Drivers told to pay more for 'parking package'

Some told Toa Payoh season parking covers other carparks; operator later retracts notice

A car passing through an electronic parking system (EPS) gantry operated by Wilson Parking at Mapletree Toa Payoh North carpark.
A car passing through an electronic parking system (EPS) gantry operated by Wilson Parking at Mapletree Toa Payoh North carpark. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Ms Elsie Chng got a shock when she opened her e-mail inbox last Tuesday morning.

She received an e-mail from carpark operator Wilson Parking, saying her season parking at the Toa Payoh North industrial estate would be revoked unless she paid an extra $40 a month for a package that also allows her to park at the Singapore General Hospital in Outram Road.

"Why would I want to park there when I work in Toa Payoh?" said Ms Chng, a 35-year-old assistant marketing manager. She currently pays $90 a month for her parking.

She called the carpark operator to inquire about the new package and was informed that it would also allow her to park at Tanglin Mall and at Shaw Plaza in Balestier Road.

Mrs Agnes Tan, 37, who also received the e-mail, said Wilson Parking should have allowed drivers to choose carparks that they frequent. "I would have chosen ones near where my children go for their supplementary classes," said the branding manager.

She said at least 11 of her colleagues received the e-mail, which had gone viral after being posted on citizen journalism website Stomp last Wednesday.

It is not known how many people had received the e-mail.

Mapletree Industrial Trust Management, which operates the Toa Payoh North industrial estate, said it was not consulted before the e-mail was sent out. A spokesman for Mapletree said it had received several complaints and raised the matter with the carpark operator.

"We will also be contacting affected tenants directly on this matter," she said.

Wilson Parking business development manager Alvin Lim said the company had "unreservedly apologised" to the affected parties.

"We have informed them their parking arrangements remain status quo," said Mr Lim.

Wilson Parking is one of the largest carpark operators in Singapore, with almost 300 carparks islandwide.

One of the affected drivers, Ms Angelia Tay, 46, said she received the apology by e-mail.

She said she would continue parking at the industrial estate and appreciated that Wilson Parking quickly rectified their mistake.

"Their initial offer was really unreasonable," said the marketing communications manager .

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2016, with the headline 'Drivers told to pay more for 'parking package''. Subscribe