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Cplus demand letter - outraged!


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Hi all,

 

Last month I made a return business trip from near Birmingham to Exteter. Having a small car I refilled with fuel for the journey down to Exeter and then needed petrol again just before getting home. I used the same service station at 7.27am in the morning and 6.21pm on my return home.

 

Imagine my disgust at getting a demanding letter for £80 from CPlus who stated I had stayed at the service station for over 10hours!! I have emailed CPlus, here is what I have sent them...

 

:mad2:

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am emailing you in reference to a letter I received yesterday in relation to a Parking Charge Notice - XXXXXXXXXXXXXX for allegedly parking on private property in excess of 10 hours on 1st Feb 2011.

I am outraged at this letter and you absolutely have no right to be sending such a threatening letter.

I was a paying customer who filled up with fuel prior to a business journey in Exeter on the morning in question. My office is sited next to the nearest junction hence I fill up at this service station on a regular basis.

As I was sharing the journey with a work colleague, I had to return to the office the same evening. The return journey from Frankley to Exeter of over 250 miles meant I needed to refill with fuel the same day.

I have my business fuel receipts and my business will support me in court in proving I was not parked up on a service station for 10 hours. Your letter which implies legal action and my ability to obtain credit is disgraceful and I would believe to be unlawful as it is not a credit agreement. Your letter could also be construed as harassment and demanding money with menaces. No parking ticket was even issued and nor did I see any sign for private parking as I only visited the petrol station.

I will be reporting this matter to the British Parking Association who you claim to operate in accordance with.

I am also contacting the DVLA as to how you got my details when no offence has been committed under any law.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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You may wish to mention how OB Services have just pleaded guilty to criminal charges regarding sending out letters for dodgy return periods.

 

 

Who are OB Services please?

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I emailed MOTO who operate the Frankley Services station, near Junction 3/4.

 

Heres the email trail....

 

Hi Karen,

Many thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate that the charge has been cancelled but it is unfortunate that it ever happened in the first place.

These kind of letters cause immense distress and had I not been vigilant in keeping my fuel receipts, I could have easily been an elderly or vulnerable person who would have worried themselves sick over this and paid up. It is totally scandalous that the letter implies legal action and having a debt registered against me. I do not believe this to be even a lawful practice as no offence has taken place and there is no contract or credit agreement. I am furious that they have gone to DVLA to gain my driver details on the basis of a faulty camera? I am keen to know how and why you allow such letters to go out given that it is your company name which is implicated in this.

I am truly disgusted at this and that you employ such unscrupulous agents with equipment which is clearly not fit for purpose.

There is a legal time limit of requesting information from DVLA which must be done within 28 days. Amazingly this reminder notice was printed on the 28th day and having not received an initial letter, I also believe this to be in contradiction of the code of conduct. I believe there to be a misue of my personal data and DVLA records and will inform them so.

How many other people have potentially been stung by these letters? How many people have potentially paid up out of fear?

I am sorry, but this is a disgrace and even though it is private land, there is no legislation to parking on it and nor can you enforce such penalties in court. Your business operates and needs vehicles parking on your premises and if this is the repayment I get for being a repeat customer (and also my business) then you should be keeping a closer eye on such a charlaton company who represent you.

I would details of your head office and name of a senior manager if you could kindly send it to me.

People like CP PLUS ought to be ashamed of themselves and so should Moto for employing them. They deserve no sympathy and the more that people complain about their unlawful practices, the sooner we shall see an end to such disgusting tactics on innocent drivers.

Kind regards

 

 

From: Services, Customer [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: 04 March 2011 13:11

Subject: RE: Moto resposne

 

Thank you for forwarding the information I requested.

I have contacted CP-Plus concerning this matter and they have confirmed that following representation received, the charge has since been cancelled.

It would appear that our ANPR cameras on site malfunctioned and did not recognise your vehicle entering and leaving on the 2 separate occasions, please accept my sincere apology for this error and any distress caused.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.

Kind regards

Karen

Sent: 04 March 2011 12:43

To: Services, Customer

Subject: RE: Moto resposne

 

 

 

Hi Karen,

 

Thank you for contacting me.

 

The parking charge notice number is xxxxxxxxxxxxx and I refilled petrol at the southbound Frankley service station on 1st Feb at 07.27 and again 18.21. I had travelled to Exeter on the day in question on business.

 

My regional office is sited minutes away at junction 3 hence I have used this station on a number of occasions. I have ARVAL company fuel receipts to prove I was a legitimate customer on the date and times.

 

The manner of the letter was offensive and it states it is a reminder letter, but it is the first letter I have ever received.

 

I will be advising our head office of this matter also due to the threat of having a debt registered against me. I will also be contacting trading standards.

 

Kind regards

 

 

From: Services, Customer [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: 04 March 2011 12:37

Subject: Moto resposne

Thank you for contacting us via our website.

To allow me to investigate your comments further I would be grateful if you could confirm the Parking Charge number or your vehicle registration and the site you visited.

Once received, I will investigate further and contact you directly with my findings.

Yours sincerely

Karen Davis

Customer Services

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The biggest mistake was letting these vultures anywhere near a car park especially one that was put in place to allow people to take a rest break especially when driving long distance on motorways - they are there for safety reasons as the matrix signs remind

 

One that I frequent on a regular long drive has started a double whammy of keeping their ill gotten gains up by not having ticket machines but a premium rate number you can call if you plan to stay over their petty little time limit on the pretext they are helping by saving potential clients the stress of finding change and a working ticket machine

 

What a Joke they are

 

Trouble is people fall fo it and while they do, these modern highwaymen will stay in business

 

Personally I stay as long as I feel need to in these service areas and do not bother with their silly little phone ploy and all it will do is cost them money sending out their toilet paper

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I cannot recall anywhere on mainland Europe where you will these stupid charges on motorway service-areas. It just shows are strong the PPC lobby is in this country. They are offering a "solution" for a non-existent problem.

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I cannot recall anywhere on mainland Europe where you will these stupid charges on motorway service-areas

 

That's because the population would not stand for it and clampers have the locks superglued so they have to cut them off and I suspect any attempt at an ANPR installation would meet with a angle grinder attack on the support and their silly signs with petty rules ripped down.

 

We British are basically far too tolerant :-x

 

Cannot recall seeing them infesting superstore carparks either unlike over here where no car park seems PPC free now

 

Important thing is to spread the word and let others know about how the scheme works so they do not get caught

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"clampers have the locks superglued so they have to cut them off"

 

I noticed yesterday that a camera on the A34 has had a "Soweto necklace" applied recently.

 

For those that know the A34 between Stafford and Stone, it's the one at the bottom of Yarlet Bank.

 

It used to be quite a popular pastime, but this is the first I've seen for a while....

All of these are on behalf of a friend.. Cabot - [There's no CCA!]

CapQuest - [There's no CCA!]

Barclays - Zinc, [There's no CCA!]

Robinson Way - Written off!

NatWest - Written off!

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I feel better just for complaining about these charlatons!

 

I received an email from MOTO who state that the camera's were malfunctioning on the day in question and the penalty charge has been cancelled. Fair enough but it should never have happened in the first place. Clearly I never even parked, I refilled with fuel twice in one day and went to the petrol station only. How on earth did they expect me to see any camera or notice, especially given it was early morning and dark and the second late evening and in the dark again.:mad2:

 

I also took the liberty of emailing the ABPA and telling them I believe CP Plus has broken their code of conduct. They have very kindly emailed me back attaching a set of slides about codes of conduct and saying that they are prepared to look into my complaint. See below...:lol:

 

Dear XXXXXXX

Approved Operator Scheme BPA Ref: CP+ 11-17

Many thanks for your email belowconcerning the parking incident you experienced with CP Plus.

The Approved Operator Scheme and its Code of Practice was developed by the BPA to bring a degree of regulation to an industry without primary legislation. Regrettably as we are not a regulatory authority, we are not empowered to become involved in disputes between you and the car park operator.

Having said that, I would be happy to make representation on your behalf to the operator concerned and/or seek to determine whether they are in breach of our Code, if they are a member of the BPA. To do this I would need to be provided with some items of information including the incident number which should be in the receipt for payment or on the Parking Charge Notice, and copies of any correspondence which may have been exchanged.

If a member is found to be in breach of the Code, they would be subject to our Sanctions Scheme where Operators who breach the Code can expect to receive a number of penalty points depending on the severity of the offence. As with driving offences, once an operator’s ‘licence’ has reached twelve points in any given 12-month period, then he is likely to be faced with suspension or expulsion.

Many thanks for bringing this matter to my attention and I look forward to receiving the additional information requested at your convenience.

Yours sincerely

AOS Complaints Team

 

From one of the attachments sent to me......

 

 

As with all methods of enforcement on private land, proper enforcement depends on clear signage that is visible from all over the car park. The BPA’s new Code of Practice contains recommendations for the size, placement and wording for signage, including the fact that the car park is monitored by ANPR technology and that DVLA will be contacted to obtain keeper details in the event of a parking contravention occurring

This is new technology: Is it working perfectly?

As with all new technology, there are issues associated with its use:

a)

Repeat users of a car park in a 24 hour period sometimes find that their first entry is paired with their last exit, resulting in an ‘overstay’. Operators are aware of this and are now checking all ANPR transactions to ensure that this does not occur.

b) Some ‘drive in/drive out’ motorists that have activated the system receive a ticket even though they have not parked. Reputable operators tend not to uphold tickets issued in this manner (unless advised differently by the Landowner/Landlord), but operators should also now be factoring in a small ‘grace period’ to allow a driver time either to find a parking space (and to leave if there is not one) or make a decision whether the tariff is appropriate for their use or not. This ‘grace period is however at the discretion of the Landlord/Landowner and will also vary in duration, dependant on the size/layout/circumstances of the car park

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Did Moto actually use the words "penalty charge"? If they did that's very naughty of them.

 

No, it refers to 'parking charge'

 

The letter from CP PLUS also has a statement which says:

 

'Failure to pay the full balance outstanding within 14 days of this notice could result in the balance outstanding being registered as a debt against you. You will also become liable for additional costs and interest involved. Your ability to obtain credit in the future could be affected'.

 

Can they actually say this? Under what type of court order would a debt be registered against me?

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They can't just "register a debt" against you for an alleged private parking infringement. For this to happen the case has to go to court, you lose and then you don't pay whatever the judge orders within 28 days. Once again a PPC and it's DCA are being "economical with the truth" (to put it politely).

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The charlatons reply....

:lol:

From:

 

Sent: 08 March 2011 13:57

To: [mailto:[email protected]]

Subject: RE: Moto -

 

 

Considering it was quickly identified on the same day I complained that the camera was 'malfunctioning' why was this not spotted before your attempt to extort money from me? Trying your luck was you?

 

I absolutely stand by my comments and your letter was a disgraceful attempt to scare me into paying up. Had I been elderly or vulnerable, I probably would have been frightened enough to have done so and lined your pockets even further. To suggest if I don't pay I will see my credit rating affected by this is totally unacceptable. What would you have done if I had done the other decent thing and put your letter in the bin where it belongs? A debt collector? More threatning letters? Go ahead and quote chapter and verse on 'Common Law' if you wish but you would have a hard time proving it in court and no doubt would make Moto look rather stupid given their business is all about attracting drivers in need of a rest.

 

I don't particularly care for your or Moto's apology in all honesty. Your company went to the trouble of requesting my personal data from the DVLA for £2.50 in the hope it would generate a nice little earner for you yet couldn't figure out the camera was alledgely in need of a service within the 28 days it has taken? Unscrupulous anybody?

 

From: [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: 08 March 2011 12:09

To:

Subject: Moto -

 

 

Dear xxxxxxxxx

 

I have had passed to me from Moto Customer Services, a copy of your email to them dated the 4th instant.

 

I have also had site of the email from Moto Customer services t you dated the 4th March confirming the cancellation of the parking charge notice, and offering an explanation as to how the equipment had malfunctioned, and at the same time tendering an apology which I would whole heartedly and unreservedly support and endorse.

 

Unfortunately we do not live in a utopian society and in all walks of life be it domestic or commercial , equipment does malfunction or fail hence the need for service engineers.

 

All our protocols are in strict accordance with the regulations as set down by the BPA with whom we are nominated Approved Contractors, and to refer to us as unscrupulous, as a charlatan company, and to refer to our letters as a “sting” is unwarranted and unfounded, and we will not accept any repletion of those libellous comments.

 

I can only reiterate the apology, and I hope that all future visitation to any of the Moto sites we manage nationwide pass of incident free.

 

Assuring you of my very best attention at all times.

 

Ian Langdon

Chairman

CP Plus Limited

10 Flask Walk, London, NW3 1HE

 

T: 020 7431 4001

F: 020 7435 3280

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So we have a dodgy car park management company using dodgy equipment and overseen by a dodgy Trade association - the latter being made up of people from dodgy car park companies so hardly an independent watchdog - yep really a good way to run what is an area for drivers to pull in and take a break as recommended by many dot matrix signs as you travel along the UK motorways

 

How did we ever cope without them

 

Ignoring their silly bits of paper is fine as is spreading the word about their operation but they are still in business so are catching far too many people who are unaware

 

A company that operates in this manner with misleading paperwork is a dishonest one and as pointed out above they do not infest the service areas on continental motorways mainly because they know they could not get away it. Pity we British just take it !

 

Well done flechie for picking them up on their errors and getting a sort of apology perhaps they will be more careful in future but from past experience would guess it will be highway robbery as usual and if the machines malfunction and they are in pocket becasue of it they will not complain !

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