Section 2 – The Offer Letter
[wlm_nonmember]As a member here you will see a copy of the actual letter that is to be sent.
[/wlm_nonmember][wlm_ismember]Thanks for joining the website! I will detail here the letter to write and what specifically to put in the letter. First of all here is the letter. There is a Word copy of the letter here or a Libre Office (OpenOffice) copy here
[Insert name and address here]
Care Park Pty Ltd
P O Box 191
SOUTH MELBOURNE VIC 3205
Your Ref: Payment Notice [insert payment notice number]
WITHOUT PREJUDICE, SAVE AS TO COSTS
I have received a “payment notice” from you, attached to my car, claiming that I have broken a contract with you and claiming liquidated damages for this. I do not agree that I have even entered into a contract with you – and even if I have, the contract you offered is a Standard Form Contract regulated under Australian Consumer Law. I believe many of the terms of this contract including the one describing liquidated damages would be deemed unfair and unenforceable in a court. I believe that these liquidated damages are not a genuine pre-estimate of loss and therefore amount to a fine or penalty, which as a private entity you are not entitled to.
While I do not agree that I have even entered a contract with you or that I have broken that contract with you, I am willing for the purposes of expediency and to save any legal costs to settle the matter for $[insert offer]. I believe this more accurately reflects any costs and/or lost revenue you may have incurred. Please let me know by return and if you will accept this offer as full and final settlement of this matter, and let me know how I should arrange payment by credit card. This offer is open to you until [insert offer expiry date]
This is a final offer. If you decline this offer, I am not interested in any further correspondence regarding this matter with you or any of your representatives (lawyers, debt collectors etc).
[Insert your name]
As you can see there are a couple of changes you will need to make to the document before printing, signing and posting it.
- Enter your name and address at the top right.
- Enter today’s date and the payment notice number or ticket number which is located near the top of the notice.
- Fill in the amount you are willing to offer them. The amount depends on how long you have left it before writing to them. My recommendation is if it is within the first 14 days, just offer them $5 per ticket. If you have left it until after 14 days, then maybe raise it to $7.50 per ticket. If they have written a letter to you (which means they have gone to the trouble of locating your name and address), then put it up to $10 per ticket. Essentially you want to make it higher than they could reasonably claim to have incurred in actual administration costs (and therefore get any court to agree), but low enough so that they won’t actually accept it.
- Put in a date when this offer expires, I recommend you give them 14 days. You do need to put an expiry date on it so that they can’t come back to you in a year’s time when they have given up trying to collect and try and accept your offer.
- Finally put your name at the bottom. Print it out, sign and post it to them.
So that’s it! This is all you have to do. To be absolutely safe, you should write one of these letters for every payment notice you receive (you can combine them into a single letter – list all the payment/ticket numbers and multiply up the offer amount). However my experience is that the first one or two will put you into their “too hard” basket and they will not follow up any others with any further demands for payment.
A couple of my members have reported that occasionally they do continue to send further threatening letters – probably means they forgot to put a “this one’s not worth bothering with” flag on against your name. In which case a further letter may be worth sending them. It has no legal effect, it just stops the trail of letters. Here is a good letter I recommend sending:
WITHOUT PREJUDICE, SAVE AS TO COSTS
Ref: [whatever reference they put in their letter]
I am not interested in any further communication with you or your representatives. You have previously declined my offer to settle this matter, so the next course of action is for you to take me to court. I will be invoicing you for answering any further correspondence regarding this matter at my standard rate of $150/hour billed in one hour blocks. I recommend you do not communicate with me further.
You have made your offer to settle, they have declined it. The only next step that makes any difference is to try and take you to court – which now they are extremely unlikely to do.