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Chipper64

Euro Car Parks **Won**

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I've recieved a PCN from ECP for overstaying in one of 'their' car parks by a few minutes. I had been visiting a premises in the area but also used the shops adjacent to the car park. Approx 2 weeks later i recieved a photographic evidence PCN. Both photos show the front reg plate (strangely, the angle seems to be identicle on both photos too).

 

After initally seeing The Watchdog video and the expert suggest that such notices are ignored, i followed that advice. I've now recieved a 2nd letter from EPC and i now believe the 'Ignore it' advice is out of date.

 

Any advice on the best course of actions i should to take would be really appreciated.

 

Thanks to Homer67 for the advice about begining a new thread.

Edited by Chipper64
I got the name wrong.

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What is the date on the Invoice?

Where did you recieve this notice. ?

 

Please provide details as things have moved on since the Watchdog interview.

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the date of the parking, the date of first communication and how it was addressed- keeper of vehicle or driver, what other details were they asking for, how long after did you get the second letter and how was that addressed, again keeper or driver? The number of days elapsed between each is more important than the actual date.

The dodgy pictures are of no real consequence for this stage but will become important later if ECP insist on making further demands. They often dont.

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Aledged offence: 31 Oct

 

1st letter: Addressed to me.

Dated 5 Nov, Recieved at home address

 

2nd letter: Headed "Notice to Keeper", My name in addess panel.

Dated 25 Nov, Recieved at home address

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So, no notice stuck on car windscreen? You say first letter adressed to you but as driver or keeper of vehicle? If the latter then procedure is being follwed, if driver, how did they establish that particualr fact?

Anyway, time to appeal to POPLA.

Your cahllenge is to the veracity of the photographic eveidence as it appears that the 2 images are indentical but 1 is cropped in an attempt to make it appear different.

secondly, that the claim for ECP does not reflect any loss incurred by the overstay and that you do not believe that ECP has the authority to claim against you for damages as they are not the occupier of the land. see other postings, with particular reference to Parking eye and POPLA and their failure to show a right to claim.

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Correct, no notice on windscreen, notification came through the post.

The first letter was just adressed to me. My details were obtained from DVLA.

Theres no mention of me being the driver.

The photos look identicle although 1 is zoomed in a little more than the other and, the fixing screws are clearly clearly visible in the first photo, but not visible at all in the second photo.

Also, just noticed that they want payment PLUS £2.50 Handling charge.

 

Date of issue: 31/10

1st letter dated 5/11

2nd letter 25/11

 

Any idea on time constriants fir POPLA appeal process?

 

Thanks again for help/advice.

 

Euro Car Parks: If you are reading this, you have got a battle on your hands. I dont part with cash easily but I'll be more than happy to donate to this website before you get your stinking mits on it.

GAME ON.

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Ok, i've drafted my response to ECP. Would someone be prepared to cast their 'experienced' eye over it before i send it off?

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Then they arent following the procedures that entitle them to claim from the RK. Write to them and tell them this. Also point out that their demand for a handling charge payment is unlawful so repudiates any contract that may have been formed earlier. This should stop them as it worked for me a few months back. They wont want to do court when they are going to get done for breaking the law.

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read Nev Mets postings on other threads but basically they are supposed to inform you of time and date of alleged offence, specify in letter what is being claimed, offer discount amount and period and make it clear that claim is against driver. The second letter should be 28 dyas later and notice to RK of vehicle outlining same things and saying claim against RK is under provisions of PoFA as driver hasnt been identified. They should give details of how to appeal to them and POPLA

If you post up the letters with personal into deleted the exact wording can be gone over.

Their demands for £2.50 payment fees are against 2 pieces of consumer legislation and they know it but hope no-one will point this out to Trading standards (who do very little as they farm out their initial contact work to CAB who cant act for themselves).

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Here's a Draft Copy of the letter (with personal info removed) for comments. Any further info or advice is really appreciated:

 

Dear Sirs,

Without prejudice, except as to costs I refer to your letter“Notice to Keeper” of dd/mm/yy. Before Idecide how to deal with this letter I should be grateful if you would firstanswer all of the questions referenced below.

Please note I wish to challenge your alleged claim againstme under reference to the following:—

1. Cause of action.Please make this clear. If it is your claim that I entered into a contract,please send me a complete version of the terms and conditions of that contractto which you say I agreed to. Further to the above please explain fully onwhich of the following grounds your claim is based:

a. Damages for trespass

b. Damages for breach of contract

c. A contractual sum

2. Your loss. Ifit is your case that that a trespass was committed or that a contract was breachedsuch that your claim is one for damages, please give me a full breakdown of theactual loss you say was suffered by your business or the landowner/landholder.

3. Status. Yourletter simply mentions Car Park - Toytown,please tell me who is the actual creditor making this claim for £xxx. Toconsider the validity of any claim I need to know who is making this claim andin what capacity.

4. Your letter mentions that the vehicle “exceeded themaximum free parking time period permitted”. Please provide FULL photographic evidence of this observation, forwithout sufficient evidence your claim cannot be considered. Please also sendme a copy of your procedures for handling and processing that evidence and therelevant audit trail. Furthermore, under section 7 of the Data Protection Act1998 please send me a copy of all such photographs along with a copy of allother data you hold relating to me. As this would be required to be disclosedin any event as part of your evidence bundle in the small claims process, I donot expect to pay for the release of my personal data which you hold.

5. OwnershipPlease tell me who owns the land on which you claim this vehicle was parked. Iwish to retrospectively include them in this and any further correspondence onthis matter.

6. I would be obliged if you can explain any involvement, ifat all, of the landowner /landholder in this case and provide me with a copy ofany contract between your company and the landowner /landholder. To resolve anydoubt please include their proof of ownership / holding for the land on whichthe vehicle was parked.

7. I would like to point out that, as there was nonegotiation leading to a meeting of minds in this case, any reasonable doubtconcerning terms of any alleged contract, and/or it’s interpretation, such asthe boundaries, location and ownership of land referred to, therefore lies withthe present party and not the absent party or author of the notice. If it isyour case that a contract has been breached or that a contractual sum is nowdue, please send me photographs of the signs that you displayed and upon whichyou seek to evidence that a lawful and legally enforceable contract had beenentered into. Please ensure that the photographs show the terms and conditionsin a clear and legible manner and that it clearly indicates the area of landreferred to. Please provide me with a diagram showing the locations and layoutof those signs at the “car park” including their relation to the vehicle. Alsoprovide evidence that the wording is in plain and intelligible language and insufficiently large print as to be legible to a driver at the “car park’s” entrypoint and that it was adequately illuminated on the evening of dd/mm/xx athh:mm.

8. Punitive / Unfair / Unreasonable. The parking charge of £xxis punitive and is therefore void. £xx is arbitrary and disproportionate to anyalleged breach of contract or trespass. This would also apply to any costsincurred through debt recovery unless it followed a court order.

a. The £xx parking charge you areimposing is an unfair term (and therefore not binding) under the Unfair Termsin Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. In particular, Schedule 2 of thoseRegulations which gives an indicative (and non-exhaustive) list of terms whichmay be regarded as unfair and includes at Schedule 2(1)(e):

‘Terms which have the object oreffect of requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay adisproportionately high sum in compensation.’

Furthermore, Regulation 5(1)says:

‘A contractual term which has notbeen individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to therequirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties'rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of theconsumer’

And 5(2), which states:

‘A term shall always be regardedas not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advanceand the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of theterm.’

b. Unreasonable The £xx parkingcharge you are imposing is an unreasonable indemnity clause under section 4(1)of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, which says:

‘A person cannot by reference toany contract term be made to indemnify another person (whether a party to thecontract or not) in respect of liability that may be incurred by the other fornegligence or breach of contract, except in so far as the contract termsatisfies the requirement of reasonableness.’

9. Appeal. Irequire a copy of any appeal procedure you will follow, along with details ofwhat factors you take into account; who is the judge or arbitrator and whetherthey are independent; whether you require oral or written submissions; whetherit is governed by the Arbitration Act 1996 and any other relevant factors. Inaddition, please give me disclosure of any arguments you would put forward onthis matter in any subsequent appeal process so that I might consider aresponse to any existing or new issues which are raised

10. Please provide me with the name and address of yoursolicitors, if any, in order that I may copy them into this correspondence. Pleasenote this is not an appeal however it is a challenge to your issue of the“Notice to Keeper”. As set out in the BPA AOScodes of practice I should be grateful for answers to all questions raised. Inthis respect I remind you of your obligations set out in the current PracticeDirection on Pre-Action Conduct, in particular reference 1.2.

To avoid any doubt due to miscommunication, please do not doany of the following:

a. Send any furthercorrespondence or documents to me or try to communicate with me in any wayexcept to address in writing and sent by post the specific points I have raisedin this letter.

Send me any document purportingto be from the county court unless it is a valid claim form duly issued.

Send any “Further reminders”repeating your charge, your letter of dd/mm/yy has been received and will beconsidered.

Write to me threatening to sendbailiffs to my address without first issuing a court claim form and obtainingthe court’s judgment.

Send me any standard form lettersfrom your company or debt collectors, no debt has been acknowledged.

I look forward to receiving your acknowledgement of thisletter within 14 days and a comprehensive reply should be made within 35 days(in accordance with the BPA AOSCode of Practice B.22.8). I will then be able to make an informed decision asto how I shall respond to your Notice to Keeper. If you reject this challengeor fail to address all the issues that have been raised then, in accordancewith the BPA AOS Code of Practice22.12, please ensure that you enclose all the required information (includingthe necessary ‘POPLA code’) so that I may immediately refer the matter fortheir decision.

If you fail to follow any of the procedures outlined in theBPA AOS Code of Practice or yourlegal requirements under the Protection of Freedoms Act, or the requirements ofthe Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct then I will make a formalcomplaint to the DVLA Data Sharing Policy Group, D16.

Please Note: Unless you have specifically requested it andreceived my express permission, you do not have my authority to disclose orrefer this letter or any other communication from me to any other person ororganisation.

If you do decide to issue proceedings, please note that:

a) I reserve the right to addfurther arguments to the defence

b) I or my representative will behappy to attend any court mediation that might be offered.

I look forward to your reply.

This letter is written wholly without prejudice to my wholerights and pleas and may not be produced or founded upon in any proceedings byany party or other person except on my prior, express, written consent.

Yours faithfully,

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My only concern with this is that it feels a bit as though by taking the 'I' stances, i could actually be infering who the driver could of been. Would there be a better way of wording this to move away from that?

Edited by Chipper64

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As they wrote to you in the capacity of keeper of the vehicle and this is true so your rerquest is in that capacity, not the driver, whom they have failed to identify via the procedures open to them. You have headed your letter as keeper and refer to that in the body of the letter so no inference can be properly made about the driver.

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Thanks for that ericsbrother. The information on these boards is amazing and really useful. I can't believe that the Govt are allowing these companies to exist and i've also written to my MP to ask them to look into this.

 

The letter to the PPC shall be sent soon. I'll keep the thread going as/when/if information arises.

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Update: As of this morning, i've not recieved any further corespondance from them. Is this usual?

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They have a limited time to act upon your appeal so if you hear nothing more over the next fortnight they have failed yet again to do as they are supposed to. This is normal for ECP so I wouldnt expect to hear any more. they dont even bother hiring the rentathreat debt collectors.

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Ding Ding, ROUND 3

 

I've just received the 'reject appeal' letter from ECP.

 

Reasons for rejection:

 

1, ANPR captured and calculated duration of stay. Referred to images enclosed. This is interesting. The 2 images show a car entering and leaving a car park. The photo entering also has an inset of a car reg plate (white). The photo of the car leaving is very very dark, red rear lights can be clearly seen but the yellow rear plate isn't very clear. An inset to this photo also shows a number plate ALSO in white and bearing a striking resemblance to the first inset photo with the entry photo (hope that makes sense.

 

2, This part goes on about the so-called fact that i have entered into a contract by parking on their car park that has adequate signage etc etc

 

3, Any person who makes contact under his own name, without disclosing the existence of a principle renders himself personally liable (quote Fairlie v Fenton 1870)

 

4, A copy of their contract with Aldi contains private & confidential info so cannot be supplied, they then indicate that land owners details can be found in public domain.

5, Regulation 27 of RV Regs 2002 requires DVLA to release data under 'reasonable cause' terms. ECP is a member of BPA which is an Accredited Trade Association working to approved codes of practice.

 

6, Reasonable charges for liquidated damages and not a penalty because:

 

a, Wages/Salaries

b, IT Systems

c, DVLA fees

d, Cost of sending PCNs

e, Legal, Accounting costs

f, HR

g, Premises Costs

h, Vehicle & Phone

i, Loss of Pay and display revenue (where applicable)

j, Loss of revenue to retail outlets

 

Reference to BPA max recommended charge for an act of trespass was reduced from £150 to £100. See clause 19 of BPA Code of Practice

 

The sum and calcs have been approved by land owner or agent of the site

 

They have provide clear evidence that the motorist has accepted t&c’s

 

It is too late to contend unhappiness with the charge. Driver should of left the premises

 

7, The appeal procedure is on the back of the PCN

 

8, They are not obliged to provide details of legal representation

 

9, Demand of payment within 14 days incl handling charges etc

 

10, Offer to appeal to POPLA within 28 days and POPLA ref no format nnn-nnn-n-nnn Also the offer of independent appeals service but loose ability to pay lower figure. If I opt to appeal I will be unable to appeal to POPLA. If no action then debt recovery and court proceedings may take place.

 

ENCL

Photo 1 - Car Entry photos 1 Large incl no plate, 1 inset zoomed white number plate

Photo 2 – Car Exit photo 1 large, very very dark rear view, number plate unclear with 1 zoomed white number plate photo inset.

Photo 3 – ECP private property photo dated March 2013 background of red brick wall

Photo 4 – Aerial view of car park (without reference to google copyright) and no indication of where photo 4 was taken.

 

 

Personally, I know what I want to do but I think I’ll opt to take advice from you guys. And very much appreciated it is too.

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Further to this, the letter is dated 10/01/14. The POPLA code was generated also on 10/01/14. I therefore now only get 24 days to respond.

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Looks like they're claiming the costs of running their operation (IT, HR, Cost of premises etc) against people who, so-called, cause losses to the owner of the car park.

 

That can't be right can it?

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Items C & D are costs, but they occur because they are claiming a loss that did not occur, the rest are operating costs and would be the same whatever happens, and J is a joke how can a loss to a retailer be a loss to them?

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They're just 'chancers' playing a percentage game.

We have to stand up to them and make it cost them money to progress thesecases. They operate on a thin line between the law and make-believe.

The Government should take some responsibility for these companies and I thinkanyone who has paid up should be keeping their paper work because, it years tocome, they will have proven to be illegal charges and the DVLA will have tofoot the bill. Without their involvement, these companies would not exist.

I'm actually enjoying this process but i don't really have the time. I've already drawn up my invoice to them ready to fund my expenses in defending myself. I realy do appreciate the help given on this site by the regulars in doing so.

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Appeal to POPLA, that will cost them money. Point out that ECP havent followed the procedures of the PoFA (didnt wait 28 days before letter making you liable)and they have failed to show that a contract exists that allows them the take legal action in their own name and that they have failed to show a true estimate or schedule of loss to themselves, their list being a list of establishment costs that are normal for running any business, none of which are caused by your car being parked in a free bay on someone else's property.

Also, their demands for handling charges etc are ILLEGAL but outside the remit of POPLA

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They more or less said their contract with the landowner isnt any of my business.

 

Do I have a right to see it?

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They more or less said their contract with the landowner isnt any of my business.

 

Do I have a right to see it?

 

Do they have a right to ask you for money? You don't know. ..

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