Update 8 February 2010: more mainstream media attention on the ANCP bullies.
Update 14 August 2008: The Consumer Action Law Centre are to take ANCP to VCAT over this ongoing issue of fines being issued for free parking. I hope ANCP gets kicked to the curb and covered in shit in the gutter where it belongs. I hope they go out of business. The local councils also need to resume responibility for the carparks.
Earlier this month I wrote about being the victim of attempted corporate extortion by Australian National Car Parks Pty Ltd (ANCP). Today I have received a letter from them backing down and withdrawing their illegal threats. Justice has been done. I called the bully’s bluff and the bully crawled back into the gutter it came from.
ANCP try to ‘fine’ people who forget to get a ticket for ‘free’ parking. They have no authority to issue real fines so they claim to have been commercially damaged and threaten to take people to court to recover alleged ‘damages’ unless they make a ‘payment’. I sent them a fax explaining that I had forgotten to get a ticket and had no intention of breaking their rules, then another using legal advice and form letter provided the Consumer Action Law Centre. They responded by demanding payment again.
I faxed them again stating that I refused to pay and explained that it seemed they had no legal grounds to claim damages from me. They offered free parking and that is what I received. They lost nothing but my respect. I basically called their bluff and invited them to take me to court. They lost the debate and withdrew their threats. I posted my story to the forum so hopefully other people will also find the courage to resist.
I never give in to bullies. Their threats scare most people, but most people are scared of the law and are fearful of conflict. 30 minutes reading convinced me that the law was on my side, and my capacity for conflict is greater than that of most bullies, who cannot cope with assertive responses. They expect meek submission from frightened sheep. In the face of righteous indignation and malignant fury they collapse under the weight of their own stupidity. My boycott of Barkly Square will continue until they cancel ANCP’s contract. This is the price of their betrayal of their customers.