We are a group of writers and bloggers. We not lawyers - this website is not meant to be taken as advice - neither legal advice nor general advice. Rather, it is an aggregation of information from various consumer rights websites including Victorian Consumer Affairs, Consumer Action Law Center, the ACCC ASIC, and from Sean Hardy's website. Sean Hardy is a practicing Victorian Barrister who gives free advice through his website forum.
This website brings all this information together in one place. It provides references throughout to where the information was obtained from. Where we are not directly quoting specific documents such as the ACCC Debt Collection Guidelines, we are giving an opinion, and what we say shouldn't be taken as fact.
Johnny Smithson has been quoted in, or this site has been linked from, the following Metropolitan newspapers and nation wide magazines or legal publications:
As someone who has had a friends go through this before, Johnny was keen to provide information and options to others, as others had helped us when a close relative of Johnny's was going through this. After his relative was finished the process of disputing their debt, Johnny helped out by answering questions on a couple of discussion sites, but found he was answering the same questions all the time so he decided to put the info in one place on this website, so he could refer people to it with just a link.
After Johnny created a few short pages on this website several years ago, Johnny thought that was to be the end of it, and that his website would slowly gather dust. But shortly after he created it, he started receiving rather disturbing emails from people who had been treated very badly by some companies. From people such as Brian (see Brian's story) and Joanne who said she felt "stalked" by one of the companies (see Joanne's story). So then he recording more and more stores such as Brian and Joanne's on this site.
The information on the website is nothing that cannot be found elsewhere. It is designed to give people clear options, but doesn't tell people what to do. For example, it gives three options to respond to letters - ignore, respond with a denial, or to pay the amount demanded. All three options are valid for different people. For example, an elderly person who is stressed by the letters to the extent that is its affecting their health, may decide to pay. That is a valid option for them. So they are all just options, and we don't mean or intend to tell you what to do because we don't know your personal circumstances and even if we did, we are not legal practitioners. In that regard, please assume the authors of this website does not have any special qualifications, authority or credentials. Please read the references on the site yourself and make your own decision.
We get questions from a lot of people who ask "how do I know you are right". Or "what guarantee do I have that if I follow your advice I will have my fine withdrawn". These people have missed the point of the website. The intent of the website was to give people options and for them to make their own choice. There are no guarantees. If you want certainty, you can pay $200 to a lawyer for advice.
If, having read this "about" page, you are confused, and not sure what to do, we would suggest you read Sean Hardy's page here ==> http://www.trafficlaw.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=538 (please read all 19 pages). Sean is a barrister and legally qualified to give advice. Both Sean and us have a template "letter of denial" letter. The main difference between the two letters is that my template asks for a copy of the contract and some other info. The reason why it asks for that is that we find that it is never sent. And if it is not sent, then according to the ACCC Debt Collection document the car park company cannot continue legally to send letters of demand until after the information is sent. If you are not able (or don't have time) to read the various documents and references to work out which template to use, and you want the confirmation of knowing the "credentials" of the person who wrote the template, then just use Sean Hardy's letter. Having said that, Sean does talk quite positively about my template letter here http://www.trafficlaw.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=538&sid=e6a8c6104aac16761368dff76719ab69&start=306#p10578
Disclaimer: the author of this website is not a lawyer and this site does not constitute legal advice.