Drivers hit with bills for unused parking spots at Impark lots
CALGARY -- Some Calgarians are upset with what they believe is an unfair charge from parking company Impark.
Impark operates 99 lots in and around the downtown core, many of which have been almost empty since the COVID-19 outbreak forced thousands to work from home.
But even though no one is in their spots, some say they’re being charged full price by the Vancouver-based company.
Sam Gao says he’s paying more than $340 in April parking fees even though he hasn’t used his space in weeks.
Gao is now forced to work from home, so he called Impark last week to cancel his payments.
“They said because I didn’t give them a 30 day notice...I just have to pay,” Gao said.
He’ll be on the hook for April’s payment because Impark told him he needed to give a 30 day cancellation warning.
“It’s going to hurt my bank for sure,” Gao said. “I asked (Impark) what to do after I go back to work and they said you have to reapply for the parking and there’s an activation fee. I will also have to buy a new parking pass, key pad or access card and I have to pay two more months of rent up front.”
Gao is a new father who is expecting his work hours to be reduced due to the pandemic. He described the April payment as “unfair.”
Kim Hehr is in a similar situation.
“I was concerned with that because my payment is $317 a month,” Hehr said. “A lot of people are out of work, and they have families and they’re trying to do everything they can to even afford food.”
Hehr says Impark gave her a $25 credit for her troubles. Gao says he didn’t receive anything but a bill.
He also says the company mistakenly pulled May’s rent out of his bank, an error he’ll have to contact them to correct.
Impark operates the parking lots, but they are privately-owned.
In a statement, a spokesperson told CTV News that “because we do not own the properties, we are unable to unilaterally change longstanding policies and contracts, such as the cancellation term notice required for monthly parking.”
Calgary’s mayor scoffed at the idea.
“Every one of us who has a business and every one of us who is a landlord has to understand that we are (living) in different times,” Naheed Nenshi said. “If I happen to be a huge multinational firm, I probably can afford to waive the 30 days (notice).”
Nenshi doesn’t have a say in what the company charges, but did have a message for them Friday: “Hey Impark,” he said, “don’t do that!”