Consumer Action Law Centre has initiated legal action on behalf of Mr Gary Tan against Care Park, a private car park operator. The action seeks to challenge a charge imposed on him at Springvale Shopping Centre last year.
Consumer Action solicitor, Tom Willcox, said that his client, Mr Gary Tan, alleges that he was unaware he had parked in a Care Park carpark due to inadequate signage.
‘Mr Tan was stunned when he received a demand for $88 in the mail after parking at the Springvale Shopping Centre,’ Mr Willcox said.
‘He did not receive a parking ticket on the day so this large demand for payment came as a shock.’
‘There are council parking bays which have free parking with time limits of 1-2 hours next to the Care Park area, so Mr Tan believed he was parking in a free space when he parked on the ground level of the shopping centre for an hour.’
‘Due to the inadequate signage at the time, he still doesn’t know if he actually parked in the Care Park area or not.’
Mr Willcox said that the demand of $88 for failing to display a valid parking ticket was grossly disproportionate to any loss Care Park might have suffered through his client not obtaining a ticket, especially as even now they only charge 80c an hour for parking in the area.
‘It is hard to see how it cost Care Park $88 simply because our client didn’t display a ticket for one hour in a cheap, if not free, car park,’ said Mr Willcox.
‘To add insult to injury he received a second letter from Care Park demanding a further $77 in legal costs, leaving a total amount payable of $165.’
‘Private car parks such as Care Park must have adequate signage and clearly displayed terms and conditions for their customers. It is not acceptable to surprise someone by sending them a nasty demand for a parking breach they are unaware of in the mail.’