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Lizard1977

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#286087 4-Jun-2021 16:47
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I did a search of the forums and there are several threads about Wilson Parking/PESNZ already, but many of them are quite old now.  So I'm looking for a little up-to-date advice here.

 

I regularly parked in a Wilson Parking site here in Palmerston North (a literal gravel pit) where the earlybird parking fee is $1/day, so rock-bottom in terms of prices.  I pay using the Parkmate app.

 

On the day in question, I parked and took out my phone, opened the app and went through all the way up to the point where I normally tap on the "start parking" button.  In this case, I think I must have mis-pressed the button, and just put it in my pocket without checking, being in a hurry.  It wasn't until I opened my phone a few hours later that I saw it still on the app, not activated.  I immediately went out to the car where the parking breach notice had been placed at 10.03am (2 hours after I parked, and right after the earlybird period ended).  I moved my car out of the carpark, and went online and paid for the earlybird rate, plus what I felt was a fair and reasonable charge for their administration - $5.  I then wrote to explain that I was appealing the breach notice, and that I had paid what I believed was a reasonable settlement, and considered the matter closed.  I've done this twice in the past 3 years, each case being a similar mistake, and in both cases they were waived.  Not this time though...

 

They wrote back a few weeks later to say that they didn't accept my explanation or my settlement, and insisted on payment.  I wrote back explaining that I didn't accept their insistence on payment, and re-affirmed my appeal.  I also explained that I was prepared to go to the Disputes Tribunal, and requested the necessary details to enable me to complete my DT claim form.  They wrote back this week saying that they still didn't accept my appeal, and claimed that all the necessary details for me to file my claim are on the back of the breach notice (I don't think they are).

 

So now I'm left in a bit of a dilemma - do I follow through on my threat to go to the DT, or not?  In my view, the charge they are levying ($65 + $20 for late payment) is excessive in relation to the daily charge of $1.  They claim this is because the cost to recover the lost revenue is high (i.e. they have to pay a person to clomp around the parking lot and print off tickets).  But I contend that any costs of checking compliance (i.e. their parking enforcement system) needs to be built into the ordinary parking charges, not the enforcement costs.  For instance, if there was 100% compliance (and no breach notices issued), they are still required to pay the costs of checking for compliance.  I argue that the cost of enforcement is the marginal cost for a person to stand in front of my car and confirm the details, and print the ticket and slide it under my windscreen wiper.  Maybe my assessment of $5 is too low, but $65 is clearly too high.

 

What do all the bush lawyers out there suggest I do?  Call their bluff and lodge the claim with the DT?  Any advice on constructing my argument in case it actually goes that far?  Or am I being childish here and should I pay the balance of their demand?  For the moment, I'm inclined to write a third letter and assert that they still haven't supplied the required details for the DT claim form, and insist that until they provide such details I will be unable to submit my claim and consider the matter closed until further notice.

 

 


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SirHumphreyAppleby
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  #2718390 4-Jun-2021 17:16
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I removed my previous comment as the common law remedy I mentioned related to clamping/towing.

 

They are claiming a loss which greatly exceeds any actual cost. If you had paid the $1, that's all they would have got had you stayed in the space as you would have been entitled to. Nobody else could use the space, so there is no loss to them.

 

While they may be entitled to recover costs, someone had to check parking compliance, and I consider your offer to pay $5 more than fair. In fact, it's $5 more than I would have offered to pay.

 

There may be costs associated with issuing the 'fine', such as obtaining vehicle ownership details, but they would only have done that in a non-payment situation. As you were communicating with them, there would have been no need for them to incur any additional fees.

 

Surely, it's up to them to pursue the costs? They're the ones who are claiming a loss, not you.


freitasm
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  #2718400 4-Jun-2021 17:40
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Ping @nate





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nate
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  #2718430 4-Jun-2021 18:47
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The reddit thread posted here has some great advice - I've done very similar in the past, and I have got off at least a handful of these fines.

 

Remember they can only go after you for actual losses suffered. I don't entertain the argument that the guard who had to write the "ticket" is directly correlated to what you did or didn't do, they were going to turn up regardless.

 

Write that third letter back, and if need be, go to disputes. If they threaten to pass the debt over to debt collectors, that's fine, the debt is in dispute and won't go anywhere. Stay calm and cool, they will try to ratchet up the pressure, and that's fine. They are trying to scare you into paying.

 

Finally, I don't think your being childish at all, you could end up saving yourself $85 :)

 

Good luck.


antonknee
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  #2718435 4-Jun-2021 18:56
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nate:

 

The reddit thread posted here has some great advice - I've done very similar in the past, and I have got off at least a handful of these fines.

 

Remember they can only go after you for actual losses suffered. I don't entertain the argument that the guard who had to write the "ticket" is directly correlated to what you did or didn't do, they were going to turn up regardless.

 

Write that third letter back, and if need be, go to disputes. If they threaten to pass the debt over to debt collectors, that's fine, the debt is in dispute and won't go anywhere. Stay calm and cool, they will try to ratchet up the pressure, and that's fine. They are trying to scare you into paying.

 

Finally, I don't think your being childish at all, you could end up saving yourself $85 :)

 

Good luck.

 

 

I 100% agree.

 

Lob the DT back at them, they probably won’t turn up if it even gets that far. I’ve been in your shoes and they acquiesced after my third letter threatening the DT. 


shk292
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  #2718448 4-Jun-2021 19:47
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Surely they need to take you to the DT, not vice versa?  As it stands, they have asked for money, you have refused and that's the end of it unless they take further action.

 

As mentioned above, any attempt to collect the "debt" would be invalid because it is disputed and you have the correspondence to prove it.

 

It might be slightly risky parking there again in the meantime though, they could clamp you or tow you


michaelmurfy
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  #2718457 4-Jun-2021 20:09
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The way I've approached this in the past is saying the debt is settled after paying them the losses and telling them the full amount requested from them however is under dispute due to the fact they can only claim for losses so they can't release the debt collectors on me - I've then told them as I consider this matter resolved if they wish to challenge it then they're welcome to take me to the disputes tribunal. Never heard from them after that.

 

I've also withheld my license plate details from third parties now on cars since that.





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sbiddle
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  #2718464 4-Jun-2021 20:57
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michaelmurfy:


I've also withheld my license plate details from third parties now on cars since that.



You can't prevent them from seeing your details. The "make your details private" trick hasn't worked for a few years now. If they want your details they can just ask NZTA who now than likely will hand them over.

Scott3
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  #2718470 4-Jun-2021 21:37
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shk292:

 

Surely they need to take you to the DT, not vice versa?  As it stands, they have asked for money, you have refused and that's the end of it unless they take further action.

 

As mentioned above, any attempt to collect the "debt" would be invalid because it is disputed and you have the correspondence to prove it.

 

...

 

 

Yeah. I agree.

 

Parking enforcement services has claimed money is owed, OP has disputed it, and declined to meet their demands. If Parking Enforcement Services want to make their claim enforceable, it is them that need to take OP to the Disputes Tribunal. Unlikely that they will do so due to the flowing:

 

     

  1. Their claim is clearly punitive, something that is not permitted under NZ law in this situation, and OP has already compensated them for their losses by paying the carpark daily fee. 
  2. It costs them money to file with the disputes tribunal, and their employee's time to attend.
  3. They probiably don't want to risk stories getting in the media that they lost at the Tribunal.

Shadowfoot
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  #2720051 6-Jun-2021 22:29
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Could Wilson decide to either clamp your car, or have it towed if they see you have revoked authorised access?

 

It seems safer to use the option of sending them the letters. 





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Scott3
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  #2720059 6-Jun-2021 23:22
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Shadowfoot:

 

Could Wilson decide to either clamp your car, or have it towed if they see you have revoked authorised access?

 

It seems safer to use the option of sending them the letters. 

 

 

I imagine they would if you revoked access to details, and the repeatedly parked without paying.

 

But only to deal with the non-payment at the time they clamp / tow. I don't think they have any way of knowing if the car has been changed ownership between that and yesterday.

 

And I think the courts would look very dimly on a company clamping or towing cars on days that they had paid correctly in order to chase up alleged debts.

 

 

 

Partner forgot to pay at a wilsons carpark once and got a punitive ticked stuck under the wiper. We had revoked access to details prior, and made the decision to just ignore it, as any meaningful communication would have required disclosing our identity. Frequently used that same carpark (making sure to correctly pay) for some years afterwards without issue. Upgraded that car about 6 months ago.


timmmay
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  #2720063 7-Jun-2021 06:35
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I tried the advice in the thread a couple of years back, didn't work. Couldn't be bothered, just paid it. Pack of wan**** Wilson, no point appealing to them in any way. Either go to DT or pay it IMHO.


CokemonZ
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  #2720171 7-Jun-2021 14:31
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I have used the advice previously, wrote the letter and paid about $7 and it worked. However I did have some shopping receipts to back up that I was there legitimately.

I reckon it's started to become common enough they are going to be a bit more aggressive.

shk292
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  #2720292 7-Jun-2021 16:41
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timmmay:

 

I tried the advice in the thread a couple of years back, didn't work. Couldn't be bothered, just paid it. Pack of wan**** Wilson, no point appealing to them in any way. Either go to DT or pay it IMHO.

 

 

How did it not work?  Did they take you to DT or did you just cave in and pay anyway?


elpenguino
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  #2720296 7-Jun-2021 16:49
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Hong Kong based Wilson are indeed a pack of w***ers. Anybody who takes them on gets my full support.

 

Years ago they sent me a letter demanding a fine, alleging I had overparked at the hospital.

 

Turned out I was sitting at home sending emails at that exact time although I had been at the hospital earlier (thank you to time stamped emails) so they got told to get knotted.

 

If you try it on 100 people then a certain percentage will pay.

 

Cynical practices like this are one reason why the company is so despised.





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