MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Earlier this year, CBSMiami reported on a new traffic ticket app that promised to save users time and money. The TIKD app launched in South Florida and quickly became a sensation but not everyone loves it. Traffic ticket titan Mark Gold, founder of the Ticket Clinic, is trying to get it shut down.
TIKD is what’s known as a market disrupter; similar to how Uber forever changed how you get a taxi and how Airbnb changed where you stay on vacation.
The new service TIKD, aims to change what you do with traffic tickets.
Chris Riley, CEO of TIKD is happy with his early successes.
“In just six weeks we’ve reached the point of already serving hundreds of customers per week,” Riley told CBS4’s David Sutta. “And our week to week growth rate is in the double digits.”
Riley explains the app is very straightforward.
Get a traffic ticket, upload it into the app, pay a fee that is less than the traffic ticket, and forget about it. In the background, his app refers the ticket to a lawyer, who goes to court on your behalf. Regardless of how they court rules you are not responsible.
“TIKD assures that the customer will never pay more than what they pay us, what they pay us upfront is all they will ever pay. And always less than the ticket, he explained.
Since February, TIKD has swept 18 Florida counties, with plans for more. But last weekend, the service temporarily went down. The reason? “There was a coordinated effort by Mark Gold personally, as well as his associates at the Ticket Clinic, to try to remove TIKD from the marketplace. To have TIKD shut down,” Riley said.
Mark Gold could be considered the godfather of traffic ticket defense. He was a pioneer in the traffic court with his Ticket Clinic. Over the past two decades, his firm says they have handled 3 million cases.
Riley says Gold is the only person who’s complained about TIKD because he claims it’s taking business away.
“When that happens it’s messy and it’s difficult for the incumbent player,” explained Riley. “And I understand why they would be concerned about that. So we absolutely anticipated some sort of response. But all we ask for a fair competitive response.”
Things got messy quickly. TIKD is suing Gold and his Ticket Clinic, claiming they are calling attorneys, threatening to have them disbarred if they worked with TIKD.
Concerned TIKD’s attorneys quit and forced the app to shut down until they could hire new attorneys.
Riley explained he doesn’t mind competition but believes this what Gold allegedly did is unfair.
“If people don’t like to use it then we will cease to exist. That’s how it works. All TIKD wants and the purpose of our lawsuit is to have a level playing field.”
Meanwhile, Gold is not sitting on the sidelines. He filed his own lawsuit against TIKD saying that Riley is “illegally operating a law firm run by non-lawyers to unfairly and improperly compete with The Ticket Clinic.” He goes on to allege TIKD is “making a myriad of false and deceptive advertising claims”.
Gold declined an on camera interview or further comment outside of his lawsuit.
Riley considers the whole thing baseless.
“TIKD is not a law firm. Does not offer legal services. It does not offer legal advice. TIKD is suite of services designed to make the process of dealing with your traffic ticket simpler and cheaper,” Riley explained.
Riley says his app and website are straightforward. He told CBS4 News he welcomes a challenge in front of the Florida Bar.
“We have every respect for the Florida Bar. We understand the rules. If they have a desire to hear about this, TIKD is new and it’s getting a lot of buzz, we are excited to have the opportunity to go talk to them. Tell them how it’s making people’s lives better and how it’s good for the legal community,” said Riley.
TIKD is back up and running and plans to continue moving forward.
CBS4 News reached out to the Florida Bar regarding Gold’s complaint. They confirmed that as of April 18, 2017 they had not received any complaints about TIKD or its lawyers.