Section 1 – The process
So you have received a payment notice from Care Park. This is a demand for payment (at the time of writing) for $88, however they will accept $66 if paid within 2 weeks. At this point you have three options:
1) Just pay it. However if you want to do this, then you probably wouldn’t be reading this website!
2) Do nothing – i.e. ignore it. This is the option recommended by some lawyers (including Sean Hardy – who appeared on the ABC’s The Checkout and the Consumer Action Law Centre). This option does work, however it works best for people who really understand the legal situation. There are a couple of important very practical downsides to this option:-
- You get bombarded with very scary sounding letters from the car parking company, their lawyers and debt collectors. Unless you have nerves of steel (and your partner does too!), it can be hard to resist the pressure to just pay up – after all getting you to pay up is the intention of the car parking company.
- While the risk is extremely small, if this ever did go to court and you lost, you would end up paying all their legal costs. This has happened only once to my knowledge, indeed it was a rather pyrrhic victory for them, however it could happen.
- 3) Take the active approach and fight back. The main thing this does is massively reduce the risk of you having to pay their legal costs should it ever end up in court, which using this website is very unlikely to happen. This is the approach we will be taking.
The process is to send a letter offering to settle the amount for a much smaller amount than they are demanding in payment. They are unlikely to accept this offer (so you won’t have to actually even pay the amount – they have never accepted any of my offers), however just writing the letter will massively reduce the risks of paying their legal costs. The key words to put at the top of the letter are “Without prejudice, save as to costs“. I will explain the legal background to this and why it is important in the fourth section of this website.In the members section of the website, you will find a copy of the specific letter to send.
Concerned that this is scam and you’ll be wasting your money? Checkout a quick survey I have done on my existing members – they have had a very high success rate!
They will likely write back to you rejecting your offer and say they reserve their right to take it to court and you should probably speak to a lawyer. However you will now have your name put into the “too hard basket” and they most likely will leave you alone. If they don’t then you can write a letter to them demanding they do so, which in my experience they have never ignored.