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Private parking companies and their relationship with their retail clients

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Of course the private parking industry is really just a type of extraordinary rendition.

 

In the same way that legitimate governments which are not prepared to get involved in torture or other unsavoury practices against people who they suspect of having committed crimes, but instead have them whisked off to countries which are far less scrupulous, the big retail names such as Asda, Lidl, Aldi, Morrisons, Tesco and the rest prefer not to get their hands dirty with the business of inflicting punishments on their ordinary everyday customers for minor infractions such as overstaying five minutes or 10 minutes in a car park for whatever reason so instead they get the private parking industry to do the work for them.

 

The private parking companies are in the business of being hated. They're not bothered about their reputation. Their job is apparently to wage the proxy war on the ordinary customers of the big retail brands and at the same time to keep their big retail clients out of the picture so that the reputations and the goodwill of those big retail clients don't get dragged into the mud.

 

If you have a look at this private parking forum, you will see that the name of the retailer who owns the car park is scarcely ever mentioned – pretty well never. Everything is focused on the private parking company and of course that means that there simply doing their job rather well.

 

However, it has come to our notice that some of the retail names are starting to become a little troubled about possible damage to their reputation.

 

If the victims of private parking companies were more prepared to focus on the retail brand behind the car parking facility as well as the private parking company which is operating on their behalf, it might help to force the big retail brands to face up to the damage they are doing to the lives and the economy of the people who are falling foul of Draconian parking measures.

 

We understand that some of the retail brands are very receptive when their customers appealed to them directly to intervene in the levying of a parking fine by one of the parking management companies.

 

Names which have cropped up in various conversations have included Lidl and also Morrisons. However, it is very likely that the others also do not want trouble and we feel that if you have become the victim of some parking fine which has been levied as a result of some insignificant infraction of some alleged contractual terms and conditions, that it would be worth your while writing to the supermarket or retailer concerned – at their trading address (meaning at the car park address) with a copy also to the head office complaining about what has happened and asking for them to intervene and to have a parking fine cancelled.

 

We think that it is very important not to let the big retail brand clients benefit any more from the extraordinary rendition trick with their reputations are preserved even though at the end of the day, it is they who have decided to employ the private parking company.

 

If you have received a parking ticket then you should write to the retailer both that they local branch as well as the head office


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Completely agree - all of the major retailers are now SO concerned over reputation and customer service that they will bend over backwards to create positive impressions which might gain or enhance customer loyalty. They simply cannot afford to lose more market share to discounters and are far more likely now to respond positively to complaints which are extremely simple to resolve!


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The question for me is – how did the private parking company salesman managed to persuade the retail brands that they needed to go to war with their own customers and force them to pay their money towards their parking fines instead of spending their money in the shops buying groceries and things for their children?

 

That was really quite a trick.


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The original intention was probably fairly honourable. Sell car park management on the basis of maximising customer throughput and pacifying those who do complain about lack of car park spaces - still a major source of complaint, especially around disabled and parent/toddler parking. What the supermarkets failed to appreciate was the level of profit that such a service would generate for the parking companies, whose business model entirely relied on this fact.


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If enough people complain to the retailer perhaps the PPC will move elsewhere, probably to what is possibly their most profitable business the NHS Hospital Trust Car Park.

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The original intention was probably fairly honourable.

 

I doubt that it was ever that.

 

A load of disco doormen, security guards, car radio fitters, alarm fitters looking for a new business model. Contributes nothing. Makes nobody happy, Thrives upon simple human error. Bottom feeders.

 

At least bailiff/judicial enforcement companies tend to enforce debts which put money back into the public purse somewhere along the line. The parking industry inflict punishments and take the money away from the high street, away from any kind of public good and into their own private pockets.

 

Punish the people.

 

And Lidl, Asda, Aldi, Morrisons and the rest have fallen for it and let it happen


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I doubt whether the bosses of each retailer would bother responding but I think that if we emailed or wrote to the CEO of each company to get their responses.

 

Compile a list of questions and see if they bite.


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The CEO's of big retail companies dont spend their time fretting over the car parks at their stores, the parking co's go knocking on some minion's door and offer their "services" as a panacea for all of the supposed parking problems the retailer face and they get signed up without the person who acts on behalf of the retailer really understanding the problems, cures or modus operandi of the parking co but once the ink is dry the retailer is stuck with the parking co.

This means that pressure applied to the big retailers CEO's will ahve an effect even if it isnt immediate. The continual drip srip of similar letters saying that their car aprks are not being managed but just used as cash cows of the retailer's customers caues antipathy and that the writer will be looking to shop elsewhere-ANYWHERE that doesnt use this lazy and distainful approach of shepherding their resources at the expense of their customer, will eventually get through as the margins of the retailer are such that at most stores they cannot afford to lose even one customer per hour to a competitor.

They will understand the cost to them in those terms and may even seek a competitive edge if it is suggested that ridding the bane of the customer will create a loyalty of sorts.

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Most car park "management" is fairly useless anyway, especially when the PPC just relies on ANPR. That will deal with overstaying (apart from "double dipping") but, unless there are feet on the ground, there is no way of ensuring that disabled bays are not misused or that nobody has parked sideways over three bays.

 

The only solution is pay-on-exit with a human patrolling the car park. Finally ( and the government are proposing this) PPC charges must be brought into line with council parking charges and they must not be allowed to charge any more than local authorities.

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