To need help with a parking charge!!

(61 Posts)
NipNaps Tue 22-Oct-13 21:55:08

DH and I went to assist on a school trip tonight (6th formers going to laser quest!) and along with some other members of staff, decided to visit the pub next door for a pint afterwards. We parked in the pub car park and went into the laser place then afterwards (approx 1 hour later) we went straight into the pub.

However, the barman took one look at us and told us he wouldn't serve us. We asked why and he said "because you're parked in the car park". We then replied "well yes, we live too far away from here to have walked" and he kept repeating that he wouldn't serve us because we were in the car park. We asked why and he refused to explain and threatened to call the police if we didn't leave. We decided to just go as it was all too bizarre and we were running out of time with our babysitter.

When we got out to the car park, it was very dark and close to empty. There was a parking ticket on the side of each of the teachers' cars, saying that we'd parked there and we weren't authorised (I guess they'd watched us park and then not go straight to the pub). However we were intending to be customers afterwards although I accept they wouldn't have known that.

I think what then happened is that the barman refused to serve us as then we'd have been customers and therefore would have had grounds to appeal the ticket whereas because we weren't allowed to buy a drink, we can't now be classed as customers.

When we arrived at and left the car park, it was really dark and we had to drive around the car park a couple of times when we were leaving before we saw a sign saying parking for customers only but it was impossible to see it unless you shone a light directly at it as it was so dark and hidden.

I know this sounds silly but I rang the local non-emergency police who were actually really interested in it and said that although it is a civil matter and they technically can't help, they told me to approach the ticket company, then the council and then citizens advice.

I just feel that this was a really immoral way for the pub to act. I imagine that the landlord must be fed up of people using the car park and not the pub but we tried to use the pub, and we weren't doing so just to have grounds for appeal...we genuinely intended and attempted to get a drink there! The company wants us to pay £100, reduced to £60 if within 7 days.

Please help! Not sure if I've included all relevant info, so happy to answer questions about it...

NipNaps Wed 23-Oct-13 21:10:44

IHave I think they have only recently brought in the enforcement company who apparently kick up a stink about putting up their own signs rather than working with what is already there.

IHaveA Wed 23-Oct-13 20:49:47

Fair enough. I thought that may have happened.
They may have had to change the signs because of the legislation changes or the Pub may have recently changed the parking enforcement company.

The MSE posters are really helpful if a bit snarky at times I find it a fascinating forum nearly as interesting as GardenLaw grin

The parking companies have a history of being nothing short of thugs. I have no sympathy with them. I would appeal the invoice if I were you.

SleepingWithABrokenHeart Wed 23-Oct-13 20:38:26

Its private land, they can't do fuck all. They can give you a parking charge but they can't enforce it!!

They can take you to court but they can only claim back their loss.. which is this case is jack shit! Ignore them and they'll go away, appeal and you'll have them on your back for months. I made that mistake!

I tried to appeal and I had letters from debt collectors and solicitors, funny enough when I didn't reply to solicitors letter they threatened to take it back to debt collectors.. after them going back and forth and realizing they wasn't going to get a penny from me they stopped contacting me.

DO NOT PAY!!!!!!!!

LaGuardia Wed 23-Oct-13 20:26:56

Do not pay it. Ignore it. They are just trying their luck. You will not end up in court. I promise.

NipNaps Wed 23-Oct-13 20:25:46

Aha right well my thread on there has been pretty hot all day! I just looked at the pic on street view and it is totally different to how it looks now - it must have been taken AGES ago as the signs are hidden in the middle of a massive bush plus there is no lighting in the car park so it really did take us doing a couple of laps on full beam to spot it afterwards. In fact the car park was so dark that one of my colleagues had her car bumped into as well when a customer was leaving in his car sad plus the car park has been extended since then so some of the signs have maybe moved or been taken down and not all of them put back. It honestly looks quite different now!

IHaveA Wed 23-Oct-13 20:19:48

Lol, no I am not a stalker grin but I am on the mse parking threads a lot Hence my earlier advice at the beginning of this thread to follow the info given MSE.

NipNaps Wed 23-Oct-13 20:09:44

IHaveA are you stalking me or do you know me in real life? I haven't named the city, pub nor the laser place (it is not actually called "laser quest"). Where are you thinking we are?

IHaveA Wed 23-Oct-13 19:52:41

OP, I am all for you appealing this as I have the same disdain for parking companies as the posters on MoneySavingExpert ...however, having looked at the pub on street view, you are mistaken to say that the signs in the carpark were not clear. confused They are in an obvious position and are big and bright yellow. shock. You can almost read them on StreetView. I find it hard to believe that no one in your group saw them.

.** assuming that the signs haven't changed since the streetView shots were taken hmm **.

There is also an NCP carpark around the corner. You have to admit that it would be really irritating for the pub landlord. You can see how he must think that you were simply trying to avoid paying for parking.

Having said that, I still think you should appeal as the parking companies are generally scumbags but I also feel sorry for the pub.

NipNaps Wed 23-Oct-13 19:33:15

Yes Westie I can totally see that point and I probably would have felt that way if I were the barman but to be honest I think I would have explained the situation rather than going nuts and threatening to call the police about people who at that point did not know the full situation nor the assumption that the landlord had made.

WestieMamma Wed 23-Oct-13 19:30:44

Sorry but I don't think the landlord is being sneaky at all. From his perspective you parked in his carpark without his consent as you weren't customers. You were ticketed for doing this. You then try to be customers but he doesn't want your customer as he probably thought you were trying to take the piss to get out of the tickets.

As far as I can see the only grounds for appeal that you have is the fact that the parking restrictions/fines weren't clearly displayed.

NipNaps Wed 23-Oct-13 19:28:03

And of course we would have apologised had we known he'd seen it that way. As far as we were aware we were customers who'd parked where we wanted to drink. I initially thought he was going to go off on one about drink-driving when he asked about cars.

NipNaps Wed 23-Oct-13 19:26:21

About 50. There were about 40 free spaces, literally the car park was deserted when we got there.

We didn't say it in a snarky way; we had no idea why we were being asked that question at that point.

IHaveA Wed 23-Oct-13 19:14:04

Lol, I doubt the "Yes, we live too far away to walk here" smart Alec comment helped your course. I'd have gone with a grovelling apology personally. confused

How many parking spots did the pub have?

NipNaps Wed 23-Oct-13 18:41:30

3 - there were quite a few teachers but we all lift shared.

We couldn't even get into a conversation with the barman - he just went loopy at us the minute we walked in...

"I'm not serving you, have you parked in the car park?"

"Yes, we live too far away to walk here"

"Get out of my pub, I'm not serving you"

"Why, have we done something wrong?"

"I'm going to call the police if you don't get out now"

It was only when we got out that we realised that there were tickets on the cars and that's when it dawned on us that they didn't want us to be customers because otherwise we'd then have grounds to challenge the ticket.

Anyway...as the day has gone on I've made lots of new friends on the Martin's money forum, one of whom lives opposite the actual car park and also happens to know the law about private car parks inside out and as there's no sign saying that there are parking restrictions at the entrance, apparently they cannot legally enforce the fine and any appeal that goes through the independent appeals body will be upheld. I just feel that the attitude of the barman (who has since turned out to be the landlord) was so so horrible that I am going to fight this all the way. What they did was so sneaky and it's not fair. I totally understand that they are fed up with non-customers using their car park but they went about enforcing the rule totally the wrong way and have put off a lot of potential new customers in the process.

Thymeout Wed 23-Oct-13 17:55:13

There was a parking ticket on each of the teacher's cars.

Just how many cars were involved? Each taking up a space for over an hour while you were at Laserquest?

I'm not surprised the barman was annoyed. Especially as he had no idea you'd be buying a drink afterwards. Did you apologise at any point during your conversation with him?

IHaveA Wed 23-Oct-13 13:34:47

I think getting a drink an HOUR after parking isn't relevant. The fact is that you used the carpark when you were not customers. Follow the pepipoo/MoneySavingExpert advice.

NipNaps Wed 23-Oct-13 13:31:00

Well I'm definitely going to appeal it, but the problem is that due to the fact that the barman refused to serve us, we have no evidence that we were customers there...had he served us and we'd paid by card then we could have shown the parking company the transaction but by refusing us, he has taken away any evidence we could have had. If I didn't know better then I'd say it sounded like the pub was getting a cut from the tickets, and that it was a bit of a scam!

I would appeal it. Given that you tried to buy a drink and were refused you have some good grounds for argument. the sign presumably doesn't say you must immediately be a customer does it?

It is important that people understand that the law has changed in this regard. If you don't pay the ticket the company will get your details from the DVLA and write to the registered keeper. That's what used to happen but if the registered keeper didn't reply then they had nothing to go on. NOW they can proceed against the registered keeper even if they deny it was them driving. Dh is getting letters about one atm. The letters aren't v nice - lots of give us your card number to pay the debt....but it doesn't say how much that is hmm. He says if they take him to court he will pay then. Personally I would rather he'd paid the original £40 but he says you have to stand up to these people hmm x 1000!

WestieMamma Wed 23-Oct-13 12:58:52

You're lucky you weren't clamped.

No she isn't. The change in the law which has made it easier to enforce these parking charges also banned clamping.

FlapJackOLantern Wed 23-Oct-13 12:44:22

Perhaps trade is so bad he really doesn't care. He'll get more from the fine than from their custom grin

SirChenjin Wed 23-Oct-13 11:08:24

Yep, they probably are - but the OP and her friends did go into the pub afterwards, and he refused to serve them. Hardly a smart approach to business, is it? He's managed to lose actual business as well as future business, at a time when the car park was practically empty anyway. Idiotic man.

FlapJackOLantern Wed 23-Oct-13 11:05:22

Well, they are obviously totally pissed off with people parking in their car park - otherwise they would not have the fines in place, would they?

SirChenjin Wed 23-Oct-13 10:32:32

Yes - because otherwise they lose business, and with so many pubs closing each week it's not like a pub can afford not to welcome customers with open arms, is it?

FlapJackOLantern Wed 23-Oct-13 10:23:52

You parked on someone's private land then went off somewhere else. What did you expect the pub to do - welcome you with open arms?

YWBU and cheeky.

nogreythatmatters Wed 23-Oct-13 10:17:49

The chances of having to make a court appearance are minimal.

People who work for Car Parking companies are trash - sending threatening letters, trying to scare old, infirm and vunerable people.

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