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.
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).