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AIBU to ignore 'Parking Charge Notice' from Parking Eye

(132 Posts)
ComposHat Fri 04-Jan-13 12:54:30

Just before Christmas I was travelling from England to Scotland when we stopped at a service station for a break at a service station just over the border just before midnight.

When we returned to the car after a loo break and a cup of coffee, the car resolutely failed to start. After a call to the AA we were told that it would be a three hour wait until a patrol would get back to me.

Anyway the patrolman showed up after about three hours and got me us underway again, colder, grumpier but none the worse for wear.

All well and good, until I got a letter from a company called 'Parking Eye' trying to get me to pay £100 quid for overstaying the two hour free parking period (in a deserted car park at midnight in a broken down car) complete with two blurry pictures of my car's number plate. The driver (who may or may not have been me ;-) ) isn't visible in their cruddy shots.

Having scanned a few forums, the consensus seems to be to ignore these money grabbing chancers and deposit the letters they send straight into the dustbin. However I am by nature quite nervy, so am a bit worried about the consequences, equally I don't have a spare £100 lying around to hand over to these cowboys.

Has anyone had any experience in dealing with 'Parking Eye' or other Private Parking contractors and what did you do? Any help greatly appreciated.

HollyBerryBush Fri 04-Jan-13 12:57:50

Private car park fines cannot be enforced - havea look at Martin Smith money forum - you should find a template letter there to tell them to go boil their heads.

ChaoticintheNewYear Fri 04-Jan-13 12:58:09

I believe that the only parking tickets that are legally enforceable are those given by the council/police.

NewYearNewNN Fri 04-Jan-13 13:00:07

There was a very good thread about this a little while ago, I'll see if I can find it. Meanwhile, I'm pretty certain you'll be fine - but DO NOT RESPOND to them yet, by phone, letter or email, until some of us have had a chance to do some research.

atacareercrossroads Fri 04-Jan-13 13:02:05

Ignore, nothing will come of it, apart from them wasting their time sending more letters.

DH is expecting one of these for breaking down in a car park last week. He intends to reply informing them that the landowner was made aware (lent him a phone to call the AA!) and their later cctv will show said AA van parked nearby and then towing him away.

Panic not; let the experts get back with template links!

NewYearNewNN Fri 04-Jan-13 13:03:09

this one covers a lot of what you need to know.

DO NOT PAY THEM. The only car parkibg fines you NEED to pay are Council and Police ones.

Stand firm. They will send you a fine letter, then a late fine letter, then tell you they will.pass it onto a debt collection agency and it has reached x amount of £££s then eventually it will disappear.

They have NO legal leg to stand on.

rechargemybatteries Fri 04-Jan-13 13:04:08

Keep the letter but DO NOT RESPOND.

They can't do anything.

Were there any clear signs about exceeding the time limit?

ComposHat Fri 04-Jan-13 13:14:38

Thanks everyone, I feel emboldened.

recharge I'm not sure how clear the parking signs were as it was pitch black and we'd only intended to stop 20 minutes before the car broke down.

Garnier Fri 04-Jan-13 13:15:42

DEFINITELY IGNORE

Read lots about it on moneysavingexpert or the consumer action group.

googlyeyes Fri 04-Jan-13 13:20:42

Yes, do not respond at all to anything they send. All that will do is lead to extra hassling as you've confirmed they have the right address

I got one of these fines after staying too long in a McDonalds car park last year (in my defence my autistic son was taking ages to eat his food following a massive meltdown) and my brother told me categorically to ignore all letters/ threats from them. It was pretty hairy as I got repeated letters upping the fine amount but then they just stopped.

Thee's an M&S near us that charges a pound to park in their car park (run by europarks) and it's quite funny seeing people panic if they don't have change on them etc. Most people aren't aware what an empty threat the warnings in these car parks are

Notfootball Fri 04-Jan-13 13:24:15

Don't pay, ignore is the advice I have been given. We overstayed in a free car park but spent lots of money in the shop in November and have had two letters requesting payment (the second one arrived before the 'pay by' date had expired so they must be desperate) and recently, a third one from their 'legal team'. I'm enjoying collecting them and want to see how far they will go to collect 90 odd pounds from someone who overstayed a couple of minutes in a free and empty car park.

rechargemybatteries Fri 04-Jan-13 13:25:01

Was there a ticket machine to pay for parking or was it one of those "free parking up to two hours" places? Because the law is different whether there's a ticket that you get or if it's free.

ICBINEG Fri 04-Jan-13 13:25:36

have had a little look and if the parking is free then they have no legal right to claim they are out of pocket. They would if you had stopped other customers but given the car park was empty this is trivially bogus. So you cost them nothing and their invoice is therefore unreasonable and you should not pay it.

CornyClam Fri 04-Jan-13 13:27:08

So I don't have to pay to park in m&s?

What do I say to the car parking guy who stands guard in the doorway?

ComposHat Fri 04-Jan-13 13:28:09

recharge it was one of those 2 hours free jobs.

JamesBexleySpeed Fri 04-Jan-13 13:31:19

I don't think a ticket makes any difference, recharge, just whether or not it's a council or private car park.

rechargemybatteries Fri 04-Jan-13 13:33:43

Oh ok blush

meddie Fri 04-Jan-13 13:36:12

Just ignore it. DO NOT RESPOND this will only confirm to them they have the right address.

You will get a few more letters, some in big red writing that look scary and say stuff like. you may be taken to court, you may get a CCJ etc etc.

You might even get a letter that looks like it came from a solicitors. Graham white or roxburgh was who they used to use.

DO NOT RESPOND

The letters will stop eventually. They are just chancing their arm.

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 13:44:17

It is a parking charge that they try to get you to pay by pretending it is a fine when reality is they are bully boy chancres.

If I send you a letter Op demanding 100 quid would you send me the money if I dressed it up in the same scam like way? Thought not - so don't pay them either wink

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 13:46:25

Oh and you could keep this first letter and then send the others back Not Known at This address - that will mean they think the DVLA have sold them the wrong address due to you not upadating your driving licence - but there would be nothing they could do about it....

That is if the envelops have a distinguishing feature about them so you know to send them back smile

ComposHat Fri 04-Jan-13 13:51:26

I do hope they do start threatening CCJs as they don't exist in Scotland!

I was wondering if it was worth talking to the Centre Manager at the Service station and explain the circs of the breakdown and see of he/she can do anything?

I'm minded to do nothing, but wondered if asking the Welcome Break to intervene with this clowns might save a few trees/long drawn out process.

LadySybilPussPolham Fri 04-Jan-13 14:05:46

I recently received a parking charge notice for £70 from a company like this who manage the Aldi car park near us. I had gone over the two hour period, not realising that they were actually timing it from the moment you drive onto the premises! As I had spent close to 20 minutes queuing in the car park to actually get a space (Christmas) I was pretty peeved and fired off an indignant email with my receipts attached. I got a fairly prompt response telling me that the charge had been cancelled.
I had no idea at the time that this was an unenforceable charge; even so I would still have been tempted to contact them to tell them to do one

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:06:40

contacting the welcome break will just me you confirm to the company that employess this company that you have received your fine and therefore they can send you more letters and cut down more trees

MegBusset Fri 04-Jan-13 14:09:07

YANBU to ignore. I had one from them last year after they took over the car park at my local Aldi. They may send you one or two more letters but they have zero legal standing and they will give up and go away eventually. They are total scamsters and I'm astonished they're still allowed to operate.

Feelingood Fri 04-Jan-13 14:10:51

We've had two, did not respond as then we didn't accept contract so we didn't pay anything.

It make me seeth that the landlords of retail parks allow this. In my small local one I had overstayed by three hours:

Broswe m N s
Shopped in Boots changed baby
Shopped in next
Went to costa bf, then had one lunch and coffee.

It annoys. Me do these retailers not want us to stay, why don't they complain to landlords. Feckers.

threepiecesuite Fri 04-Jan-13 14:19:58

Our Asda is now controlled by Parking Eye. Lots of new notices gone up. You pay, then get refunded in Asda. Except you don't haved to, because it's a notice,not a fine.

So, the parking attendant man says to me last week, "you don't seem to have a car park ticket". I said "well, me and you both know there's no point as it's unenforcable and not worth the paper it's written on". He soon sloped off without a word.

PessaryPam Fri 04-Jan-13 14:54:42

We've ignored a Parking Eye Invoice (not a fixed penalty notice as they would like you to think) and all was fine. They go away in the end, do not engage in any correspondence with them whatsoever.

ComposHat Fri 04-Jan-13 15:11:23

Decision made: i shall resolutely ignore them! Thank you everyone for giving me the courage to resist this scam.

I feel a bit like Gandhi (minus the loin cloth)

We are expecting one soon, unplanned overstay in a free carpark . Like you we will be ignoring it. From what I understand they can only claim for losses due to breach of contract. As there are no losses, due to them not charging car parking fees (and they run as a separate business from the motorway services, so they cant claim to have lost out on sales) they havent got a leg to stand on.
I'm quite excited about my letter coming!

ComposHat Fri 04-Jan-13 15:34:59

How exciting for you kitten it is like Christmas all over again!

I am sort of looking forward to the next one too, what will it threaten? To remove my toenails one by one with a pair of pliers? To torture the goldfish while I look on? Play James Blunt records round the clock until I give in?

grin It is! Nice to have something fun due to arrive in the post. Its a bit like watching a horror film - what tactics will they use to try and scare us? Will we wibble in a corner or will we brazen it out with popcorn?

ComposHat Fri 04-Jan-13 15:42:57

I actually have some popcorn on the go at the moment so my decision is made.

juniper904 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:47:13

I ignored a private parking ticket and they took me to court. We agreed to settle.

juniper904 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:47:25

Not from that company, though.

girlynut Fri 04-Jan-13 19:00:55

Ignore it! I had one for overstaying in a local gym car park (max stay 3 hours and I was 4 hours - caught on timed CCTV). I simply put it in the bin and the second letter I received a fortnight later. Heard nothing since.

You can only be taken to court for a criminal offence if you broke the law and there are no laws relating to parking on private land, only public highways.

If they wanted to go to court for a civil offence, they have to show that you'd caused some damage or loss. Which you haven't. So it's all nonsense!

juniper904 Fri 04-Jan-13 20:21:06

I was accussed of trespassing.

I would say ignore all letters, but if they come from a court then never ignore! Getting a ccj ruins your credit rating. My court case was all fairly easy- the courts arranged it so I didn't have to take a day's unpaid leave, and the settlement was the same price as the original 'charge'. I think they wanted to make an example of me because I posted about it on a well known website. Their barrister had print outs of my forum conversations shock

Cutiecat Fri 04-Jan-13 20:52:41

I got one today where they photographed my car leaving. Does this,ale any difference? Off to read links.

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 22:02:21

juniper - how did they prove you were driving the car and parked it? As the dvla only give the owners name and address and not a list of people who are insured to drive the car - so where or how did they get that information? As you can't take a car driver to court you need to take a named person to court. Added to which you don't have to prove you were not driving they need to do that part

juniper904 Fri 04-Jan-13 22:14:11

Apparently the driver thing doesn't always apply. My car is registered to me, therefore I am responsible for it; regardless of who was driving.

In actual fact, it might have been my brother that parked my car in the space. I raised this with the judge but she dismissed it as unimportant. I also stated that no-one was harmed or inconvenienced by my parking (it was a block of flats' car park) and that trespass has a traditional fine of £1, but she wasn't convinced.

When the company instructed their barrister that they were willing to settle, I decided to take it. They paid a barrister to represent them, and I would have had to pay his fees if I'd lost. It would have added up to hundreds of pounds, so I did the wussy thing and didn't stand up for myself.

ComposHat Fri 04-Jan-13 22:17:13

Ivy

After a bit of digging this afternoon, it would appear that since October 2012 that if the driver is not identified then the Registered Keeper is liable for their (seemingly unenforceable) fines. Luckily the Act doesn't cover Scotland.

Nevertheless in England and Wales they still have to prove in court that you suffered a loss as a result of your actions and they can only recover their loss, not a 'fine' they have arbitrarily imposed.

The unanimous advice from Martin Lewis/Watchdog et al seems to be ignore speculative invoices issued by these companies and do not enter into any kind of correspondence with them.

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 22:36:55

There will be further changes to the laws - I knew it was coming in about the registered keeper - hadn't realised it was Oct sad

TBH I am surprised out of town shopping parking hasn't been hit with taxing by government or local government in the same way that town centres have suffered - it will come though.

Excellent that Scotland has not let this come into force.

What gets me is data protection is so very tight in other areas - yet the dvla can be asked about a number plate and give out the information willy nilly for a fee - same goes for land registry - for a small fee I can find out my neighbours mortgage suppliers by paying online. I wonder if someone will take on the powers at dvl a one day as a test case..?

jgjgjg Fri 04-Jan-13 22:59:58

Write to the service station owner/operator and state the circumstances that caused you to overstay in the car park. Stess the mitigating circumstances, and that you are regular spending customer of the service station, but that you will of course immediately stop using it forever if the 'fine' is enforced.

We just did it a couple of days ago with a furniture store and they immediately instructed the private parking company to cancel the 'fine' the very day the letter dropped through their letterbox.

2kidsintow Fri 04-Jan-13 23:04:38

I remember getting a parking fine from a private company, reading all the info online and then calling citizens advice. They advised I pay!

I ignored them. But had a panic every time I got a new letter.

I got a letter telling me to pay.
THen a letter saying I had to pay the higher amount as I hadn't paid early.
THen a warning, which kindly pointed out that not paying may affect my credit rating in the future (not true)
Then a final warning with another dire veiled threat or two about how much it would cost me if it went to court.

THen nothing.

I was fully aware by then that even if they went to court, all they were allowed to chase me for was the income they had lost from the sale of my ticket (which I had paid, but had not put on my screen properly- the corner was covered)

Damash12 Fri 04-Jan-13 23:09:13

Hi yeah ignore or do as friend did when they send a follow letter saying they will take you to court that you will pay £1 a month and can you have there sort code and bank details. In this instance if by a miracle it actually did go to court you have made an offer of payment that cannot be refused. I assure you it is unlikely you will hear from them again when you ask for there details. Other than that you could just reply with a large FUCK OFF on the fine they have sent! ;-) Don't let it ruin your new year, these are cowboys trying there luck.

redwallday Fri 04-Jan-13 23:15:37

Don't pay them and DON'T enter into any form of dialogue with them. Simply ignore, ignore, ignore!

sarahtigh Sat 05-Jan-13 07:48:06

if you write you confirm your name and address and have then contracted with them, so do not reply at all just BIN

happylass Mon 07-Jan-13 18:29:38

Sooo glad I found this thread. I had a 'parking charge' from Parking Eye for overstaying in a free car park at my local retail park. Am a bit scared

happylass Mon 07-Jan-13 18:32:10

Sooo glad I found this thread. Today I had a 'parking charge' from Parking Eye for overstaying in a free car park at my local retail park. To be fair I was there longer than the 2 hours allowed but a) I didn't see any signs and b) what sort of car park charges £60 an hour?? Am a bit scared of the bailiffs coming knocking but have decided to ignore!

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 18:39:47

They probably won't do anything. BUT it's wrong to say that these charges are illegal/unenforceable. If they have a contract to provide parking services, of course what they are doing is legal. How it works is this: they provide the parking space and thus invite you to enter into a contract with them. If you use the space, you accept their offer of a contract and this is legally binding. If you then overstay or don't pay, then you have broken your contract with them, and what the letters are is an attempt to sue you for breach of contract. Ignoring them doesn't make it any less of a breach, or any less of a contract; that's just not how it works.

However, in practice they are very very unlikely to commence proceedings in order to enforce this compensatory payment for breach of contract, so you'll probably be ok.

PRBunny Mon 07-Jan-13 18:42:34

Ivy - it doesn't matter if the law has changed so the private parking companies can go after the registered keeper of the car. The following principles still apply:

a) the private parking companies do not own the land they are asked to 'manage' meaning they have no legal standing to ticket your car
b) often the car parks are free, meaning the landowners haven't lost a penny. Department for Transport guidance states any request for recompense has to be reasonable.

The tickets private parking companies put on your cars are called speculative invoices. They base their business model on about 70% of people just paying up.

Other posters have said to ignore the tickets. That's my advice too. Only pay tickets issued by the council / proper traffic warden / police.

This is a hot topic at the moment in the PRBunny household as our estate is 'managed' (I use the term loosely) by a private parking company. They have ticketed my car twice, despite owning the freehold to my own space outside my house!!

It's incensed DH so much he is pretty much glued to the Money Saving Expert section covering this. There is also a thread on MSE where you can see what letters you will receive in the post from the various private parking companies.

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 18:47:07

You don't have to own land in order to have a contratual right to provide (parking) services relating to it.

PRBunny Mon 07-Jan-13 18:50:34

Wallison

Have you checked out the advice from MSE?

There is well-established case law to support what I am saying.

mayorquimby Mon 07-Jan-13 18:52:48

But they are not seeking damages for breach of contract, otherwise they'd be going for the amount that should have been paid for parking etc.
They are trying to enforce a penalty clause which are unenforcable under contract law.
As you say they can still instigate proceedings etc. for breach of contract but the damages they'd be entitled to would be nowhere near the amounts that these private parking firms initially attempt to recover from people.

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 18:53:09

There's a lot of eye-wash on MSE (and on this thread in fact) about this.

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 18:55:08

^ As you say they can still instigate proceedings etc. for breach of contract but the damages they'd be entitled to would be nowhere near the amounts that these private parking firms initially attempt to recover from people.

Agreed. The amounts they are asking for are extortionate and the court may well reduce accordingly. But, do you really want to take the chance, if you do get as far as court proceedings with all the additional costs that will definitely entail if you lose?

boomting Mon 07-Jan-13 18:58:10

They're utterly unenforceable. Ignore. We had one of these a few years ago. They kept sending letters that [tried to be] threatening. Unfortunately, ten letters down the line, they were still only saying that they "may consider starting legal action". Erm, yes, because may consider means it's highly likely to happen. Not.

Eventually, the letters just stopped.

ComposHat Mon 07-Jan-13 18:59:47

But, do you really want to take the chance, if you do get as far as court proceedings with all the additional costs that will definitely entail if you lose?

Yes

Parking Eye have NEVER taken anyone to court.

mayorquimby Mon 07-Jan-13 19:02:06

I'd fancy my chances.
You'd probably lose for a nominal amount (£5) if you happened to be the one in a thousand case they pursued.
They'd have to show damages which is far from guarenteed (I'd wager in 99% of cases there would be no damages) and I doubt many judges would actually award costs as it would either be in the small claims court or if at a higher court then the parking firm would have a hard time arguing they were entitled to their court costs when it was their initial attempt to extort money and enforce unenforcable contract clauses which necessitated the court visit.
I've gotten them in the past and ignored them because they don't really have a leg to stand on.

ravenAK Mon 07-Jan-13 19:02:19

Ignore the buggers. They are about as likely to see you in court as they are to abseil in through your window with a box of Milk Tray for you.

boomting Mon 07-Jan-13 19:02:24
PRBunny Mon 07-Jan-13 19:02:45

Then I would employ a no-win, no-fee barrister in my defence, rather than defend myself in court. And when I dig up the case law regarding the land ownership I will post it here.

Which private parking company do you work for, wallison?

ComposHat Mon 07-Jan-13 19:03:57

Which private parking company do you work for, wallison?

That thought crossed my mind too.

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 19:05:40

And you know this for a fact?

ravenAK Mon 07-Jan-13 19:06:04

They have a couple of busy little stooges on MSE too. Must be a klaxon that goes off whenever a thread starts & whoever's stuffed their quota of envelopes gets let out to play on the forum...

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 19:06:31

Oh I don't work for the buggers and think what they are doing is contemptible. But it's not illegal, and it's not unenforceable either.

mayorquimby Mon 07-Jan-13 19:08:06

not sure who the 19:05 post is directed at or who you're questioning.
could you clarify please.
Too many people posting at once has confused me

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 19:09:15

PRBunny - when I say court costs, I mean paying their costs if/when the people they sue lose. There was a poster upthread who it happened to - the parking company had employed a barrister, which they are entitled to do. Even if the original compensatory amount was reduced, that is pretty small beer compared to what you would be chinned for in barrister's fees for them.

PRBunny Mon 07-Jan-13 19:10:22

I would agree about the klaxon.

I don't think anyone has said it was illegal. It's a bloody good way to make a lot of money very quickly.

But the tickets are unenforceable.

Wallison I was simply pondering out loud. Forgive me. But as you're one of the only (or is that the only?) dissenting voice(s) on this thread, I think it was worth pondering.

Thank you for answering the question.

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 19:10:46

I was querying the claim that Parking Eye have never taken anyone to court.

ravenAK Mon 07-Jan-13 19:11:08

No, no one said it's illegal.

Carol singing isn't illegal, but if I sing 'Away In A Manger' outside your front door & hand you an invoice when you open it to tell me to piss off, I'm going to struggle to enforce it.

The last thing these guys want is their day in court.

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 19:12:03

^I don't think anyone has said it was illegal.

Errr ...

^ the private parking companies do not own the land they are asked to 'manage' meaning they have no legal standing to ticket your car

mayorquimby Mon 07-Jan-13 19:14:56

"Even if the original compensatory amount was reduced, that is pretty small beer compared to what you would be chinned for in barrister's fees for them."

but the reality is that these guys know that it's far from a certainty that they'll be awarded costs by the court even if they are successful in their claim so they're not going to risk incurring that barrister fee themselves for the sake of the miniscule compensation they'll get.
Also unless they are somehow invested in the barristers and solicitors practices that they hire they gain nothing from being awarded costs. They're still going to end up with thei £5-30 compensation for breach of contract and nothing else, so there's no risk/reward ratio in it for them.

PRBunny Mon 07-Jan-13 19:15:03

Wallison I understand about paying the other sides' costs if you lose. But Parking Eye and UKPC have never taken anyone to court. And private parking companies tend to use fear to get people to pay up. Hence the letters from debt recovery agents, 'solicitors' and threatening to send the bailiffs round. Which they can't do until any County Court proceedings have taken place and the parking company has won and any judgment then hasn't been paid.

My argument about land ownership still stands. I am just about to feed my baby so need to do that before finding the case law.

mayorquimby Mon 07-Jan-13 19:16:05

In fairness that's different to being illegal.
Having no legal standing to enforce a contract doesn't mean that still trying to enforce it is illegal.
Just that you have no legal basis upon which to ground your claim.

ravenAK Mon 07-Jan-13 19:19:31

Oh they can ticket it all they like, with the landowner's permission. But their tickets are speculative invoices, NOT legally enforceable penalty notices. Their business relies on people not knowing this.

They could charge you £x/hour for parking & that would be fine.

What they can't do is successfully argue in court that they are entitled to 'fine' you £xxxxxxxxxxxxxx for over-staying.

Wallison Mon 07-Jan-13 19:20:12

So you say, mayorquimby, but a poster upthread said that she did get taken to court by them and that the court didn't throw out the question of barrister's fees. It's quite normal for a big organisation to employ barristers or solicitors - look at local authorities - if you get fined by them there are legal costs involved and the courts just rubber-stamp them; it's standard.

Btw I am not saying that these organisations are in any way as legitimate as LAs. I've simply set out the position under contract law, because there has been a lot of well-meaning but misleading guff posted so far.

TandB Mon 07-Jan-13 19:24:40

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

And then ignore some more!

mercibucket Mon 07-Jan-13 19:25:35

if you want to cost them another 30 quid then appeal it via the appeal agency first. you appeal for free, they have to pay. you don't have to abide by the decision and can revert to ignoring afterwards

PRBunny Mon 07-Jan-13 19:29:38

I think, Wallison you are muddying the waters deliberately.

The over-whelming advice on here and MSE is to ignore the so-called tickets.

As you and I are not going to see eye-to-eye about this issue, I am going to bow out because I have better things to do. I am sure that other posters can take up the cudgel.

Perhaps it's better put that Private Parking Companies rarely take people to court. And as I am not going to pay the two tickets issued to my car parked on land that I own, perhaps i should take myself to court as I haven't created any contract with the private parking company as I haven't asked them to manage my freehold. Therefore the tickets are unenforceable

Thank you for setting out contract law. It was interesting to read.

ravenAK Mon 07-Jan-13 19:32:30

But the poster in question blinked first, & agreed to pay the original 'invoice' once the company offered to settle in court. She didn't lose the case, & it would have been unprecedented for her to have costs awarded against her.

I'm not blaming her for choosing not to risk it, but there are a LOT of these letters sent out & I've yet to see evidence of any instance of the parking company having a result in court.

MSE is riddled with parking company employees being challenged to come up with an example of such a result, & not being able to.

juniper904 Mon 07-Jan-13 22:33:28

I was unlucky to get taken to court. It does seem that, for the majority of people, the letters come from the company and nothing more. I ignored until I had court summons. At that point I had to attend the court or I'd get an instant ccj.

I settled because I hadn't followed protocol (being a notice, I didn't realise that the witness statement referred to my own statement) and so the judge was pissed off with us both. I didn't know how she'd rule, and I'm looking for a mortgage, so couldn't risk a mark against my credit rating. Nor the £400+ fees if I lost.

I think I probably could have won, but I wussed out.

With regards to these companies posting on threads, I'm sure they do. Like I said earlier, the barrister had print outs of my conversations on Martin Lewis and peppido (a good website, incidentally. A very kind man there wrote my defence statement for me for no reason other than kindness).

With regards to the op, you have a far stronger case than I did. But if court summons come, do not ignore!

ComposHat Mon 07-Jan-13 23:11:32

I thought you only got a CCJ if you refuse to pay the judgement handed down, rather than just losing the case?

How on earth did the parking company identify you from forum postings?

Christo1 Mon 07-Jan-13 23:12:19

I am a regular on MSE parking forum and this thread has been linked across forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4378033 , I would like to offer a little bit of advice from one of regular posters Coupon Mad, she's passionate about getting the truth out there about these companies, the same as myself. Please come and visit us if you'd like further advice on this subject. And please view the BBC Watchdog clips on youtube for unbiased look at private parking.

The registered keeper doesn't 'have to' do anything at all. These fake PCNs are as unenforceable as they ever were - it's just that these rogue firms are now able to aim their threatogams at the registered keeper if they are not informed who the driver was.

Big deal...the keeper can still make paper aeroplanes out of them as we always did, just as shown by Tim Cary, the expert Solicitor in the first Watchdog clip! And further advice in others

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAIcdi9niHA
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdIB4BqOTlk
www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlPjpW_6pGc
www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJx4Sl5g57U
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBV5tlCsaFI
www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0BleTTraDo

A SUMMARY:

As far as private parking tickets are concerned, for a vehicle where you or family are the registered keeper*:

Any fake PCN issued for an incident up until 30th Sept 2012 = IGNORE IT.

Any fake PCN issued for an incident from 1st October 2012 onwards:

- if you were parked in Scotland or NI = IGNORE IT.

- if your 'ticket' is from a firm who are NOT members of the BPA AOS = IGNORE IT. www.britishparking.co.uk/AOS-Members

- if your 'ticket' is from an AOS member in England/Wales, there are 2 choices:

a) IGNORE IT, as ever, playing snap with the threatograms that match our sticky thread 'PPC letter chains'
forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2214803

or

b) Appeal it with help from MSE in how to word it, and insist on a referral to the POPLA appeals service if it's not cancelled. Costs the Private Parking Company £32 plus, costs you nothing, it's not binding on you but it is binding on the PPC. If you do not win your appeal then revert to ignore mode.

This option is for those who want to fight back, cost the Private Parking Company money and test the POPLA system whilst also getting their Private Parking Companies tactics scrutinised; start by reading threads about POPLA.
forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=163
Recent posters have had great success where their case is clearly a very unfair ticket (such as disabled overstay or slight overlap of a white line, etc.) by using email and wording it not as an appeal but a complaint, and copying in the retailer/landowner to that complaint.

Finally, if anyone gets any fake PCN anywhere in the UK in a retail, cinema, fast food or Supermarket car park then even if you choose to ignore the them then COMPLAIN IN WRITING to the CEO of the company on site if you were a customer. Do not appeal to them, complain about this protection racket against their paying ex-customers.

PRBunny Mon 07-Jan-13 23:14:31

juniper

DH is asking can you post the link the pepidoo website please? He is also saying that in small claims court you don't pay for solicitors / barristers fees, you only pay the amount claimed for.

If you don't turn up to court to defend the claim then a default judgement is recorded. A CCJ is only issued if the court asks you to pay and you fail to pay within 28 days of the ruling.

I can totally understand why you didn't want to risk it though if you were going through a mortgage application!

And how would the parking company have print outs of your conversations unless you gave specific details that outted you IRL or told them what your username was?

Christo1 Mon 07-Jan-13 23:23:27

He means www.pepipoo.com this is another fantastic website that fights for the motorists, if you have a council penalty charge notice they are the guys to visit. Forgive me for saying this but that poster doesn't seem to be legitimate, or not following advice.

shesariver Mon 07-Jan-13 23:38:11

I got one through work, just ignored and ignore the threatening letters to, they are designed to put fear and panic into people. It pisses me off because I work in a health centre but occasionally have to go up to the main hospital for staff training. I am not entitled to a staff parking permit because I dont work there so have to park in the visitors spaces - which you only get 4 hours. All training courses tend to be 9-4 so always come back to a ticket. No flexibility. Just a money making (or not in my case) exercise for them.

juniper904 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:40:44

I'm not going to link, as I used usernames similar to my real life name. I am on Martin Lewis discussing all of this- they linked me to pepipoo.I made comments online about the specific company, and I guess they googled themselves. I think I got their backs up by fighting it. They spent hundreds of pounds to settle.

As it was, I settled but then the firm never asked me for the money so I haven't paid it. I'm no worse off than I was apart from the stress but technically I am in contempt of court. Another reason why I'm not going to link to my case!

Incidentally, I am legitimate. It seems like I am one of the few who they follow through with. They didn't win, but it was fairly scary on my part. As to whether or not I'd have to pay the barrister's fees- that's what he said. I didn't know either way.

I googled the company online yesterday and came up with a freedom of information act that showed how many bpa companies has taken people to court this year. It was quite high.

juniper904 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:54:12
Wallison Tue 08-Jan-13 13:28:51

I see from that list that Parking Eye took 5 people to court in that one year. Which maybe isn't a huge amount, but is more than the 'none ever' that someone claimed upthread.

TandB Tue 08-Jan-13 13:38:36

I would strongly suspect that any people taken to court have done something over and above simply ignoring the invoice. It's not just a case of the company taking someone to court and being awarded the sum of money claimed - they have to actually prove that money is due to them, either through an agreement or due to damage or loss caused to them.

So if someone wrote to them saying "I know I owe this money but I want you to cancel it" or words to that effect, they might get somewhere. Alternatively, and this isn't my area of law at all, someone parking in a privately-owned parking space might be in a different situation, because they would have no right to be there and the owner could conceivably claim loss as a result of not having access to their own space.

I would be extremely surprised if the company had the stupidity to try to sue someone in the OP's position because there wouldn't be any losses to claim for.

PRBunny Tue 08-Jan-13 13:41:03

I think the statistic that you and Juniper are looking for, from the same FOI that's been selectively quoted, is that around 1.8million private parking notices were issued in 2011.

Of these, 49 cases were taken to small claims court. Around half of this number were lost by the private parking companies.

The thread is pretty much dead. Op has decided to ignore any bits of paper she receives and the over-whelming advice from other MNers is to ignore anything in the future. There's zero point going round in circles or re-igniting a debate that is finished.

mercibucket Tue 08-Jan-13 13:47:41

thanks christo1 for the links (am appealing my own atm)

out of the 49 cases that went to court, and half were 'won' by the oarking co, this could just be because the person never turned up, so even less of a scary statistic

Wallison Tue 08-Jan-13 14:01:13

^ they have to actually prove that money is due to them, either through an agreement or due to damage or loss caused to them.

I've set out above how the contract works. It has nothing to do with ignoring or replying to letters. Indeed, juniper said that s/he ignored the letters and still ended up with a summons. It happens. It may be unlikely, but it does occur.

PRBunny - I agree (and said in my first post on this thread) that the OP would probably be ok ignoring the letters. But I thought it only fair to explain away some of the myths that have arisen around this matter (it's only a contract if you reply, it's illegal, it's unenforceable etc) which have been touted by others on here.

TandB Tue 08-Jan-13 14:11:55

You've set out how it works in theory - the practice is quite another matter.

They still have to sue for something specific. If I enter into a contract with someone to dance the tango on my driveway and they default on it, no court in the land is going to award me damages. If I've sold tickets for the performance, then it's a slightly different matter.

In the situation that the OP describes there is no way the company could realistically prove loss arising from breach of contract. They'd be stupid to try it.

TandB Tue 08-Jan-13 14:15:50

I would also imagine that the companies in question are fairly adept at identifying who is likely to crack if they decide they need to make an example of a few people in order to scare everyone else into settling their invoices.

If someone's been writing to them setting out all sorts of difficult personal circumstances then they are probably going to jump on that person with great glee if they find they need to take a couple of people to court.

I like your analogy kungfu grin

juniper904 Tue 08-Jan-13 15:47:00

I don't think I brought my court case on myself, Kungfupanda . I didn't respond to anything, or write anything online, until after the court summons had turned up. I think I was just unlucky.

I think the OP has a very, very different situation than mine, and I reckon the company is just chancing it. I don't think they have a leg to stand on.

My situation is real, though, and I'm not trying to scare people into paying the 'fine' because I don't think they should. I'm just pointing out that the companies do sometimes take it further, and if you receive court summons then you do have to take them seriously.

If I were ticketed again, then I don't know what I'd do. I would be worried about not paying because of my past case, but I would generally advise others not to pay... unless they receive court summons.

mercibucket Tue 08-Jan-13 16:04:42

Was your summons to the small claims court juniper? Interested really.

juniper904 Tue 08-Jan-13 16:25:19

Yes, but the county court local to their company, not to me. I asked to have it transferred to my borough. I reckon that's why they sent a barrister rather than use their own 'legal team' (which is who signed the threatening letters).

mercibucket Tue 08-Jan-13 16:50:55

Interesting. Good that you can get it transferred. I don't think you have to pay their fees if it's small claims? I'm just working out the 'wost case' for my ticket atm

NeverpayPPCs Tue 08-Jan-13 21:07:57

Dont worry bailiffs will never be sent by a PPC and they wont do court, for more info on these money sucking scum google mse parking forum.

Wallison Tue 08-Jan-13 22:30:12

Now there's a shill. There are a lot of car-drivers out there who seem to have got their knickers in a knot that they can't park any damn where they like (NB I am not referring to the OP when I say this).

Mercibucket - it's standard when a defendant enters a defence that they can request and are granted a local court hearing. And yes, mostly small claims won't award costs but they can.

I don't get the tango on the driveway analogy, but I'm probably being thick. A parking space is a parking space, not some kind of nebulous and nonsensical request.

PRBunny Tue 08-Jan-13 22:46:28

Evening Wallison,

How are you?

The case law I was referring to in my posts yesterday is VCS vs HMRC. This established that only the landowner can offer a contract to park. A contract to park could not be made between the private parking company and the motorist.

The other notable one is VCS vs Ibbotson.

Happy bedtime reading!

mercibucket Tue 08-Jan-13 23:04:32

hilarious - watch 'parking mad' on bbc1 now

great fun wink

Wallison Wed 09-Jan-13 09:18:56

I don't see what difference the first case makes in practical terms - even if the contract is between the landowner and the driver (rather than the parking company and the driver), the parking company are still entitled to act as agents and there is no consideration as to the legality of the penalties they extract from drivers. In the second case, the question seems to hinge on paperwork - there wasn't a proper contract between the parking firm and the owner. Again, nothing to do with whether or not the fines should be paid.

ComposHat Wed 09-Jan-13 17:03:24

Another letter reminding me that Iay have forgotten to pay their Parking Charge Notice. Can you pay a notice? Their computer is working over time.

mercibucket Wed 09-Jan-13 18:49:37

You could notice a notice maybe?

There is a good thread on pepipoo with a list of all the letters you will get so you can tick them off as they arrive

nikkimale85 Wed 17-Apr-13 21:34:25

hi i was just reserching parkingeye as i also have been stung by them, i havnt read through the whole thread but i can see the overiding opinion is to ignor but i am worried as on this site : http://www.britishparking.co.uk/AOS-Members
it says they are one of the few that use "debt recovery" :/ what does this mean? im scared to not pay but obviously dont want to

I've just got a parking eye letter for a 13 minute overstay in Aldi. I was having lunch with a friend who lives above Aldi, the flats are part of the building and residents have agreement to park in the car park. I'm not planning to pay but should I not respond or should I appeal?

Anna8284 Wed 07-Aug-13 09:38:59

Help, I have had a the fine letter , 21minutes and I didn't even leave the car. I've appealed it witch meant I've confirmed I'm the driver and they have declined it. i Was just about to pay it and see this. As I've confirmed I'm the driver shall I just pay it??????????

Coconutty Wed 07-Aug-13 09:41:58

You are better to totally ignore it, I certainly wouldn't pay and didn't when I got one from Aldi car park in Newquay last year.

I would just ignore any further letters if I were you even though you made contact with them. Bin them.

JustBecauseICan Sat 17-Aug-13 10:08:01

Marking place as am trying to convince my elderly (and a bit freaked) mother who is on her 3rd letter as of this morning! (free car park, overstayed by 15 mins)

idiuntno57 Sat 17-Aug-13 10:28:19

all the people peepoo (sp?) have recently changed their advice as parking eye have started issuing court orders.

idiuntno57 Sat 17-Aug-13 10:28:37

sorry at missing there

JustBecauseICan Sat 17-Aug-13 10:51:57

Can you link to latest advice? Because I've just spent 2 hrs ploughing through Money Saving Expert, watching Watchdog clips, reading threads on here and on my local consumer FB page and can't find anything?

idiuntno57 Sat 17-Aug-13 10:56:32

sorry i can't do it from my phone but go to peepoo (need to check spelling but is mentioned on the moneysaving expert threads) and look at parking ticket/parking eye section.

KeepTheFaithBaby Sat 17-Aug-13 12:59:52

I got one in June. I paid but appealed sending a copy of the statement saying I had my newborn baby with me and lost track of time. They refunded the fee and the debit card transaction fee (this was Parking Eye).

nomorecrumbs Sat 17-Aug-13 13:07:14

Wow, I'm amazed they read the appeal, much less refunded you.

Private parking 'companies' are all a load of cowboys. Ignore any letter, ignore ignore ignore.

KeepTheFaithBaby Sat 17-Aug-13 13:20:41

I know...I'm too much of a scaredy cat to not pay but decided to take a punt at appealing and Lo and behold, got a cheque back!

bassduck Fri 30-Aug-13 14:31:39

Hi,

I got a private parking charge of £70. I rented the car at Europcar. Will I get trouble not paying in this case?

Thanks for the help!

bassduck Fri 30-Aug-13 14:36:31

Europcar obv gave them my name and address, so maybe it's better to pay this?

zipzap Fri 30-Aug-13 14:42:12

Try the honestjohn.co.uk website - he's really good in cases like this.

bassduck Fri 30-Aug-13 15:49:52

Thanks, I posted there.

Ignoring letters may not work now. It used to be that they couldn't proceed to court unless you confirmed you were teh driver. Now the givernment have stopped them clamping you (good) but changed the law so that even if you don't reply they can assume you were there (bad). It's not clear if this will mean more cases actually getting to court. Dh is refusing to pay one on the grounds that the charge is excessive for the loss incurred so we'll see. Personally I wish he'd just pay the reduced charge of £30 and be done with it but he says that's what 'they' want you to do. I shall be bloody cross with him if he is taken to court but I accept that's still unlikely.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Fri 30-Aug-13 15:59:51

Ignore it. Don't appeal, don't engage in any dialogue with them and ignore it. They can't enforce it, they just try it and hope you will pay up. Look on the various money saving web sites for all kinds of threads about it.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Fri 30-Aug-13 16:02:25

Have a look at
this
and this

CrystalQueen Fri 30-Aug-13 16:05:38

you can appeal to the Parking on Private Lands Appeals (www.popla.ork.uk) if you have appealed to the company first and had your appeal rejected. The company are meant to tell yoou about this when they reject your appeal and give you a reference number. (This worked for me recently!)

varoise49 Tue 07-Jan-14 10:30:29

Hello,
I've deliberately registered to reply re:unenforceable invoices/parking scams. I wa seeking arkingpie's CEO name/geographic address to send an RD letter, trackable online, requiring signature. Googling showed your post, prompting my involvement and reply now.
Legislation changed 1 October 2012:
#DO NOT IGNORE NOTICES #
Instead, go to Martin Lewis's wonderful site and head for this Forumthread:Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
Views: 15,190 View Announcement
New regulations came into force 1 October 2012
03-10-2012 MSE Andrea (Forum Editorial Liaison)

ALL OF THESE PARKING COMPANIES ARE SCAMMERS. Just read the Forum advice from outstanding expert posters, like coupon-mad,redx,unkommas,etc.

Enjoy the revenge/cancellations also well-explained on pepipoo
http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=46975&pid=740168&mode=threaded&start=#entry740168

- and the glorious parking prankster blog,
http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/

All are absolutely essential toolkits.
Most of all, don't worry, but DON'T IGNORE EITHER.
I may never post again, but want you to broadcast all of these facts and weapons against these low-life thugs far and wide.
-so speaks a long-ago Mum, 65 this Friday, with 2 arking pie speculative unenforceable 'invoices' on the go.
My kind wishes to you all.

LiberalLibertine Tue 07-Jan-14 10:35:31

Bollocks I paid one of these last year, and had to borrow the money from my mum sad bastards.

varoise49 Tue 07-Jan-14 11:00:23

Check here:
http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/content.php?814-Parking-Eye-penalties-are-...-Penalties
and read the Court judgement against them.

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