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Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Old Jun 12th 2010, 1:11 am
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Default Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Hello all...

Back in May I foolishly assumed that parking on a particular outdoor car park in Wellington after 18:30 would be free... how wrong I was... having returned to my car just under 2hrs later to find a parking fine for $60.

I checked the machine and found that I should have paid $4 to park there.

Ok, so fair enough I made a genuine mistake... but an increase of 1400% is simply obscene, of course they're (Parking Enforcement Services - part of "Wilson Parking New Zealand Limited") not interested in talking about this over the phone, so on June 2nd I submitted an appeal via their website, in which I pointed out that from the signs (or lack of) visible from the entrance we took, it wasn't particularly clear that a fee would apply, but that I accepted I'd made a mistake and was willing to pay a fee for doing so, but not as much as $60 - that's just absurd.

I've not heard a thing back from them, other than a "reminder" letter, dated June 4th, advising that I have 21 days from the issue date in which to pay.

So I've been a little bit snotty and submitted another "appeal" advising that I'm waiting on a response from my original appeal and informed them that if they don't acknowledge and/or reply to the original appeal within 7 days, I'll have no choice but to assume they're no longer interested in pursuing it and that I will not enter in to any further correspondance with them.

Now... the terms of the original ticket attached to my car state that if I don't pay, not only will the charge increase, but they threaten legal action and also state that the car could be towed.

I've seen other forums online discussing Wilson Parking, advising that their tickets are not enforceable and are simply invoices which can be ignored.

But with two young children the last thing I'd need is to return to the car only to find it's been towed away and end up stranded.

Incidentally and entirely unrelated, I'm likely to shortly part ex the car in for another, can they tow away the new car if I don't pay this fine/invoice?

Your thoughts please?
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 5:49 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Just pay the fine, you were in the wrong. You have accepted you made a mistake. Unfortunately you don't set the tarrifs. Thank your lucky stars that you weren't towed in the first place. Why make life much more complicated and risk getting your car towed...seems a bit silly.

Yes, car parking attendants might not be your favourite people but they have a job to do, you broke the rules. Pay it before the costs increase even more.
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 5:55 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

You made a mistake and didn't pay the parking fee when you should have. Oops. It happens
Just pay the fine , move on & don't get caught out again.
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 6:18 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Hey you two... I may well end up having to pay the fine, but their own procedures state that once an appeal is submitted they will put the case immediately on hold and then respond in writing... not only have they not replied but they don't appear to have put my case on hold either...

If they're not following their own documented and published procedures, why the hell should I?
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 6:30 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Because you are going to an awful lot of effort to avoid a $60.00 fine, wouldn't it be better just to pay the fine and use your time for something more positive.

Sometimes I can understand if there is a principle to be argued and fought over, however, you have admitted your mistake and I just don't see the point in fighting over the small print....but your choice on how you use your time and energy!!
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 6:34 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

The fine is $60 because it is to act as a deterant to people not paying.
You made a mistake and broke the rules so you should pay the fine.
How about those who might purpously park there without paying hoping to get
away with it.
They could then spill out the same story as you, "it was a mistake".
From the company's point of view how do they knew which was a mistake and which
was someone trying to pull a fast one?
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 7:05 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Originally Posted by thedtb View Post
Hey you two... I may well end up having to pay the fine, but their own procedures state that once an appeal is submitted they will put the case immediately on hold and then respond in writing... not only have they not replied but they don't appear to have put my case on hold either...

If they're not following their own documented and published procedures, why the hell should I?
Your original appeal has little if any foundation, the relationship between parking tariff and fine isn't there to be "reasonable" in anyone's eyes, it is there to incent to pay the fee and avoid taking the risk of being caught. From your reaction it looks to be set at the right level.

Agreed that they should respond to your appeal BUT your appeal looks, frankly, spurious and totally without foundation.

Pay up, move on.
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Old Jun 13th 2010, 12:03 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Yeah, it's annoying but tbh pursuing it will do your stress levels more than $60 worth of damage. Pay the $60 and you can move on.
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Old Jun 13th 2010, 12:50 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

I know someone who had a far better case and took it to court and lost...it's not worth it. I don't mean me by the way.
I am the most law abiding person I know lol and even I have come unstuck several times in NZ. I had a booked car park space at my accommodation when I arrived, I unwittingly parked in the wrong one and got towed - that was $140 - you've got off lightly.

Nowhere is safe given the vagaries of modern life....we had to pay a surcharge to get out of the Reading Cinemas car park in town when a concert overran on a Sunday evening to after midnight. (If it had been Saturday we would have been ok...so should we have left the concert early?).

Also if you park in Queens Wharf - the normal rate is about $60 for a couple of hours so again, you have no case really.

Local businesses also suffer from this draconian approach...I slightly overstayed my 90 mins after shopping in a supermarket in a local suburb because I was browsing in a bookshop..bye bye loads of dollars....so I now do more of such shopping centrally instead because it isn't worth the risk. So who gained really?

A council in UK where I was a resident and rate payer once let me off when we genuinely forgot to take a ticket on one occasion....I just wrote a letter explaining...I doubt there's any discretion thesedays though anywhere. I'm afraid on this one NZ is right up there with the worst.

Don't know about anyone else but I hate having to exactly know the timings of my plans in advance so as to avoid overstaying in car park spaces...real headache. Of course this means I end up overpaying upfront just in case grrr most of the time.

Last edited by luvwelly; Jun 13th 2010 at 12:53 am.
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Old Jun 13th 2010, 4:08 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

I agree that parking in Wellington CBD can be confusing. My biggest error was parking in a coupon space on Bowen Street. Saw a parking attendant just as I was parking and checked with him that it was ok to park there. "Sure is, as long as you have a correctly displayed coupon" which I did. Imagine my surprise a few hours later when I returned to the car to find it had vanished! I assumed it had been stolen as I had been told it was ok to park there. On phoning the police, I was told that my car had, infact, been towed away for a traffic violation - parking in a clearway between 4 and 6pm!!

I wrote an appeal to the council but no luck - had to pay up and learn my lesson the hard way (BTW, the sign for clearway was a long way from where I had parked).
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Old Jun 13th 2010, 5:12 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Now I assume that you have seen the advert about not paying fines and not being allowed out of the country!! Hope you weren't planning on skipping off to Oz or somewhere for a holiday before you pay your fine or else they won't let you on the plane!!! Best just pay up methinks!!
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Old Jun 13th 2010, 10:16 am
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Smile Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Originally Posted by thedtb View Post
Hey you two... I may well end up having to pay the fine, but their own procedures state that once an appeal is submitted they will put the case immediately on hold and then respond in writing... not only have they not replied but they don't appear to have put my case on hold either...

If they're not following their own documented and published procedures, why the hell should I?
Hi there just my 2 pence worth but be careful this doesnt get handed to a debt colection agency because if it does there will be their recovery fee added onto this also.

My partner just had this problem with a company (not for parking) anyhow long story short they added the recovery fee on to what he owed he eventually paid the bill but they still chased him for the recovery fee he refused to pay the debt collection recovery fee and has now been put on a blacklist for credit for 5yrs.
I tried to suggest he just pay up (it was an overdue account that he kept forgetting to pay nothign to do with parking) but here he is now still thinking stuff that company but he will get a shock when he goes somewhere for credit in the future...It just isnt worth it but as i said thats just my opinion..
Cheers
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Old Jun 14th 2010, 4:20 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

To be fair, the car park in question (on the front next to BNZ building) is very badly signed. For my birthday two mates drove into town. Both parked at the car park, about 10 metres apart. One thought they had to pay and did, the other thought they didn't have to pay and.....ended up with a $60 fine...
...so easy to do.

...but I agree unfair and ill signed as it may seem, the easiest way is to pay up.

Personally I rarely if ever drive into town. I take the bus (already paid for with my month pass) and if I stay later than the night bus (last one at 3 am) then a taxi costs about $30 or less.
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Old Jun 14th 2010, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Yeah! Fight the system .

I think you could start by looking at:
Land Transport Rule: Road User Rule 2004 (Road User Rule), Transport Act 1962 and specifically AS 2890.2: 2002 Parking facilities: Part 2: Off-street commercial vehicle facilities.

Your best bet is probably to find out the maximum fines permissable, what signage they need to display and also the if they need to be registered (and if so are they?). Good luck.
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Old Jun 17th 2010, 10:18 am
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Default Re: Parking Fine, 1400% increase???

Wilson Parking are officious I'd pay up and try to remember to never give them any money ever again. I used to pay $80/month to park at work (who own the car park but Wilson run it) after I moved to another site (organised by my work) who also used Wilson's ($12/month) I forgot to cancel my permit until a week before I left (2Jan). Their notice period is one month and I was paying by AP's. They made me pay for a month at a site I didn't work at, and just for a kick in the nuts I also had to pay an extra 2 days, which was about $5 - the two days in question 1-2 Jan which are free parking as they're public holidays. I tried to appeal to their better nature to find they didn't have one.

I despise Wilson Parking, and yes I didn't follow their small print (my fault) but to then bill and chase me for $5 was despicable. Last time I checked a month form 2 December finished on 1st Jan anyway.

In short, they can afford a better lawyer than you so send them your fine and park elsewhere in future.

As a slight aside, I challenged another parking ticket (from the council) which was issued incorrectly as it stated my car was in two different places at the same time and found out that they didn't care either.

I have been here 2.5 years and have got 2 parking fines and a speeding ticket (111 in a 100 - that is a whole other thread!). In 18 years of driving in the UK I never got any...

A
/rant over
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