Isle of Palms fixing all meters after overcharging visitors for parking


ByLillian Donahue|April 3, 2021 at 1:09 PM EDT - Updated April 4 at 12:01 AM

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - For those heading to the beach this weekend, parking on Isle of Palms will look different over the next week as crews work to fix all their kiosks.

This comes after many visitors reported being overcharged by anywhere between two to four times the amount of time selected.

Visitor Jonahan Buie said he was surprised to see his parking bill after just an hour.

“I went ahead swiped my card and thought it charged me for an hour and it didn’t. It charged me eight dollars for an hour’s parking,” Buie said.

He’s not alone, Belinda Livesey also said she was overcharged twice before realizing it was a system issue.

“We assumed the first time we assumed it was our error. The second time we knew it wasn’t,” Livesey said.

“At the time I really didn’t give it a lot of thought, I was ready to go eat,” Buie said. “The more I thought about it, I thought, yeah it is a little annoying and if they do that to 100 people on a weekend that’s a lot of money.”

Police chief Kevin Cornett said the issues stem from broken software by contracted company, Parkeon.

“They have an issue with a software that they are trying to fix for us,” Cornett said. “They’re saying it could be fixed for the next week but just be on the safe side we are bagging all of our meters.”

Cornett said police will first give warnings, but even with the meters out of service, people can still get a ticket.

That’s why they’re urging people to use the Flowbird parking app.

“It will have a QR code because we’re really trying to make sure people can walk up, use their phone, scan the app real quick and go and put money on it,” Cornett said.

But Livesey said for some people who don’t know how to use apps, parking would be nearly impossible

“Elderly people or if you don’t have your reading glasses, you know, when you’re trying to read everything and figure it out it’s, it’s just not going to be easy for people,” Livesey said.

For now, anyone who has been overcharged for parking should call the police department at (843) 886-6522 to get a refund.

“We know people are frustrated,” Cornett said. “We know it’s frustrating to come out to the beach to have all the stuff that you’re planning to go do, just bear with us we understand especially we want to work with you to get it fixed.”

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