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Clamping down on a pensioner's finances
Clampers are not liked at the best of times but we came across a story last week that, we think, highlights some companies’ meanness and intransigence.
Nuala Green (75) goes to an art class in Terenure every Tuesday. Each time she pays her parking fee, just as she did on September 27th.
When she got back to her car she was horrified to see that it had been clamped.
She saw that her parking stub had flipped over so the date and time were not visible. “It was a wet and windy day and it must have blown over as I was closing my door,” she says.
She called the clamping company, NCPS, and explained.
Minutes later a clamping van arrived and the driver said he would only remove the clamp if she paid €130. She pointed out that this was more than half her weekly pension and showed the NCPS employee her ticket – which was still valid. He was not for turning and said it was not his problem as he was about to finish work and she could call someone else if she wanted.
“I was standing in the rain and had no choice but to pay. I was crying as I gave him the fine,” she says.
She contacted the company who said she could appeal. So she did but it was rejected. She was told she could appeal again but it would cost her another €20 and “as the appeal is being heard by the same people who clamped me I doubt I will get any justice”.
We contacted the firm which agreed to give Ms Green a full refund without admitting any wrong-doing.
Another reader, Lynda, contacted us about the same company. “Do you have any names in clamperland where I can actually write to a human as opposed to a title?” she asks. “It’s like the secret service; they won’t tell you anything.”
Lynda got clamped and charged €120 plus €5 for using a card “which is a disgrace”. She appealed but heard nothing back so called them and “asked a few questions the operator didn’t like. He hung up and 20 minutes later my appeal was declined. In your experience, is it worth making the second appeal ?”
Shoe shop manager responds to medical issue with soul
Mary Rafferty has two good-news stories. “After surgery to repair a broken hip, my elderly father needed new shoes to accommodate swollen feet,” she writes. “As he was still in hospital, my brother and I went to get some new shoes.”
The siblings could buy only on the basis that they could return any shoes that were not suitable. Having identified several pairs in Phelan’s in Waterford they were told “only one pair could be bought and returned as ‘the system would not allow’ multiple pairs to be purchased and returned”.