General Data Protection Regulations

As a result of the GDPR, we have made some minor changes to our terms and conditions. These identify the basis for our processing your data. These changes do not have any effect on the day to day service we provide and merely clarify your and our mutual rights and obligations.

We process our customers data under three lawful bases:

  1. Contract. We process your data under our terms and conditions for the contracted service so that we can contact you, appeal your ticket, and further assist you up to and including defending legal proceedings
  2. Legitimate Interest. We process your data for our own records including accounts and tax reasons, and to fulfil the legitimate interest of our business, such as Feedback, Marketing and protecting/enhancing our reputation.
  3. Legal Obligations. We process your data to assist us in supporting you in complying with your legal obligations, and to ensure that we can pursue, or defend, legal proceedings if required. We also process your data for our own records including accounts and tax reasons.

 

Because we have identified lawful bases for processing customer data, we do not need to seek customer consent, however, our application form includes a consent clause so that we can identify to third parties that we are lawfully entitled to require them to process your data in a specific way, such as dealing with our appeal to them, or pursuing complaints etc on your behalf. Most companies require us to supply explicit authority for these actions.

 

Our Data Protection Officer is John Wilkie. He will be continuing in this role for the foreseeable future.

 

If you have any concerns about our GDPR statement, our Lawful Basis for processing data, or our privacy policy, please contact us.

MIL Collections fail to pay their debts – again, instead attack PPA – again.

It appears that the less-reputable side of the Parking Industry, and particularly our good friends MIL Collections, is yet again seeking to attack Private Parking Appeals, this time by focussing on the bona-fides of John Wilkie.

As reported by Cornwall Online, and the Parking Prankster, our Head of Legal clashed with MIL Collections Head of Legal in court recently, and partly because of Mr Wilkie’s “astute and persistent questioning” the judge found against MIL Collections to the tune of £750 to be paid by 24 April, an order which had not, as of 2 May 2018, been settled. MIL are well known for not paying court orders. Update – following a threat of enforcement, this was paid at 11:15 on 3 May 2018, a full 10 days late.

Additionally, the DVLA has confirmed that MIL Collections are not entitled to pursue parking charges.

Has this stopped MIL Collections in their tracks. Of course not. We have had sight of correspondence which accuses the journalists involved in reporting the previous case of lying, and states that the reason for the win was nothing to do with MIL’s conduct, and everything to do with a Flipped Ticket.

This is the same MIL Collections who have lost over 35 court cases, and only won one claim where John Wilkie was involved, and that only because the judge made a finding of fact on another matter. In the meantime, we have had numerous claims either struck out or discontinued due to MIL discovering our involvement in the claim. Even the advocates they send to court admit that MIL lose most of their cases

This is the same MIL Collections who have tried, a number of times, to have Private Parking Appeals directors thrown out of court, instead to find that our staff are acting entirely legally, and it is MIL who have used advocates from Elms Legal without right of audience, again, and again, and again.

This is the same MIL Collections who imply that Private Parking Appeals is breaking the law by providing legal services, yet has never made any report of criminality, instead relying on snide innuendo on its website about SRA regulated companies and accusing people who criticise them of being dishonest and trolling.

This is the same MIL Collections who continue to consort with a known criminal, making allegations about PPA staff and directors, but only in private, never having the courage of their convictions in count or public.

Just a few days ago, Coupon-Mad on Money Saving expert pointed out that the parking companies, and their debt collectors, employ a number of unsavoury individuals. One of these is Christopher Barrett of MIL, who used false statements and letters, had no evidence to support MIL’s claim, and was found to be entirely unreasonable in his conduct of the claim. Essentially he was prepared to lie on the stand and had it not been for the cross-examination by Mr Wilkie, he would have got away with doing so.

Mr Wilkie is more than happy to assist with an MIL claim by providing defence advocacy services anywhere in England and Wales. While he does not charge for representing any individuals, he does ask that his expenses for attendance are paid. Mr Wilkie is legally entitled to provide his services under schedule 3, paragraph 1(3) of the Legal Services Act 2007, but the right of audience of any MIL representative should always be challenged in court.

Do you have a Letter of Claim, or a County Court Claim from MIL? PPA are the experts in dealing with this company, so please complete our Enquiry Form today.

 

MIL are known to illegally purchase disputed debts from Llawnroc Parking Services, Parking Awareness Services, Local Car Park Management, Norwich Traffic Control, Car Park Management Services, North West Parking Enforcement, New World Facilities Essex and other smaller firms.

University Hospital of Wales staff forced to pay £26,000 in legal fees over parking tickets

It is with some regret that we found ourselves reading this newspaper report this morning. The Cardiff Indigo case has been well-reported as a significant loss for the staff of UHW, and it is both a massive loss and a travesty of justice.

During the hearing of this case, as reported by the Parking Prankster at the time, the witnesses for the claimant lied, obfuscated, and deliberately sought to mislead the court. Witnesses were produced who do not exist, and ultimately, the Judge found for the Claimant on all points – which is unsurprising since Elizabeth Coates used to be Senior Counsel for the NHS in Wales, a point that should have been sufficient to recuse her from her role as the District Judge hearing the case.

Much has been made, on MSE, Pepipoo and elsewhere, of the costs order that was allegedly made against John Wilkie, our Company Secretary. And we would now like to take the opportunity to put the record straight.

  1. As soon as it was made clear that Indigo would be seeking a costs order from John Wilkie, he recognised that this meant there was now a conflict of interest between himself and his client, and retired from the case.
  2. As a matter of courtesy, Mr Wilkie provided Indigo’s counsel and solicitor with his address for service, and confirmed that he would not evade any orders simply due to being based in Scotland.
  3. As a matter of law, Mr Wilkie was not present as a party at any further hearings.
  4. Neither the Court, nor the Claimant has in any way sought to contact Mr Wilkie or serve any document on him about this matter since Friday 14 July 2017.
  5. Likewise, none of the 79 staff members affected by this costs order have contacted Mr Wilkie.

It is a basic tenet of law that a party is give the opportunity to defend itself or respond to any allegations against it. Mr Wilkie has never received notification that he was a party to these proceedings, and has never been pursued by the Claimant other than in their initial threat to do so before the court on 13 and 14 July 2017.

It is regrettable that not every court case can be won, and it is also regrettable that companies like Indigo, ZZPS and their ilk will lie and cheat to wring every penny out of the motorist, regardless of the damage this might do.

Private Parking Appeals remains committed to assisting our customers in fighting these unfair tickets, and supports the BPA position on the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill which would prevent unscrupulous companies like this from continuing their barely legal pursuit of these spurious charges.

Private Parking Appeals welcomes the comments of Indigo Park Services Ltd, ZZPS Ltd and the Defendants in this case, and will happily grant a right to reply for this post, however, as a company we stand by our comments, all of which are provably true and in the public interest.

Calls to Private Parking Appeals

Here at Private Parking Appeals, our staff work hard to appeal your private parking ticket, whether this is at a first appeal, at POPLA, at court or by other means. As a result, we are always very busy, and our case handlers are not able to answer calls.

We have previously had complaints about our telephone number always falling to voicemail, when people would rather speak to a real person. And since December 2015, we have had staff directly associated with the business, answering calls. As of 2 April 2018, we have now increased this team threefold to deal with the increase of calls we are receiving.

Needless to say that even with this increase, some calls are not able to be picked up, and will be going to our answerphone. Currently a little over 1/3 of our calls cannot be connected to an operator in time, and we are taking further steps to reduce this, with interviews for new staff this week. Our lines are open from 9am to 9pm every single day of the year, so please consider calling outside traditonal “Business Hours” or at the weekend, to ensure you get connected.

However, we’d like to remind customers that the staff on the telephone cannot do any of the following over the phone:

  1. Take details of your case, or assess your appeal chances
  2. Provide you with the details of your appeal, or respond to letters you have received
  3. Take or make payment for an appeal or refund
  4. Deal with a court claim, or give you legal advice on how to proceed
  5. Put your call through to your appeal-handler

 

We always respond to emails, and your appeal handler is always the best person to advise and assist you. And if we need to contact you urgently, we will always ask you for a contact number, and call you directly.

Please note that all calls made to, from or by Private Parking Appeals are recorded for training and legal purposes.

The IAS fails ADR Reporting requirements – again

Last year, the Parking Prankster reported on the failure by the Independent International Parking Committee Community’s so-called “Independent Appeals Service” to abide by the requirements of The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.

Given that the IAS is closely watched by people like Parking Prankster, the Online forums and ourselves, you would have thought that Will Hurley, the sole director of United Trade and industry Ltd, T/As the International Parking Community T/As the Independent Appeals Service would have ensured this year that the report was out on time, and actually complete when published.

Quoting the Parking Prankster:

Ongoing information obligations of an ADR entity

11(2) An ADR entity must, within a month of the first anniversary of the approval date and within a month of each subsequent anniversary, publish on its website a report (“an annual activity report”) relating to the preceding year which contains the information in Schedule 5.

SCHEDULE 5 Regulation 11(2)
Information to be included in an ADR entity’s annual activity report

a) the number of domestic disputes and cross-border disputes the ADR entity has received;
b) the types of complaints to which the domestic disputes and cross-border disputes relate;
c) a description of any systematic or significant problems that occur frequently and lead to disputes between consumers and traders of which the ADR entity has become aware due to its operations as an ADR entity;
d) any recommendations the ADR entity may have as to how the problems referred to in paragraph (c) could be avoided or resolved in future, in order to raise traders’ standards and to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices;
e) the number of disputes which the ADR entity has refused to deal with, and percentage share of the grounds set out in paragraph 13 of Schedule 3 on which the ADR entity has declined to consider such disputes;
f) the percentage of alternative dispute resolution procedures which were discontinued for operational reasons and, if known, the reasons for the discontinuation;
g) the average time taken to resolve domestic disputes and cross-border disputes;
h) the rate of compliance, if known, with the outcomes of the alternative dispute resolution procedures;
i) the co-operation, if any, of the ADR entity within any network of ADR entities which facilitates the resolution of cross-border disputes.

The annual report was due on the IAS website on 1st November 2017.  As of the 2nd November 2017, the report was not available on the IAS website. Indeed, it is not available even now as the website only has a link to the 2015/16 report, unless you know exactly where to look.

The IAS is therefore in breach of its statutory requirements for the second year running. Not the conduct you expect from a business run by a Solicitor. As a result PPA will be complaining of this second failure, to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

But even better – do take a close look at the report, and especially at Section G: The average time taken to resolve domestic disputes and cross-border disputes.

The average time taken to settle disputes during the relevant period was 22 days (says 18 in Biannual report – might be worth restating the reason for the difference? e.g. no limit on number of representations?

Oh dear, looks like someone forgot to proofread before sending out the report. We’d like to see that Bi-Annual report too…

However, given the remaining content of the statutory report, you Dear Reader will be unsurprised to discover that Private Parking Appeals does not accept that the International Parking Community operates a fair and transparent appeals process, and that while the IPC continues to refuse to engage with us to resolve our concerns, we are supporting the BPA in their lobbying of Government for there to be a single, demonstrably independent and transparent appeals service for all private parking companies.

 

Our thanks to the BMPA and Bargepole for their hard work and research on this matter.

Happy Birthday to Us

How appropriate that the news of a Royal Engagement came as we celebrated our third birthday…

Private Parking Appeals was formed by six friends online – having seen the impact of the Protection of Freedoms Act on consumers, and having been involved in a number of forums, they collected together and formed a business intending initially to just deal with appeals at the first and second stage of the process, that is with BPA parking companies and POPLA.

Of the original six, only two remain with the business now, and honourable mention goes to Angus Gill, our founding Secretary, who now operates the BMPA website and David Carrod our founding chairman and CEO, who took the time to complete an Open University degree, win more than 75% of court cases he was involved in, and move onward to his own business, Small Claims Advisor.  Additionally, the business could not have got to where it is without the initial support of Bob Jameson, and his directorial replacement, Mark McAlear.

In it’s first year, having launched on a shoestring, the company achieved turnover of £48,000, increasing this to £56,000 in 2016. Invited to join the British Parking Association, we made this beneficial move last year. We have taken over a number of our competitors, expanded our staff and our services, and successfully navigated the seas of three years in business.

We have also been supported throughout by both Parking Cowboys and the Parking Prankster, and have plans to grow and develop our business both into consultancy for landowners to extricate themselves from abusive and restrictive parking contracts, and also to seek to “write off” older tickets to prevent customer being pursued for 6 years (or more) over tickets that may never have been valid in any case. News on this in the New Year.

So, happy birthday to us, and may there be many more.

A Royal Engagement

All of us at Private Parking Appeals would like to join with the rest of the country in congratulating HRH Prince Henry of Wales on his engagement to Ms Meghan Markle.

We would like to wish them every happiness in the future.

Who is the Parking Pundit?

Private Parking Appeals has been made aware of a “new” blog, parkingpundit.co.uk but is curious as to who is behind this blog.

This domain was registered on 10 July 2017, using a Privacy Service, which is a breach of Nominet rules in the UK.

Parking Pundit’s apparent Author is DA1 Ltd, a company which went into voluntary liquidation on 3 September 2013, so it is unlikely to be anything to do with Kulasinam Niranjan.

The HTML behind the page doesn’t identify the authors or business behind the blog either. And the page itself doesn’t include any information required by the Company (Trading Disclosure) Regulations 2008

So lets do some more detective work.

The website is linked from ZZPS’s website, as is Know Your Parking Right, a BPA site. This is the same ZZPS who claim to be a BPA member yet act on the very edge of legality, and do not accept service of documents to their registered address. The same ZZPS who present witnesses to court  who lie about their identity and their workplace. The same ZZPS who only exist because their sister company, Roxburghe, was considered to be not “fit and proper” to act as a regulated debt collector.

ZZPS claims that Parking Pundit and Know Your Parking rights are “independent” yet we know this is also a lie. ZZPS, as a BPA Member, has an interest in promoting Know Your Parking Rights – we, as BPA members, have complained of this site.

So now, coming back to Parking Pundit, we find an introduction page where our author says “I’ll try to give you the full facts, so that you don’t make the same mistake many have done and end up in court for an unpaid ticket paying out more than just paying the ticket would have cost.” and then goes on to list a number of infringements, many of which has been argued and won by our team in court. Misrepresentation by the Pundit, we say.

So it is clear, even from the intro page, that the Pundit is associated with the Parking Companies. But this is even clearer when you review the posts.

Three post were made on 17 July 2017 – one about appealing, one about why Private Parking is regulated (even though it isn’t), and one about Barry Beavis, which we will come to later

The first posts are both precis of Know Your Parking Rights, all of which is BPA copyright. So it looks like the Parking Pundit is either stealing their content or passing off. The third option is too unpleasant to contemplate.

The Barry Beavis case being blogged here is interesting. The wording used is identical to that we have seen from BPA members – that the Beavis case decided that parking charges and fair and enforceable. However, this isn’t what the Supreme Court said, and the Beavis Case judgment extends to many pages. But, and more importantly, the Pundit posts this as News – this case was dealt with over two years ago, with the original ticket having been issued in 2013. Not news, by any stretch of the imagination. Misrepresentation, we say.

Two more posts, both about Scotland, follow. Scotland is an interesting place, and it is noted that the Pundit wasn’t present at either of those cases, and seems to be relying on hearsay. Misrepresentation, we say.

Finally, a post that the Pundit claims is about the Parking Prankster. He states that our John Wilkie was present at the hearing. That’s interesting, because according to our diary, John Wilkie was not working that day, so even if he was at the hearing, he certainly wasn’t there as our representative – another example of misrepresentation by the pundit.

So, what is obvious is that the Pundit is, at the least, associated with parking companies, and posting on their behalf, not independently. This could be dangerous for the Parking Companies, whether BPA or IPC. Under the Consumer Rights Act, an oral or written statement by a company, or a person associated with a company, can be incorporated into contractual terms, if it leads the consumer to make a transactional decision. It can also be an offence to make such statements without declaring your relationship with the trader – think of fake reviews on websites.

As a result Private Parking Appeals invites the Parking Pundit to reveal his/her identity, and stop hiding behind a Privacy Service. If the pundit is prepared to operate a fair and transparent blog, Private Parking Appeals will be more than happy to provide guest reports and information to provide balanced, independent information to the public.

Private Parking Appeals also invites ZZPS and the BPA to confirm that neither company is associated with, or operating, the Pundit’s website, and in the BPA’s case, to ask the Pundit to stop using its copyright web content from Know Your Parking Rights.

It will be interesting to see which companies respond to this invitation, which has also been emailed to all three organisations.

 

UPDATE – the BPA has confirmed that the site is not associated with them, and that they do no object to the Parking Pundit using their copyright material from Know Your Parking Rights.

Private Parking Appeals is recruiting.

As a result of a huge increase in demand for our services, and the recent acquisition of one of our competitors, we are recruiting at all levels of the business.

Administrative staff

We are looking for Administrative staff to act as the first point of contact for our customers. You will deal with new applications, allocating work to the appropriate appeals or claims handlers, and dealing with general telephone enquiries. You may have the opportunity for “warm lead” recovery at a later date. Experience in general admin, computer literacy and document control will be of benefit, though full training can be provided. While this position is a “remote worker” role, you will need to visit either Bristol or Glasgow at least once before starting work, and for reviews during your time with us. This role is paid on an Hourly basis which meets National Living Wage requirements before deductions, and additional performance bonuses.

Appeal Handler

Our Appeal Handlers are the heart of our business. You will normally be involved with the customer from the first contact, right through until we receive a successful result from the Parking Company or POPLA. You will have access to the corporate database of car parks, signage and documents, which will guide you as to the thousands of successful appeals we have already completed. The majority of this work can be done by email and/or online interfaces, though you may need to write to Parking Companies on occasion.  Experience in general admin, computer literacy and document control will be of benefit, as well as a grounding in Parking Law. This role is paid on a “piece-work” basis, with a regular performance bonus.

 Claim Handler

Inevitably, some customers only contact us as their case reaches the County Court. Our Claim Handlers are the people who make a difference at this stage. With your calm attitude and scrupulous attention to detail, you will assist the customer in preparing a defence, and later a Witness Statement and Skeleton Argument for the court, to ensure that the customer has the best chance of winning the case, with or without representation. As well s the experience needed for our other staff,  you will either hold, or be studying for a relevant qualification in Law which can also be demonstrated by prior experience as a Solicitors Agent, Accredited Union Representative or similar. This role is also paid on a Piece-Work basis, with both regular bonuses, and also the opportunity to use your advocacy skills as a Lay Representative, should you choose to take this route.

Lay Representative

Private Parking Appeals is strongly of the view that a Lay Representative should not be entitled to charge fees, or rewards for attending court other than reasonable expenses, and our view is supported by the majority of District Judges. As such, we do not engage Lay Representatives, though we are always open to new Lay Rep’s joining our pool and being supported by our back-office team. Lay Representatives introduced by Private Parking Appeals are engaged directly by customers, and we do not seek any fee or reward for referral.

 

All of our roles are on a non-exclusive self-employed contract basis, and you will need reliable internet access and your own desktop/laptop computer with Remote Desktop software, such as Microsoft RDP or the Apple/Linux equivalent. You may also need a printer, and a physical network connection for a company desktop phone to be supplied. As a self-employed contractor you must be over 18, and will be responsible for your own tax and NI contributions, and we will pay you either an hourly rate or a “piece work” price, as well as expenses incurred for the business on a monthly basis in response to your submitted invoice.

As part of our commitment to our contractors, we are always willing to discuss and assist with negotiating the minefield that is the DWP – We can assist with Universal Credit issues, to ensure that you lose the minimum amount of benefit (normally 65p in the pound) for the work you do for us.

If you are interested in any of these roles, then please send a CV to info@privateparkingappeals.co.uk using the subject line “Employment Application” – followed by your name. Please include a CV in MS Word, Open Document or PDF format, and a daytime telephone number. If you are unable to use email, please send a CV and Covering Letter to our Glasgow Office, marked “Human Resources – Confidential”.

All applications will be considered on their merits, and we will acknowledge all applications. However, any applications without the requested information will be declined. We may seek references before calling any individual for interview.

 

Recruitment Agencies please note that we do not recognise speculative CV; should you submit a speculative CV we will assume the candidate as our own.

Rumours of our demise are premature

We have recently had brought to our attention a post on MoneySaving Expert.

This is not, in fact the case, and we continue to trade, supporting customers from their first PCN through to the courtroom door and sometimes beyond.

In the past few weeks, our staff have been involved in well-reported court cases in Blackwood, Clerkenwell, and elsewhere, and we continue to support the British Motorist Protection Association. We are about to submit our second year’s accounts, which will show an increase in turnover of more than 20% year on year, and this despite the judgment in ParkingEye and Beavis.

One of the comments in the thread listed is cogent:

I remain amazed at the number of so-called complainants who seem to believe that running to this forum to bleat is both a reasonable and measured way of solving a simple problem when the effort they expend in doing so would have written several letters to PPA direct.

One has to ask whether all of these individuals were genuinely motivated (in that they have actually suffered poor service) or for whatever reason are far more interested in simply discrediting PPA? Let’s face it, there are plenty of PPC’s who would be glad to see PPA losing business just for starters.

Private Parking Appeals continues to trade, and continues to win cases. Indeed, we have recently acquired the IP of a fourth appeals company, and will soon be rolling out additional services. As ever, however, we do not trade on Social Media or forums, and operators of such services permitting defamatory posts would be well advised to apply more stringent moderation.  Our complaints procedure is fully compliant with the requirements of law, and, although we do receive some complaints, we have never been in a position where a customer has had to refer a complaint to ADR.

We’d also like to thank the moderators of Pepipoo for their support in pointing out that online forums are not the appropriate place for customers to air their complaints, and hope the moderators of MSE will follow suit.

Private Parking Appeals – we do exactly what it says in the name.