Drivers find a parking spot, walk to the nearest machine, and find it's not in service.
That forces them to walk several blocks to find one that does work, only to come back and a big fat fine on their windshield.
Eyewitness News spent the evening in Morningside Heights pointing people to the closest working parking meter.
"They're never working. The ones anywhere on Broadway from 120th down to 121 are never working. From 120 to Amsterdam, from Amsterdam all the way down to 123," said Sam Samsee, a driver.
Lots of people stopped to talk to Eyewitness News about how they were smacked with $35 dollar parking tickets.
Each had the same story; they say dozens of parking meters near Columbia University have been on the fritz for months now.
They don't accept credit cards, cash, coins, or any combination.
Despite lots of complaints to the city, nothing's changed.
"They're going to give you a ticket and they don't care what's happening with the parking," a driver said.
"They've said to us, 'We've told our bosses and we're trying to get it fixed.' But they've been ticketing anyway. It's frustrating," said Jessica Riccio, a driver.
The Department of Transportation says that they are looking into the problem.