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Please Advice - Midway Parks ( Birmingham - Ellis Street)


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Last weekend I attended my friend’s weddings at a hotel (Ramada - Commercial Street). I knew that the hotel does not have any parking facilities prior to my booking. I was quite certain that I would be able to find some parking facilities that might be able to accommodate my 2 days stay in Birmingham.

 

I arrived at the hotel at 1938hrs (with my on hazard-light on) & checked in. After putting our bags in the room, I next went to search for parking spaces which were mostly occupied. I finally saw a carpark which displays 7am - 7pm.

 

As I knew the parking times for the public-carparks were mostly from 8am - 6pm. I instantly knew that it was a private-carpark. I parked my car in one of the bays (there were other cars parked there too), as I have the habit to check on the cars nearby whether they have displayed any tickets, I did that on some of the cars along the way to the designated parking machine - there it state "All Day" (12 Hours) - 3.00. As I knew that 7am - 7 pm is 12 hours & it was about 1958hrs, I did not buy any ticket.

 

I walked to the hotel wtih contentment that I have found a carpark that was really cheap & nearby. At wee morning hours of around 0230 hrs, most of the cars in the public-carpark were gone. As I decided to wakeup slightly later at 7am, I went back to my car and drove it to "Commercial Street" & parked it there. So far everything was normal. I went back to my room & slept. The next day at 0800hrs I went to the car & I love the idea of my car being within the vicinity & went to the ticket machine to look at their timing & charging. I found out that it only offers a maximum of 4hours for £2.50. Like most public carparks, it offers free parking on Sunday.

 

So I decided to park my car after 6pm as I drove towards the private-carpark. I parked my car at a bay and bought a ticket for £3.00. It was written in French – (FIN DE STATIONNEMENT – DATE - HEURE), as I lived in France for 3 years, I knew it states that End of Authorized Parking (19/09/09 00:00 –Su). I checked for the price printed as “PRIX” – 3. So everything was fine, I displayed it and locked my doors and went back to the hotel to have my breakfast.

 

The day went very joyously & we all had fun. At around 5pm, I walked along commercial road to look for a vacant spot, (It was not to be, I guess, if not I would not be writing this lengthy thread). At around 0030 hrs, I walked to my car only to find it missing. My instant thought was that it was stolen and I walked around the vicinity to see whether I could spot it. I went back to the hotel to tell the news to my wife. All our friends have left or asleep. As the bride was our best friend & it was her day we decided not to inform them. I search online for a non emergency number to report my “stolen” vehicle. I was more worried for the number of the unsolicited act performed by the joy-rider or criminals for which I might be held accountable or suspected for.

 

I called the police & they took my details including my vehicle registration number. I received the called back from the police after about 30 mins, stating that it was towed by Midway Parks – Tel no: 0121 333 6007 and they would be open 11am. I told them that it was a carpark that operates between 7am – 7pm as I had parked my car on Friday night there without a ticket and parked there this morning at 0812 hrs & displayed my ticket visibly. They seemed to just inform me not help me & told me to talk to Midway Parks personally. I could not believe what I have got into.

 

I walk back to the carpark. The first thing I noticed is that “7” in 7am – 7pm was gone and left with just am – pm.

 

I instantly knew that I was in for a big [problem]. The whole night or rather wee morning, I was searching the internet about them & their tactics & how they have even taken a car displaying a disability badge & making a 18 year old Cambridgeshire girl stranded in the night of the notorious Birmingham City. As usual my wife who cannot wait to hear from them pestered me to call them while I was sleeping since 11am.

 

I took my time & finally called them at round 1145 hrs, there was a guy answering the phone & told me that my ticket had expired at 10-45 pm yesterday. I don’t want to tell him what I knew as they are holding the evidence (my ticket). So I played the ignorance card & told them that I thought that it was free after 7pm. He answered back “AM & PM”, THAT MEANS YOU HAVE TO BUY TICKETS ALL TIME. YOURS EXPRIRED AT 1045PM & YOU HAVE TO PAY 390 POUNDS TO GET YOUR CAR BACK. I told him that’s a little bit steep considering I have only exceeded a couple of hours. He told RULES ARE RULES, 'yeah what rules are you talking about'(I was thinking a the back of my mind). As I wanted to see my car, I just played along & he gave me the address.

 

I took a cab there & there was a guy (black) who was at the gates at his side. He asked me what’s my registration & asked me for 390 POUNDS, his voice(pounding…that same one in the telephone). I told him "Don’t you want me to at least invite me to your office rather than talking at the gates". Here there was a huge guy & me, a tiny one, what’s he got to fear. He says pay cash & than you have your car. I told him that I don’t have that amount of cash at this time of the month & offered him a credit card payment instead. As I have expected he only deals with cash only, like a drug runner.

I said to him that there might be a mistake in my case & ask him to verify my ticket. He said they don’t make mistakes. I ask if I can take a look at the car myself, to which he says NO. I asked for a notice stating the offense & payment demanded. He did not seem to notice my pleas & said that he is just doing his job & they don’t do such thing. He says an invoice will be given to me upon my payments.

 

Does he think I care about the invoice? I care about only my hard earned cash. While I was talking, there was a woman who came there on a Toyota RAV with handful of cash & told me that its useless to even talk to these guys. She handed her money & he open the gates, she went in & drove off, passing the gates & shouting all the explicits & condemning the guy. I went back to the hotel to make a decision. I knew it was a [problem], for all I know that woman might be part of the gang too, I don’t care. I made a call to the counsel non emergency number. They immediately identitify the company, without me having to tell them. Her advice is to pay them the money & get my car. I asked them whether they could bring me to court or send a bailiff to me demanding exorbitant fees. She says no & says the most I will loose is my car. She told me to write to them & post my vehicle V05 document to them. I was petrified as I knew that I cannot hand a vehicle V05 document unless I have got a new owners signature on it & post it myself to DVLA. But I was quite happy to hear that I only got my vehicle to loose. As I was on the train to Manchester, I was very sad & was disbelieved that such a thing could happen in modern England.

 

Sorry for such a lengthy story, now can anybody help me with the following queries?

How can I get back my car?

Will I have to pay more than 390 + no of days in storage(£40) in future?

Will I get PCNs for offenses that I did not commit as of 20/09/09?

Will my information be available to Midway Parks?

If they can have access to the vehicle towed database, can they delete it & commit illicit activities and abandon the car? (As of now I don’t have any proof that my car had been compounded, all I have is a verbal communication with the police that it had been towed by Midway Parks)

Any help that get me start would be appreciated.

Edited by suears
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As they have your car, your only real choice is to pay up and attempt recovery in the courts.

 

If you can rip the gates off their compound and recover your car that way then go for it, but I would suspect that you are likely to be met with violence.

 

Have a read of the clamping guide in the stickies.

 

If you decide you have a case then you should sue both the landowner and the company. Clamping companies have a habit of phoenixing whereas landowners have something tangible that can be distressed for debt (i.e. the land).

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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

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The problem is that the company only deal with cash, and I can never get this money back. From what I had seen in the reports of others who had successfully won a court battle is they only won in papers. Midways fail to pay them and they make sure their office don't have any thing in value. There are a people who paid £60 for the services of a bailiff and got nothing.

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I post the following for information only, although i personally would have the utmost sympathy if you were tempted to copy this woman, given the complete absence of reasonable alternatives (given that Midway ignore all CCJs):

 

Mum breaks in to compound to retrieve car from Croydon clampers

 

Posters on another forum suggested it might be legitimate self-help to break in to retrieve your car if the towing and release fee demand were unlawful, and the clamping company also had a track record of ignoring CCJs, [due to lack of any reasonable alternative] but I very much doubt the police would see it that way. (The police are, disgracefully, always on the clampers side, regardless of the criminal offences they might commit).

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I wish if only I was only half the man I used to be. I am a disabled person who doesn't claim a single pence from the goverment. I refused to claim any benefits as I want to desperately get back to a normal life. I am even entitled for a disabled badge which I also didn't apply for. I just want to be normal again. After a stroke during an operation and numerous operations later, I am able to pick up the pieces I left behind. I bought the car as a first step to get back to normal life. I can't work at present as I still have an other operation(major) in the bag. But I have my mobility and can be independent now. I thank god for what I am now. I use the car mainly to travel to my hospital appointments & my personal needs. Now I have to fork out £20 pounds (8 miles) for the taxi on this Thursday for a pre-op appointment. I can't get the ambulance service as the appointment is at 0800 hrs. This things happen and I just have to live with it, I guess. Now, I can only envy the mum who did that, I doubt anyone can do the same feat to Midway Parks as their premise is like a military compound. They have a main gate and another gate inside where they parked the immobilsed cars. I can't foresee any such possibilities. As I have walk around their compound, they have a panel fence. If they have a wired fence I could attempt to cut the wires with a standard cutter. Their main gate has a 2 inch high combusted steel chain with the locks facing inwards. I have not observed their premises during the night or early hours. I am certain that the premise in on guard 24hrs. I don't care about the car now, I wish I can only gain access to my car to take my most cherished property, my beret during my military service. I earned that beret through some extreme physical & mental endurance exercises at one phase of my small life. Next I would certainly set a timer to trigger fire to the car & walk back to my friend's car and watch the chaios with a sniff of my cigarette with contentment. What do you think about it?

Edited by suears
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Can anybody tell me what will happen next? What happens when they got my car & I did not even write to them or contact them? I am prepared to loose my car. Can I writeoff the car. Can change the ownership of the car?

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  • 5 months later...

I'm sorry to hear about that suears. Sounds like there are some pretty nasty clampers out there... Midway sounds to be one of the worst I've heard of.

 

I've also heard CPS to be a terrible company but not sure if they operate in that area...

 

Our local clampers sound nothing like the horrors that other areas seem to have, National Clamps sounds like angels compared. National Clamps wheel clamping only charge £80 for a release, nothing compared to £390 rising by £40 a day?!?!

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  • 1 year later...

My car has been towed away today by Midway parks. I was told by the operator that my ticket displayed was not clear therefore they've towed and stored it in there compound. I park in the carpark on a daily basis and I am positive I checked my screen before leaving the carpark. I am assuming that they tilted my car so the tickets facing the other way. I called and was asked to pay £350 in cash! when I argued it went up to £375. I told the operator I will be taking it to court and was told that I won't be receiving a receipt once the car fee is payed. I went 5min left to 6pm and the compound was closed when the operator told me there open. I am going tom for the realease of my vehicle. I need help! please advice

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Is this the infamous pop-up carpark that Midway themselves own? If so, you may be in trouble as sueing them is pointless, and there is no landowner to pursue as Principle. Trading STandards however are well aware of these people, and it may be useful for you to contact them.

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I've paid £410 for the release of my vehicle and my bonnet is dented. They were so rude and abrupt, I have been advised to take it to small claims court for a settlement.

 

Thanks for the advice, I will be contacting trading standards and I am aware that theres not law that governs private clamping companies, I'm dissappointed!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

 

I am a newbie in desperate need for help.

 

Had parked my car at Cecil street (Birmingham) and found my car missing while I was back from work. I am very much sure that I paid and displayed properly the daily fare of £2.00. I have not been able to contact them over phone as they are not answering (supposed to be working until 18:00). I got their details from Police who confirmed that the car is with them. Went to their property and I see the locked steel gates as exactly seen on may web pages.

 

I am expecting to go there at 11:00 tomorrow. From reading all of the above, I expect a black guy to be in the office and they would ask me £400.00 irrespective of whether I had pad or not.

 

The first phone call to Police seemed most useless call I made today. Is there anything I can do?

 

Many thanks

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Hi,

 

There's nothing you could apart from paying £400 or above (in cash), they won't accept cards. Theres no law that governs private clampers. I have put a claim through small claims court, haven't had anything back yet but do keep your £2.00 ticket/receipts safe if your looking to put a claim in. Try not to challenge midway parks because they'l end up damaging your vehicle or might demand double money for releasing your vehicle.

 

Sorry

 

Hope this helps

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