Parking company collects money on invoice fees – NRK Norway – News overview from different parts of the country

Parking company collects money on invoice fees – NRK Norway – News overview from different parts of the country

Rohr Fjeld did the right thing at the Triangle Shopping Center in Oscar. He created an account with Autopay and registered his car number and credit card.

Roar Fjeld said he did almost everything right when he stopped by the shopping center in Oscar.

Photo: Snorre Tønset / NRK

However, he forgot to tick the automatic number plate recognition and so had to pay the toll.

– One thinks one is being recorded. That’s the point, says Fjeld.

– In the end, I think it’s very strange, because I had license plate recognition and parking applications, he adds.

Fjeld believes that the large number of players in the market are confusing:

– This is a forest of many companies responsible for parking and invoicing. When a bill comes, it doesn’t say Onpark, Reverti, Arvado or whatever it’s called.

Received an invoice fee of NOK 420

In one week, Roger Krestel stopped by the center in Steinkjer six times. Both times he had a two-hour break.

In the email, he received a parking fee of NOK 240 and an invoice fee of NOK 420.

– I stop to meet some famous people, drink some coffee, and then the clock is ticking. Two hours quickly turns into two hours and a quarter, he says.

Roger Krestel reads one of the six invoices he received at a shopping center in Steinkjer.

On the same day, Roger Krestel received two invoices for payment.

Photo: Evind Abakken / NRK

– One has to pay some of it. But there are these administrative fees that they add to every transaction. There are several times in one day and several days from each other.

Krestol believes there is a clear gray area in practice:

You can stand for two hours for free at Amfi in Steinkjer and many other places.  But despite the automatic license plate recognition: if you stop too long without carefully reading the terms, the invoice fee can be high.

You can stand for two hours for free at Amfi in Steinkjer and many other places.

Photo: Evind Abakken / NRK

– Slightly dirty practice. Clearly this is a gray area and is used to a “bitter end”.

Consumer Council: – Amount contributed to confusion

In 2021, the ten largest parking companies in Norway will have a turnover of NOK 2.5 billion.

The Consumer Council receives more complaints about expensive invoice charges. They believe that many big companies are speculating in making good money from fees.

– I fully believe it, says George Jensen, director of the Consumer Council.

– The volume is too high and it is out of control. We see companies refer to this in their accounts as paid manufacturing.

George Jensen, subject director at the Consumer Council, believes parking companies are overcharging for car parks.

George Jensen at the Consumer Council receives many complaints from people who have paid too much for parking.

Photo: Martin Lakeland / NRK

– Here we have to make strong moves in regulations, he insists.

Jensen says that invoice fees have become a growing consumer problem:

– Invoice fees are a source of income for some suppliers. Parking companies aren’t the only ones doing this, but suddenly you’re paying more in invoiced fees than you actually used from the services.

Signed No Ticket, Drive In, Drive Out.  But if you don't do everything right, you could be risking an even higher invoice fee.

Signed No Ticket, Drive In, Drive Out. But if you don’t do everything right, you still face an invoice payment.

Photo: Snorre Tønset / NRK

He says the information is often not about making things easier for the consumer, but protecting the company’s rights:

– The amount contributes to the confusion and there may be a question as to whether it legitimately meets the need for information, but there is no doubt that it confuses people.

Is the company allowed to make money from invoice fees?

– They are allowed to cover their expenses. Currently, Jensen concludes, it is entirely possible to create an invoice fee that is cheaper than the norm in the market.

A business organization that cares about growth

Time Park, which runs the car park in Steinkjer, says that each parking needs to be invoiced without paying in cash or via an app. They believe that this will cost the company a lot of money.

Henrik Begby Andersen, Time Park General Manager

Time Park’s day-to-day manager Henrik Begby Andersen says there are big costs associated with the invoice.

Photo: Snorre Tønset / NRK

Is it reasonable that the invoice fee should be NOK 70 each time?

– For us, we have to take into account all the costs we have when making the invoice. We have incalculable costs with computer suppliers, but most of all can be related to customer service, says Henrik Begby Andersen, day-to-day manager of Time Park.

– “Why did I receive an invoice?” is a common question we get. There is a big cost associated with invoicing and we don’t want to do invoicing primarily, he adds.

– In isolation, we don’t spend much on invoices, it’s not one of our primary sources of income, but we have to cover our costs, he concludes.

Last summer, the Consumer Council published a report that it costs less than NOK 6 to send an invoice by post and even less with e-invoicing, but consumers still have to pay up to NOK 100 in invoice fees.

Day-to-day leader in business organization NordparkLars Monsen says they are concerned about the growth in the amount of invoice payments.

Lars Monsen, General Manager, Norwegian Parking Association

Lars Mansen from the Norwegian Parking Association says he wants to clarify issues surrounding the pricing scheme.

Photo: Snorre Tønset / NRK

– In short, we agree with the Consumer Council that some of the amounts used are higher than the actual price and therefore violate the law, he says.

– So we have started the process of clarifying all the things surrounding the issue, he added.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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