What sort of operation is Wilson Parking running?  How hard can it be to run a  car park?  Apparently it is much to hard for the geniuses who run Wilson Parking.

For almost a decade I have had a permanent car park at a site run by Wilson Parking.  In February 2017, the Wilson people had the brilliant idea that they would replace the card by which permanent parkers get into and out of the car park.

Problems started (probably due, at least in part, to the fact that Wilson car parks have no staff: just a machine that you touch your card on in order to get in or out).

First, the card would not let me into the car park.  So, you press the intercom button on the machine at the entry to the car park and eventually a human being speaks to you.  You explain the problem, while other drivers queue up (impatiently) behind you: they also want to get in.  they do something from their remote vantage point and the boom opens to let you in.

I tried ringing Wilson Parking.  they are as difficult to contact by phone as Centrelink is. Eventually I managed to get someone to speak to me: they said they would reset the card.

Resetting a card must be awfully difficult: for the first half of February, I had to use the intercom help service every time to get into the car park.

Second, For the whole of February, when I try to leave the car park, the machine has told me either that my car is not present or that the car park number is invalid.  I do not understand how the first message could possibly be true, and I do not understand what the second message means.

So, every time I have tried to leave the car park in February, I have had to wait for someone to respond to the intercom call.  It can take a while.

Most of the time, they tell me again that my card will be reset.  I can’t wait.  Just imagine the luxury of being able to park my car and (at the end of the day) leave, without having to wait at the end of an intercom in order to explain that their system is hopeless.

Third, I wrote to them in mid-February, politely explaining the problem, since speaking to them is so difficult. Here is my email to them:

To whom it may concern:

  1. Please take this email seriously
  2. Please read this email
  3. Please reply to this email
  4. I have had a permanent car park at 200 Queen St Melbourne for about 8 years
  5. Recently Wilson Parking introduced the Wilson One card
  6. Every day last week, and again this morning, the boom gate does not respond to the card: this happens when I am entering and when I am leaving.
  7. This morning I had to speak to 4 different people on the intercom before I could persuade someone to allow me in.
  8. I have tried ringing Wilson Parking to explain the problem, but no-one answers the phone.
  9. If this problem is not fixed by this afternoon, I am going to detail my concerns on social media.  I will not hesitate to suggest that people use a parking service that treats its customers properly (eg, by letting them in and out)

Very best wishes …

Three weeks later, I have not had a response.

This is part of the same corporate beast that runs security on Manus and Nauru.  And parking people in those places is vastly more expensive than parking a car with Wilson Parking.

PS: I posted this on Monday 27 February.  On Tuesday 28 February, I tried to enter the car park and the machine told me I was already present!  Yet again I had to press the intercom button and wait for someone to ask me to read out the 16-digit number on my Wilson One card and (eventually) let me in.  My attempts to call head office continue to end in frustration.

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