‘An Irish Solution’


Red Cow Luas car park

I had my car clamped at the Red Cow Luas stop on Tuesday. In the process of buying one parking ticket and one tram ticket, I omitted a digit of my car’s number plate.

Luckily for me, when I returned to the Red Cow and found my car clamped, an employee of the clamping company helped me pay the fine by credit card.

I appealed the charge by attaching a photo of the tickets and sending them to the company by email.

The next day I received a letter informing me that my appeal to cancel the charge was rejected. The bureaucratic pettiness, and the injustice of this decision – I proved that I had paid for a parking ticket, which the clamping company did not deny – is an extraordinary indictment of the culture of this organisation.

How many people have had their vehicle clamped and been financially penalised because they omitted a number or letter while buying a ticket?

And why is the method of buying a parking ticket so convoluted?

It’s an Irish solution to an Irish problem – make everything as complicated as possible and then fine someone for failing to get the process exactly right.

Declan Mansfield,
Western Australia.


Clamping at the Red Cow Luas station (Irish Times letters page)

Pic: Flickr

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39 thoughts on “‘An Irish Solution’

  1. Owen C

    “And why is the method of buying a parking ticket so convoluted?”

    There’s an app you can use. It works at pretty much every public transport park + ride in Dublin (CIE and Luas). Its really incredibly simple.

  2. postmanpat

    Why didn’t you go to Woodies and buy a battery powered grinder which would have cost less? Clapping companies (even one pretending to be on your side, and helping you pay the fine, just to get rid of you ,then laugh behind your back ) never refund. once you pay you will never get the money back.

    1. scottser

      Don’t buy anything in woodies, it’s expensive and crap. They have cordless angle grinders in lidl or about 30 euros still.

  3. Formerly known as @ireland.com

    I feel for Declan. I am sure the clamping company are making a motsa (loads) without being this greedy. I have had similar problems in Australia (I only mention because of Declan’s address).

  4. some old queen

    Same thing happened a friend of mine @Red Cow but she put a note in the window of the car saying what had happened and she was not clamped.

  5. Optimus Grime

    Yeah a load of this is down to the clamper’s personal judgement. I got clamped in error a while back due to a bug in the parking company’s app. I had changed car and bought a new parking period which was then allocated to my previous car. No error message appeared on the app. The guy who released the car showed me his display which showed I had valid parking purcchased. I then appealed and got a full refund. In addition to highlighting bug and two further functional errors I billed the company for IT consultancy services for which they have not paid me.

    1. postmanpat

      got a full refund…. then tied to get more money and still didn’t get it . gee I wonder why? Maybe because you already got the full refund?

    1. postmanpat

      Hardy victim blaming. More like cautionary advise. ie: if you didn’t do anything wrong , never pay. cut it off yourself and don’t worry about it ever again. don’t waste time appealing anything because they never listen. Its a waste of time. Either sort it yourself with a grinder/saw or pay up and commiserate about it to your mates over a pint of Fosters and laugh it off. That’s life, don’t waste time fretting about being hard done by. its not he last time you’ll lose money unfairly. Its not even a uniquely “Irish ” solution to a blah blah problem.to a irish jadda jadda jadda. Its just clampers doing their saddo job. No point making more of a fool of yourself writing a public letter and singing the clampers praises because he helped you pay the very fine they gave out in the first place . The Aussie idiot!

  6. Liam Deliverance

    I would have thought that if you have a valid ticket for the time you were clamped then you would be entitled to a refund of the clamp fee, seems fair and clear to me. This is something for Consumer Protection to legislate for if they actually carried out their function of, you know, protecting consumers.

      1. Liam Deliverance

        Arguably it was, it was paid for, it was valid for that time period, the owner of the ticket and the owner of the car presented both, if the ticket matched the registration bar one digit then it’s clear to see that the user intended to pay for the parking of the vehicle and had the best intentions. A small human error should not cost €80 FFS.

        1. Horse Box

          “Arguably it was, it was paid for, it was valid for that time period” but valid for a different car.

  7. joe

    Our French chums eliminated the scourge of unwarranted clamping in Paris.
    Civic minded citizens, not just the victims of obnoxious clampers, carried a tube of superglue and liberally applied it to the lock on any clamped wheels.
    The profit raking clamping companies soon got the message, viola the problem was solved. :)

      1. Robert

        Too bad that rather than treat it as a solution to a problem they killed it off with profiteering.

        Genius idea though. Much more convenient than carrying around a hacksaw!

    1. Rob_G

      Deciding that your opinion trumps that of the authority elected by the people is not ‘civic-minded’; I think you’ll find its the opposite.

        1. Rob_G

          They elected the councillors, who decided to implement clamping.

          If you don’t like it, find a party who opposes clamping, and vote for them. If no such party exists, you could always run for election on an anti-clamping platform yourself.

          1. Robert

            Calling bullplop on that pal. Nobody wants clamping, clearly, and representatives failing to respond to rampant profiteering, so only one valid course of action. The fact that clampers have no actual legal recourse speaks volumes

  8. Nullzero

    NCPS are vultures. They work to a standard to twenty clamps applied per driver per day ( a friend of a friend worked for them).

    I saw them at the cheeverstown luas a car park a few years ago on the day of the all Ireland hurling final, five NCPS vans parked close to the car park waiting for the luas customers to arrive and pounce once they boarded not knowing the parking payment process. They must have clamped at least 40 vehicles that day. I also snapped one of them parked outside a nearby filling station parked in a disabled spot shortly afterwards (which I submitted to Broadsheet who published the picture).
    I’ve also had interactions with them where I appealed and got the same response (parked outside my own house, I needed to pay the release to get to work), the appeals process is laughable.

    NCPS are a nasty organisation with no sort of moral compass whatsoever.

      1. Nullzero

        Having just moved there I was waiting for them to post out the disc I had already paid for. As it wasn’t on the windscreen I was clamped. They told me over the phone that itnwou6be refunded. Went through hell with them and never got it back. This happened to other people in the development when their new discs hadn’t been sent out. I saw more than one person cut the clamp off their car. If I was ever clamped by a private company in that manner again I would happily cut the clamp off myself.

  9. The Old Boy

    The UK abolished private clamping for similar reasons. A process by which someone can pay for a service and be fined for a bureaucratic error, without recourse to an accessible and reliable appeal process, is fundamentally unfair and unjust.

  10. curmudgeon

    Complain to the local government/semi state responsible. Theyre the only ones that can pressure the private companies who they gave the parking to act decently by either rescinding or not renewing the contract. Private companies act like this when they know they can get away with it. Unfortunately my dealings with local authorities and semi states dont leave me with a good impression that they give a toss (not least because they get paid either way).

  11. Niallo

    In short, this country is a cold, damp, mismanaged, outrageously expensive, dirty, hole of a place, populated and run by petty minded greedy morons who look like potatoes.

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