My angry email :
I am writing to appeal against a parking charge notice issued today.
I acknowledged that I was not parked in an allocated space but that is only because there were NO spaces available and 5 cars including mine were let in at the gate and I could see that more were being let in. We deliberately arrived early anticipating heavy traffic at the car park, but after close to 10 minutes of going in circles without being able to find a space to park (during which time I was being charged parking fees) and at the time I was already late for my heavily pregnant (34 weeks) wife’s appointment and she was left alone to make her way up to the second floor with difficulty walking.
By then there were already 7 cars circling the car park when no spaces were available. I remember feeling extremely frustrated at the time after queuing for 10 minutes at the gate to get IN to the car park in the first place because the LED sign said it was full, now after the barrier let me in I had NO spaces to park after 10 minutes of circling around. There were also no members of staff to assist and I was left with no choice but to park next to a car at I thought the least obstructing place in the whole west car park. I feel that your car park system had failed to provide the appropriate parking facilities for a fee paying law abiding good citizens.
At the time I took confidence that the car next to me at the time was parked appropriately, however when I returned the car had already gone and there was no parking box. Having said that the double yellow round the bend were very faded and I had no way to see them before parking. This had left my car appear to be parked in the middle of the bend, which is not true. After I parked I had observed for another minute to make sure cars were not obstructed by my car, in fact a woman had made the turn then stopped to ask if I were going, clearly thinking the space my car was in was in fact a legit parking space, which therefore was NOT obstructive as your notice described.
I am extremely astonished by how your car park would continue to let cars into a car park where no spaces are available. This not only wastes drivers’ time, for which they pay for; it also causes significant amount of stress and frustration when all they ever want to do at a hospital is to be with their loved ones at critical times, or even for others to see them for the last time. Instead I feel that we are being penalised and preyed upon, not to mention that I also paid the correct parking fee at the machine, only to be penalised further for using the car park whilst you failed to provide the right facilities for me to do so.
Also the amount you have charged is not based upon any commercially justifiable loss to your company or the landowner. According to the Unfair Consumer Contract Regulations, parking charges on private land must not exceed the cost to the landowner during the period the motorist is parked there. In my case, the charge you are asking for far exceeds the cost to the landowner. The fee of £85 or even £50 would require that I parked for close to 50 hours to justify it.
If you choose to pursue me please be aware that I will not enter into any correspondence and this will be the only letter you will receive from me until you answer the specific points raised in my letter within the next 7 days. I am also going to complain to POPLA, Trading Standards as well as the Swindon Council. It is obvious the charge is disproportionate and not commercially justifiable.
and got this reply:
We advise that the notices in the Great Western Hospital car park clearly state the reasons for a parking charge notice being issued. One of these being for obstructive parking.
The Unfair Consumer Contract Regulations only applies if the car park does not have clear signs detailing the regulations and charges. Our car parks are clearly signed and explain the charges that apply should the car park regulations not be followed.
Please note that the barriers are owned by the hospital, therefore Local Parking Security Ltd do not have control over these.
Thank you for your appeal against the parking charge notice issued by us to you on the 16th June 2015. Having carefully considered the evidence provided by you we regret your appeal has been unsuccessful for the following reasons:
• Obstructive Parking
You now have a number of options:
1. Pay the parking charge Notice at the reduced amount of £50.00 within 14 days. Please note that after this time the parking charge notice will increase to £85.00.
2. Make an appeal to POPLA – The independent Appeals Service by completing the accompanying form or by making your appeal online . Please note that if you wish to appeal to POPLA, you will lose the right to pay the charge at the discounted rate of £50.00, and should POPLA’s decision not go in your favour you will be required to pay the full amount of £85.00. If you opt to pay the parking charge you will be unable to appeal to POPLA.
3. If you choose to do nothing we will seek to recover the monies owed to us via our debt recovery procedures and may proceed with Court action against you.
They are even taunting me by sending a prefilled popla form!