B.C. man takes on private parking company over unfair ticket

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: B.C. man claims he was unfairly ticketed at private parking lot'
Consumer Matters: B.C. man claims he was unfairly ticketed at private parking lot
Anne Drewa reports on the case of a B.C. man who says he was at the Wendys on Cambie Street in Vancouver but returned to his vehicle to find a ticket. The parking lot is controlled by Diamond Parking, a private company. We look at what the consumer options are when this happens – Jan 10, 2024

A B.C. driver is sharing his frustration after receiving a parking ticket he says he didn’t deserve.

“Morally and ethically I don’t believe I should pay this,” Eric Findlay told Consumer Matters.

Back in December, Findlay visited a fast food restaurant in Vancouver and parked his vehicle at the private lot managed by Diamond Parking. The parking rules are posted outside the restaurant indicating anyone leaving the property without their vehicle will be ticketed or towed at the owner’s expense.

Findlay says he was aware of the rules and had dinner with his family at the restaurant. However, when he returned to his car he discovered a parking ticket on his windshield. “We were all surprised because I had only been to Wendy’s,” said Findlay.

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: Parking ticket dispute battle'
Consumer Matters: Parking ticket dispute battle

The Vancouver resident was hit with a $86.50 parking violation for leaving the property.

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“The ticket said the attendant saw me leave from my vehicle to go to Home Depot and watch me go across the street to the Home Depot,” said Findlay.

Findlay says he believes the attendant made a mistake and an unfair parking ticket was issued by Diamond Parking. He filed an appeal with the company, submitting his restaurant receipt and contact numbers of family members who were with him the night he was ticketed. Still, Findlay’s appeal was denied.

“It kind of feels like they have you over a barrel,” he said.

Consumer Matters contacted Diamond Parking on Findlay’s behalf and his parking ticket was immediately cancelled. In an email to Consumer Matters Diamond vice president of operations, Mike Poirier stated:

“Once we can establish the customer provided an economic benefit to our client then it makes sense to cancel the notice. Please let Eric know the matter has been settled on our end.”

Click to play video: 'Vancouver man fights $3,000 parking ticket'
Vancouver man fights $3,000 parking ticket

Vancouver-based lawyer Kyla Lee says when it comes to private parking companies customers have few rights.

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“With these private parking companies unfortunately effectively it is the wild wild west. They get to do what they want with their private property and the people who are parking there naively are the ones who end up paying the consequences,” said Lee of Acumen Law Corporation.

Lee also says if people feel they are being treated unfairly by private parking companies contact their MLA and ask for more regulations around the sale of private parking services to make it more fair.

“I think it’s something that the government could easily legislate on and could create legislation that gave people a proper review process in situations where they felt they’ve been wronged,” she said.

Findlay says while he’s happy his ticket has been cancelled he would like to see change when it comes to the resolution process with private parking companies like Diamond.

“I would like to see more improvements in listening to the consumer and hearing their side of the story,” Findlay said.

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