A pair of Aucklanders are fuming after a parking folly left them $760 poorer.

Sharn and Jamie Phillips are the latest victims of the director of Bashford Antiques in Ponsonby, who have a habit of clamping cars that use the store's parking outside of business hours.

The pair headed into Ponsonby with another couple on Sunday night, planning on dining at Italian restaurant Pane & Vino.

Sharn dropped Jamie and their friends off at the restaurant and headed off to park.


The spot she found was in front of Bashford Antiques. There was signage warning against parking there, but Sharn assumed she'd be in the clear because it was after business hours.

"She felt slightly uneasy, so after about 15 minutes she went out and moved it", Jamie said.

That was when she found their wheel had been clamped.

Sharn went back inside to get Jamie and while the pair were standing in the car park the store's director - Michael Organ - appeared.

What ensued, Jamie said, was Organ's in-depth explanation of what they had done wrong by parking there and why they had to pay to have the clamp removed.

Organ wanted a fee of $380 - but somewhere in the midst of this discussion this amount doubled to $760. This apparently was because Sharn had parked across two spaces.

"You're parked across two car parks, the signage is very clear", Organ said.

Despite this explanation, there were no lines to mark set parking spots on the property, he said.


At a loss, Jamie called the police, then they went across the road to the Z petrol station to get a coffee while they waited.

"Michael stormed over to the petrol station, came in and started abusing the attendant", Jamie said.

Organ told the attendant he had no right to "interfere in our lawful activity". ​

The saga had gone on for about an hour by the time the police turned up.

After talking to Organ, the officer told Jamie the only way he was going to get his car back was if he paid up.

Sharn walked up the road to get out the money and the police officer then removed the clamp from the couple's car.

"At this point, Michael told us that if there was any damage to his clamp, we had to pay extra", Jamie said.

Regarding the hefty clamping bill, a police spokesperson said the issue is a civil matter rather than a police one.

Jamie said he wanted to raise awareness about what the director of Bashford Antiques was doing.

"If he did this to someone else that didn't have any money, it could have a serious impact on their life."

A spokesperson from Bashford Antiques said Organ did not want to comment on the incident.