK. A week later, I got a call that it had "bounced", but the issue was their fault. Please submit payment. I did not spend a single second arguing that they had already confirmed the transaction because it clearly hadn't been paid.

You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

ATtiny85

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2023, 08:05:32 AM »
It happens. I recently set up an ACH. Money didn't come out of my account, so I called to check. Their system showed everything as A OK. A week later, I got a call that it had "bounced", but the issue was their fault. Please submit payment. I did not spend a single second arguing that they had already confirmed the transaction because it clearly hadn't been paid.

You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

Wait, you mean you knew the payment didn’t go through? I would say that means you are arguing oranges versus road apples here…You should have kept a recording of the initial phone call and denied the second one took place. Come on!

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2023, 09:08:26 AM »
[snip]
You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

I believe time spent calling out authority figures/entities for shady practices is well-spent. I do not consider it wasted.

Villanelle

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2023, 09:13:36 AM »
It happens. I recently set up an ACH. Money didn't come out of my account, so I called to check. Their system showed everything as A OK. A week later, I got a call that it had "bounced", but the issue was their fault. Please submit payment. I did not spend a single second arguing that they had already confirmed the transaction because it clearly hadn't been paid.

You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

Wait, you mean you knew the payment didn’t go through? I would say that means you are arguing oranges versus road apples here…You should have kept a recording of the initial phone call and denied the second one took place. Come on!

I don't understand this comment. OP knew their payment didn't go through, too.  They looked and there was no sign that money came out of heir account.  It wasn't paid. 

GuitarStv

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2023, 09:25:32 AM »
[snip]
You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

I believe time spent calling out authority figures/entities for shady practices is well-spent. I do not consider it wasted.

I'm all for calling out authority figures for shady practices.

I don't see a shady practice here though.

You paid for a permit and got a receipt.  Something went wrong with the payment.  You have your own records that no payment was made.  They contacted you to ask for their money (with no threats or unreasonable behaviour).  That's all pretty straight forward and reasonable.

Just pay the money you owe that they've politely requested.  Further acting like an ass will probably just create headaches for you down the road.  Such as having your permit revoked and then needing to scramble to get another one.

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2023, 09:32:09 AM »
[snip]
You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

I believe time spent calling out authority figures/entities for shady practices is well-spent. I do not consider it wasted.

I'm all for calling out authority figures for shady practices.

I don't see a shady practice here though.

You paid for a permit and got a receipt.  Something went wrong with the payment.  You have your own records that no payment was made.  They contacted you to ask for their money (with no threats or unreasonable behaviour).  That's all pretty straight forward and reasonable.

Just pay the money you owe that they've politely requested.  Further acting like an ass will probably just create headaches for you down the road.  Such as having your permit revoked and then needing to scramble to get another one.

I think issuing receipts of payment when no payment is made is pretty shady. I think claiming that a receipt stating payment has been made doesn't mean anything of the sort is shady. I think the City using their power to bully me into doing work that's their legal responsibility is shady.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2023, 09:34:42 AM by APowers »

ATtiny85

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2023, 09:38:11 AM »
It happens. I recently set up an ACH. Money didn't come out of my account, so I called to check. Their system showed everything as A OK. A week later, I got a call that it had "bounced", but the issue was their fault. Please submit payment. I did not spend a single second arguing that they had already confirmed the transaction because it clearly hadn't been paid.

You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

Wait, you mean you knew the payment didn’t go through? I would say that means you are arguing oranges versus road apples here…You should have kept a recording of the initial phone call and denied the second one took place. Come on!

I don't understand this comment. OP knew their payment didn't go through, too.  They looked and there was no sign that money came out of heir account.  It wasn't paid.

Two or more months later, and only after they received notification. And OP really seemed to be struggling to be confident it wasn’t paid. Even stopped at their bank and wasted yet another employee’s time having them do a thorough search. Come on. It’s a five minute job online to verify it wasn’t paid, another minute to pay. OP has shown no interest in improving anything, was likely hoping for a write-off.

Now, if OP comes back and reports a double payment and gets the runaround, that fight will be supported.

ATtiny85

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2023, 09:38:50 AM »
[snip]
You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

I believe time spent calling out authority figures/entities for shady practices is well-spent. I do not consider it wasted.

I'm all for calling out authority figures for shady practices.

I don't see a shady practice here though.

You paid for a permit and got a receipt.  Something went wrong with the payment.  You have your own records that no payment was made.  They contacted you to ask for their money (with no threats or unreasonable behaviour).  That's all pretty straight forward and reasonable.

Just pay the money you owe that they've politely requested.  Further acting like an ass will probably just create headaches for you down the road.  Such as having your permit revoked and then needing to scramble to get another one.

I think issuing receipts of payment when no payment is made is pretty shady. I think claiming that a receipt stating payment has been made doesn't mean anything of the sort is shady. I think the City using their power to bully me into doing work that's their legal responsibility is shady.

Again, what did the ToS say?

ETA: and what if you didn’t get a receipt after clicking “submit”? How would you have felt?

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #42 on: November 23, 2023, 09:57:05 AM »
[snip]
You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

I believe time spent calling out authority figures/entities for shady practices is well-spent. I do not consider it wasted.

I'm all for calling out authority figures for shady practices.

I don't see a shady practice here though.

You paid for a permit and got a receipt.  Something went wrong with the payment.  You have your own records that no payment was made.  They contacted you to ask for their money (with no threats or unreasonable behaviour).  That's all pretty straight forward and reasonable.

Just pay the money you owe that they've politely requested.  Further acting like an ass will probably just create headaches for you down the road.  Such as having your permit revoked and then needing to scramble to get another one.

I think issuing receipts of payment when no payment is made is pretty shady. I think claiming that a receipt stating payment has been made doesn't mean anything of the sort is shady. I think the City using their power to bully me into doing work that's their legal responsibility is shady.

Again, what did the ToS say?

ETA: and what if you didn’t get a receipt after clicking “submit”? How would you have felt?

FWIW, I looked for a ToS document, and couldn't find one. Logged into my account in the system and checked everywhere.

What I'd expect is an immediate automated response to the effect of "You submitted payment information, please stand by while your order goes through", and then later a second confirmation of successful payment when they receive funds. If I didn't get the first in some form (even if only as a message on the checkout page), I'd wonder whether I needed to resubmit my info; if I didn't get the second, I'd be concerned that I paid for something officially and didn't get a receipt, and wonder what recourse I could have if they claim I didn't pay.

Dicey

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #43 on: November 23, 2023, 10:01:51 AM »
Sheesh, all y'all ganging up on me to just shut up, pay up, and get back in line feels a little authoritarian. It almost makes me want to press the issue further.
I'd really like to insert a meme from "A Few Good Men" here...

ixtap

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2023, 10:11:41 AM »
[snip]
You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

I believe time spent calling out authority figures/entities for shady practices is well-spent. I do not consider it wasted.

This seems to be an honest error. Now, if they were also trying to charge late fees or fine you for running the business in the interim, that would indeed be shady and you would receive a number of suggestions for dealing with it.

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #45 on: November 23, 2023, 10:12:41 AM »
Sheesh, all y'all ganging up on me to just shut up, pay up, and get back in line feels a little authoritarian. It almost makes me want to press the issue further.
I'd really like to insert a meme from "A Few Good Men" here...
Please do! I'm not familiar with that movie, so just the reference doesn't mean much to me.

Dicey

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2023, 10:17:27 AM »
Sheesh, all y'all ganging up on me to just shut up, pay up, and get back in line feels a little authoritarian. It almost makes me want to press the issue further.
I'd really like to insert a meme from "A Few Good Men" here...
Please do! I'm not familiar with that movie, so just the reference doesn't mean much to me.
But you are familiar with google?

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2023, 10:27:17 AM »
Sheesh, all y'all ganging up on me to just shut up, pay up, and get back in line feels a little authoritarian. It almost makes me want to press the issue further.
I'd really like to insert a meme from "A Few Good Men" here...
Please do! I'm not familiar with that movie, so just the reference doesn't mean much to me.
But you are familiar with google?
Is there only one meme? I did a search for memes, but not sure what you were thinking would fit here.

Villanelle

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2023, 10:41:10 AM »
[snip]
You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

I believe time spent calling out authority figures/entities for shady practices is well-spent. I do not consider it wasted.

Maybe "shady" means something different to you than it does to me.  To me, it connotes (and maybe even denotes) intend to deceive, cheat, or otherwise screw. It does not mean "mistake, glitch in the system, gap in the process, or otherwise inadvertent error".  Or maybe you somehow think they were trying to screw you by... not taking your money, then asking for it later, with no late fees and no advantage to them other than making more work for their employees who have to go back an ask for payment, and then deal with unreasonable people who know they haven't paid but still want to argue the point and rub their noses in it."  If anyone in the piece is shady, I'd say it was the guy who was trying to get out of actually giving money for something he received that cost money. 

So I guess I too am in favor of calling out shady practices.  In this scenarios, those kinda seems to be yours, not the city, which was just trying to get payment for something you did receive and that, through someone's error (which very well could have been yours or your banks), didn't happen, and through the city's error wasn't caught during the initial transaction.

If you'd said, "yup, checked my bank and it wasn't paid.  I'm going to pay, but I'm also going to come in because I'd like to speak to someone about how this happened, since it is a clear gap in your system that you issue a "Paid" receipt before confirming payment,"  I'd think you were truly trying to fix a flawed system.  But you held your money and carefully skirted around admitted that yes, your bank records seem to confirm money wasn't received. 

And yet you accuse other people of shadiness?  Huh. 

 

APowers

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Re: I was issued a receipt, but gov't claims they didn't receive payment
« Reply #49 on: November 23, 2023, 10:42:45 AM »
[snip]
You have wasted time arguing here and with the city that would have been better spent doing that search on your account.

I believe time spent calling out authority figures/entities for shady practices is well-spent. I do not consider it wasted.

This seems to be an honest error. Now, if they were also trying to charge late fees or fine you for running the business in the interim, that would indeed be shady and you would receive a number of suggestions for dealing with it.

I agree that it seems like an honest error in the system. But instead of working with me to find and resolve the error, the messaging from the City doubled down on forcing me to pay while simultaneously claiming that there was no error except possibly on my part. That *is* a problem.