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give them FA

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  1. Yes, but they are handing out taxpayers' money to their friends (and contributors to Party funds?) that is what being Tory is all about.
  2. Methinks the BPA is being mistaken for a legitimate regulator. It was formed by the parking companies for the purpose of furthering the interests of the parking companies, by masquerading as an independent authority. Do not fall for this.
  3. Yes indeed. It appears that the situation has changed vastly in as little as three years, and that some of these companies have gone on the offensive! I'm not too proud to say I'm wrong, Sabresheep, so there it is- I was wrong with out-of-date information. It simply amazes me that the scenario has changed so vastly. My apologies. The only thing I can say, is that if all of these claims (or even a substantial proportion of them) got defended then it would come back to bite them on the bum. Cases would get transferred to the driver's local court, and would thus be difficult to pursue and with solicitors charging upwards of £150 for an appearance would be loss-making even if successful. I would have asked in the FOI request what the breakdown of disposal was- default/ trial/ upheld or dismissed on trial. It seems that the illusion of respectability which these pirates have sought to create has come to some sort of fruition. Another interesting statistic would be how much is donated to Conservative Party funds by these fine upstanding businessmen.
  4. The last year for which I can find a published figure for the number of Court cases brought by PPCs was 2011, obtained under a Freedom of Information request. This showed that the total number of cases brought by all operators in that year was 845. More than half of these were by two companies, Observices (221) and Devere (216), then a hospital with 47. Most other in single figures. Parking Eye brought 5. Some major players such as Smart Parking brought none at all. It does not state how many of the claims succeeded, but I would guess that many of those that did, went by default. Indeed, a figure published in the Guardian indicates that only 49 cases went to hearing before a Judge. These are official statistics issued by the Ministry of Justice in response to a FOI request. The total number of PCNs issued was stated to be 1.8 million, of which 31% (around 550,000) were not paid. Thus, the chances of being taken to Court for non-payment were less than 1 in 600; and the chance of actually landing in Court if the matter was defended were less than 1 in 10,000. In my own experience a high proportion of claims failed, though I don't have the overall figure, and obviously not all defendants sought help to defend properly. In 2011 Government figures showed that 1,901 people died as a result of Road Traffic accidents. Whilst there may have been some deviation from that situation, and I hope that the efforts of Forums have meant that a higher proportion of charges are going unpaid, I would suggest that the situation remains that if you are a road user, you are more likely to be killed than to face a claim by a PPC.
  5. Sabresheep, of course you and others are free to disagree with my ideas and I do not have any problem with that. However, it would be appreciated if you were to base your criticisms on what I actually said, rather than on your own spin on my posts. I did not advocate ignoring letters, nor have I suggested or implied that anyone should deliberately seek to get parking tickets from operators. Personally I treat them as being beneath contempt, as they have the mentality of protection racketeers. I did do a fair time as an advisor on another forum which will remain nameless and had a lot of experience in dealing with these people on behalf of others. I merely mentioned it because it puts into perspective the actual chance of being taken to court if you don't pay. Indeed, I believe that statistically, there is a greater chance of being killed in a road accident than being sued by a parking company. I feel that the perception of SOME of the public that if they don't pay, then court will inevitably follow, needs to be addressed because it is completely untrue. The inability to actually enforce unpaid tickets is the Achilles' Heel of the industry. They lose money every time, so all they do is to take up a handful of cases, usually where they believe the driver has moved so that it won't get contested. Different industry but very similar modus operandi to debt collectors.
  6. Perhaps you should read my posts a little more carefully, Sabresheep. NOWHERE have I used the word "ignore". I know perfectly well that ignoring is no longer good practice; not responding (and also the letters coming back undelivered) may actually encourage companies to issue claims as they think they won't be replied too and an easy default judgment can be obtained. The main purpose of which is to put up on their websites to show how tough they are. So I never ignore any of the tickets I get. I simply respond by saying that their request for payment has not been approved on this occasion. Sometimes they let it go immediately, sometimes they go through the standard letter chain; but what they all do, is disappear. Sometimes, too, I also use the online appeal system, because I believe it costs the company about £30, and is binding on them but not me. Being unconnected with the industry the tribunal is very fair in my experience and I have had every ticket I have appealed reversed. My advice was to spread this gospel of "refuse to pay". Of course if you are the one in 10,000 or whatever the figure is who gets sent a County Court claim, then you must deal with it. That goes for any County Court claim, and there isn't much we can do if people don't have the nous to respond to a claim, is there? But I also mooted a system whereby the few unlucky ones could be helped by a fund to defend their claim in Court, and, ultimately, to pay it if they lost. If that is done within 28 days the CCJ is not recorded and it won't affect credit. I actually did help people with court cases a while back and did not lose a single one.... we used to have some idiot called Peter who would travel up and down the country pursuing claims for a company called UKCPS, if you remember. So what exactly is YOUR advice to people who get given one of these fake tickets? What do you tell them to do? Pay up immediately in case you are in the 0.01% that gets taken to Court? Or what? I only ask because I would like to know. Yes indeed there are other strategies with which I fully agree. Boycotting stores that use parking firms is an attractive idea, but in practice it is difficult to organise, I would say. People tend not to be interested unless and until it happens to them. I have always said that barriers on exit are the most effective way of enforcing parking regulations, because you know where you stand and they do the job. But of course most of these cowboys wouldn't do them as it would mean the end of the gravy train of fines that is their main source of profit.
  7. We can all have our opinions Sabre, but let us not forget that this is civil law we are talking about, not criminal. No-one is going to be thrown into jail for not paying. No disrespect but the only reason these parasites are able to stay in business is because enough people are cowed into paying by their empty threats. The country is divided into two distinct groups. Those that think these charges will be enforced, and those that know they won't be. The latter need to educate the former. It would be really nice to have the Supreme Court make the correct ruling, and I sincerely hope it does. All I am trying to point out is that if no-one pays, these companies will go out of business because they simply don't have a collection system that will work like the Council one does. With the small claims system, it is uneconomic for companies to sue for small amounts like this. That is why small debts generally are written off or sold on to debt collectors who adopt similar tactics to frighten people into paying. So to that degree the lawfulness or otherwise of the charge is an irrelevance in the real world. These parasites depend upon the ignorance of the public at large. I know these comments are peripheral to the debate regarding the legality of the charge, but even a favourable verdict to us won't make a lot of difference if people remain ignorant... the companies are not going to be warning the motorist that according to the judgment in Parking Eye v Beavis, they are not obliged to pay the charge!
  8. Well, that is my idea. Please read again because I advocate organising a campaign of disobedience, not to "The Law", but to something that we are all saying is NOT legal- i.e. private parking fines! And is not disobedience by deliberately refusing to comply with unlawfully imposed conditions equally appropriate? A fund to help those who are made the scapegoats would at least allow them to fight the case and at the end of it (if the Court so orders) pay the judgment so as not to have a recorded CCJ. Thus I am not advocating disobedience to a lawful judgment. and no, I am neither suggesting nor advocating that anyone out there should deliberately get tickets; I merely quoted myself as an illustration that the chances of actual enforcement are close to zero. For that is the issue we must address if we are to put these cowboys out of business: The public ignorance of the law and its application, which means that a substantial proportion are persuded by these companies that they must pay.
  9. Private parking companies have no fast-track system of enforcement such as that used by councils, which is cheap and quick. Therefore, if you don't pay, the only route by which they can collect is to raise a claim in the County Court. Even allowing for the idiot decision of the COA, the claim is for an amount which will be within Small Claims jurisdiction. That means that by the time they have paid the lawyer their fee, which they can't recover as costs, they lose money on every claim even if they succeed. Hence they only bring very, very occasional cases just to be able to put the details up on their websites to frighten people. So your chances of getting taken to court if you don't pay must be of the order of 1 in 100,000 or thereabouts. People do not realise this is the case, because parking companies pretend that they will legally enforce, whereas they would rapidly go bankrupt if they did so. Given, therefore, that the penalties are PRACTICALLY unenforceable, whether or not they are LEGALLY enforceable or not, then surely the way forward is to educate the motoring public as to the fact that the only way these companies stay in business is by telling lies, and that in reality the chances of the penalties actually being enforced are infinitesimal? Organise a campaign of disobedience! Tell people that they have no need to pay! Wise up the 40% (or whatever the figure is) of those who think they need to pay! I am on 109 tickets and counting, I deliberately get them just to cost the companies money! Number of court cases = 0. That's the reality. And how to do this? Move into the 21st century. We now have social media by which photos, films or notices "go viral" meaning that they reach millions in a short time. USE FACEBOOK, TWITTER, WHATEVER. Message DO NOT PAY A PRIVATE PARKING FINE. SHARE WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS! Second string to bow: Look how quickly £6,000 + got raised to launch the appeal. Organise a fund to be contributed to by people who want to "insure" against any Court judgment, so that if they are one of the unlucky handful that are "made an example" of, then any judgment will be paid off immediately so that it won't be recorded as a CCJ. Given the number of motorists against the number of court cases, it should cost literally pennies. Remember that though these legal issues are important background (if the Supreme Court upholds Mr. Beavis' case then that will create difficulties for the entire industry) the fact is that the above can be done anyway. Bringing court cases is just an irrelevance. The companies make their profits from the millions of people who are ignorant of the law or its workings, and who are persuaded that they will be taken to Court if they do not pay.
  10. This is just par for the course with debt collectors. They buy up old debts at a fraction of value and do a mail shot hoping some one will crack and cough up. Of course this really isn't a debt as such, since it has no legitimacy in law; but the procedure's the same. Why waste your time tracking back to the original paperwork, when you can simply........... ignore. They WILL go away when they realise they are wasting their time and money. You will probably get another letter threatening to take you to court; and then one threatening to kidnap your cat and torture it till you pay.... then, nothing.
  11. One issue which should have been addressed more thoroughly is that of costs at appeal hearings. At the moment these appear to be very rarely, if ever, awarded, so that successful appellants are left out of pocket even though they did nothing wrong. Councils, on the other hand rarely if ever attend. Clearly this means that Councils have no incentive to allow an informal appeal, even if it is clear they will lose. Some reform to this is plainly required to bring the procedure into line with any other civil procedure whereby a no show party will pay costs. Yes, a frivolous appeal by a motorist should also involve some penalty of course, but the present system (however well-intentioned it may have been) does no justice to successful appellants. I was astonished to learn that councils join the BPA, giving this rogue organisation of parasites an illusion of propriety which it in no way deserves.
  12. You made the mistake of replying to their junk mail. They get a DCA to write you a couple of letters and then the matter quietly dies. Never reply to these idiots.
  13. There is an even better way to deal with those cowboys. Ignore everything you get from them. When will people realise that these private parking companies are not empowered by law in the way that Councils are? The "British Parking Association" which pretends to be a regulator is something they have set up themselves to give their business of issuing fake parking tickets a veneer of officiality; it has absolutely no statutory significance either. Or on second thoughts if EVERYONE takes them to the independent tribunal- which costs them a hefty fee- and you nothing- and THEN ignores the result- as you are entitled to as it is not binding on you- we might be starting down the road of clearing these parasites out of the high street car parks.
  14. Hi! do you change your handle more often than I change my socks, lol! Been spending a fair bit of time abroad these days. The forums are a bit of a habit- if you don't visit regularly, then one gets out of the habit. However the mention of UKCPS lured me back......
  15. Is that idiot Peter still in charge there? Presumably he has got fed up with traipsing around the country being told by judges that his claims are invalid, and has now taken to this more convenient form of swindle. UKCPS are amongst the worst in what is generally a bad bunch.
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