Angry father has $300 bill for damaging wheel clamp

By Mathew Dearnaley

Jonathan Macdonald kicked the clamp off his car. Photo / Greg Bowker
Jonathan Macdonald kicked the clamp off his car. Photo / Greg Bowker

Paying $190 a month for a parking space did not exempt Jonathan Macdonald from finding his car clamped as he rushed to meet teachers at his son's school.

The Newmarket pharmacist says he kicked the clamp off his Mercedes to get to the parent-teacher interview in time, but now faces a $300 bill for damage to the device.

Mr Macdonald, who spoke to the Herald after reading about another wheel-clamping case involving Tournament Parking, says his action followed frustration at being told by the same company it could not remove the clamp until the next morning.

Tournament Parking representatives did not reply to Herald phone messages and an email.

The company is one of five signatories to a voluntary code of conduct for wheel clamping on private land.

Mr Macdonald said it was "surprisingly easy" to kick off the clamp.

He said the company claimed he had parked in an area of the company's Rialto building reserved for disabled drivers, but he had photographic evidence to the contrary, showing he was in a space covered by his monthly fee.

Despite that, he acknowledged part of his car might have been "a few centimetres" outside his general parking space.

"I think I had one wheel over the edge of the line, and that's when they put the clamp on."

But Mr Macdonald considers the company unduly punitive.

"I cannot believe the way they have treated a long-term customer who has not missed a payment for 18 years."

A parking officer said nobody would be available to comment on Mr Macdonald's case until after the weekend.

He could not explain why Mr Macdonald's car was immobilised, but confirmed $300 was the standard fee for damaging a clamp.

- NZ Herald

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