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Late fees for parking fines not justfied

By 21 August 2014 10

parking-fine-stock

It is interesting that we are attacking the banks and now the telcos over late payment fees when our own local government can be included.

I deservedly incurred a parking fine of $91 and forgot to pay it on time. For my troubles I am hit by an administrative charge of $34. This is over 33% penalty.

The Gov website says:

“If full payment of the penalty, or an application to dispute liability for the infringement, or an application for an extension of time to pay/dispute liability for the infringement is not received within 28 days from the date of service, a reminder notice will be issued for payment of the penalty plus an administrative charge.”

So is this a fair and reasonable charge to cover “administrative costs”?  I feel the ACT govt is no better than the banks or telcos.

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10 Responses to Late fees for parking fines not justfied
#1
davo1019:41 am, 21 Aug 14

There is a fundamental difference. Governments can impose penalties so there is no reason why the administrative charge should be “fair and reasonable”. As I see it:

1. Don’t park illegally.
2. If you do and get caught then pay the fine.
3. If you don’t pay the fine on time then it’s time to apply rule number five, pay up, then go to step 1.

#2
Milo1110:24 am, 21 Aug 14

Pay your fine on time and you won’t have to worry about paying an administrative charge at all, or better yet don’t park illegally and you wont even have to pay a fine.

#3
Maya12310:45 am, 21 Aug 14

Pay it when you receive the fine, etc, then you won’t ‘forget’.

#4
astrojax12:42 pm, 21 Aug 14

while i understand [and agree with] the comments, the op has a point – why should the gov’t be able to arbitarily impose this added cost while businesses [presumably - i guess we'll see when the class action is resolved] can not?

and the other point is the extent of the added cost – 33% does seem exhorbitant. perhaps a nominal amount might be more acceptable – especially given that aggravated non-payment would come with the big hit, removal of privilege to drive.

#5
justonevoice1:26 pm, 21 Aug 14

So I am guessing by some of the comments, that you have never been late in paying anything whether by accident or intentional. Well done but things happen and that I am sure does not represent most of us. As I said I deserved the fine and have no problem with that. I just stuffed up in paying it on time.
Remember we are heavy on private enterprise for these type of charges, so why do we lay down and accept our own government to do the same.

#6
Tooks4:31 pm, 21 Aug 14

justonevoice said :

So I am guessing by some of the comments, that you have never been late in paying anything whether by accident or intentional. Well done but things happen and that I am sure does not represent most of us. As I said I deserved the fine and have no problem with that. I just stuffed up in paying it on time.
Remember we are heavy on private enterprise for these type of charges, so why do we lay down and accept our own government to do the same.

I’ve had parking fines and forgotten to pay them on time. I incurred the same admin fee. I deserved it. I paid it. I moved on and suggest you do the same. Life’s too short to worry about stuff like this.

#7
watto234:37 pm, 21 Aug 14

It sounds excessive to me. As a long time Telstra customer, i paid my phone bill late for the first time last November by a day. I was overseas, I tried to plan in advance all the bills, but obviously this one was missed.
Anyway I was kind of p%ssed with Telstra because i paid it sooo late they didn’t even have time to issue me an overdue bill or email (which according to friends is issued including the $15 overdue fee), but they just tacked the late fee on next months bill. Clearly the billing system is pretty automated so they will be paying me back most of that I feel.

Look you should never occur fines or pay bills late, but after 20 odd years of being a Telstra customer with never paying a bill late, I’d expect something for my loyalty. Shame Optus and Vodaphone are no better though.

I’d be all in favour of higher parking fines and smaller overdue bill fees.

#8
gazket4:53 pm, 21 Aug 14

they should offer a discount if you pay a fine early.

#9
justonevoice5:36 pm, 21 Aug 14

I thought in light of my questioning I would see what the govt comes back with. I must say it is interesting considering most of this is automated by computer and would involve very little hands on. Also why are those late paying responsible for those that dont pay at all?

At the end of the day it is a minor matter, I was just raising the comparison to what we are targeting business for and what our own government does.

Official response from ACT Governement:

The $34 administrative fee is designed to cover staff, computer and follow-up costs associated with serving a reminder notice. The fee also covers costs associated with the fine default process for those people who fail to pay parking fines. The actual printing and posting of a reminder notice is only one part of a complex process to ensure that people pay fines.

#10
HiddenDragon5:48 pm, 21 Aug 14

I was thinking similar thoughts (about the comparison with the big bad banks) when I was recovering from this year’s annual rates notice – 3% discount for payment in full (certainly better than nothing), but 10.69% p.a. interest on amounts that remain unpaid on the 16th day of the relevant month.

Spruikers for debt-funded government spending – sorry, I mean government investment – are fond of pointing out that interest rates are at record lows so why not spend up, which begs the question of why a rate of something like 3 times what the government pays for its borrowings has to be charged as a penalty (rhetorical question, I know the answer – “because they can”).

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