Winter Water – Parkbridge Style
Winter water? “Great for resale” I was told by Sales guy #1. That was something I had never heard of. Winter water in a RV Park is the ability to have water service in the winter. The Park will run a water line similar to what most homes have. Then a heating coil is wrapped around the part that stick out of the ground and into the trailer. Since we were getting a cement pad poured it was pointed out it was now or never. Sure we thought it was a good idea. We agreed to pay to have a winter water connection run into our Trailer. It would allow us to have a longer season. It also gave us the option of using the trailer in the winter. When we bought our trailer winter water was 300 dollars extra, on top of the premium rate the lot we were on cost. The section had some people with winter water and some didn’t. Everyone paid the Premium Rate.
After using the trailer one winter and having nothing but problems, we decided to not use the Winter Water anymore. Also the following year Parkbridge raised the Winter Water rate from 300 to 1000 dollars plus the lot fees went up another 4%. We would just use the water May 15-Oct 15 like everyone else. The trailer can be hooked with a garden hose also. We wouldn’t get an extended season but that wasn’t going to be a problem. We had already decided to sell the Trailer. When we told the office about our decision the Park Manager said no way. She said we were obligated to pay for Winter Water. When I asked why she said because the Park paid for the pipes to run the water so they had to get their money back. When I pointed out I paid for the install she didn’t believe me.
The Park Manager’s second reason was, we paid for Winter Water once so that means, we had agreed to buy Winter Water from Parkbridge forever. I asked the manager to show me the piece of paper I had signed that stated this. There is no agreement I was told. Apparently we were told about it by the Sales person and that was good enough. When I asked the Sales guy he told me he thought it was an option. Without some written agreement I surely wasn’t bound to pay 1000.00 dollars extra every year was I?
The Park Manager, the Regional Manager and the Eastern Area Manager all said that I was. They had talked to the Parkbridge Lawyers and the Lawyers told them they didn’t need a written agreement for Winter Water. If the Sales guy told us about it then that was good enough. So we talked to a lawyer and our lawyer said that without a written agreement Parkbridge had no right to impose an option like Winter Water on it’s residents. Our Lawyer was using the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, 2002 for her conclusions. What Parkbridge and it’s “Lawyer” use is still a mystery to me.
So here comes the slight snag for owners of a Park Model Trailer. You just don’t pull up and leave. So we were going to sell anyways so we thought just Pay the lot fees sell this year(2009) and get out. Our lawyers told us we could sue in small claims court for the money after we left. One year goes by, we still haven’t sold due to reasons I have already discussed in an earlier chapter. So we are faced with another season of a 4% rate increase plus paying 1000 extra for Winter Water we didn’t want. So we decided to turn up the heat on the Eastern Regional Manager. We decided that we would move the Trailer to a lot the had a Regular Rate(1500 dollar diff.) Plus Parkbridge would refund a portion of the money we spent on installing Winter Water. I guess this was an out of court settlement.
I am not going to draw any conclusions for you. I am just stating the facts in our case. Parkbridge charges 15-20 lots in the Park for Winter Water. I guess if they gave everyone the fair option and everyone said no thanks they would be out 20K+ each year. The Section we were in was a mix with the majority not having Winter Water. We paid for the install, we paid for the Hydro to keep the pipes from freezing. We never signed an agreement that obligated us to pay for Winter Water forever. In our opinion, Parkbridge is being unfair and is conducting business contrary to the Consumer Protection Act in Ontario. Apparently all of these people disagree with us:
Park Manager, Regional Manager, Eastern Area Manager and Parkbridge’s Lawyers.