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Section 5 – Commercial Background

Care Park’s business model

The first thing I need to say is that this is complete conjecture on my part. I have no special knowledge of the internals of Care Park, this is purely deduced from their actions. While they do collect fees from parking, I believe they make far more money from collecting on their payment notices. They have stated publicly that they want everyone to “do the right thing” and pay their parking fees, however it is my belief if everyone actually did this they would be much worse off financially and they actually do not really want this to happen. If they truly were interested in only collecting fees, they could save themselves a lot of legal trouble by just collecting reasonable damages (i.e. the amount they would have collected from the fees plus covering any extra costs incurred to do this). There are other companies that do just that – motorway toll operators for example.

Many private toll operators in Australia operate completely electronically, there is no barrier to go through, you are just supposed to have an electronic tag that automatically deducts the toll amount from your account. If that fails to work (or you don’t have a tag), then you are supposed to call a number within 48 hours, give your registration number and pay the unpaid toll, plus a bit to cover the extra costs.

So I believe Care Park are essentially running an extortion racket. Extortion is the unlawful gaining of money through coercion – in this case threatening legal consequences if money is not paid. Care Park are preying on people’s desire to stay away from the court and so they just pay it without questioning whether they have to pay. I believe they are corporate bullies who need be to stood up to, and like most bullies once you stand up to them, they back down and go and find someone easier to bully.

I have noticed that recently Care Park seem to be less vigilant about following up unpaid “payment notices”. I wonder if they have realised that once a payment notice hasn’t been paid, they are unlikely to be ever paid, so no longer waste their time following them up. This makes sense: they are a business and will always weigh up the costs of any collection actions versus the amount actually collected.

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