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79 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 681556 4-Sep-2012 23:18
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mattwnz:
CamH: The company can send a bill to a debt collection company if they feel like it, if a?debtor?disputes it however, then that's a process handled at the debt collection company.


But couldn't the person being pursued, sue the company for going down a route that will likely damage their credit rating, if they are proven to be in the wrong. A bad credit rating can affect lots of things in the future. Not saying they would be wrong in this case, but I am sure it happens.
But I think the best thing in this case will be the disputes tribunal if it can't be resolved amicably.

But in this case would they pay the fee 'without prejudice', and tell them that they are taking them to the disputes tribunal to claim the fee back as it is in dispute. Or do they wait for for the parking company to act? The problem is that to lodge a claim with the disputes tribunal costs a lot, compared to what the fee is, and you can't claim that back.


I was wondering the same thing. Should I pay up now before the deadline (14 days from today) and then take them to the disputes tribunal or wait for them to act?

I wouldn't want to take a chance with my credit rating being affected though. So maybe it's best for me to pay up first and then fight them?

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  Reply # 681558 4-Sep-2012 23:22
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mattwnz:
CamH: The company can send a bill to a debt collection company if they feel like it, if a?debtor?disputes it however, then that's a process handled at the debt collection company.


But couldn't the person being pursued, sue the company for going down a route that will likely damage their credit rating, if they are proven to be in the wrong. A bad credit rating can affect lots of things in the future. Not saying they would be wrong in this case, but I am sure it happens.
But I think the best thing in this case will be the disputes tribunal if it can't be resolved amicably.

But in this case would they pay the fee 'without prejudice', and tell them that they are taking them to the disputes tribunal to claim the fee back as it is in dispute. Or do they wait for for the parking company to act? The problem is that to lodge a claim with the disputes tribunal costs a lot, compared to what the fee is, and you can't claim that back.


Any proper debt collection company will not touch your credit if there is a chance that you have a reasonable explanation towards not paying your debt.

For example, we sent a client to debt collection, which they disputed. The debt collection company required valid proof from both us and them before any further collection was pursued. The other party simply chose to ignore it from there and has since been sent to debt recovery via the courts, however if they had shown some sort of proof that they didn't owe the money (and in this case, the infringement notice and receipt would be plenty to completely drop the case) then the debt collection company would not have pursued it





 
 
 
 




79 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 681559 4-Sep-2012 23:22
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mattwnz:
shreyas:
NonprayingMantis: well I'll just jump in with my 2c


the 12 hour fee is $8
the CC fee is 50c


according to the ticket you had paid $7.50 plus the 50c fee (total $8) so you didn't qualify for the 12 hours, instead only qualifying for 1 1/2 hours that $7.50 gets you.

since every machine I have ever been to adds on the 50c automatically, I think it pretty unlikely that this one, for some reason, decided not to bother this time.

I think the most likely explanation is that, being in a rush, you accidentally only keyed up to $7.50 instead of $8 for your parking and pressed ok, then the machine said something like "50c transaction fee applies your credit card will be charged $8" you misunderstood and clicked ok on that thinking you had paid $8 for parking when actually you had paid $7.50

so unfortunately I think the parking company is in the right (even if seems grossly unfair) but they just explained it very badly.
they said you had not paid the 50c transaction fee. That is not correct. you did pay the 50c fee, but only paid $7.50 for the parking




I am 100% sure I saw $8.00 on the pay and park display that day, so there's no question of having only paid $7.50. I figured it'd add 50c to the $8.00 and that's the thing I didn't check after paying since I was in a rush.




Good one for Fair Go to test I think, fo rthem to test it. I think there is also the lesson to also always check the ticket to see what the end time is on the ticket that you are due back at.


I think I'll do just that now. I'll post this on Fair Go's Facebook page and see what they think.



79 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 681562 4-Sep-2012 23:33
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Here's a tweet by Kerry Sainsbury who went through the same scenario with Tournament Parking -

"Just paid Tournament Parking ripoff $65 fine due to my accidental 50c under payment. Jerks."

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  Reply # 681577 5-Sep-2012 00:13
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It's clearly unintentional so just send them a letter with a 50c coin attached. I honestly doubt they'll think anything more of it.

If they do still follow you and this does make it to fair-go / nzherald then it'll only add to them looking like a bunch of right pricks.

Also tell them any further communication needs to be done via your lawyer John Campbell @ TV3 ;)

Doesn't know what he doin
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  Reply # 681583 5-Sep-2012 01:05
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Good luck with this. I totally agree with an earlier post, write a letter (or type but printed), attach a 50c coin/check and tell them thats all you will pay as you are being more than generous by paying for an error caused by their obviously faulty machine. I've never been to a car park thats made me key the amount in. Uusally i just have to keep pressing Time until I get the one I want, press OK, agree to 50c fee, insert card, take ticket and go.

I really want to see how this turns out :D




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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 681584 5-Sep-2012 01:46
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I had a similar "fine" from Wilsons Parking.

It doesn't matter if it was your fault, they have no legal authority to fine you, the most they can hope for is to take you to court for "damages".

These companies rely on bullying tactics to scare you into paying something they have no legal right to charge. Usually they'll give it to a debt collection agency really quickly as added pressure to pay.

They also can't legally charge things like "late fees" on the fine. (but they'll try!)

I sent them a letter stating the above and threatened them with legal action if they continued... did the trick, never heard from them again.



cisconz
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  Reply # 681597 5-Sep-2012 07:30
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As said before, they are unable to fine you, they are only able to bill you for "liquidated Damages" in this case that is $0.50. The admin staff wages can't be claimed, nor can the people patrolling in the carpark as they are fixed costs. Technically if the sign outside is $8 with no CC fee on it you can claim that as advertising, then they have even less to stand on.




Hmmmm

cisconz
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  Reply # 681598 5-Sep-2012 07:31
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If they tow you however, that can be claimed as it is a cost to them caused by you.




Hmmmm

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  Reply # 681600 5-Sep-2012 07:45
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It's pretty clear what has happened here, but the response you take is going to depend how angry you are with them!

Parking is $2.50 per 1/2 hour on Sunday (as the URL on the first page shows). You obviously pushed the right arrow options button 3 times which gave you the 1 1/2 hours parking. The next option would have no doubt been the option for the $8 12hr parking.

Technically you underpaid and outstayed the time you have paid, therefore legally are in the wrong. They have the right to do whatever they say they will do since you were parking illegally.

The problem however as others are pointing out is that private companies can't "fine" people. They are allowed to recover costs, which in a number of cases so far essentially means they can recover parking charges that you haven't paid (which they could have earned from somebody else using that park) plus a reasonable fee.

While I hate companies like Wilson's and Tournament I don't see in this case that they have actually done anything wrong. You were parking illegally as you didn't pay for the required parking period. The issue now is whether you want to challenge their "fine" process if you believe the charge they are wanting is excessive. If you do you may stand a chance of winning, but you do have to remember you were technically in the wrong in the first place, so it it does go to the disputes tribunal you won't be guaranteed of a win.

cisconz
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  Reply # 681602 5-Sep-2012 07:52
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sbiddle: While I hate companies like Wilson's and Tournament I don't see in this case that they have actually done anything wrong. You were parking illegally as you didn't pay for the required parking period. The issue now is whether you want to challenge their "fine" process if you believe the charge they are wanting is excessive. If you do you may stand a chance of winning, but you do have to remember you were technically in the wrong in the first place, so it it does go to the disputes tribunal you won't be guaranteed of a win.

I disagree with this Steve, As below NZCMS state that the issue is non payment of the CC fee, the OP has proof he paid the CC Fee, they can't then turn around and say their investigation was incorrect.

Enforcement Administration - Marcus Baker:
Unfortunately you did not make the payment of the 50c credit card transaction fee.




Hmmmm

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 681615 5-Sep-2012 09:23
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A similar thing happened to  a friend of mine - luckily his dad was a senior partner at a law firm and wrote to them suggesting this was a matter for the high court. They dropped the infringement notice very quickly.

Maybe this is a strategy for them send out thousands of infringement notices knowing that the majority will just pay and move on.

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  Reply # 681616 5-Sep-2012 09:26
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sbiddle: It's pretty clear what has happened here, but the response you take is going to depend how angry you are with them!

Parking is $2.50 per 1/2 hour on Sunday (as the URL on the first page shows). You obviously pushed the right arrow options button 3 times which gave you the 1 1/2 hours parking. The next option would have no doubt been the option for the $8 12hr parking.


Is it really that clear?
Yes it appears thats what may have happened, but I read that the OP pushed the button get $8 displayed. Then inserted the card.
The transaction fee would only be added once you've elected your payment method, so if the OP was aware of the fee and had entered $8 then they'd have every expectation that the $8 figure printed on the ticket was the parking fee and a transaction charges would be added (or not).

What the OP should do is go back to the carpark and confirm how the system actually works, before proceeding. Maybe there is a certain ambiguity in the way the parking companies present this. They may be legally correct in notifying you of the fee and expecting you to add it. Knowing full well it's often missed and   there's the odd $40-$65 in it for them. Would that surprise anyone??

But then maybe these companies figure we won't do that because it's human nature to bitch and moan and simply pay the fee rather than challenge their ambiguity

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  Reply # 681617 5-Sep-2012 09:33
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sbiddle: It's pretty clear what has happened here, but the response you take is going to depend how angry you are with them!

Parking is $2.50 per 1/2 hour on Sunday (as the URL on the first page shows). You obviously pushed the right arrow options button 3 times which gave you the 1 1/2 hours parking. The next option would have no doubt been the option for the $8 12hr parking.

Technically you underpaid and outstayed the time you have paid, therefore legally are in the wrong. They have the right to do whatever they say they will do since you were parking illegally.

The problem however as others are pointing out is that private companies can't "fine" people. They are allowed to recover costs, which in a number of cases so far essentially means they can recover parking charges that you haven't paid (which they could have earned from somebody else using that park) plus a reasonable fee.

While I hate companies like Wilson's and Tournament I don't see in this case that they have actually done anything wrong. You were parking illegally as you didn't pay for the required parking period. The issue now is whether you want to challenge their "fine" process if you believe the charge they are wanting is excessive. If you do you may stand a chance of winning, but you do have to remember you were technically in the wrong in the first place, so it it does go to the disputes tribunal you won't be guaranteed of a win.

Agree with all of this. For all they know the OP only wanted to park for 1.5 hours but ended up getting caught up and stayed for 8 hours and now they're trying to get out of it. I would guess that since the OP was parked there for 8ish hours and only paid for 1.5 hours, the most they can charge is 6.5 hours * ($2.50 / 0.5 hour) = $32.50. It's possible that if he weren't parked there they could have had 6.5 hours of casual parking.

cisconz: I disagree with this Steve, As below NZCMS state that the issue is non payment of the CC fee, the OP has proof he paid the CC Fee, they can't then turn around and say their investigation was incorrect. 
Enforcement Administration - Marcus Baker:
Unfortunately you did not make the payment of the 50c credit card transaction fee.

Depends how you look at it. The response is poorly worded. Obviously, the machine knows a CC is being used and always charges the 50c. The OP couldn't have paid $8 and not paid the 50c, they paid $7.50 plus the 50c = $8. So, yes, they paid the CC transaction but that resulted in them not paying the full $8 12 hour rate. The issue is somewhat related to the CC fee but not about the CC fee per se. But that's what Marcus said though so maybe that's enough to get off. Splitting hairs a bit I thnk.

In the end, the OP stuffed up. He admitted he was in a hurry and didn't take due care with teh machine or check the time on the ticket. There's usually a two-step process, select the parking, then confirm the 50c charge. I'd be surprised if this machine were any different. Some of those machines aren't the easiest to follow which is why I always check the expiry time on the ticket and the OP should have too.

Still, $65 seems pretty hefty. $40.50 is more reasonable considering, imo, $33 would be more appropriate.

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  Reply # 681621 5-Sep-2012 09:35
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oxnsox:
sbiddle: It's pretty clear what has happened here, but the response you take is going to depend how angry you are with them!

Parking is $2.50 per 1/2 hour on Sunday (as the URL on the first page shows). You obviously pushed the right arrow options button 3 times which gave you the 1 1/2 hours parking. The next option would have no doubt been the option for the $8 12hr parking.


Is it really that clear?
Yes it appears thats what may have happened, but I read that the OP pushed the button get $8 displayed. Then inserted the card.



then he is wrong,  that is not how tournament parklng meters work.  you always insert your card first, then select the time.
Whilst it's possible the machine was in error, by far the mostl likely scenario is that the OP is simply mistaken and saw the $8.00 AFTER the machine had added the 50c, rather than before

this is how the machines normally work:

if you want to pay by CC the first thing you do is insert your card

then you select the time with an up and down arrow or soft key going up in predetermined increments (50c or $1 usually).  when you get to the amount you want (lets say $5) you stop and press 'ok', then the machine adds 50c and says something like
"CC transaction fee 50c. your card will be charged $5.50. press ok to accept"

so it's quite obvious that what happene here is that the OP, being in a rush, underpressed by 1 push, getting only to $7.50 instead of the required $8 and then pressed ok. then the machine said
"CC transaction fee 50c. your card will be charged $8. press ok to accept"

seeing the $8 he misunderstood and assumed that the 50c fee would be on top of the $8 and that he had paid the necessary $8 to get 12 hours when in fact he had not.

he had only paid $7.50 and the $8 total includes the 50c fee.

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