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January 8, 1998


Parking office records aren't always correct

To the editor:

The University community should be warned of flawed bookkeeping records in the Parking office.

In mid-1996 I received a notice that I owed the Parking office $255 for unpaid parking bills for August-October 1994 and July 1995. Although I couldn't imagine why the $60 to $65 hadn't been deducted as usual during those months, I called the office immediately and told them to deduct the entire $255 from my next paycheck.

After some time, I received another notice. I assumed it was taking them some time to accomplish the payroll deduction, and did not follow up. Then in December 1997, I received a note that stated that my account was turned over to a collection agency.

This triggered a house-wide search for old pay stubs. I found stubs that indicated that each and every one of the months in question had indeed been withheld from my monthly payroll checks. I called the Parking office, and they are now checking with the Payroll office to find out what happened.

The moral of the story is that if you receive any such notices, it would behoove you to NOT automatically assume that the Parking office records are correct. If you have paid them, you might look further to see if you can obtain a refund for double-payment. And it is also a lesson in support of keeping your old pay stubs.

Dennis F. Galletta

Associate Professor Business Admininistration

Katz Graduate School of Business


G. Robert Harkins,

director of Parking, Transportation and Services; replies:

I checked with my staff as soon as I received a copy of Professor Galletta's letter. A review was conducted immediately and we found that Professor Galletta did receive an invoice for outstanding parking fees. It is our policy to generate an invoice after an account is 60 and 90 days past due. If there is no response, collection action is taken. However, in this case, it is evident that the system which generated Professor Galletta's original invoice produced it in error. Normally we verify each computer generated statement for accuracy. Unfortunately, in this instance, we failed to verify his payroll deduction before mailing the invoice. Since then, payroll deduction has been verified and Professor Galletta's account has been cleared. I apologize for any inconvenience that this situation may have caused and appreciate the opportunity to rectify the problem.

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