At Wilson Parking you pay even if you don’t park!!
Yesterday I attended a conference at The Pullman Hotel in Auckland. I arrived at around 9:40 am and went into the Wilson Car Park beneath the hotel. There were a number of parks available, however they were limited to 4 hours, others were unavailable because they were private parking spots. I needed a public space for about 6 or 7 hours! I drove to each level seeking an appropriate parking bay, there were however no parks available. I drove to the exit and found someone trying unsuccessfully to exit. The person put their car into reverse and I turned into a private bay to let them get out of the way. The person did not look happy. I proceeded to the exit and inserted my card. To my dismay the machine rejected my card saying that $3.00 was payable before I could exit. I established that the person before me had the exact same experience. Whilst we compared notes a third driver attempted to exit the car park, to no avail! We decided to go up and speak to the car park attendant only to discover the office has long been closed and therefore the only way out of the building was to pay $3.00.
All three of us paid $3.00. All three of us were in the building searching of parking! There was none. Not one of us used the facility except to search for parking. I have no problem with paying for parking, I do have a problem paying for a product or service that I did not consume! This is a terrible abuse of power. With the threat of being towed away sitting in every vacant park, there is no option but to leave the building – Wilson makes you pay to leave!
I can afford to lose $3.00. I have no desire to receive my three dollars back! I do have a desire to say that I found this experience to be a total contradiction from the words on their website:
“At Wilson Parking, we’re highly focused on providing the best possible parking experience for our customers.” Three people paid three dollars each for nothing! None of us consumed a service! We did not park, yet we were forced to pay for parking. This is reprehensible. Wilson Parking will tell me that I exceeded the time limit exit! I was in their building for less than 10 minutes! The barrier arm is appropriately labelled with the threat of prosecution for damaging it! I understand why!
My response….no matter how difficult this gets; I will never park in a Wilson Parking garage again. Yesterday Wilson Parking earned nine thoroughly undeserved dollars. I wonder how many other people had to pay for a service not consumed at Wilson Parking garages?
Of course this may be strategic, how many people can be bothered about complaining about $3.00!