Finally got through to someone on the phone today, which is a shame, because as a consequence I had to pay the two fines. If I hadn’t been able to get through today I would have tried again next week, and if that still failed, well, I would have forgotten about it.
They wanted to charge me an extra $19 or so per fine for paying it late, but after I contested that with the lady – explaining that I’d been trying to get through for about a month – she put me on hold for a bit, and inevitably put the charge through for $300 total. Or at least, she better have, otherwise they’ll be getting a nice shiny charge back come next week.
Anyway, it’s kind of annoying to do this, but ultimately I’ve still won in all senses. The first fine I think was disproportionate, but in principle not unwarranted, so I can cop paying that. The second was of course complete bullshit, but I know that, and payment certainly isn’t a concession of morale victory.
In fiscal terms, I’ve garned thousands from Centrelink over the years, so all things considered I’m still way out in front. As for Yarra Trams, well, they pocketed a whole $40 from this little escapade, which is about two or three weeks tickets. But now I’ve got a license and I’m getting a car, and sure as hell won’t be using trams anymore, so, it won’t be long until it becomes their loss, well and truly.
A very sad debacle. But, pretty trivial all in all, so I won’t be worrying about it further. Time to start getting excited about my trip, and all the shiny red tape I’ll have to barge through once I get there – SSN’s, licenses, bank accounts, etc… great fun. :)