Stadium parking: readers tell their stories

Readers flooded the ODT yesterday with comments about penalties incurred at the Forsyth Barr Stadium and other car-parks run by Wilson Parking.

I think it was back in August last year I was issued a $65 breach notice for the Wilson car park at Forsyth Barry where one of the big perfume sales were being held. At the time I was totally oblivious that I even had to pay to park there. I then went ahead to email them and told them flat out that I will not be paying the breach notice. I have never heard from them again since. So I assume they understood my message. 

What I can't understand is why do we have a private company managing the car park of one of our greatest assets here in Dunedin. Surely if the DCC were behind it then would that money not go back into our city and our amazing stadium.

Kyla Bolton

 

I was charged $65 at the wilson carpark at the stadium in December. My ticket had blown upside down when I got the kids out of the car. My ticket didn't mention the fact my pay and display ticket was upside down it just said I was over time.

Tried to put a dispute in through their website. 20 days later I get a letter saying its up to $85 as I hadn't paid. A dispute is supposed to put the ticket on hold but because I had added a photo it hadn't gone through (too big the woman on the phone said) The website said it had been received but they never got it so then was charged the late penalty. 

I ended up agreeing to pay if they wiped the extra $20.

I was actually over time slightly which was unavoidable so I guess I'm lucky not to get two fines!

The sign at the carpark does state that it charges $65 for a breech but its in very fine print.

I assumed as many do that being council property you would be charged fines in line with council parking fine rates.
Will never park there again.

Mel Harkess

 

I too have been hit with one of these exorbitant fines. In our society doesn't the punishment usually fit the crime or in this case minor misdemeanour where I am fined in a space with which I have paid to build (and will continue to pay for until at least I have retired).

Vincent Pettinger

 

I got one of these last year when when I went to the makeup sale. At the time the Sunday market was also on and I had thought that there was no meters on Sunday. My friend and I were 15mins after not seeing much we were interested in, We came back to my car to find a $65 ticket. At the time u thought it was absurd and rung the council but it was privately owned so paid the fine!

Alyssa Houston

 

I still have no idea why I was fined.

Nothing was left on my windshield by Wilson parking and I received this letter 2 days before the 21 day time frame was up.

If I was the kind to throw away all my parking receipts , I would be short $65 (possibly $85).

I did lodge and appeal (on their website) according to instructions and got no acknowledgment from them stating that they have received my appeal.

I had to call the 0800 number and they gave me an email address to email the appeal too.

I don't get where they arrive at the amount of $65

Ely Rodrigues

 

 

 

 

 

I was hit with one of their fines a year or so back. I was out of town, and a friend of mine was using my car. They'd parked in the ‘Wilson Parking' run car park at the WINZ office. Sometime later, I received a ‘reminder' letter regarding the $55 ‘fine'. I rung them to explain that the ‘fine' was not mine to pay, as I had not parked there. Their position was that this was irrelevant. I disagreed, and informed them I would not be paying it. 

A couple of months or so later, I received a letter from Credit Consultants, regarding my debt to Wilson Parking. Told to put my concerns in writing, I emailed to advise them I disputed the alleged debt (now totaling $104.00). I explained my reasons for disputing the debt and I referred them to the Consumer Affairs website (http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/for-consumers/services/carpark-fines-...).

From my original email to Credit Consultants: "The key term there is "contractual breach". The facts here are, by and large, not disputed. By parking a car in their building a contract is entered into by the person parking there. Crucially, in this situation, that person was not me. At the time of the incident, I was demonstrably out of town."

So, my dispute was;

a. 1 - The fees were excessive and did not represent reasonable costs

b. 2 - The ‘contract' for parking was between Wilson Parking and the person who parked there (ie. Not me)

 

Despite this, I made an offer to pay $30, which I felt (generously) better represented ‘reasonable costs'. In the email response I received from them (which, judging from the mixed font/colour/formatting, was a boilerplate copy-and-paste job), they turned down my offer and continued to insist on payment. 

They stated;

"Parking Enforcement Services have estimated the liquidated damages arising from the breach to be $55.00. This is equal to an administration charge for the cost of monitoring the car park, issuing and processing the breach notice and dealing with any subsequent correspondence, debt collection and write-offs. They believe this amount to be fair and reasonable and it has been supported by the Disputes Tribunal. Again, these charges are stated in the terms and conditions. The Breach Notice is simply a demand for the payment of liquidated damages arising from a breach of the contract, which under contract law they are entitled to request." 

After another couple of back and forth emails, I told them I still disputed the amount, and would not be paying the debt. That was August 2013, and I've heard nothing from them since. I assume they realised I was not an easy ‘mark' and moved on to someone else...

Richard Holley 

 

I went to Forysth Barr to attend a presentation by Tony Alexander BNZ economist. The pay machines were faulty at the time and would not accept eftpos or credit cards, many of the people attending the presentation were experiencing the same problem. I left a note in my car windscreen advising that the machines were not working and as such I was unable to purchase a valid pay and display ticket.

I was issued a $65 Infringement notice despite my note. I emailed Wilsons parking direct from their website to dispute the ticket, however received no response. Once I received a reminder notice advising court action if not paid - I just paid the $65. However this has left a very sour taste and I try and avoid any carparks which are monitored by Wilsons parking.

I am also aware of a business colleague who paid a monthly lease to rent a carpark close to the old chief post office, He lost his display ticket and was issued an infringement notice, He had been leasing the carpark for well over 12 months and his vehicle would have been known. He wrote to Wilsons explaining his ticket had been misplaced but that he was under a monthly lease and the lease payments were all current. Wilsons then lodged the unpaid infringement notice with Baycorp.

Jacki 

 

I was slapped with a $65 ticket 4 being 10 minutes late.

Damion Wyber

 

I was in the WINZ office in Nov 2014 for reasons of hardship, for an hour long appointment... it went 10-15 mins over - kept thinking, do I get up and check the car? No the appointment might finish any minute now ... (I was waiting for the WINZ staff member to finish whatever they were doing on their computer). Went out, and yep, a $65 fine. Missed the timeframe for the appeal (I got the official letter several days after it was posted), paid it a couple of days late due to affordability and they whacked me with an extra $20. Appealed again and they waived the extra $20. Would have been nice if they had waived the whole lot, of course, once I explained where I had been! Very expensive WINZ appointment.

Out of interest, I just had another appointment last week. Had no coins so went to use debit card, only to find their machine only accepted credit cards, not debit cards. Too bad for beneficiaries who don't have a credit card and have run out of cash!

Sheryl

 

I went for a minor surgery and, due to some complications with the surgery, went over the time I paid for, not more than 1 hour. Being cut open I couldn't exactly go out and put more money in the machine. I recieved a $65 fine and the threat of them using a debt collecting agency on me meant I just paid it rather than try and appeal. After recieving this fine I have vowed to never use their services again if possible and will advise everyone I know the same. $65 is an outrageous fee. They are shooting themselves in the foot.

Daniel Doherty

 

I was issued one of the $65 fines in the Wilson parking area on the one way street near the Victoria Hotel. Similar to the woman mentioned I was 14 minutes over my time and was slammed with this fine.

I left it unpaid as I was extremely unhappy with the amount, i received a letter warning an extra $20 would be added on to the total if my fine wasn't paid.

I realise I was in the wrong for being over my time limit and would have been happy to pay a DCC parking fine, but $65 is far beyond ridiculous and is unnecessary.

Kristal Lyon

 

Photo: Bridget Wren
Photo: Bridget Wren
I received a breach notice in this carpark late last year. It was my own fault, I had parked there to go to the big buckets cosmetic sale and I didn't pay at all. Not paying wasn't my intention, I had left home and made sure I had a wallet full of car parking change as I was expecting there to be a man at the carpark entry collecting parking fees. That's what I've been used to whenever I park there for the Sunday market. There was no one collecting parking money so I just drove in and parked where all the other vehicles were completely oblivious to the fact that is was now a pay and display carpark and I didn't notice the pay station. I returned to the car about 45 minutes later and there was a breach notice under my wipers, this is when I realised my mistake..

I emailed Wilson Parking through the dispute channel, not to dispute my ticket but to ask them for a bit of leniency as it was a genuine human error. I got a response from them basically saying they weren't prepared to waive the fee and I had 14 days from the date on that letter to pay. I deliberately left it until the last minute and paid my fine and the very same day, I received a letter from them saying they had not received my payment on time and had added a $20 penalty for late payment making it $85 that I owed them. I phoned them as I absolutely refused to pay an extra $20, that was ridiculous. They agreed to remove the penalty as I had paid the ticket. My issue was not that I received a breach notice as I had made a stupid mistake and I understand that, my issue is with the size of the fine. Upon looking at the parking charges detailed at the pay station I discovered that all day parking is $5.00 so how do you justify a $65 breach notice for 45 minutes of unpaid parking when it's only $5 to park there all day?? And then to threaten $20 penalties if your late? Words escape me, this is absolutely beyond a joke and personally, I will never again use this carpark.

Tania Outram

 

I have been fined three times by Wilson and their subsidiary Parking Enforcement Services (PES) -- twice while parked at Forsyth Barr Stadium and once in an Auckland City carpark for a total of $195. In each of these instances I strongly believe I was very wrongly penalised.

The first time at Forsyth Barr Stadium was the same situation as Ms Kendrick's where I was 10 minutes late back to my car due to my physiotherapy appointment running over at the University Plaza. A $65 infringement notice which I appealed but was rejected.

The next time at Forsyth Barr Stadium, I had gone to the pay machine to get a ticket but it wouldn't accept my coins. As I remember, there is a minimum $2 fee to park but the machine wouldn't accept the last 20c that I tried to put in. After trying many different times and now being late for my appointment I gave up and left the car parked without a ticket. When I returned, a $65 infringement notice was there which I appealed by explaining the exact circumstances but they wouldn't accept it.

At the Auckland City carpark in Durham St, we were staying at a hotel which had an agreement with Wilson where they were able to issue 24 hour parking at reduced costs. Upon returning to the hotel one day, we parked the car in the car park and went to the hotel's front desk to get a new parking ticket. We had left a note on the dashboard of the car with our expired ticket explaining that we were doing this. When we returned we had a $65 infringement notice for not showing a valid parking ticket despite only being away for 10 minutes. The PES warden was still in the carpark so I asked her why she had fined me, to which she said she had made notes of it in her electronic fine dispenser and if I appealed it and alerted them to check the notes it would be revoked. I did this and there were, so they say, no notes to be found and so my appeal was rejected and I was forced to pay.

What they do is absolutely ridiculous, the fines far outweigh any possible revenue they could gain from someone parking in the spot you had parked in, and in each of my cases there were at least 5 other parks available so any revenue lost was minimal if not at all. $65 for me, a university student, can be a massive financial strain as it would for many other individuals. I have always questioned why Forsyth Barr Stadium, a public/council-owned site, had private companies like Wilson running the parking. It's just not right and I hope people, like myself and Ms Kendrick, are reimbursed to some degree.

Antony Stadnyk

 

Three tickets at the stadium I can remember! Sunday, A coffee cost $5.00 but a ticket for $65.00. The launch night for the relay for life. The Fundraising auction for the Brighton Surf Club. I think I'm a shareholder in Wilson Parking!! lol

John Moyle

 

I was hit with a $65 fine for being 10 minutes late back to my car. This was also at the Stadium car park. I paid the fine, though I thought it extremely excessive. Down the road at the Otago Institute of Sport and Adventure, where I was a student, fines for exceeding the time limit of the various parks (2 hour, 90 min and 60 min parks) was $12 from memory. There were quite a few students who would park in the two hour park and risk the parking warden coming around that day. Some students exceeded the time limit by an hour or more and still only received a $12. There were a couple of us that had been given fines at the Stadium over the last couple of years.

From what I remember, their first machine would only accept $1 coins, or you could only pay $1 for 1 hour. You couldn't pay for part of an hour as you can in most other places. I'm not sure when they changed the machine, but a few of us (myself included) got caught out when we would drop a few coins in the machine and run inside to the Plaza Cafe to grab coffee or lunch (mostly to take away). Some days they could be really busy and so you had to wait a while (hence 10 minutes late back to the car). Some of the students would risk using the 5 min parks to run in and grab coffee. Not sure what the fines were for those as no one I know was fined doing that.

As I said I paid my fine as I figured I had been caught out fair and square. I knew I had put minimal coins in the machine (a couple of 20 cent pieces I think), but I was surprised to see the amount of the fine. It has made me more careful about parking around town now, and I usually try and stick to street parking or parking buildings.

Sarah Michelle

 

I had a very similar experience to that reported in the ODT - lunch at the Plaza cafe, 10 minutes late back to the car, a $65 ticket, and an online appeal rejected. I paid up - this happened late last year. Since then I have had further calls and letters, the latest from Credit Consultants with charges totalling $114. I paid the "fine" online and made darn sure it went to the right account. I have told Credit Consultants they can track they payment themselves, I have paid them enough to do it. I did seek legal advice ( my daughter volunteers at the Law Centre) but paid up as I thought Wilson would have had their butts covered.

Therese Madden

 

My mother got a 65$ ticket just before Christmas in the stadium car park. She was only a few minutes over her time as she was picking up her disabled brother at a function and didn't realize like other parking you get a 10 minute grace. There is no signage stating the cost of the ticket that I'm aware of and she did contact Wilson's head office and they said we're not interested. Also my mother has had a hip replacement and suffers debilitating arthritis and struggles to get around and to be a few minutes late and to come back to a $65 ticket, what a shock. The car park was empty at the time also, all of 2 cars. What a joke! I will never park in a Wilson car park again. Disgusted in their lack of signage and parking for pickups and drop offs.

Tracey Taylor

 

I've been hit with a few mixed feelings really, sure it's my fault for breaking the rules and their conditions are clearly sign-posted. However I think the amount is over the top when compared to local DCC fines, I would argue that their "costs" that they are fining you for are no where near that high and that some thought should be spent on local enforcement fees before providing a flat $65 fee.

$65 is a lot of money for some families, grocery money for a week, it's criminal.

Caleb Lesa

 

I nearly couldn't move out of NZ because of a ticket from Wilson Parking! I was working in the cafe in the hospital and ended up being ten minutes late back to my car (I was parked at the one on the corner across from new world). I saw the person typing out the ticket and started yelling and waving saying "I'm here! Please don't!" She shook her head and when I got closer said "sorry, had already started filling it out so couldn't stop." As she placed it under my wiper. Then I noticed it was $65 and was furious. I had not enough money that week to pay it and ended up forgetting about it. Couple months later I got a letter from the debt collectors.

Long story short, each week I didn't pay, another sum of money was getting added on to it! I can't remember exactly how much but it was around $10!! And this was to Wilsons as well! Ended up the debt collectors buggered up the account number they gave me and it cost me another $20 (two weeks for them to fix it) two days before leaving the country! I ended up having to pay over $100 to Wilson for them having a whopping penalty fee and their handy helpers buggering it up! Lucky I rang two days before I left to check that it had been sorted or I wasn't going anywhere!

I hope this all gets set straight! Much rather pay the council when I move back home than Wilsons!

Broghan North

 

I got hit by one of tickets on Thursday night. Absolute rubbish! What are they doing about it?

Adam Sutherland


My husband and I have received a letter from Parking Enforcement Services to advise that we have breached a parking in 5655 South Mall.

They have charged us with a fee of $55 for the breach and told us to pay by referring to the breach notice that was left on our vehicle.

To date, we have not seen any breach notices left on our vehicle and don't even know where 5655 South Mall is. I tried to email and ring the Parking Enforcement Services for clarification but to date no response.

I am not sure what to do from here as I don't want to pay for something if I don't have to.

Lynn Hunter

 

Photo: Bridget Wren
Photo: Bridget Wren
I was stung twice within 24 hours in October 2014.

On Saturday 18 October 2014 there there Heritage Street festival was being held. Parking was difficult to find.. I parked in the Wilson carpark beside The Clean. I checked to make sure that I was not parked in one of the parks that was not for the public. I read the notice on the wall which clearly stated Monday to Friday and as it was after 5pm on the Saturday felt safe parking where I was. I enjoyed taking part in the festival and chose to catch a taxi home in the belief that my car was parked legally where it was. I returned to collect my car on the morning of 19 October 2014 (there were no other cars parked there other than my car on the Sunday morning)....

At 16 minutes passed five (pm) on 18/10/2104 I had been issued a ticket for $65. At 9.46am on 19/10/2014 I had been issued a ticket for $65. A total of $130.00. The two tickets were placed together under the windscreen wipers.

I paid the tickets (which I could ill afford).

Bridget Wren

 

 

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