Clamped in my own parking space - rental car

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pinkie123

Frequent Poster
Hi, we have permit parking in our estate which was brought in to deal with residents who weren't paying their management fees - which is fine. When you pay you are given 2 permits with the vehicle reg on them. Last week my car had an engine fault and was towed to the garage. I did without the car for a few days then rented one as I needed to travel for work. I got home around 11pm after a long drive and didn't even think of the clamping. So yes sure enough went to go to work next morning and I was clamped. I pay my fees, I just forgot about sending a text with the rental car reg on it. Management company says appeal has to go through the clamping company and just didn't want to know. I had to pay to get the clamp released - which took 2 hours! €125 on top of what it cost to get my car fixed. Would I be better of issueing a chargeback on the credit card payment rather than appeal? Or take that amount off the next management fee? I am here 11 years and have always paid my management fees even when nobody else seemed to be - hence the clamping.
 

Palerider

Frequent Poster
Tricky one, await the appeal and take a breather, the clamping was legitimate, the chargeback is not legitimate, if you remain calm you might get a refund or request a partial refund, the cost of your car repair is not the issue here.
 

RedOnion

Frequent Poster
Would I be better of issueing a chargeback on the credit card payment rather than appeal?
I'm pretty sure clamping companies are used to this. If you put through a chargeback, and they'll immediately dispute it, and the money will go out of your account again.
 

Bronte

Frequent Poster
You should have put up a notice in the car that it was a replacement vehicle at the very least, with your actual reg number and phone no.

The management company have zero to do with this, can’t believe you’re even thinking of deducting the cost of your error on them.

The clampers have a job to do, it costs them to clamp. They make money from the fees. Someone had to check the car park, clamp your car, then send someone to unclamp you. All that costs money.
 

odyssey06

Frequent Poster
The management compay should have a process in place with the clamping company for this kind of scenario am sure you're not the first person who has had to get a replacement car at short notice due to crash \ mechanical etc.
 

Bronte

Frequent Poster
The management compay should have a process in place with the clamping company for this kind of scenario am sure you're not the first person who has had to get a replacement car at short notice due to crash \ mechanical etc.
The OP said she could have sent a text. But she forgot.
 

Itchy

Frequent Poster
@pinkie123 Unfortunate situation, you wont be seeing your money back. If that appeals process is the same one as I think it is, it is financed and jointly run by all the private clamping companies. There is no incentive to act with any sort of reasonableness. They get to pocket the fine and there is no kick back form the management company, as you've seen.

You should have put up a notice in the car that it was a replacement vehicle at the very least, with your actual reg number and phone no.

The management company have zero to do with this, can’t believe you’re even thinking of deducting the cost of your error on them.

The clampers have a job to do, it costs them to clamp. They make money from the fees. Someone had to check the car park, clamp your car, then send someone to unclamp you. All that costs money.
I think Bronte's attitude is overly harsh towards you.
1. The clampers are contracted by the management company to supervise the parking area. So they are paid already to patrol it.
2. You pay for the clamping contract already through your management fee.
3. The aim of the clamping contract is to ensure everyone parks where they are supposed to. You were parked in your own space and not causing any other obstruction (according to you). The only benefit that accrued from clamping you was to the clampers, not to the residents who hire the clampers.
4. The clampers are incentivised to clamp as it is extra revenue for them.

On balance you, should have sent the text. You got clamped (correctly) as it was an unidentified car in your space. In my view, the reasonable thing, on establishing the facts would have been to release you without the fine and might charge you for the diesel to get out to you (!). €125 for "your error" is harsh.
 

Gordon Gekko

Frequent Poster
The €125 fine is bona fide. There’s a mechanism (e.g. texting) and you neglected to avail of it. Pay it and move on.
 

Bronte

Frequent Poster
Itchy I’m not trying to be harsh, there’s no point pretending she’s hard done by. Nor implying she’s already paid the clamping company via the management fee. Clearly sending out a man twice costs the clamping company, the campers need the release fee as part of their business in order to make money. The contract with the management company will reflect that in its price.

I did not see why the man who came out to unclamp the car, his time, which costs the clamping company, should be merely entitled to ‘diesel’ that ridiculous.
 

pinkie123

Frequent Poster
The OP said she could have sent a text. But she forgot.
Yes I did forget. In fact I never even thought of it. I have never seen anyone clamped in the estate except for abandoned cars - and some of them are sitting there clamped for months. Thanks for the harsh words Bronte - if only we all were as mistake free as you.
It seems the clampers are 'ramping up' their presence in the estate and not at the request of the management company, as the parking permits did their job - they were brought in to make people pay their management fees and not to make sure people parked correctly - there are no allocated spaces in the estate. I agree with the poster that a there some be some leeway for a mistake such as mine. Someone who has paid their fees for 11 years should not be clamped IMO. In the AGM it was always stressed this was brought in for non payment of management fees - not to control parking in the estate.
 

Leo

Moderator
Thanks for the harsh words Bronte - if only we all were as mistake free as you.
I don't see anything harsh here, Bronte has just stated fact. You may not like it, but that is the case. I assume you wanted honest feedback to your question and were not simply seeking posters to empathise and agree you were hard done by?

If you feel the clamping procedures need to be adjusted, then as a member of the management company, you need to raise this at the AGM. Note however that if additional procedures need to be put in place the cover the scenario where a resident fails to follow what seems like a reasonable process for dealing with such a scenario, then service costs are likely to rise. If a sufficient majority of owners approve of such additional measures and costs, then you'll have your way.
 

so-crates

Frequent Poster
I have disputed a clamping and was unclamped free of charge. However in that case, I was able to categorically show that the clamper was in error. In this case, the clamper is not in error, the fault lies (unfortunately) with the OP's oversight in terms of providing clear notification that they were parking a different car in their spot. Lady Luck wasn't in their favour and they ran afoul. The clamper cannot be expected to infer that there was a valid reason for the car to be there, they can only work on the information they have so they have clamped according to the managing company policy and unclamped when requested according to their stated policy. The managing company cannot be expected to reimburse the OP because the OP had not told them anything either and they did not park the car in the spot. The responsibility lies with the OP alone, it isn't a case of whether or not they have paid their managing fees, it is a case of whether or not they have taken the basic step of informing the correct person that they were parking a different car in their own spot.

On other occasions I have been clamped because of my own mistakes and had to pay, I call it a stupidity tax, as there is no-one else to blame but my own stupidity for not doing what I should have done.

Deciding that you should get a free pass on the rules just because it is you is rather unfair on the other residents who are all subject to the same policy. Deciding that you should unilaterally deduct the fine from your fees because you didn't do what you were supposed to do (for whatever reason, thoughtlessness, tiredness, ignorance) is not fair and will mean that you end up in dispute with your managing company over fees owed. Neither they nor the clampers have done anything wrong or unreasonable. It's time to take responsibility for your own (in)action.
 

pinkie123

Frequent Poster
I actually am surprised at the replies here - taking my morality into question? When this site advocates switching mortgages and pocketing 10s of thousands in the process - pats on the back there. And who will pay for this in the long run - not the banks but the customers not 'clever' enough to jump on this bandwagon.
To add a human element to the clamping - I had only the day before been given a 4K bill to fix my car - one thats just out of warranty, but has known dpf issues in the engine.
To come out of my house and see I had to pay another €125 to clampers was the last straw and I actually just sat on my step and cried. It was my neighbours who told me to appeal actually.
And I don't see how allowing a 'grace period' of e.g. 8 hours would cost the residents any more to allow for people forgetting to register other cars or register a visitor to their house. As I have repeated several times the clamping was brought in for non payment of management fees not to control parking. There is no issue with outsiders parking in the estate, the estate is pretty rural with very bad public transport. I was clamped within 3 hours.
 

Bronte

Frequent Poster
On other occasions I have been clamped because of my own mistakes and had to pay, I call it a stupidity tax, as there is no-one else to blame but my own stupidity for not doing what I should have done.
And the OP thought I was harsh! LOL. Brilliant post by the way. I've been clamped, who hasn't. And it was entirely my own stupidity. As it was only new in Ireland, back in the day, I managed to cajole the clamper to take half. Fingers crossed, never been clamped since. Because of that life experience, and many others, I double check what the rules are on every street I dare to park in. You can get caught out on the continent by things like markets, parking permits, language, side of the road, Italian Sunday requirement payment etc etc etc.

Henceforth I shall call it a stupidity tax.
 
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pinkie123

Frequent Poster
I've been clamped,


And the OP thought I was harsh! LOL. Brilliant post by the way. I've been clamped, who hasn't. And it was entirely my own stupidity. As it was only new in Ireland, back in the day, I managed to cajole the clamper to take half. Fingers crossed, never been clamped since. Because of that life experience, and many others, I double check what the rules are on every street I dare to park in. You can get caught out on the continent by things like markets, parking permits, language, side of the road, Italian Sunday requirement payment etc etc etc.

Henceforth I shall call it a stupidity tax.
So you are calling me stupid?
 

Bronte

Frequent Poster
As per your pm to me, here is my reply to that and to you:

I'm not talking about you at all. I'm talking about myself. As was socrates. I've done plenty stupid things. Including getting clamped. As per my post.

Edit:

Clue
I've been clamped, who hasn't. And it was entirely my own stupidity.
 
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