Brussels start-up contests your parking fines


Spixx was launched in the summer and is handling 100 requests a month – with about half of them successfully overturned

Rectifying human error

Want to contest a parking fine you got in Brussels? A new start-up will do it for you – and free at that. With the motto “Don’t waste time, don’t waste money”, Spixx will also help you file for compensation with rail service NMBS.

The company was launched last summer by three data scientists based in Brussels, and has so far handled about 100 requests a month. It has successfully cancelled about half of all those parking fines.

“Often an incorrect fine is down to human error,” co-founder Denis Mercier told Bruzz. “Like a licence plate is input incorrectly or there is a problem with the info processed from the scanner car.”

Defective parking meters, technical problems with the cars that scan number plates or bugs in the system that remind people to renew their parking passes – all of these lead to fines being incorrectly sent to Brussels residents.

Getting compensation for late trains, meanwhile, can be so confusing that passengers just don’t bother. “NMBS has very clear regulations regarding who has the right to compensation,” said Mercier. “We have an 80% success rate with the cases we have handled.”

Spixx is free and currently is not making a profit. But the idea, explained Mercier, is to get up and running and then work with car leasing and sharing companies, which spend a lot of time contesting fines. “Then we’ll operate according to ‘no win, no fee’,” he said. “Only if we get a fine cancelled will we receive a commission.”

Photo: Belga/Nicolas Maeterlinck