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Smart Parking PCN received today - Asda, Sheffield


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Hi, i'm new here...

 

I've just received in the post today (18th October 2014) a letter from Smart Parking... a Parking Charge Notice saying that on Wednesday 1st October, my vehicle entered the Asda Sheffield site at 08:52, and exited at 16:46... with a picture of my number plate on these occasions. It says I have 14 days from the date of the letter (16 October) to pay £40, then it goes upto £70.

 

Obviously, this is a load of rubbish, as for whatever reason they've not recorded that I left the Asda car park at approximately 09:00 (having purchased newspapers for my next door neighbour... after this I went (in the car) to work, and was at work until approximately 16:30 - on the way home, I popped into Asda again to pick up something else... I didn't keep any receipts (as I don't usually expect to have to return newspapers, and had no reason to expect to get this stupid PCN). I then left the car park again at 16:46.

 

Between 9:30 and 12:00, I (along with around 100 work colleagues) were at our company's Quarterly Employee Meeting at the local Holiday Inn for 2.5 hours - i've got a number of people who can confirm I was there if needed. I was then back in the office and I have work emails I sent out between 14:00 and 15:55 showing I was in the office... and there is absolutely no way on earth I would have parked at Asda all day and then walked down Sheffield Parkway, rather than parking in my own spot in the office car park!

 

So, I know that this is either an error or a con on their part, I just want some advice on how to proceed... having read someone else's response on another thread, it appears ignoring it is not the best option (though on some other sites some people do just say to ignore!).

 

I haven't had any involvement with this kind of thing before, so don't know what POPLA is (that was mentioned on other threads), or what I should and shouldn't say. I had been tempted to go back upto Asda and goto Customer Services, saying something along the lines of if they don't do something to get this cancelled ASAP, I won't be shopping there again, and that'll cost them a darn sight more than £40 a week! But as i've already been upto Asda this morning to do some shopping (before I got the letter), i'm wary of going in there a second time today... in case their camera is 'faulty' again.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated - and just a warning to others who may visit the Asda twice in the same day, keep your receipts!

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Hello and welcome to CAG. The forum guys should be along later.

 

In the meantime, here are links to a couple of forum stikkies for you. The first one is about the CAG stance on not ignoring the letters and the second is a list of the abbreviations you're likely to see.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?412953-Have-you-received-a-fine-from-a-Private-Parking-Company-DO-NOT-IGNORE-IT

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?168275-Posting-in-this-Forum-please-read

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I've just received in the post today (18th October 2014) a letter from Smart Parking... a Parking Charge Notice saying that on Wednesday 1st October, my vehicle entered the Asda Sheffield site at 08:52, and exited at 16:46... with a picture of my number plate on these occasions. It says I have 14 days from the date of the letter (16 October) to pay £40, then it goes upto £70.

 

I'd be tempted to write back and say, "you had 14 days to send the notice to keeper, you've failed, jog on" spiteful.gif

 

Basically, when your vehicle is 'captured' by ANPR, the POFA 2012 and the BPA/IPC guidelines, give the PPC's 14 days in which to contact the keeper. Even being very generous and allowing 1 day for processing, this still means that they're 2 days late, and therefore cannot make a claim against the vehicle keeper using the POFA 2012. But can continue to make a claim against the driver.

 

But, of course, to do that, they'd need to know who the driver was, and you have absolutely no obligation to give them that information. lol.gif

 

 

I'm sure others will be along soon with a suitable wording for your letter telling them to get stuffed. thumbup.gif

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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Para 9 of the POFA allows 12 days + 2 days for service not including the day of the alleged breach. This means that they are timed out to pursue the keeper as stated above.

I would respond by telling them this and saying that if they wish to continue to pursue you they should provide evidence of a contract between them and you that does not rely on the PoFA as no keeper liability now exists.

They will probably write back with a load of waffle saying that they have 14 days after any time thy choose, that fairies did put a ticket on the car but it was magicked away etc. None of this will be true but unless they give you a POPLA code what they say is pointless and even then they are just going to lose money so dont worry about this too much.

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An update: I went upto Asda this morning as soon as it opened, and went straight to Customer Services and asked to see the Store Manager (and named him). They said he was out today, but his assistant would come down. I had the original PCN, a photocopy to give them, and a printout of the list of purchases I'd made at Asda in the last 2 months... it was a significant amount!

 

 

I explained the situation - that I'd left the car park at 9am, been at work most of the day when they claimed I was in the Asda Car Park, and then returned after 1630...and that we were regular customers (showing her the number of occasions I'd been there, and many occasions of multiple purchases on the same day) and that getting letters like this just was not on.

 

 

She said no problem, I will get that cancelled for you, and explained the ANPR may have missed my car leaving if the car behind or in front had been too close, and had obscured my number plate... and the fact I'd been in there many times more than once a day shows this was just a mistake. She said for me to ignore or bin any future letters that may come regarding this, or if I want to bring them back to the store and they would follow up again... of course, I will keep any paperwork just in case!

 

 

Sometimes, it's just a case of giving the store owner a chance to show they value customer loyalty, and this time their quick response to close this issue down straight away shows that they do. Just glad I won't have to faff around with an appeal!

 

 

Thank you for your responses and advice :)

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If you have no written confirmation that the charge is cancelled, then you may still have to appeal to smart parking.

 

Take nothing for granted until you have proof of cancellation.

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As the letter is dated 16 October, if I did submit an appeal as long as I do it by 30 October that's okay?

 

The lady at Asda indicated that she would take care of the cancellation and not to worry about any letters that may come - if I don't get a letter of cancellation before 30 October, I suppose I could still submit an appeal just as a safety net... would you mention in an appeal to Smart Parking that i've already discussed with Asda and they agreed to cancel it, or just stick with the standard appeal script?

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You have twenty eight days to submit your appeal to the operator according to the CoP that they must follow.

 

The reduced amount 'offer ' means nothing as you will not be paying anything anyway...

 

I would give Asda a week to provide proof that they have told Smart to cancel, then I would send in an appeal to the operator.

 

Come back for guidance on how to word your appeal.

 

( Hopefully you did not identify the driver to asda, but it shouldn't matter as they are telling smart to cancel the charge. But update with any letters you get please, as you may need to respond. )

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I would write back to the Smart Parking, and advise them that you have discussed the matter with (insert ASDA woman name) at the ASDA store in question on date xx/10/2014 and she agreed to have the charge cancelled - copy in ASDA woman & the Store Manager. Advise Smart Parking to address all further correspondance to ASDA Woman & Store Manager.

 

That way, everything is in writing and everyone knows what has been agreed, if Smart Parking disagree then you can just pass it to ASDA woman.

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All a waste of time as they are in the wrong and it will go nowhere if you do nothing. If you have identified the driver then they are still entitled to sue the driver.

Timed out means that you have to do nothing and I would suggest that a short letter telling them that they arent entitled to rely on the POFA as their NTK was out of time and that any furhter correspondence with you as the keeper will result in a complaint of harassment as both a criminal act and civil tort.

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