Private Parking Appeals and MoneySavingExpert

Private Parking Appeals started when six friends from the Forums decided to offer our help and expertise outside those limited discussions, and offer a service to the wider public.

As it says elsewhere in this website, everything we do, it is possible for an individual to do for themselves with resources that are freely available on sites like pepipoo, the BMPA, the Consumer Action Group. Legal Beagles and similar. And we have continued to offer our support and help to members of these forums, often taking on important cases without charge for the benefit of consumers in general. Indeed our court guides are freely available via the BMPA and similar.

Unfortunately, some web forums cannot accept this. MoneySavingExpert (MSE) is a case in point.

During 2014 and 2015, an operator of another Parking Appeals Company pursued one of our contractors in a very unpleasant manner. This was reported by the Parking Prankster after the person concerned was convicted of stalking. The stalking has not, unfortunately, stopped, and further action is likely. However, during this period, the stalker was utilising the MSE forums to pursue his vendetta.

When the victim complained of this, and finally snapped, MSE, rather than banning the stalker, instead banned the victim. This left the stalker free to carry on smearing the victim across the MSE forums. The victim has also stated openly that MSE failed to assist the police with their investigations.

Our own Head of Legal, John Wilkie, was also banned from the MSE forums, with no explanation, prior to ParkEx last year. And now, our CEO, Carol Sole, has also been banned, apparently for self-promotion, while MSE is still allowing the stalker to continue his vendetta, this time against our business. For a site which apparently prides itself on its independence, this is unacceptable conduct.

As the six of us who started this business initially met on MSE, this is a sad day for Private Parking Appeals, as we now feel we can no longer, in good faith, endorse MSE as a useful and helpful forum for people wanting to fight Private Parking Charges. Accordingly, we have now removed the MSE link from our resources.

 

We have been contacted by Lynne Reeves, the former Company Secretary, about this blog. For the avoidance of doubt, therefore, PPA wishes to make it clear that Ms Reeves has not been associated with the company since her termination as Company Secretary, by unanimous vote of the board, on 28 November 2015. This blog does not represent Ms Reeves views.

We freed the High Wycombe Three – Success in court

Private Parking Appeals was contacted by three concerned residents of a block of flats in High Wycombe, who had all received multiple tickets from Parking Control Management (UK) for instances where their vehicles had been parked on the private roadway of the estate. They had understood, from the managing agents, that roadway parking was acceptable between 5pm and 9am, and the purpose of the parking scheme was to deter intruders, not to ticket genuine residents. However PCM’s operative would sneak round at 5am to put tickets on their windscreens.

The matter came to a head when PCM, through Gladstones Solicitors of Knutsford, issued County Court Claims against the three, for around £900, £1050, and £1550 respectively. Our legal team prepared Defence Statements for the cases, and advised the defendants through the various stages of the pre-hearing process. Once a court hearing date of 21 April had been set, we also provided the defendants with Witness Statements and a Skeleton Argument, together with the relevant evidence and case law authorities.

At the hearing in High Wycombe County Court, District Judge Glen decided to hear all three cases together, as the issues and arguments were essentially the same. PCM were clearly concerned as to what precedent might be set by the court’s decision, and sent an expensive London barrister to argue their case. One of our experienced legal consultants attended personally to act as a Lay Representative for the defendants, and so the case got underway.

The central issue in this case was the signage placed by PCM around the estate roadways, which said “No Parking On This Roadway At Any Time”, and lower down in a smaller font “By parking or remaining at this site otherwise than in accordance with the above, you, the driver, are agreeing to the following contractual terms:” and then “You agree to pay consideration in the form of a parking charge in the sum of £100 …”.

The case made by PCM’s counsel was that this was a contractual offer, and that by parking in the roadway the defendants became liable for a £100 charge for each instance. Our submission was that the signage attempted to create an offer on the basis of forbidding a course of action, and that PCM were in fact offering nothing to motorists. This meant that one of the essential elements of a contract – offer and acceptance – was missing, and therefore no contract existed.

After considering the arguments from both sides, District Judge Glen ruled that he disagreed with the Claimant’s argument, and agreed with us that there could be no contract created by a sign which was absolutely forbidding. As there was no contract, the defendants had no liability, and the claims were dismissed, with costs awarded to the defendants.

PCM (UK) are IPC members, and many of the parking companies in that organization attempt to create contractual liability by displaying forbidding notices – a prime example being VCS at John Lennon Airport, Liverpool. This judgment clarifies the legal position, and emphasises the shaky ground upon which these companies are operating. It is to be hoped that the adjudicators at the IAS will take due note of this.

Private Parking Appeals reiterates its call for single ATA, with a proven independent appeals process and for government regulation of the private parking industry.

For a more detailed comment, please take a look at the Parking Prankster’s blog

 

The ONLY fully operational appeals company in the UK

Recently, another appeals company was claiming to be  “the only fully operational Car Parking Ticket Appeal company in the United Kingdom.” and, like us offered to deal with these private parking “fines” for a small fee.

Here at Private Parking Appeals, we are always happy to see competitors, as this demonstrates to us that there is a need for a service like ours, and we have, for the most part, had a cordial relationship with those other companies. We like to think that we can compete on service, and quality, not simply price.

Unfortunately, in the last few years, several have fallen by the wayside. Private Parking Appeals was not the first private parking ticket appeals company, nor do we expect to be the last, but as of today, we are now the only fully operational Car Parking Ticket Appeal company* in the United Kingdom, and the only Parking Appeals company that operates in Great Britain (including specialists in Scottish Appeals) and, very soon, Northern Ireland.

We have no doubt that new competitors will appear, and we genuinely wish them luck – this is a hard industry to work in, and we are proud to have achieved what we have in only 18 months.

We have become the company we are because of the support of our customers, and we will continue in the same spirit, supporting people in appealing improperly issued private parking charges and challenging fines and legal claims against consumers.

 

So thank you for making us the biggest, the best, and now the only company in our industry.

 

 

*There are other organisations operating Parking ticket Appeal Services, but they are, for the most part, not limited companies, but private individuals or charitable organisations. In many cases, they are supported at some stages of the process by Private Parking Appeals Ltd, either on a commercial basis or at no charge.

Debt Collectors

Are you being pursued by a Debt Collector who claims to have been assigned the debt?

Often this isn’t the case, and a number of recent court cases have confirmed that several Debt Collector firms are engaging in sharp practice to try to pursue debts that are not legally due to them or the Parking Company.

Others state on their letter that they are Bailiffs or High Court Enforcement Agents, and while this may be true, they cannot use those powers until a court authorises them to do so.

If you receive a letter from a Debt Collector claiming to have been assigned the debt, with an assignment from the Parking Company in the same envelope, we would like to know.

We can help deal with Debt Collectors, including Equita, Rossendales Collect, Debt Recovery Plus, Zenith, MIL Collections and Proserve Enforcement.

Which Private Parking Companies do you deal with?

Private Parking Appeals – what operators do you deal with?

One of the questions asked is what kind of situations we get asked is what companies you deal with.

The answer is simple – all of them. 

We have a better relationship with some than with others, and certainly there are some Parking Companies who will see our letterhead and cancel the PCN there and then, but there are others who will fight all the way to, and even past, the courtroom door, only to drop the case at appeal. We also have regular discussions with the BPA, and were involved in consultations with both Ombudsman Services over the transfer of the POPLA appeal service, and with the Department for Communities and Local Government regarding further restrictions on Private Parking following the Beavis judgment.

We will deal with BPA members, IPC members, non-aligned businesses like Proserve, Premier Parking Logistics and ANPR Ltd, and we will deal with debt collectors and bailiffs, like DRP+, ZZPS, DCBL and Equita.

We also deal with those people who think Clamping is still legal, though we do tend to involve gentlemen in blue/black suits to assist us in such circumstances…

It’s simple – If it’s a Private Parking Ticket, and you need to appeal, we are the experts in the field and do exactly what the company name says.

Private Parking Appeals, just the ticket… Appeal now

Debt Recovery Plus & Parking Tickets

Debt Recovery Plus

Debt Recovery Plus (Also using the name Zenith) are one of the main debt collection agencies for the private parking industry.

They operate in a defined way and that is to basically frighten people into paying up through their style of letters and what they say on the phone.

How do Debt Recovery Plus intimidate people?

It’s quite simple, they misquote a lot of information and really do lie to people,even us.  This seems to a pre-requisite of their job role and the staff seem to have no qualms in behaving in such a nasty and unprofessional way

The misdemeanors of Debt Recovery Plus are as follows:

  • Giving incorrect information on court cases
  • Telling callers that they are going to be taking legal action if they don’t pay
  • Telling callers that their file is being sent for legal action if they don’t pay
  • Being very rude and dismissive of people
  • Talking over people
  • Advising people they have no chance in court
  • Having letters signed by people who don’t actually work for Debt Recovery Plus
  • Making threats to people which they simply can’t carry out
  • They pass themselves off as Zenith (when it is actually still Debt Recovery Plus in disguise)
  • Pretending letters have been sent by Small Claims Solicitors (owned by LPC Law) when in fact the letters have been printed by Debt Recovery Plus themselves

Debt Recovery Plus  seem to have developed quite a skill on the phone of upsetting people, reducing some to tears and telling deliberate untruths.  This misleading of people seems be endemic through the whole of the Debt Recovery Plus call centre.  We recommend other people should not ring this company.

Private Parking Appeals are used to dealing with Debt Recovery Plus and it is our opinion that this firm are what you would call bullies. Remember, Debt Recovery Plus cannot take you to court, they can only send more and more letters until they run out of steam after about 4 months.

Should Debt Recovery Plus deny any of these facts then we will happily allow them a right to reply.

So if you want these bullies dealt with then come and talk to us. Take control and appeal now.