Can someone tell me how I can confirm my location (in the UK) of where I was a couple/few weeks ago please. At the time I was using an HTC Hero phone on the O2 network.
October 22, 2012 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Can someone tell me how I can confirm my location (in the UK) of where I was a couple/few weeks ago please. At the time I was using an HTC Hero phone on the O2 network.

So.....I got a parking ticket some weeks ago - wrongly. I got to the machine at 3:03pm and it printed off a 2 hour period from 2:03pm. Assuming the ticket was fine (without looking) I put it on my car dashboard. So when me and my friend turned up at 4:20pm I had a parking ticket saying I had to pay the council £25.

For some reason I had kept a ticket that I had bought from another town earlier on with the time of 2:02pm. And thus I sent off an appeal saying that I couldn't of driven from one town to the other in 1 minute (the drive takes 50ish minutes).

I've sent them through 2 appeals so far, giving them an explanation of what happened, a scanned copy of both parking tickets, a witness statement from the friend who was with me and saying that I could find out where I was by phoning my phone company and asking them to find out which phone masts my phone was taking signal from and I just got another rejection letter saying it is now £50 to pay and will increase to £75 if I make this appeal.

I don't have money problems, so paying isn't an issue. It's principle: the fact that I've given more than enough evidence and they're still rejecting my case.

This aside... I'm wondering if there is any kind of software that would allow me to track where I was a few weeks ago as getting my phone company to do this may cost a fair amount.
posted by sockpim to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unless you have an app that has been recording your GPS, it looks like you're out of luck. Have you checked the machine to see if its giving consistently incorrect printouts? That's the only other thing I can think of.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:32 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding urbanwhaleshark - maybe it hadn't been set to BST?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:46 PM on October 22, 2012

What were you doing between 2 and 3? Are there any receipts/credit card activity/ATM use/anyone who might recognize you, anything like that?
posted by brainmouse at 2:50 PM on October 22, 2012

I don't know about your jurisdiction in particular, but in mine (any many others, at least in the US) the rules for the parking meters that spit out a ticket include that you must display that ticket properly. It may be that they are rejecting your claim because it doesn't actually matter where you where, it matters what ticket you placed in the window.
posted by duien at 3:39 PM on October 22, 2012

Agree with the phone thing. Even if you could do it, it wouldn't prove where you were, only where your phone was.

Did you pay for the parking meter with a credit card? That's the only way to prove when you bought the ticket and for how much.
posted by gjc at 3:47 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is there a chance it has out-of-date instructions for returning from Daylight Saving Time?
They changed in the US about 5 years ago or so; I'm not sure if they changed lately elsewhere, and heaven knows where the meter was manufactured or programmed.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:03 PM on October 22, 2012

If you took a photo with your phone around this time, it would have the date on it, as well as the GPS information (if you have this feature enabled).
I'm sure this info could be faked though, and therefore wouldn't be considered reliable evidence.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 4:18 PM on October 22, 2012

Response by poster: I was driving from one town to the other during this time. It's true that it would be where my phone was.... but how would my phone be in one town and then the next without it being on my person?
posted by sockpim at 10:50 PM on October 22, 2012

You haven't maybe enabled Google Latitude sometime in the past, have you?

If so, it's likely that your location history was tracked on your phone and uploaded to

Whether or not this will be admissible evidence is another matter…
posted by fakelvis at 11:45 PM on October 22, 2012

but how would my phone be in one town and then the next without it being on my person?

Easy: It was on someone else's person. Or it was on your person, but you weren't necessarily in your car.

The point is that courts (or administrative law adjudicators) need proof that their system broke. They have all the proof they need to make you pay the fine: a parking enforcement person's word that the ticket was expired, and your admission that the ticket expired at 4:03 and you weren't there until 4:20. The only way to prove that their machine gave you an incorrectly printed ticket is to prove when you bought it.

They also need evidence that can be independently verified. Proving where a phone was does not prove where a car wasn't. Showing where your phone was still requires them to take your word for the fact that your phone was with you and in your car.

What you could try is going to the spot and finding video cameras that are pointed at where you parked, and trying to obtain video proof of where you were.

Or possibly getting a print out of the transactions from the parking meter, and hoping that there aren't any other transactions that could possibly be yours, or verify in some manner that the time was wrong on the machine.
posted by gjc at 8:05 AM on October 23, 2012

You can phone up O2's customer service and ask them if they can provide a location for you: but I suspect they're under no obligation to do so (short of a warrant). I suspect they won't do it - but it's always worth an ask.

As someone said, the problem is that even if your phone shows you as being elsewhere (via Latitude or cell masts) that doesn't prove you were there - just that your phone was.

It seems like a better idea idea to go back to the machine and try buying a new ticket: for all you know it is still dispensing them with an incorrect time - so you can document that and add it to your arguments. It's also a brilliant idea (as mentioned above) to see if you have any credit card purchases, either from the other town or from this one that would give a time line of where you were - I think people will look on that as a more certain indicator that you were where it says, since you're unlikely to be lending your credit card out! There may be other options you can think of too.

It also might be worth adding the name of the company/authority running the Car Park park - maybe someone has already had to deal with them and can offer some tips.
posted by SuckPoppet at 8:37 AM on October 23, 2012

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