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Vehicle Control Services and Commercial Collection services


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I received a PCN from vehicle control services back in September. My alleged offence was that my valid parking ticket wasn't on display through my windscreen as it had fallen off the dashboard onto the floor of the car.


The car park is in the Corn Exchange, Leeds, and is patrolled by a security guard (nothing to do with vehicle control services) who writes out parking permits for daily visitors and controls parking spaces for the car parks season ticket holders. The clamper from vehicle control services allegedly patrols the car park on a regular basis, and was told by the security guard that I'd bought a permit for that day, and, If he'd have looked through the side window he'd have seen the permit for the day in question. He obviously chose to ignore this and gave me a PCN for not displaying a valid permit. When I left my car the permit was on display so I've no idea how it ended up on the floor.


The penalty was £80 rising to £120 if not paid within 7 days, the usual crap about court proceedings, debt collectors etc etc was on the PCN. I wrote to VCS with a copy of the parking permit and explained what had happened, there response was that I'd failed to display a valid permit therefore their penalty was valid and gave me a week to pay up.


I wrote back to them again and basically said I'm not paying, justify your invoice, give me the copies of your evidence and either take me to court or cancel the PCN.


They then wrote back to me again saying that my "appeal" had been looked at by their management team, rejected, and if I didn't pay up they'd take further action (court, debt collection agencies etc etc). They enclosed a couple of photos of my car in the car park and no ticket was visible.


I've now received a letter from commercial collection services requesting me to pay up within 7 days, and the amount is now £140. The letter has all the usual crap ( county court proceedings, credit reference bureaux etc etc). I'm about to write back to these cowboys and basically tell them what to do with their threats and demands for money and would welcome any suggestions as to what I could include in my letter.


I've already told VCS I have no intention of paying and if they think they have a case then they should take me to court. They obviously chose to ignore this and passed the matter to commercial collection services to try and get me to pay up.


As this item is in dispute, is it illegal for VCS to pass the debt to a third party, or do the OFT just issue guidelines regarding debt collection?


Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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The OFT guidelines applies to debt collectors, not the Parking Company themselves. They are unfortunately guidelines, not statutory instruments. Its worth writing to Commercial Collection Services telling them that any liability is denied and the matter should be referred back to Vehicle Control Services.


The relevent statutory instrument is the Administration of Justice Act 1970 which the PPCs usually quote in their "conditions" but just as routinely break. Legal Pete's "Private Parking Companies - all you need to know" ["Sticky" at the top of the Parking Forums page] goes into this in some detail].

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I've read quite alot of Legal Pete's posts and he's been a big help by providing me with the determination to fight these parasites.


I thought I'd canvass other people's thoughts and opinions before I send off something I might regret to these 2 companies.


The only way I'll pay these penalty charges is if a court tells me I must pay them..........end of.


If I'd not paid for a permit to park in this car park then I suppose they'd have a case. The fact is I'd paid for a permit, displayed the the permit before I left the car, and the ticket monkey knew this because the security guard told him I'd paid.

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