Brian Edwards Media

An elderly man makes a less than happy visit to Tournament Parking in Shortland Street

Elderly gent attempts to read Tournament Parking Terms and Conditions

Elderly gent attempts to read Tournament Parking Terms and Conditions

For more than a decade we have run our media training courses at  the University of Auckland’s television studio complex  in the Kenneth Myers Centre in Shortland Street.

There could no more appropriate venue. The building was constructed in 1934 as the first home of the 1YA radio network and later housed the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation’s Auckland television studios. I have vivid memories of recording Gallery interviews there in the late 60s and early 70s.

Directly across the street, and wonderfully convenient, is a Tournament Parking building. It’s pricey, but then all private parking is pricey in Auckland. On average we run one or two half-day training courses a week. So over the last 11 years we’ve paid Tournament Parking a hell of a lot of money. And we’ve never overstayed the time paid for.

A couple of weeks ago, however, we were delayed by a client and arrived back at our car to find that a ‘parking officer’  had just placed an infringement notice under our wiper blade. The ticket showed that parking had been pre-paid to 4.45 pm. The ticket had been issued at 4.51pm.

Tournament allows a grace period of five minutes, so we’d exceeded our permitted parking time by one minute.  The parking fine, which Tournament euphemistically call a ‘notice’, was $65.

The parking officer was now photographing the number plates of other offending vehicles and ticketing them. When I confronted him with the fact that he had clearly been waiting beside our car for the prepaid time to expire, he apologised profusely. It was, he agreed, ‘outrageous’ but he had his job to do. ‘This lot will be gone in a couple of weeks anyway,’ he added.

He was a nice guy and I apologised to him for my angry tone.  

My mood wasn’t improved when we got home and I read the dire warnings on the back of the ‘notice’:

‘You must pay the Amount Due within 21 days of the Issue Date. The Amount Due consists of an Invalid Parking Fee plus an Enforcement Administration Fee as specified in the Terms and Conditions of Parking and Parking Rates Signage displayed at the Carpark. You will be liable for a further $25 if this Notice remains unpaid after 21 days from the Issue Date. Should this Parking Breach Notice remain unpaid for 30 days from the Issue Date, Debt Collection Proceedings will commence and you will be liable for further costs, including any solicitor/client costs incurred in enforcing payment of the monies owed by you. The above-mentioned vehicle may also be CLAMPED and/or TOWED from the Carpark and only released upon payment of the release fee and any outstanding debt, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of Parking and Parking Rates signage displayed at the Carpark.’

My first instinct was not to pay the fine, but to let the matter run its inevitable course and meet these gentlemen in court. After all, I’m the guy who started Fair Go and hosted/produced the programme for 8 years. And I’m a mate of the second most trusted person in New Zealand. They wouldn’t stand a snowball’s in hell.

But I thought better of it. In addition to all those dire warnings, the ‘notice’ refers you to Tournament’s website where you can learn ‘How to Appeal this Parking Breach Notice’ and find ‘information on commonly asked questions with regard to valid appeals.’

The information includes the claim that Tournament ‘have estimated the liquidated damages arising from the breach to be up to $65.  This is made up of $25 for average loss of revenue due to non-purchase/display of valid ticket, plus a $40 administration charge for the cost of monitoring the car park, issuing and processing the breach notice and dealing with any subsequent correspondence, debt collection and write-offs.  We believe this amount to be fair and reasonable as it has been supported by the Disputes Tribunal.  Again, these charges are stated in our terms and conditions.’

Tournament had no ‘loss of revenue’ from our one-minute overstay. Most of their clients had already gone home and there were plenty of empty parking spaces. So why were we being charged the $25?

I was also intrigued by the ‘up to’ in ‘up to $65’. If being just one minute over your prepaid parking time costs $65, what could possibly incur a lesser fine? I’m guessing nothing. And I suspect that Tournament’s maximum penalty is identical to its minimum penalty. Everybody pays $65.

But back to Tournament’s website and ‘How to Appeal this Parking Breach Notice’. Well, you can read the information for yourself, but I think you’ll find there are actually no circumstances that Tournament will accept as grounds for not paying them $65 for being even one minute late.

I nonetheless wrote to Carpark Monitoring Services (a division of Tournament Parking Ltd) outlining our previous history of parking in the Shortland Street building, suggesting that $65 was out of proportion for overstaying one’s welcome by one minute, or even 6 minutes, and inviting them on those grounds to waive the fine.

A week or so later, I received a reply from one Marcus Baker, Enforcement Administration, Carpark Monitoring Services. The reply had all the hallmarks of a form letter which anyone appealing a parking fine would receive.

Marcus said Tournament ‘sympathized with [my] position in this case’, directed my attention to the aforementioned Terms and Conditions of Parking and Parking Rates,  ‘clearly marked’, he said, ‘and displayed at the Carpark’. He then invited me to send the $65 within 14 days or face the consequences.

Well, the Terms and Conditions are displayed on the signage at the entrance to the parking building, but clearly? I think not. To read the Terms and Conditions you would in fact have to get down on your hands and knees, preferably with a magnifying glass. Your car, meanwhile, would be blocking entry to the carpark to other vehicles, whose drivers might not be sympathetic to your taking 10 minutes to decipher Tournament’s fine print.

So, lest you think I’m exaggerating, Judy and I went back to the carpark and took a photograph.

Tournament’s entire argument for declining to waive their $65 fine for our having overstayed our  welcome by 6 minutes, or one minute if you take into account their 5-minute grace period, is that their Terms and Conditions are ‘clearly displayed’ on the carpark signage. They aren’t. They can only be read with extreme difficulty. That might well be sufficient to have a court throw out their argument.

So here are my conclusions:

*Tournament employs ‘parking officers’ to wait for clients to exceed their prepaid time by as little as one minute before they are issued with a parking infringement notice.

*Tournament claims that clients breaching their Terms and Conditions of Parking and Parking Rates will face a penalty of ‘up to $65’. It’s extremely likely that the penalty is always the full $65.

*Tournament can earn a minimum of twice and a maximum of 16 times as much from a parking fine as it does from parking charges. [For example, if you overstayed a half-hour park costing $4.]

*Though Tournament advises clients of their right to appeal a parking infringement notice, few if any such appeals are likely to be accepted.

*Tournament says its Terms and Conditions of Parking are ‘clearly displayed’ on its signage. In its Shortland Street building, they are not.

The public view of the private owners and operators of parking buildings and parking lots is regularly expressed in complaints to television programmes like Fair Go, Target, Campbell Live and to organisations like Consumer.  Rightly or wrongly, that view is that they exploit the serious lack of public parking in our major cities to fleece those who have little alternative but to use their services.

In general such complaints are a waste of time. The owners and operators of these facilities are inured to the public’s judgement of their business practices or morality. They’re making money and they don’t give a stuff.

I used to meet a guy on the Waiheke Ferry who was a senior executive with another large parking outfit. People were regularly telling him what thieving bastards he worked for. Their opinions rolled off him like water off a duck’s back. Funnily enough, that was the thing that disturbed me most about him.

Today, I read in the Herald that, more or less as our nice parking officer had said, Tournament’s assets have been sold to Southeast Asia’s biggest player, Wilson Parking. Will it make an iota of difference to the way they operate? I very much doubt it. These companies are all cut from the same cloth.

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60 Comments:

  1. Brian

    I relate to your parking horror story. I foolishly did what I was told at the Aotea carpark and took my ticket with me to pay at the machine when leaving. Of course, I lost the ticket and had to pay $40 for the privilege of having some nameless, faceless voice activate the gate for me.I always leave the ticket in the car now. Whenever I need to summon volcanic rage on stage, I recall this moment and am immediately transported thereto.

    As ever

    Simon

  2. I owned 3 car parks associated with my business premises at the Top of Symonds St. My car was removed from My park by a Tow truck who was contracted to Wilson Parking, who collected fees from adjoining spaces in the same building. I taxied to the Tow Company Premises, who I shall not name as I am not that Brave and I demanded my vehicle back. The snarling, smirking ( yes it is possible to do both at the same time) operator refused to acknowledge that I was in my Park. He also informed me that there were NO cameras in that area for me to prove my position. He extorted $250 from me for the 1km Tow and left me with no option but to pay and Flee. It was the Quintessential Shake down by Organised Crime.

  3. No sympathy here. Parking fee rorts have been going on for a very long time and most everyone is well aware that if you’re even 10 seconds late, you’ll get stung.

    The trick, therefore, is to get back on time and if you can’t, accept the fact that some bastard will rip you off.

    Another trick is to take personal responsibility for your belongings, and not blame someone else for your inability to keep your personal possessions under proper control, like the chap further up the page did.

    • I was once a fan of yours, Doug, but you appear to be turning into a smug authoritarian git. Maybe it’s the bow tie. Anyway, I don’t share your defeatist philosophy that we should learn to put up with ‘rorts, getting stung and being ripped off.’ We should do what I’ve done – protest loudly about these bastards, write to Fair Go, Target, John Campbell, Consumer, our local MP or any other person of influence and maybe do what I haven’t done, challenge them in court. As Edmund Burke observed: ‘All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

      On the other hand, you were perhaps being ironic, in which case I withdraw my first sentence.

      • 3.1.1

        Not being ironic, but I can’t see how the first sentence, or the second, advances your argument.

    • Doug, Brian isn’t look for “sympathy”. That’s your spin.

      Brian is pointing outwhat is happening in our society. If you’re not up to this, perhaps reading blogs (or media) is not your forte?

  4. If I am ever rich I have the fantasy about buying up old bangers without registering my name and address filling the petrol with sugar, the oil sump with sawdust, ruining the tyres and abandoning the vehicles in car parks owned by Wilson and tournament. I would aim for two a week at least and I might even employ students to help me boost the numbers.

    • 4.1

      A cheaper idea that would cost the villains far more if Brian is right about the economics would be simply to pay your students to monitor the car park and “feed the meters” of any cars that look like going over time.

      Tell the scum you will keep doing it until they cough.

      • They don’t really have ‘meters’ to feed in these buildings, Alan, but it was a generous thought.

        • 4.1.1.1

          Just buy another 15 minute ticket or whatever the scheme is there and photograph it on the car window. Costs you a dollar or two each but costs the villains $65.

          If you leave a note saying what you’ve done and why and you’ll probably get a heap of donations as well.

    • Wow, you really don’t like them, Ben! Good on you.

    • Ben – if ever you become our Prime Minister, I sincerely pray it’s for a centre-left guvmint.

  5. On a related issue, it’s interesting to note that the outside Menu Boards at takeaway places like McDonalds, Burger Kind, KFC, et al, are also is lettering that for older New Zealanders, is become problematic to read from a car.

    The font size is simply not big enough for eyes that are not as sharp as they once were.

    The first fast-food chain to address this problem (I Refuse to call it an “issue”) will have a whole lot more aging Bany Bookers through their drive throughs…

    [Doug need not reply. He may find this post disturbing to his upstanding sensibilities.]

  6. How about getting a rebate if you leave before your ticket expires?

  7. Some interesting if somewhat less than legal ideas, but at least someone’s been thinking about it….

    http://www.angelfire.com/in2/parking/

  8. I own a vacant site in ChCh, well there are lots of them now.
    It used to have a building on it.
    Recently I had an appointment and was running late so parked in the driveway of said property as there were about 40 or 50 cars parked
    on the land that ChCh city council charge a lot of rates for.
    When I got back from my appointment there was a note on my windscreen
    advising me that where I had parked was not a carpark (mind neither are the other spaces)
    Unfortunately they didn’t leave a phone no as I would have loved to
    have had the conversation.

  9. Overtime parking charges are really just a form of tax that those who have been granted permission to run a private parking facility have also been granted the right to charge. Unlike public car park owners, however, they are totally unaccountable for their predations. It’s the way we live now and in a curious way it mirrors the way corrupt governments were run in the eighteenth century. I share your annoyance Brian, but this particular Paris, I would have thought, isn’t really worth a mass. The only way to get around it is not to own a car (which I have not done for 37 years which I can do because I live in central Wellington). And just incidently not doing so saves me at a minimum ten thousand dollars a year which buys an awful lot of taxis. Owning cars is generally pretty silly in my book.

    PS: How about dinner again the next time I am in Auckland?

    • Dinner absolutely, Tony. But for anyone living in Auckland your advice on not owning a car really is a counsel of perfection.

  10. 10

    The, then, Rodney District Council once declared that there was no parking problem here in Warkworth. When they finally admitted there was, we thought, “Good, they’ll do something about it.”
    The “something” turned out to be a report by a firm of merchant bankers!!! recommending pay-and-display parking. The choice of authors for the report shows that easing parking problems was far from the first objective.
    There were hundreds of submissions about it and only one (from the CEO?) supported the idea.
    So we still have free parking in Warkworth although the parking wardens (I typed something else but then changed it) are frequently seen prowling round these days with their chalk tipped sticks. I have often thought that, although the sticks mean they don’t have to bend down, some aggrieved motorist might find some other, more appropriate, way for the wardens to use them.
    I’m so glad I don’t live in Auckland.

    • I was once invited to give a speech to the Parking Wardens Association who were holding their annual conference in Invercargill. In preparation I did quite a lot of research on the role of parking wardens in cities and large towns and on their lives. This changed my perspective on parking wardens entirely. They play a very important role in ensuring that when you and I are looking for a park, all the available parks haven’t been hogged by other selfish motorists overstaying the allowed parking time. And they generally assist with traffic flows and keeping traffic moving. Their lives are made an absolute misery through the abuse (often racist) which they endure from irate motorists. The average parking warden suffers two episodes of abuse every day. So I need to be clear that I’m not talking about parking wardens in this piece, but about the private operators, such as Tournament and Wilsons, who own and run carparks and parking buildings.

    • Whangarei District Council’s answer to a perceived parking problem is to reduce the number of parking spaces. This in a report that they produced a while back. They cribbed most of the stuff from an American professor of somehting or other (parking?’) in California. just l;ike too many council “reports” which never seem to relate to the local need.

  11. 11

    “They play a very important role in ensuring that when you and I are looking for a park, all the available parks haven’t been hogged by other selfish motorists overstaying the allowed parking time.”

    Really? So where do these “other selfish motorists” then park? I suspect the vast majority park in exactly the same places but are “taxed” for doing so and there is almost no consequential increase in available parks.

    Here is Russell the Far North District Council from time to time tries to send in parking wardens but everyone including the local business association oppose and prevent it. We want our tourists to have a lovely hassle-free holiday here. For us that far, far outweighs the mythical benefits of parking enforcement.

    • I don’t follow this argument at all. Most of us express annoyance when we can’t find a parking space. One reason for that is that motorists just like us exceed the maximum allowed parking time and hog the space. There are two possible answers to this: increase the number of parking spaces, which may well not be physically possible and, if it is, is likely to produce public complaint; or increase the number of parking wardens so that the hoggers are dissuaded from their selfishness by the certainty of punishment. This is also likely to lead to public complaint. So not an easy problem to solve.

      The best answer is to improve public transport to the point where it offers a frequent, reliable and pleasant option to taking your car into town.

      I can’t speak about Russell, though I know the town well, but its problems really can’t be compared to those of a city of 1.5 million people. And, unless I’m mistaken, your visitors aren’t driving cars or looking for car parks anyway.

      • 11.1.1

        To answer the last first, Russell’s population increases by a factor of 10 over summer. The vast majority of those come by car. Day trippers come across from Paihia by boat.

        I really don’t understand that you don’t understand! People don’t go to town so they can park. They go to town because they have to do something and it takes as long as it takes irrespective of the parking enforcement. Just like you. While they are there they have to park somewhere and they do.

        Parking enforcement may move them around a little depending on what alternatives there are, but the same number of people are in town doing their thing and parking while they do it.

        I’ll concede a significant difference in a small place like Russell. The business owners and their staff have a common, mutual interest in keeping space available outside their businesses so won’t clog them up with their own vehicles but will walk a bit further instead.

        • I’m sticking with improving public transport in Auckland as the most sensible option.

          As for such a beautiful place as Russell, I’m astonished that “the vast majority of visitors come over in their cars”. Or indeed that they’re allowed to come over in their cars. I assume that’s because of vested interests in ferrying them across. Think how much nicer the place would be without those cars and how much more tourists would enjoy the boat-ride across.

          As for Auckland, it’s only in parking buildings and some large carparks that people park all day. The vast majority of on-street parking is for one or two hours at most.

          • 11.1.1.1.1

            Cars are not really a problem here at all and they are necessary because most families have a heap of holiday stuff with them and many want to explore the rest of the Far North from their holiday base here too.

            • Alan, cars may not be a problem in Russell (yet) but they are now in Auckland, and growing in places like Whangarei. I would add though that the current parking infringement laws don’t really solve anything and are mainly punitive. Thats the sore point.

              BE has a point with supporting big city public transport as a panacea to parking hell. Private cars in big cities the world over are marginalised in favour of public transport.

              Public spaces that are currently used for parking in small towns like Russell are better left to flow naturally. And I agree with you that business owners in provincial areas are usually diligent in this regard.

              • 11.1.1.1.1.1.1

                I once tried to go to a seminar at Auckland Uni at 5:30pm. After managing to drive around the block which took about an hour I drove home. Obviously only those already at work and parked nearby were expected to attend.

                We left Auckland when it took an hour to drive from our home in Devonport to Takapuna. Now we have our life back.

                • 11.1.1.1.1.1.1.1

                  Yes, must have been very frustrating! An efficient public transport system most likely would have seen you attend that seminar. However it appears public transport is the mantra of the looney left. Reality is, the ‘free’ market place ideology doesn’t work in the best interests of all citizens.

                  Those ‘scum’ (as you called them)car park, free enterprise, entrepreneurs are typical examples of what the right term ‘private contractors’ and are regarded as right wing core support.

                  Vote Labour Alan, and keep the ‘scum’ out of Russell.

                • 11.1.1.1.1.1.1.2

                  @Kat, unfortunately it seems the scum are aided and abetted by courts which have allowed grossly excessive claims for “costs” but also by effective monopolies.

                  Public transport would have to be vastly improved to be useful. At that time it would have taken me half the morning to commute to work. I doubt it is ever going to be an option for more than a small fraction of Auckanders as there are too many stops required to cover the range of pickups and destinations.

                • Alan, your experience is actually an argument for either preventing people parking for long periods or increasing the number of available parking spaces or discouraging parking by encouraging people to use public transport. I’m for the last of these alternatives.

        • 11.1.1.2

          Russell: A place when two donkeys meet, there’s a traffic jam.

          • 11.1.1.2.1

            No donkeys, Ben. Lots of other wildlife though and people from every corner of the planet. If you really want to see donkeys you have to go across to Paihia and up the road to Lily Pond Farm.

            And I’m happy to say it’s a 75 minute drive to the nearest traffic light.

            • 11.1.1.2.1.1

              How far is it to the nearest parking warden, clamper or tow truck?

              • 11.1.1.2.1.1.1

                I’m guessing there may be parking wardens in Paihia in the summer. For the others you would have to go to Whangarei too – or possibly Kerikeri though I’ve not heard of them there.

    • 11.2

      You live in Russell, Alan? I grew up there.

      • 11.2.1

        Yes, we’ve lived here since 2000 and before that even more remotely for several years in Bland Bay. Russell’s a great place to be a kid.

        • 11.2.1.1

          My mother grew up there too, and we’d all agree it’s a great place for children. I left in ’93 as a young man, and I frequently wish that my own children could have the opportunity to live the lifestyle I did as a boy. However other factors prevail, such as the need to work and earn a half-decent living. For your interest, my childhood home is the second on the left after you turn right into Little Queen Street at the base of Flagstaff Hill. It has a tall white chimney. It looked very different in the 70s, but I knocked on the door in 2012 and introduced myself to the present owners, and discovered that much of the interior was still recognisable. It was an emotional moment that brought memories flooding back. There’s always a pull toward the place you spent your childhood, and although I return very infrequently to Russell now, I still think of it as home. The Russell Museum holds what they call the “Loveridge Collection”, a store room repository of antique clocks, ships’ bells, lanterns and other maritime paraphernalia that my paternal grandfather donated in 1975.

  12. By the way, the commerce commission is now investigating whether the buy-out of TP(NZ owned) by Wilson(Asia) will be anti competitive or not. The commerce commission is wanting submissions. Any bets on Winston Peters making one!!

  13. I recently got handed a $40 fine for being in my car in Elliot Street for 5 minutes, whilst I waited for my mother. I asked the Parking Officer why he didn’t just tell me to move. He replied that “it wasn’t his job”.
    I had to pay it as I got the stock standard letter back.

    My habit, when I do get the occasional fine, is to pay it in coins; it was better years ago when you had 1c, 2c and 5c pieces. Just used to bung $60 0f mixed coins together, but leave out one, so they have to do a recount. Don’t make it easy for them. Pay by cheque so they have to go and find a bank.

    Tournament is a rip off. I parked at the top of that scummy one behind the Langham Hotel. Then I had to find a machine, but it was on the next floor down. So you wait to get into that horrible lift down to the ticket machine, then spend ages working how to use it. Then it wants you to enter your rego number, for Pete’s sake. I couldn’t remember mine, cos I’d only just got my car, so I made one up. Then I had to go up the lift again and put the ticket inside the car. And then finally I could leave.

    Luckily no one was checking that day as I would probably have got a fine for having the wrong rego. What a pathetic system. I hate going to the city now.

    I got my car towed once from the Victoria Street carpark because I had parked in a reserved space, that I didn’t know about. Another time I got towed from that one behind the Town Hall because my time had expired. Crying in the towies office doesn’t help you get off either.

    Then I got clamped while on Jury Duty at Manukau City by those rogue thugs that hang around there. I got out of that one by going to the Westfield Management Office and telling them that I would never set foot in their Shopping Centre ever again.

    Sorry for the rant, but it makes me angry as parking a car is such a victimless “crime” and incurs such steep fees.

    • Blimey, you sound like a serial offender. To paraphrase from the Importance of Being Earnest:

      “To be fined once may be regarded as a misfortune; to be fined four times looks like carelessness.”

    • 13.2

      I got a ticket once in Auckland City taking some family visitors to the Maritime Museum on a Sunday and after I’d just spent $1500 in town. I told the Gestapo I’d never shop in the city again, copied it to the city business association and never did shop there again. The signage I didn’t see was high up a lamp post.

    • I suppose they want your rego so if you finish your business early you can’t gift the remaining 40 minutes on your prepaid ticket to the old dear in the Morris Minor? And I thought the Council was investigating meters which zero themselves when you drive off the kerbside site you’ve rented for an hour – same thing I guess.

      Bastards, every one of ‘em. A pox on their houses.

    • Don’t apologise for your rant, Susan. It makes the rest of us feel justified in our dislike of these exploiters.

  14. Reading the Miami Herald I spied outrage at another parking scam. Basically, a private off-street car park operator hid his ticket machine in a dark corner of his car parking lot, whilst not making it clear the car park was private. People got out of their cars, looked around, saw the prominently positioned Miami-Dade public street parking ticket machine on the footpath and got their ticket there. Within minutes, a tow-truck company would then whisk their car away and they would have to pay 300+ dollars to get their car released.

    The tow-truck company was, of course, owned by the same guy who owned the parking lot.

    • You might be interested to know that we spend quite a lot of time at the Shortland Street Tournament Parking Building explaining to mystified people just how to operate the pre-pay machine at the entrance.

  15. To:
    Marcus Baker, Enforcement Administration,
    Carpark Monitoring Services

    Dear Marcus

    Thank you for letter sympathizing with my position in this case, and inviting me to send the $65 within 14 days or face the consequences.

    I am returning your letter to accompany the fine [enclosed herewith]. You will note that I have taken the trouble of rolling it up tightly.

    That will make it easier for you to stick it up your khyber.

    Cordially

    Brian

  16. Greed is Good! Yeah right.

  17. I experienced the same problem with Wilson’s on Princes Wharf. I remember at the time an item on Fair Go I think where the courts had ruled that they could only charge you the time you were over. My fine was $100.
    A backwards and forwards letter exchanged quoting the case in question (sorry I can’t remember which one) and they finally relented and let me off the whole lot.

    I was also fined at the carpark in Ascot when I had been transferred by ambulance to Auckland. My rego was on the do not tow or fine list but they did it anyway. Another letter and I was let off (for obviously good reason) but the sanctimonious you shouldn’t have left your car and don’t do it again had my blood boiling.

    I make a point of parking in council car parks when I can because if you are late the fines are much lighter.

  18. Ironically Tournament Parking is owned by two young guys who could never find a park while attending Auckland University. Spying a piece of unused land they badgered the owner who finally allowed them to ‘manage’ the site on a rental basis. Fourteen years later they have become very successful businessmen.

    However it is too easy to brand them as cold hearted rip off merchants. They are in business. Parking is a supply and demand equation. If you don’t want to pay don’t park there. They also have to pay rental on their sites, wages, administrative overheads and suffer a level of vandalism to expensive ticket machines.

    An idea I’ve seen overseas that uses a ‘Telecom’ style $50.00 card that could be used in any car park would solve many of these issues.

  19. Sadly, Tournament Parking and Wilsons can behave in a cavalier manner, impervious to public indignation, because they function as a duopoly. Besides, as a motorist, you’re not going to place yourself in an inconvenience to search out another parking facility to avoid one that is closest to your intended destination. These two companies know that.

  20. ‘Tournament allows a grace period of five minutes, so we’d exceeded our permitted parking time by one minute. The parking fine, which Tournament euphemistically call a ‘notice’, was $65.’

    Just goes to show that the operator gains no good will by having a grace period, so they might wonder why they bother.

  21. shreyas: Here’s the reply I got from NZCMS after I offered to pay the 50c transaction fee in good faith. “Unfortunately we will be unable to accept the 0.50cents as full payment as it is your responsibility to check your ticket, the machine does automatically add on the credit card transaction fee which in turn means that you have not entered the correct amount to cover the time you wished to park in our carpark.” This would seem to be quite wrong. The system does not add the transaction fee, it SUBTRACTS it. It does not take the amount entered, and add 50c, it takes the amount entered and after having subtracted the transaction fee, calculates the parking time available. This just compounds the egregious blunder made in their first response. They state both that “you did not make the payment of the 50c credit card transaction fee”, and “the $65 is not related to the 8 minutes parked overtime…”. If you did not pay the transaction fee, then you were not parked over time as you had paid $8 in order to park 12 hours (but no transaction fee). If you were parked 8 minutes over time, then you DID pay the transaction fee. They can’t have it both ways. If they themselves cannot understand and explain how their systems work in a consistent way, how are the public expected to cope?

  22. I found the last carkpark in the tournament carpark LeftBank in Wellington and because the car beside this car had already parted over the line, I had to as well. I was fined for parking over the park. When I tried to explain this to the people at Tournament they couldn’t give a damn.. the customer is just a wallet! I’ve stopped parking there and advise everyone to stay away – also, their parking ap doesn’t automatically update,so beware that they’re offering a shit service!