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Section 3 – Next steps and questions

I will now go through a list of likely next steps and answer questions you may have. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me. [wlm_nonmember]As a member here you will see answers to these.

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I have received a letter back from Care Park declining my offer, what now? This is most likely. From here you do not need to do anything. You have protected yourself from court and legal costs and you do not need to have any further communication with them. Make sure you keep a copy of the letter you sent them.

I have received a counter offer from Care Park, what now? Same as above. You do not need to accept their offer (and I recommend you don’t), you have protected yourself and there is nothing more to do.

I have received a letter back from Care Park accepting my offer? Unless you made your offer too high (e.g. more than about 50% of what they are demanding), this is extremely unlikely. Please let me know if this happens! You could write back (don’t forget the “without prejudice…”) and say you made a calculation error and offer them something significantly less. Alternatively, you could just pay it, however make sure that they are offering a “full and final settlement” for the outstanding amount.

Care Park have requested that I fill in a Statutory Declaration (“Stat Dec”) to say who was the driver at the time. What do I do? [wlm_ismember]Do not do it! They have no legal right to demand this, so just ignore them. It is up to them to determine who was driver (“operator”) of the vehicle.[/wlm_ismember]

They have requested that I do not park in their car parks until this matter is resolved, do I have to obey this? [wlm_ismember]That is up to you. I am not recommending you ignore their instructions, however I have. See also the question regarding trespassing.[/wlm_ismember]

I have received a threatening letter demanding payment saying that if I fail to pay I will be liable for increased costs. Should I be worried by this? [wlm_ismember]No, there is no cause for concern. Their tactic is to try and scare you into paying up. They have no more right to get money from you than anyone else. Just ignore them. You could report them to the police for harassment, but I haven’t tried this personally.[/wlm_ismember]

I have received a threatening letter from a debt collection agency, Crown Collections, is this of concern? [wlm_ismember]No. Crown Collections work in the same building as Care Park and are almost certainly highly connected with Care Park. Debt Collection agencies are just another private company, so can be treated like Care Park.[/wlm_ismember]

I have received a threatening letter from their lawyers, Parke Lawyers Pty Ltd, is this of concern? [wlm_ismember]No. Pretty much the same answer as before. Lawyers are just more private entities that have no more authority or right to demand money than anyone else. It is clear Parke Lawyers have an arrangement with Care Park (they also work in the same building in Melbourne) and they have been heavily criticised in the legal world for using “shake-down” tactics.[/wlm_ismember]

I have been threatened with being reported to the police for trespassing. What now? [wlm_ismember]Again nothing. They are entitled to report you to the police and it is up to the police whether they actually do anything about it. For the police to actually prosecute you, they have to prove that you were actually the operator of the car (e.g. not your partner) – it is very difficult to do and most likely the police have better things to do. The police generally are interested in preserving the peace. They avoid getting involved in commercial or personal disputes, unless violence is being threatened.[/wlm_ismember]

I have been ordered by the police to do or not do something, should I comply? [wlm_ismember]This won’t happen in my experience. If it does, please let me know. My strong recommendation is that you follow any instructions from the real police. However make sure it really is the police making the order and that this is not just Care Park pretending to be the police or it is not an individual officer acting outside official police business (a very serious matter). You are entitled to do whatever it takes to satisfy yourself that this is real (get the policeman’s ID number and call the local police station and check they have created a file on this matter).[/wlm_ismember]

I have received a “Prohibition Notice” that looks like it comes from the Police, is this of concern? [wlm_ismember]Probably not. First of all it is unlikely to really be from the police, it is more likely yet another Care Park scare tactic – I believe they are deliberately trying confuse you into thinking it has come from the police. Look at the notice very carefully! I have complained to the actual police about this and they are currently investigating. Deliberately attempting to imitate the police is illegal.[/wlm_ismember]

They have threatened that they will Wheel Clamp my vehicle if I park again in Care Park and will have to pay up before they release it. Any concern? [wlm_ismember]No, just more scare tactics from Care Park. I seriously doubt that they even have any wheel clamps. In NSW it is expressly illegal for private operators to wheel clamp vehicles. Unfortunately it is not in other states. However it is a serious offence for any private entity (company or person) to interfere with your motor vehicle without your permission. If you are concerned about this, see the legal section on Wheel Clamps.[/wlm_ismember]

I have been wheel clamped or towed away, what do I do now? [wlm_ismember]I strongly doubt this would happen. Please let me know. I believe this would be a serious escalation on the part of Care Park and lays them open to serious legal issues. My first recommendation is to call whatever number they have given and inform them that unless they remove the clamp or return your vehicle within a short time (e.g. an hour), you will be calling the police – do not offer to pay any money. Then if they fail to do this, call the police and complain that a private company has “captured” your vehicle and demand that they do whatever is necessary to return the vehicle. It doesn’t matter if Care Park claim you were trespassing, they are not entitled to take the law into their own hands.[/wlm_ismember]

So if this works, why isn’t everyone doing this? Good question. Everyone who has any legal understanding will probably already be doing this. However for most people the law (particularly commercial law) is a complicated and expensive process and they would rather stay well clear of it. Without the specific instructions in this website most people would rather just give in and pay up. This is what Care Park are relying on.

So why are you releasing this information? I am a strong believer in individual rights, particularly when they are being trampled on by what I believe is a rogue company such as Care Park. I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to know their rights and stand up to what I believe are corporate bullies.

Are you suggesting I park in Care Park’s operated car parks without paying? No I am not. This website is about what to do if you get a payment notice. I do not recommend you deliberately enter a car park intending not to pay.

Surely Care Park are entitled to make money, just like everyone else. Yes they are entitled to offer a service (car parking) and make money by doing so. However they are not entitled to make money from people’s mistakes or errors in paying their car park fees (over and above the reasonable extra costs for managing this). I expect that they make far more money from collecting these payment notices, than they do from collecting parking fees. The payment notice, in my opinion is extortion (threatening a person unless they pay up). Care Park have publicly claimed that they are just want to make sure that everyone “does the right thing” and pays their parking fees. However I believe this is just corporate spin and does not match their real business model.

I believe Care Park’s intention is to do everything they can to get you to pay up without taking you to court. It is psychological warfare. If you receive a letter that sounds like it’s the end of the world if you don’t comply, don’t believe it, they do not have a legal leg to stand on. You can get your own legal advice to confirm this, but that costs money (and again is part of Care Park’s hope that you will just pay the demand).

9 thoughts on “Section 3 – Next steps and questions

  1. Tien Trung

    I have received a “payment notice”, however I paid for a ticket and then lost it (and therefore did not display it). I have a transaction on my bank account to prove it. In this case there seems to be no material loss to the company (other than for their paying of staff to issue me the notice).
    I would imagine at this stage that they have not yet identified me (I would prefer to keep it that way). How would you suggest I modify the letter that I send them?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Damian Ivereigh Post author

      Hi Tien,

      The first thing you need to know is that it really doesn’t matter if they find out who you are. Unfortunately they have found a way to identify the registered owner of a vehicle – even though that is not necessarily the driver (who they claim to have a contract with). So may as well go on the front foot by writing them a letter even though that does reveal who you are. Make sure you start any letter you write with the title “WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS”, then you can say anything you like it it won’t affect your legal position.

      The contract that they are claiming you entered into is a “standard form contract” – namely one that you have no opportunity to negotiate, just accept in its entirety or not at all. These are highly regulated under Australian Consumer Law, which allows judges to strike down terms that disadvantage one side (you), they are particularly harsh on terms that deal with trivial breaches. You not displaying a ticket that you have paid for I believe is an example of this.

      Now the trick here is not to get sucked into their process. If you write back and say that you just didn’t display your ticket, then they will probably ask you to sign a statutory declaration in order to take your objection further, which is an awful lot of hassle for no good reason and you are just playing into their hands.

      So what I would do is just send them the letter that is on the website (an offer of $5 is about right – they won’t accept it anyway), which will stop the whole process in it’s tracks and you won’t have to deal with all their nonsense. If in the incredibly unlikely event that they decide to take it further to court, that would be the time to reveal to them that you have proof that you already paid the ticket and you will be swearing to a court that the ticket was for your car. They would be almost certain to drop the case at that point. But you would do best to contact me if that happens.

      Frankly the more you take these guys seriously, the more they think it is worth trying to frighten you into paying. Better just to tell them (in polite legal language) to go get a life and bother someone else.

      Good luck and let me know how you get on,

      Damian

      Reply
  2. Pamela Korreng

    Thanks Damian!

    I’m about to post the letter to them. Can’t wait to see the result and I will let you know. I will not be intimidated by anything they do or threaten!

    Reply
  3. Leo Huttunen

    Hi Damian
    I sent your letter & received a letter in return , stating that they will not accept my offer of $10 for their $88 “fine” , but reduced the “fine” to $44 if I pay within 10 days , otherwise it will be $88 or the matter may be referred to their lawyers for further action.
    Just checking if things are going to plan & I can ignore their letter as you have stated.

    Cheers Leo

    Reply
    1. Damian Ivereigh Post author

      Hi Leo,

      It looks like they are offering you the initial discount on early payment – I would say that they are beginning to realise that they are going to have some difficulty getting money out of people who send these offers. 🙂

      To answer your question – yes things are still going to plan. Just ignore the letter, it is unlikely you will hear from them again.

      All the best,
      Damian

      Reply
  4. Tien Trung

    Hi Damien,
    Since sending the first letter back to Care Park, they have sent me several letters, each which I have ignored (but kept).
    Today I received a letter from Parke Lawers, demanding $88 for the client and $77 for legal fees. They expect payment within 10 days. It seems that in my case they have not given up after the “WITHOUT PREDJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS” letter.

    Why do you think they would persist with me, but not others?

    Thanks,
    Tien

    Reply
    1. Damian Ivereigh Post author

      Hi Tien,

      This is very unusual – I am wondering if they received your letter. Did they send you back an actual reply to your letter? They usually acknowledge (and act on) your request for no further contact.

      Damian

      Reply
      1. Tien Trung

        Hi Damian,
        Yes they did respond, acknowledging the letter but not changing their demand. Since then they have sent 2 “reminders”, including a “Final” one. Then I got a letter from Parke Lawers (mentioned above).
        Today I spoke to a Lawyer friend of mine who said that they can’t do anything, so just ignore what ever they send/do.

        Thanks,
        Tien

        Reply

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