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13223 posts

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  Reply # 681810 5-Sep-2012 14:06
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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.
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


That doesn't explain this tweat posted by the OP, that was posted by someone else. This would indicate that other people have got into the same situation due to the 50 cent fee being added. Maybe not all their machines are the same and work in the same way?


https://es.twitter.com/kerryland/status/225841820779814912

>>What the OP should do is go back to the carpark and confirm how the system actually works, before proceeding.

I think that is a very good idea, but they don't want to pay them anything to test it either.
It also could have been a faulty machine on the day that may have been since fixed.

But the letter they sent the OP saying they hadn't paid the 50 cent fee, when it clearly showed they had, isn't good. I wonder if they will admit they made an error in that letter?

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 681962 5-Sep-2012 18:52
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Use tournament parking for work.

Regardless if your using the old machines (which they are replacing) or the new machines, if you pay by mobile or coin or credit card, it deducts fee automatically.

Can take picture of machine to see if same one OP used.

Wouldnt recommend them tho, esp if you use their parking at night, seen them clamp a few people at nights as they go around with torches and if they cant see the ticket or cant read it properly they will clamp or fine, and on one occassion seen a person's vehicle towed around due to this.

Wouldnt recommend them to use for car parking, no idea if wilsons is any better tho, they are all out to get as much money as they can from you.

OP just needs to tell them that ticket says he paid 50cent fee, and even then if they try dispute the longer parking, it wouldnt stand up in disputes as it would look like a conflict with tournament changing tactics just to get money from OP.



 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 681975 5-Sep-2012 19:24
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A lot of tail chasing here.

Regardless of what actually happened ($7.50 or whatever), Tournament is claiming very clearly that the "fee" relates to the 50c transaction fee not being paid. Since their ticket very clearly states that it was included, I would respond to that effect and wait their further correspondence.

If they then try to claim some other abstract breach, the most that is liable is 50c (because the intended service bought was the $8.50 for 12 hrs including 50c transaction fee). At this stage, send them a cheque for 50c, along with notice that you consider this full and final settlement of their claim. If they bank this 50c they are signalling their acceptance - otherwise they will have to return the cheque to you, rejecting it.

If after that they're still claiming a "fine", you're into legal territory. IANAL and suspect nobody else here is either. But, there is such a thing as "fair and reasonable" terms of trade. There is also such a thing as illegal misrepresentation of the law - not only do these conartists refer to their fees as "fines" when they have absolutely no authority to issue any such penalty, but they claim on their website a bunch of rather suspect things to do with their justification of the $65.

Somebody posted the link to the govt Consumer Affairs website above. This bit is worth quoting:

"I've been charged an unreasonable amount for overstaying
Landowners have no legal basis for charging you a fine or penalty. Neither tort nor contract law allows them to punish you for breaking contractual terms or trespassing.
Landowners can only claim from you the expenses they reasonably incurred as a result of your contractual breach or trespass. A useful starting point in determining what is reasonable may be:
  • Tow costs: compare the fee with how much it costs for a point to point tow of the same distance. However, remember that storage and having someone present to release the vehicle may add extra costs.
  • Parking fees: to compare the fee with the amount you should have paid for the time you overstayed. However, remember the parking company will have incurred administrative costs in issuing tickets and recovering fines, these may add extra costs.
If the car park operator does not display in prominent locations, clear and accurate information regarding their parking terms and conditions, they may not be entitled to reimbursement.

In the case of the parking fees I'd say you're up for 50c. I would fight any administrative costs on the basis that their system appears to have been poorly designed or possibly even deliberately misleading, that the claimed costs are unreasonable and unjustified, that they are misrepresenting the facts in various ways as above, that you had no intent to defraud, and have tried to pay the outstanding 50c and have generally acted in good faith.

Remember you 'owe' them nothing (except the 50c perhaps) unless a court or tribunal orders it.

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  Reply # 681980 5-Sep-2012 19:28
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cisconz: 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.


Yeah, but they're crafty mofos.  Rather than Tournament patrolling the carpark and enforcing the rules, they "hire" NZCMS to patrol and enforce, so under the same clause that lets them charge you for towing, they could charge you the "fees" that NZCMS charge them to enforce the debt.  The fact that NZCMS is owned by them is irrelevant.

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  Reply # 681982 5-Sep-2012 19:40
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You could try Fair Go. They would love it. I'm fairly sure that Tournament would suddenly discover it was a misunderstanding in about a nanosecond and back down immediately once Fair Go got onto them about the story. Cheaper than a Lawyer. Plus, you would have the satisfaction of embarrassing Tournament for some pretty shonky business practices.

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  Reply # 681993 5-Sep-2012 20:08
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I'd been siding with the OP for this thread until I had the sudden thought "but most parking printouts have the time you must exit by printed on them", I went back to the scan on page 2 and sure enough it says: "PARKING PAID UNTIL 3:47pm Sun 19/8/12".

Sorry shreyas but I'm now siding with Tournament Parking, rule #1 in anything is check the receipts/dockets to make sure they are accurate.  Would've been plenty of time to work out with Tournament a solution at the time.

That said, I still side against Tournament on one thing: "Fee Paid $8.00 ... (Includes GST and 50c transaction fee)"  really think that should be presented more like:

Parking Fee Paid: $7.50
Transaction Fee Paid: $0.50
Total Charge: $8.00 (incl GST)


That way no one could argue about it.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 682006 5-Sep-2012 20:29
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JimmyH: You could try Fair Go. They would love it. I'm fairly sure that Tournament would suddenly discover it was a misunderstanding in about a nanosecond and back down immediately once Fair Go got onto them about the story. Cheaper than a Lawyer. Plus, you would have the satisfaction of embarrassing Tournament for some pretty shonky business practices.


I have touched base with Fair Go, I've sent them all the details. I'll keep everyone updated on progress.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 682008 5-Sep-2012 20:32
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nigelj: I'd been siding with the OP for this thread until I had the sudden thought "but most parking printouts have the time you must exit by printed on them", I went back to the scan on page 2 and sure enough it says: "PARKING PAID UNTIL 3:47pm Sun 19/8/12".

Sorry shreyas but I'm now siding with Tournament Parking, rule #1 in anything is check the receipts/dockets to make sure they are accurate.  Would've been plenty of time to work out with Tournament a solution at the time.

That said, I still side against Tournament on one thing: "Fee Paid $8.00 ... (Includes GST and 50c transaction fee)"  really think that should be presented more like:

Parking Fee Paid: $7.50
Transaction Fee Paid: $0.50
Total Charge: $8.00 (incl GST)


That way no one could argue about it.


You may be right, I'll wait and see what Fair Go says though. If they say I'm in the wrong, then fair enough I'll pay up and be more careful next time. Regardless of whether I checked the ticket or not, I don't like Tournament's tactics one little bit.



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  Reply # 682010 5-Sep-2012 20:35
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Here's the reply I got from NZCMS after I offered to pay the 50c transaction fee in good faith.

"Unfortunately we will be unable to accept the 0.50cents as full payment as it is your responsibility to check your ticket, the machine does automatically add on the credit card transaction fee which in turn means that you have not entered the correct amount to cover the time you wished to park in our carpark."

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  Reply # 682012 5-Sep-2012 20:38
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nigelj: I'd been siding with the OP for this thread until I had the sudden thought "but most parking printouts have the time you must exit by printed on them", I went back to the scan on page 2 and sure enough it says: "PARKING PAID UNTIL 3:47pm Sun 19/8/12".

Sorry shreyas but I'm now siding with Tournament Parking, rule #1 in anything is check the receipts/dockets to make sure they are accurate.  Would've been plenty of time to work out with Tournament a solution at the time.

That said, I still side against Tournament on one thing: "Fee Paid $8.00 ... (Includes GST and 50c transaction fee)"  really think that should be presented more like:

Parking Fee Paid: $7.50
Transaction Fee Paid: $0.50
Total Charge: $8.00 (incl GST)


That way no one could argue about it.


This is the point I've been trying to make. The OP (clearly by mistake) purchased 1 1/2 hours of parking, paid the correct $7.50 + 50c transaction fee, and then parked for somewhere in the vicinity of 7 hours.

You can argue all you want about the whole system of "fines" and whether they're legal, but clearly have to remember that the OP did break their rules, even if it was by mistake. The letter doesn't help things because they're clearly barking up the wrong tree, but start questing things too much and you will get asked by Fair Go or John Campbell why you parked for 5 1/2 hours longer than the expiry time on the parking ticket!

Their "fine" system does suck, and in many cases I would challenge it. In this case I'd be paying their "fine" now because the discounted total does represent good value for money at $2.50 per 1/2 hour and is essentially only cost recovery for lost revenue, something they are legally allowed to do.


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  Reply # 682022 5-Sep-2012 21:16
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shreyas: Here's the reply I got from NZCMS after I offered to pay the 50c transaction fee in good faith.

"Unfortunately we will be unable to accept the 0.50cents as full payment as it is your responsibility to check your ticket, the machine does automatically add on the credit card transaction fee which in turn means that you have not entered the correct amount to cover the time you wished to park in our carpark."
This would seem to be quite wrong.  The system does not add the transaction fee, it SUBTRACTS it.  It does not take the amount entered, and add 50c, it takes the amount entered and after having subtracted the transaction fee, calculates the parking time available.

This just compounds the egregious blunder made in their first response.
They state both that "you did not make the payment of the 50c credit card transaction fee", and "the $65 is not related to the 8 minutes parked overtime...".  If you did not pay the transaction fee, then you were not parked over time as you had paid $8 in order to park 12 hours (but no transaction fee).  If you were parked 8 minutes over time, then you DID pay the transaction fee.  They can't have it both ways.

If they themselves cannot understand and explain how their systems work in a consistent way, how are the public expected to cope?



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  Reply # 682024 5-Sep-2012 21:21
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If they themselves cannot understand and explain how their systems work in a consistent way, how are the public expected to cope?


Exactly! None of their emails make any sense at all, I think they are generic emails with a few tweaks here and there that are sent out to anyone who appeals.

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  Reply # 682025 5-Sep-2012 21:23
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Even if it is the OP's fault, how does that matter?  The law allows Tournament Parking to clamp or tow, there is no legal right for a private company to "fine".




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  Reply # 682030 5-Sep-2012 21:30
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Dispute the fee and tell them you'll see them in court.

The website claim of being able to collect liquidated damages is incorrect as the liquidated damages relates to money lost from your alleged infringement (breach of contract) not their enforcement of it. Take a good look at the Fair Go website, there's a reference on there to a case where this particular point has been clarified by the disputes tribunal.

These "fines"are a multi-million dollar rort which should, by rights, be under investigation by the SFO.

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  Reply # 682038 5-Sep-2012 21:50
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sbiddle: The OP (clearly by mistake) purchased 1 1/2 hours of parking, paid the correct $7.50 + 50c transaction fee, and then parked for somewhere in the vicinity of 7 hours.



There seems to be confusion about how some of the machines are charging. Some say it subtracts the CC fee, and other say it adds it. So I think that there could possibly be at least two different types of machines charging in different ways.

I think there is a difference of what is right 'legally' and what is right 'morally' in this situation. I think the parking company perhaps were in the right for some thing, as the ticket clearly states the time they paid up to. But they did make an error in their correspondence, where they stated that the CC fee hadn't been paid, where it had, which isn't doesn't look good for them. I think the OP did 'intend' to pay for 12 hours as why wouldn't they pay 50 cents extra for many more hours of parking. It does also come down to the advertising for the $8 parking deal, as to whether the extra credit card fee is clearly disclosed before you enter the parking building.

If businesses weren't allowed to charge extra for CC fees, like they weren't allowed to a few years ago, this wouldn't have happened. I don't think this practice should be allowed anyway.

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