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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 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.

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 19:33:15

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.

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 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 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 20:25:46

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!

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.

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!!!!!!!!

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.

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.

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