June 27, 2009 Phil

I’m guilty, but $88 bucks for a coffee!

I love technology and especially mobile gadges. My iPhone has re-defined the meaning of “Man’s best friend”. In the 80′s I had a bag phone (e.g. for those who are in their teens please see the picture below)motorola-bag-phone, I owned one of the first PalmPilots with a whopping 32 mb memory chip and I was using wireless Internet when you had to insert a PCIMCA card into the side of your 40lb laptop that had a monchromatic screen. But, For the first time in probably 20 years of gadges, I found a mobile device I really wish hadn’t been invented – the mobile Interac machine.

First off I want to get the details out of the way,  I’m guilty! I went for a coffee at a little Internet cafe in downtownsign Halifax’s Quinpool Road shopping area and pull into a parking lot with a huge sign stating, in no brief manner, that if I didn’t visit Zephyr Rug and Home or Scouts Canada I would be ticketed, towed and or immobilized!!! I had no idea what immobilized meant, I was thinking stun gun which sounded interesting. After obviously breaking “the Law” by spending money at the wrong retailer on Quinpool Road, I return to my vehicle to find a boot locked on it’s front wheel and a note on the window telling me I owed NoGo NoTow a total of $77.98+ HST.  The note conveniently displayed a phone number to call in order to resolve the issue. As I read the note I couldn’t help but think what a cash cow of a business. Holding cars hostage for ransom. This probably wouldn’t have been possible without mobile technology like those damn mobile Interacs!

If I hadn’t of had a dumb mobile phone in my pocket to call NoGo NoTow I would have had to bum a quarter off someone on the street to use a pay phone. The note on my truck’s window clearly stated the I wasn’t to bother Zephyr or Scouts Canada. When I did get in touch with the NoGo NoTow service they were on-site in minutes using a stupid mobile GPS. When their man hopped out of his vehicle he had his  FREAK’n mobile Interac machine in hand and was eager to take Visa, Mastercard or debit. God I wish the pizza delivery man hadn’t of invent that stupid device.

Having never witnessed this type of car highjacking in Halifax I suggested  to the  NoGo NoTow guy that for all I knew he could be a criminal who would steal my credit card information and destroy my credit rating with his little debit or credit revolver. He sort of shrugged and suggested he could be, but whether true or not, I wasn’t getting out of that parking lot without paying the $88.00. All of a sudden I felt this wave of anger come over me, not at this poor guy who obviously has to hate his job as collector for the evil lot owner, but at Zephyr Rug and Home, Scouts Canada and the Quinpool Road Business Association. I mean please, $88 bucks for a parking violation, who the “H_LL” came up with that number and where does that money go? It started to feel abit like an episode of Rocket Robin Hood. I was looking for the evil Sheriff of Nottingham lurking in the corners, laughing and shaking is bag of gold.

When Rocket Robin didn’t arrive to save me (i.e. probably because I’m not exactly Maid Marion),  I started to think what a terrible brand experience for Quinpool Road customers. I have no idea who owns the parking lot, but whomever it might be they have obviously not thought thru the impact of using this service on the retailer or for that matter the whole business district. From my perspective they have just given me a HUGE reason not to visit Quinpool Road and shop.

As I said earlier, I’m guilty of parking in a parking spot that is only available to Zephyr Rug and Home and Scouts Canada cutomers. I guess my question is how did they know I’m not a customer? No one asked me before they draped my car in orange tape and slapped a sticker on my window. What if I had of gone into Zephyr the day before and spent $3000 on a dining room set? I would have gone home and pack it up for immediate return after this experience. The damaging effect on the Zephyr brand plus my perpetual conversation about how I was robbed by the evil lot owner would surely be much more devastating to their brand than having a car in their parking lot for an hour. The approach the lot owner has taken to control the evil parking bandits that rob from the Zephyr and give to the poor coffee shop seems to be devoid of any consideration for long term impact on customer relations and perceptions.

I admit, I had no intent of buying anything in Zephyr or visiting Scouts Canada, but they didn’t know that. I guess if  Zephyr Rug and Home and Scouts Canada don’t really care about new customers having the Sheriff police their parking lot is an extremely effective way of driving them off. That said, the last time I checked there isn’t a line-up of kids knocking down the doors to join the Boy Scouts and after  20 years in the retail/marketing business I can say with some authority that I have never meet a retailer who doesn’t like new customers. But much like they don’t know whether or not I’m customer, I don’t know whether or not they care about new customers. Thanks to NoGo NoTow I now have a perception that they care more about a free parking space.

There has to be a better way to improve the parking situation on Quinpool Road. The Quinpool Road Business Association has to solve the parking issues for their customers. Certainly throwing customers in jail is not the answer! The music industry used the same desperate approach on its customers when the Internet introduced downloadable songs. They sued their them, thru them in jail and closed down their businesses. Communities of music lovers revolted and boycotted big brands such as Sony. Sony had to pause for a moment and reflect on the impact all the negative publicity was having on their brand. They had forgotten the golden rule of business, the consumer is always right even when they’re wrong.

I would love to hear your comments on this style of parking enforcement so that I can forward them on to the Quinpool Road Business Association.

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Comments (35)

  1. Seems pretty harsh even by Toronto standards. I’ll be sure not to park on Quinpool when I’m visiting this summer – too bad because I’ll be staying in the neighbourhood.

    Agreed that the local business association now has some PR to do in order to get you (and some of your readers) back and supporting business in the Quinpool Rd. area.

  2. admin

    No, after disobeying the sign the first time I thought it best to listen this time around. NoTow might show up on my doorstep. I don’t believe the sign said no blogging!

  3. Byron

    Phil…please tell me you didn’t pay…man, I would have lost it!! I am mad thinking about it and it didn’t even happen to me. I might go park my car over there tomorrow. I actually have some scrapes on my rims that I could blame on them and sue for damages…

  4. admin

    I was digging through the Quinpool Road Business Association’s site and found a link to a press release that deflects the responsibility of the NoGo NoTow service to the business owners. There is one sentence that really puts this all into perspective for me – “In fact, the use of the boot grew out of exasperation on the part of the lot owners over the
    fact that so many non-customers were taking their customer’s parking spaces.” Exasperation often results in irrational behavior and tends to lead to actions that are not well though out. The article is available at http://www.quinpoolroad.ca/parking.php

  5. Ben

    $80 for a parking infraction in an area that is really in no position to give potential customers more hoops to jump through is a little over the top. And that’s coming from someone who is all too happy to pay $20 for a parking ticket when I deserve it.

  6. It’s private property. They run a business. They have posted a warning to non-customers and given the expected consequences if you choose to ignore the warning. It’s pretty obvious they are sick of people parking on thier property to buy coffee from the neighbouring business, while using parking space they have provided as a benifit to their potential customers.

    If I had my neighbours friends parking in my driveway for as long as they wanted, I’d be pretty annoyed too.

  7. As a business owner on Quinpool *and* a member of the Quinpool Board of Directors, I’m of two minds here.

    1. Yes, it’s obviously an issue for business owners who own a parking lot on the street, and yes there are signs posted to warn errant drivers not to park there.

    2. BUT, the optics of how this is being handled are NOT good. Like Phil said, he had no idea who this guy is that was showing up with a portable credit card machine. The whole process feels and looks suspect, and it makes me uncomfortable. Yes, these are private lots, so traditional parking tickets don’t work here. But, there’s been a parking guard in the Cyclesmith lot for at least 10 years. It’s much better if a real person can come up to you and say that parking is not permitted if you’re not going to the business on that site. This encourages dialog. Booting is juts going to make people mad or like Brian Larter said, stop coming to Quinpool.

    I don’t think anyone on our street wants to see *less* traffic. But, this does absolutely nothing for our image as a business district. What if I didn’t have a credit card, or enough money to pay the fine on the spot? Do they just tow my car?

    In any case, if anyone has other stories or suggestions, I will gladly submit to the rest of the board. I don’t like how this makes our street look and I’m going to try to change it.

  8. Karla Nicholson

    Dear Phil:

    At the risk of sounding crass, anything the association has to say on this matter has already been said in print, (see the Chronicle Herald Letter to the Editor that was published in early February); radio (extensive radio interview on on CBC) and TV (again, extensive interview with Jim Nunn on CBC TV).

    The below Letter to the Editor submission for the Op Ed section was written in early February in response to a women being fined $88.00 for parking in the Subway, while running to the Bank.

    The overwhelming majority that weighed in on this issue on the CBC website said the women should have read the sign and not parked there in the first place.
    While I wish it hadn’t come to the “boot strategy” to combat illegal parking on Quinpool, the people who consistently choose to ignore the parking rules stated by the merchants, have left the merchants with (what they feel is no choice).

    For the record, the money that is received for the boot, does not go to the merchant but to the No Tow No Go Company. The merchants do not make money off of this. Also, I have been in Zephyr on more than one occasion when the No Tow No Go representative had checked with Zephyr before putting the boot on the cars. They don’t put the boot on the car until they are certain, the person parking there is not in either business.

    I sent your e-mail off to the owners, (Matina and Labi) of Zephyr Rug and Home, in case they wanted to comment.

    Please see below letter for the association’s stance on the boot …
    Karla Nicholson

    Plenty of Parking Choices on Quinpool Road

    This letter is in response to the recent controversy surrounding the use of the car boot to combat illegal parking in private parking lots on Quinpool Road.

    The Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association was not consulted on this matter, nor is it in our mandate to take a position on the use of the car boots on Quinpool Road.

    What happened between the motorist, Subway and the company it hired is a matter to be resolved by those parties. However, As General Manager for the association, there are some facts I would like to state for the record.

    There are 12 private lots on Quinpool Road that offer parking for business

    customers. There are also nine side streets that offer (for the most part) free one-hour parking. In many areas on Quinpool, there is also free parking on both sides, with the exception of rush hour, when motorists are permitted to park on the opposite side of the heavier traffic flow.

    If motorists still feel there aren’t enough parking choices on Quinpool Road,

    there are four buses that service the street. The No. 1 and No. 14 stop on the corner of Oxford and Quinpool, and the No. 80 and No. 7 stop on the corner of Quinpool and Robie.

    With respect to parking, there is clearly marked signage to indicate where and

    when you can and can’t park on Quinpool Road, and the surrounding side streets. There are also large warning signs in each of the three lots where the boot is being employed. For example, Subway has four signs stating its parking policy, two of which explain the boot policy

    The boot has been used with great success elsewhere in Canada such as:

    British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Fredericton and Moncton in New Brunswick.

    The consensus seems to be that the business owners who use the boot are well

    within their rights. The business members on Quinpool Road care about their customers and their parking needs. That is why they provide the parking lots, and pay property taxes and hefty fees to keep the lots salted and cleared of snow.

    In fact, the use of the boot grew out of exasperation on the part of the lot owners over the fact that so many non-customers were taking their customer’s parking spaces.

    The incident that created this controversy has clearly shown the need for us to provide detailed information on the many legal parking spots available to customers on and around Quinpool Road.

    That information will appear on our website (www.quinpoolroad.ca) in the upcoming weeks.

    We, as a business commission, hope to turn this controversy into an opportunity and to work diligently with the Halifax Regional Municipality to demonstrate to the few people who don’t already know that we care very much about our customers and the surrounding community.

    And it is to be hoped that this issue does not overshadow the $6 million Quinpool Road streetscaping project scheduled to begin either in the summer of 2009 or the spring of 2010.


    Karla Nicholson

    General Manager

    Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association

  9. admin

    Thanks Karla and Matina, I appreciate your participation. The comments highlight good points, but as I said, I’m guilty. I did take advantage of your parking and I am a problem for you. But that’s my point. You see me as a problem not a potential customer. You are desperate to drive me away and willing to sacrifice a relationship in order to do it. What if I had been a Zephyr customer previously and hadn’t initiated this conversation? Had you considered the impact on that relationship?

    My blog post is not about lashing out as much as it is about getting a reaction and creating conversation. It’s in a blog format because of the digital implications. I don’t think this style of parking enforcement would exist if it weren’t for mobile devices and I like writing about Digital Mayhem!

    When writing the blog I was interested in demonstrating how people turn to desperate measures without first thinking through the actions. We all do it. In this case I think anyone who uses this form of enforcement is overlooking the negative impact on their brand.

    As for saying something to you Matina, the note on the side of my car clearly stated I wasn’t to speak to the store owners. I figured the least I could do is obey that rule. Now that you have extended the invitation I would be more than happy to meet and chat about it. That’s as long as it’s okay to park in your lot!

  10. Matina AuCoin

    Phil, we can pick a day and time to meet. I am here during most business hours. So, we can set the appointment per your schedule. And, no, you will not be booted because you will be on premises.
    I must stress that we hired ToGo after much thought and due to the enormous stress the parking lot was causing us. My business partner and I thought through our actions to a great extent. I say this with great respect and mean no offense, but it was people such as yourself that pushed us to hire NoGo NoTow.
    On the day that you were here, I was not “desperate to drive you away”, I was and am desperate to keep parking available for my customers and my tenants.
    Please remember that I am a potential customer to you as well, and you admit that you were in the wrong. In that spirit, I ask you very kindly if you will unlink my business name from your website. I would appreciate it very much.
    You can reach me at info@zephyrhome.com. I look forward to hearing from you, Phil.
    All the best,
    Matina AuCoin

  11. I had a long chat with Matina and her business partner today. I was pretty prepared to disagree with their reasoning for hiring NoTow, as I still feel that the optics of such a service don’t look good for the street. But, after listening to their reasoning, I completely understand why they have felt the need to do it and I’m willing to admit I was a bit wrong.

    It’s tough and expensive to own a building in a business district. Zephyr has 12 parking spaces. Their tenant is afforded half of these as part of their lease. The staff and van from Zephyr use half of what remains. That leaves only a couple spots for potential customers. The things the store sells are big and bulky and not easy to transport. They also sell expensive (and pretty awesome) furniture, so they’re not doing a great deal of volume. Thus, the loss of even a single potential customer due to the inconvenience of not being able to park in their lot could be a large loss of revenue for them.

    I also met Brian from NoTow, who happened to drop in while I was in their store. He seems like a pretty reasonable guy. He’s just a dude, trying to do his job. He also told me that only NoTow and it’s operators make money from the booting. The merchants themselves don’t make a dime when your car is booted. However, it does save them the stress of having to ask illegal parkers to move their cars. By the sounds of things, the confrontations they have experienced can turn pretty nasty.

    I’m still a bit unsold on the whole idea of a private company taking payments on the spot for booting your car. But, I think I understand completely why they’ve chosen to do it.

  12. admin

    I want to apologize to Zephyr for using them, specifically to demonstrate a larger issue. They are only one business amongst others on Quinpool Road that feel they need to go to an extreme to control parking lot access.

    The intention of my post was to demonstrate how the extreme measures create extreme emotions on both sides of the fence. The resulting feelings are negative, defensive and in many ways detrimental to both the organizations and the customers of Quinpool Road. The conversations spurred by this post are proof that emotions run high on both sides, however, I do believe there has to be a better answer.

    The solution, in my opinion, is the responsibility of the Quinpool Road Business Association. Despite all the right reasons for doing it, the NoGo NoTow still manifests this sense of shadiness in how it’s delivered. Maybe the businesses should provide an alternative “Get out of boot free” card if people admit to the crime and are willing to pay for the time! It would be a great opportunity to salvage a relationship and generate business. I would sincerely hope that all the business minds on Quinpool Road could come up with a more positive way of dealing with the issue.

  13. It should be noted that NoTow has nothing to do with the Quinpool Business Association. It is the individual retailers that have engaged their services.

    I do agree that perhaps the association should come up with a solution, but ultimately, what the business owners do with their private property is up to them.

  14. admin

    Thanks Jeff, I realize the property owner is within their rights to do whatever they want to do. What I’m saying is the retailers on the street need to work together to create the right solution. In my opinion, NoGo should be a “No No” because it does not create the right atmosphere on the street. The association should help the retailers find other options.

    As I said in my previous comments, I ran a business on Quinpool road for 10 years so I know the parking issues. I had a 3 car parking lot which often got abused, but I would never have used the NoGo NoTow service to resolve the issue.

  15. Matina AuCoin

    Thanks, Phil for de-linking my store from your site – much appreciated. This is a great dialogue with various points of view and I’d like to thank-you for the opportunity to share mine. Can you think of any other options regarding the parking situation? I could not come up with anything. I tried signage with ticket and tow consequences and I am licensed to issue HRM tickets – that wasn’t a deterrant at all. NoGo has decreased unauthorized parkers by 50% and since early February, only 6 or 7 people have paid fines in my lot – not a large number at all. One business in particular has seen an increase in their revenues by over 10% since they hired NoGo. There are solid stats behind using this company. I understand that some folks, including yourself, find it extreme but I guarantee you, some situations were extreme. It is extremely frustrating to ask someone to move their vehicle from your property and they refuse. It’s a feeling of powerlessness. It has happened more times than I care to remember (once resulting in tears on my part). Those situations also turned me into an angry and at times negative person. The day I hired NoGo, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.
    Again, we’re open to suggestions.
    Best Regards,
    Matina AuCoin

  16. Bill Conaham

    I am a daily commuter through Quinpool road. I was caught in fault also using a parking spot at subway to go to the bank for a few minutes, but a few minutes became 20.

    I was angry to pay my way out of this situation but as i drove away I thought to myself the same as these business owners did when i feel they thought the need to hire NoTow NoGo. Which are maintenance and PROPERTY TAXES to start.

    As the economy moves forward, expenses are getting larger. And as for Mr Swinney and his cup of coffee and anyone else in this situation, you chose to disobey and pay just as I did.

    I applaud the Quinpool Road businesses to have put their foot down to take a step forward in removing unwanted violators (even if they were potential customers), its all about respect.


  17. admin

    Hey Bill, thanks for your comment. What I’m learning from this is not so much that the solution isn’t effective, according to Matina’s stats it works. But, and excuse the stark comparison, so does the death penalty. It does not mean that it always the right solution.

    I think the Quinpool Road district is struggling to maintain a retail personality. Shoppers often look for easy access to retail and when they don’t get it they move elsewhere. Lets not lose site of what I was saying initially though, the impact of using this service changes your impression of the retailed brand. You at first were angry and then had to rationalize it in you own mind. Not everyone is going to invest the time in rationalization. Not everyone will speak out on the issue. When you use a service like this it exposes your brand to the potential for negative impact. If there is no other alternative, then it’s a risk you have to take, but you would have a hard time convincing me it’s the right one.

    If anything comes out of this great conversation it would be my hope that the retailers on Quinpool Road look harder for alternatives. Some of the potential resolutions could be huge undertakings. For example, the left side of Quinpool from the Centre down towards the Willow tree needs to be re-modeled. It’s an eye sore and does not fit with the character of the street. Maybe it’s time to tear down the Quinpool Centre and open up the area. Maybe the city could sell the St Patrick’s property to the developers so that they could expand the retail availability on the street. What I’m asking is that the Quinpool Road Business Association not look at this as a closed issue. As something that has been dealt with and doesn’t need anymore attention. My feeling is that if they do and nothing changes retailers on Quinpool Road will be driven out and restaurants, bars and other services based around walk-in traffic will take over.From what I can see it has already begun to happen.

  18. Disgruntled Environmentally Friendly Subway Girl

    What about this scenario?

    First of all, I love Subway. I recently visited Subway on Quinpool and had a parking boot put on my car in a matter of 5 minutes. I seem to have entered a gray area in this situation. My plan was to go into Subway to get a breakfast sandwich and a coffee, but first I wanted to pick up dogfood across the street. I would have parked in the dog store parking lot if I didn’t have intensions of going into Subway. Plus, I wanted to decrease my carbon emissions by not having to move my car twice. As I ran across the street the guy was putting the boot on my car. He told me I had to pay $88.14 to get this boot taken off my car. The man from the Nogo NoTow Inc. said if I had gone into Subway first I wouldn’t have had this boot put on my car and would have had 15 minutes afterwards to ‘run errands’. I realize you cannot prove my intensions, but my argument is I was only in the parking lot for 5 mins and I wasn’t even given the opportunity to buy a sub! I’m sure not everyone using their parking lot is innocent, but there should be some understanding and time limit before a boot can be thrown on your car. I feel like the NoGo NoTow guys were premature and cost the merchant some valuable future customers (unless of course, NoGo is reasonable and offers to reimburse me). I would like to hear what their policy is and what their take is on this type of situation.

    Do you think I am deserving of a refund of $88.14?

  19. admin


    I was attempting to post on your blog, but it would not accept my e-mail address.

    In no way do I condone the act of motorist taking advantage of property owners by illegally parking vehicles and holding property owners at a disadvantage. At the same time; property owners and private enterprises attempting to demonstrate authority must be accountable for taking the law into their own hands and understand like motorists they are not above the law.

    Nevertheless one must seriously question, what the heck is going on that we have private enterprise running around like a lawless graffiti with imaginary parking tickets, superman capes and hallucinate that they have some form of statutory authority over motorists.

    Yes, I am talking about these parking enforcement companies that have to be the lowest common denominator of parking enforcement. Is this a joke? This reminds me of a cross between Judge Judy, Inspector Gadget and Romper Room that slap so-called parking tickets or immobilize illegally parked vehicles and act as independent arbitrators to motorists. What ever happened to Halifax Regional Enforcement Division whose responsibility is to maintain traffic enforcement as identified in the Motor Vehicle Act?

    Are we being led to believe, or do the business practices of these parking companies who intimidate people to pay private companies for parking enforcement deserve government intervention? Maybe the real cops should be called in to investigate this?

    Signs are posted; that the assigned authority of the property reserved the right to have the vehicle towed at the owners risk and expense. They further state any attempt to remove or cause damage to the lock will be considered a CRIMINAL ACT and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


    The parking violation ticket emphasizes failure to respond to this parking violation will result in additional fees, the vehicle will be immobilized, a tow truck will be called or a civil judgment will be issued.

    Under our National Transportation Act citizens are granted the right to drive and operate a motor vehicle. Under this umbrella it is the responsibility of every province in Canada to enact legislation to have effective enforcement of laws relating to the operation and use of a motor vehicle. This legislation includes offences for motorists who park on private property.

    In Nova Scotia the primary authority when somebody illegally parks on private property is Section 149 of the Motor Vehicle Act. This section says,” no person shall leave their vehicle standing on property of which he is not the owner or tenant without the consent of the owner or tenant of the property.”

    Section 149 (2) of the act states that once a vehicle has been left standing for one hour or longer a peace officer at the request of the owner or tenant of the property may remove or detain the vehicle. I fail to see where the Motor Vehicle Act gives a property owner the right to privately contract an enforcement company who is not authorized by the Minister of Transportation to act as an agent when somebody decides to contravene the act.

    Second, these companies claim any attempt to remove a boot or case damage to the lock will be considered a CRIMINAL ACT. This is an interesting statement. Whatever happened to the law that nobody has the legal authority to establish a lien, enforce it, seize, hold or detain ones property without the legislative, legal authority to do so?

    Third, the notice served to motorists reads: NOTICE OF PARKING VIOLATION” If these companies are issuing private enterprise parking tickets one can only assume they clearly are not an authorized agent or have jurisdictional authority to govern or enforce motor vehicle laws under the under the Motor Vehicle Act. The law interprets violation tickets as a summons in accordance with the law. Illegal has a meaning as opposed to law. Again, I fail to see how they can enforce motor vehicle violations or forcefully withhold property from the rightful owner without being the law or having proper authority to do so.

    A parking enforcement company recently attempted to dictate imaginary laws upon one of my vehicles that were resisted when the vehicle was properly parked. I tried to research the Company name on our ticket and couldn’t even locate such identity as a legally registered business in Nova Scotia.

    If property owners are having difficulty with people wrongfully trespassing they should lobby for the city to step up enforcement and impose stiffer penalties that deters people from taking advantage of property owners.

    Boot one of my vehicles and I can assure you it won’t be me paying the penalties or being criminally prosecuted.

  20. James Reinders

    Thank you for posting Section 149 (2). I was recently booted in the private lot across from MEC. The fine is now $95 + tax, and I waved down two HRM officers on foot patrol, they then proceeded to tell me there was nothing they could do, and one of them told me to offer him $50. I can’t wait to get out of Halifax, leaving in a month, it’s not the same city I grew up in. How is it that two HRM police officers do not know the law?

  21. Ted

    For the record, I am not a lawyer and I am not in any way associated with No Go No Tow. However, since I was also guilty of trespassing and was unlucky enough to get caught, I felt it necessary to educate myself on the laws and their right to clamp my vehicle.

    “Trespass Law” – When considering Private property the Law of trespass holds influence in respect to unauthorised parking suffered by the Land Owner. Anyone choosing to park their vehicle on Private Property without authorisation or consent from the legal owner is considered to be Trespassing for any period while their vehicle is parked. When trespass can be proved, any land owner is entitled to recover nominal damages whether or not actual loss has occurred. If the act of unauthorised parking has resulted in loss or damage to the land owner then they are entitled to compensation for that loss.

    “Distress damage feasant” – an old, medieval, self-help remedy, adapted to modern conditions. Put in simple English, if a landowner found property of another causing damage on his land he could seize the offending property and withhold it from its owner until adequate compensation had been tendered for the damage done. Case Law states that damage should be presumed, since land was a valuable commodity, car parking spaces were at a premium and a party entitled to use a private car park suffered loss if he was deprived of that use by a trespasser. The law gives property owners and individuals the right to self help.
    Volenti-non-fit-injuria (Latin: “to a willing person, no injury is done” or “no injury is done to a person who consents”) is a common law doctrine which means that if someone willingly places themselves in a position where harm might result, knowing that some degree of harm might result, they cannot then sue if harm actually results. Signs are posted on the property, if you park your vehicle on the property without consent, you are a trespasser.

    Contractual Law – Law of Contract – A person can enter into contract either by expressly agreeing to do so or by acting in such a way that he/she can be said to have implied agreement to enter into a contract. Where notice is given to a motorist of the consequences of parking in a particular area, by implication the motorist enters into a contract with the parking enforcement company (or the landowner) and accepts the terms set out in the notice by proceeding to park. A recent decision by the Court of Appeal has confirmed that provided that adequate notice of the consequences of illegal parking is given, the person parking accepts the terms as set out in the notice and therefore consents to the risks and consequences. It is enough to say that by voluntarily accepting the risk that my car might be clamped when I parked my vehicle on their property, I also accepted the risk that the car would remain clamped until I paid the reasonable cost of clamping and de-clamping. I consented not only to the act of clamping the car but also to the action of detaining the car until payment is received.

    I can only suggest to all who are reading, READ THE SIGNS. If it says don’t park here, then don’t, find another LEGAL parking space.

  22. John

    No Go No Tow MUST GO!!! I would say that I complain about the company for immobilized my car where I visit the owner of the property. They asked me to pay the fine before they let me go even I told them I visit Multiple Culture Association, the property owner. For example, if it is your property and I visit you and parked at your property, do you ask towing company to lock his car and pay fine? Of course not. Therefore, I think it is totally nonsense to ask for fine to me. I would let the company out of any city.


  23. June Smith

    The problem is not the system or the sign, it is the amount. Yesterday, I paid $110 as I parked by MEC in Halifax. Who decides the amount? Is this amount reasonable or proportionate? Why not charge $200 or $500? Why not agree with the sharia law and cut one of the driver’s hand off? After all, there was a sign and the driver still parked!!

  24. hal1316

    Despite there may be a contract implied a judge will always look at what is reasonable. TRESSPASS on private property with signage If you park there I agree. Tackling one’s property to the ground depriving them of their property because they parked on your land would that not be double jeopardy?. Perhaps one may suggest where in law it to be legal that you can seize my vehicle, tackle it to the ground and hold it there until you are paid. Last time I checked that was a Criminal Offense here in Canada.

  25. Howie

    Here’s my 2 cents. If you know the consequences, and you choose to “do the crime”, then you have nothing to complain about. However, I wasn’t aware. Today, I took my son to the “trendy” Quinpool area to show him a side of Halifax he hasn’t seen in a while. We went to the Ardmore for breakfast, and on the way out, he screamed in joy when he recognized a skateboard store named Pro Skates. I quickly turned into what I thought was a shared parking lot for this store and a Subway. I saw some Subway parking signs in some spots, so I assumed that the ones with no signs might be alright to use for Pro Skates. It was absolutely pouring outside (90mm of rain falling at the time), so we didn’t take the time to go over and read the fine print on these signs. After 15 minutes in Pro Skates, lining up what I thought I was going to get my son for Christmas, I find a boot on my car. I was furious! I wasn’t being sneaky. There was no sign where I parked, and I didn’t recognize through the heavy rain any details from the other signs in the lot. They appeared to me to designate only certain spots were reserved versus the whole lot.

    Sorry Pro Skates, and sorry Ardmore, and sorry Quinpool Association, and not so sorry Subway. You can debate all you want the ethics of using a system of parking enforcement such as “Nogo”, but I’m simply not coming back. that is the perspective of a customer that made an honest mistake.

  26. Darren Lively

    Iive in dartmouth and one day i went to pro skate and i parked in subway well it cost me more for f–king parking than the shoe goo my son whated not happy never shopping there agin F–K nogo notow ass hole!

  27. Rex

    Is there any legal action that can be taken?

    There was no sign on the post where I parked and the main sign for No Tow No Go was not easily noticeable. I thought the parking lot was part or Freemans parking lot.

  28. James

    You got off cheaper than me. I went to the Hedley concert in Victoria BC last week and had to pay $ 106.40 to have a NoGoNoTow Boot removed. No use arguing with the enforcement officer. I had a city parking permit which someone loaned me and I mistakenly used the wrong Parking Lot. There was only one other car in the Lot besides mine but he used the Pay Parking Meter so he was okay. I would have paid for the parking but I thought my borrowed pass was valid for the Lot. Anyway, I just finished typing the Appeal letter and hopefully they will reduce the charge, but I doubt it. I don’t even think you can take them to Court to try to get the amount reduced or dropped altogether.

  29. NoGo NoTow now charges $95 plus tax. Yes, I parked where I was not supposed to, but 95 dollars plus tax!!!???!!! On top of this they damaged my rim on my vehicle (with less than 1200 klms). Given that there was no indication of the company that booted my vehicle, this company now resorts to hiding their identity. When I phoned the number given on my vehicle I was told I had reached an answering service, who by the way would not or could not give me the name of the company. In fact, they blatantly stated that there was no way to reach them directly. Further, the gleeful attendant who showed up with a remote credit card machine expected me to trust him and the seemingly nefarious organization he was affiliated with when he informed me I could pay by credit card or debit card. I am reasonably certain that the owner/shareholders of NoGo No Tow, strut around their social circles/clubs/places of worship/etc as ‘proud members of their community’ yet they are so embarrassed about the honest profit from this service that they sneak around in unmarked cars, wearing no ID and failing to clearly identify themselves on the signage or on the ‘warning’ label placed on the vehicle. Current rates for parking on the street of halifax in a ‘No Parking Zone’ is $35, yet this shadow organization holds your car hostage for $95 dollars plus tax under threat of criminal prosecution for removing the boot or towing if the vehicle stays in its place. To the syndicate who profits from this extortion, do not hide behind (likely minimum wage) answering service employees and instead be forthright in your justification of the fee and yes face the potential wrath that may come from being upfront and honest. It should be pointed out that most tow trucks companies would at least show up with a company logo and a contact number.

  30. Angry Halifax Guy

    I pulled into a lot today and was greeted by a GIANT sign saying “Public Parking”. As it was after 6pm I figured I was safe…… But alas, the sign was incorrect as it should have said “Pay and Display” like every other pay & display lot. Needless to say I am now faced with a choice to either part with $80 (plus taxes) or go without a vehicle. To the credit of Target ( Thats punny) Parking corp, there was a sign present at the lot entrance, however its about a foot of the ground and was obstructed by another parked vehicle. As for the little machine that spits out my parking voucher, well, its about a 150m walk away and tucked behind a corner.

    I feel like the parking environment in Halifax is constructed in such a way that the punitive action of a boot and a removal fee is the ultimate and unjust goal of the greedy land owners. This needs to be corrected.

    (end rant)

  31. John Smith

    I had a similar experience with a parking enforcement company called target parking at parc vic. You would be interested to know that when the police were called after they tried to steal my car unless I paid 100 bucks, the police told them to remove the boots as they has no authority. This was because they were not special constables AND WERE BREAKING THE LAW.

    The boot was removed no fine was paid with many thanks to HPD

    Pass it on

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