I learned something today that I wish were not true.
If you lose money in a DC parking meter, there's nothing you can do.
They have these signs on the side with a number to call if something is wrong with the meter. But when I called it and explained the situation (I had put $2.50 into a four-hour meter and then it went FAIL on me, so I had no time and no money) the operator told me there was no way to get my money back.
Me: "I put $2.50 into a parking meter on I street Southwest and I was wondering ...."
Her: "What's the meter number?"
Me: "You could let me finish my sentence before you ask me something. I'm not trying to report a broken meter; I want to get my money back."
Her: "Well sir we just handle repairs for the meters. We don't give refunds."
Me: "So you're telling me that there's no way to get my money back from this thing?"
Her: "That's right sir."
Me: "Okay. I see I'm on a fool's errand. Thanks."
Her: "Thank you, sir."
I wanted to take a sledge hammer and smash the stupid meter. I wouldn't take all of the quarters; just 10 of them - the number I put in there. But I realize that would be a crime. So I just moved to another meter, one that works, and put in my money for four hours.
So be warned. If you come to our lovely Chocolate City, and you park at a meter, and as you put your money in, it stops giving you time and reads "FAIL" or "OUT OF ORDER" you are screwed. There is nothing you can do. Welcome to the Collective.