Landing a ticket for speeding, running a red light, or any number of infractions is never cause for celebration, but there is a little good news that comes with it (if you happen to live in Calgary or Edmonton, that is).
Rooco, an Albertan web app, is offering a guaranteed 10 to 15% off traffic tickets for Calgarians and Edmontonians — without any of the hassle of having to go in and dispute them yourself.
Andrew Ashton, the founder and CEO of Rooco, said it was his 15 years of service as a police officer that led him to the idea of disputing traffic tickets in bulk.
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While all citizens have the right to dispute their ticket in court, Ashton said that around 85% of people choose to simply pay the full amount of the ticket and move on, as the disputing process can be draining.
“That whole process is kind of built to be cumbersome and intimidating, because in the grand scheme of it, if everybody fought their tickets, tickets wouldn’t really work as a form of punishment because the system simply couldn’t handle that many tickets,” Ashton said in a phone interview with Daily Hive.
He noted that there are ticket-fighting agencies out there that will go to court in your stead, but they generally charge upfront fees, which might not be worth the savings.
“The problem is it becomes cost prohibitive if you get a photo radar ticket and it’s a $200 ticket. Well, the last thing you probably want to do is spend $400 just to not pay the $200.”
Instead, Rooco offers anyone who receives a ticket guaranteed savings simply by uploading a photo of the ticket onto the app and paying the discounted rate to the company.
Rooco will then send the ticket off to its team of lawyers, which will dispute tickets in bulk — generally around 10 to 30 a day, according to Ashton — with the tickets that are reduced by more than 15% making up for the ones that aren’t reduced at all.
“We give that guaranteed discount up front and then we use that high volume of tickets plus our technology and our knowledge of the court system to help find those ones that can be reduced,” Ashton said, “and then we use those ones to pay the ones that couldn’t be. And then, yes, Rooco would make money on the difference from there.”
Ashton also noted that the app is actually a positive for even the court system, as it saves the province time and resources when 30 tickets can be disputed by one lawyer rather than by 30 individual citizens.
“It really is a win-win, because the customer is guaranteed savings, and then obviously for Rooco, if we can reduce them further, then it’s a win for us as well.”
Rooco has been operating in Calgary and Edmonton for nearly a year and a half and has provided savings to over 5,000 customers. It is the only ticket sharing app in the country, and Ashton said it generally takes only 90 seconds to upload a photo of your ticket, pay the reduced fee, and put the whole process into Rooco’s hands.
You will have to upload your ticket at least five days before the due date listed on the ticket, though Ashton said that if you’re scrambling a few days before that date, they may still be able to help you out if you contact their support team.
Rooco was featured at the 2019 Startup Calgary Launch Party earlier this month.