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Athena ANPR PCN - overstay - at Lidl Liverpool **CANCELLED BY LIDL CEO DEPT**

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My wife recieved a notice to keeper letter from Athena Ltd today.


She had overstayed the allowed time of 90 minutes by about 30 minutes.



She had shopped at Lidl and has the reciept to prove this.



I have read a fair few posts on this website, and have a general idea of how this works out,

but would appreciate help.


Many thanks.


Here's the answers to the questions from the other sticky post:


1 Date of the infringement 24-03-17


2 Date on the NTK [this must have been received within 14 days from the 'offence' date] Issue date is 28-03-17


3 Date received Today - 30-03-17


4 Does the NTK mention schedule 4 of The Protections of Freedoms Act 2012? [y/n?] Does not appear to


5 Is there any photographic evidence of the event? Yes, a photo showing entrance to the car park and also exiting.


6 Have you appealed? {y/n?] post up you appeal] No


Have you had a response? [Y/N?] post it up N/A


7 Who is the parking company? Athena ANPR Ltd


8. Where exactly [carpark name and town]


Lidl carpark, found at address :

Lidl Liverpool,

London Road,


L3 8JN


For either option, does it say which appeals body they operate under.


There are two official bodies, the BPA and the IAS. If you are unsure,

please check HERE IAS


If you have received any other correspondence, please mention it here Recieved none

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The first thing to do is take the matter up with Lidl as a genuine customer and ask them to cancel the charge.

They are usually quite good at this.

Try the store first and if they waffle then you approach head office


Dont contact Athena until you get a response from Lidl

but in the meanwhile it will be worth checking with the local council planning dept to see what resrtictions/consents were given when Lidl got the planning permission for the store and associates parking.



You may find that there was a stipulation for 2 or 3 hours free parking and neither Lidl or Athena can override this. If that is the case just remind Lidl of their legal obligations.


hopefully this will be enough but come back if you dont get the response you hope for from Lidl.

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I attempted to phone the store only to find the number is directed to a national customer service number.


The person was un-sympathetic, and said the store was for lidl customers (which I said my wife was, and has a receipt to prove it) and that she had overstayed the allowed duration of 90 minutes, and that there was many signs and posters up showing this.


She did ask why she took so long, and this is where I may of made a mistake. I told her she parked and did her shopping while her dad went to visit his mother in hospital which is on the same road.


She said I should appeal to Athena and attach a copy of the receipt, and told me that I shouldn't mention anything other than the 'store was very busy that day' as the reason for the overstay.


I didn't reveal any information other than the date of the incident, that my wife was the keeper of the vehicle, and roughly how long she overstayed.


Also, the sale date and time on the receipt is 17 seconds ahead of when the car is clocked going out of the car park, but I suppose no clock is accurate.


You mentioned I should check the planning permission for the store,

do I need to phone the council to get the additional information needed for this?



The online search brings up

"TO DEVELOP SITE BY THE ERECTION OF A SINGLE-STOREY RETAIL UNIT, AND TO LAY OUT ASSOCIATED CAR PARKING AND ACCESS" with a reference and the decision is labelled as "Approve with Conditions", but the "related documents" link just pulls up an error on the website.


What do you advise me to do next?

Have I shot myself in the foot?


Many thanks.

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then you write in to Lidl and dont mention going to the moon and back whilst you car was parked there, dont contact Athena.


the planning doesnt mention the parking co signage so it may be on another application or they probably dont have the permission.


Look again and if you cant find anything ask the council planning dept specifically about the advertising soignage onwed byAthena.


As for the 17 seconds late bit that is brilliant as I cannot see anyone leaving the till, walking back to the car stowing the shoppings and then getting into the car and driving off all in -17 seconds.

That will destroy their claim as they cannot show the event took place as specified Their clocks are supposed to be super accurate, along with all of their other kit but it is not fit for purpose and they have shown this. Brilliant evidenec for you, not for them.


anyway, it take my wife 2 hours to go the weekly shop so just over 90 minutes not that unusual unless the receipt is just for 1 loaf of bread.

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I believe I've found the planning permission for the signs. The store sits between two streets, so its registered on the opposite one to the store. It reached a final decision for the proposal "TO ERECT INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED POST MOUNTED AND WALL FIXED SIGNS. " with conditions "Approved with standard advert conditions 18-10-1996".


So unfortunately it would appear that they do have planning permission for the signs assuming parking charge notices fall under standard advert conditions.


Also unfortunately it was not a full shop, there are less than 20 items on the receipt. But I suppose if the tills were very busy, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, the two options being to leave the shopping but suffer a charge as you are no longer a Lidl customer and they get less time to park, or hope to get through the tills before your 90 minutes are up.

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that may well be for the store itself so look at the dates for the building planning consent and the consent for the signs.


Also look at the signs themsleves, are they internally illuminated (the big sign saying LIdl will be so more than likely they are the signs referred to) If not then they have no PP.


Get on to Lidl in writing and let them know that there are at least 5 other supermarket chains that would like your business.


look them up on facebook and twitter if you use them and then trash them.


They seem to react to that if they identfy that you are the person who has written to them

embarrass the hell out of them and they instruct the parking co to cancel just to save their reputation.


When you are doing this find out what supermarkest dont have parking cowboys on site and push that chain as an alternative.

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Thanks for the advice ericsbrother. I think you may be right about the PP being for the large Lidl signs. I'll head over there after work to take a load of photographs. The parking signs don't appear to be illuminated at all however. There is also a second entrance/exit that doesn't seem to be covered by the camera.


When you say get on to Lidl in writing - am I right in thinking recorded postal is the way to go, or will email suffice at this stage?


I'm not an advocate of social media, but I know its a powerful tool, and Im pretty sure my wife uses both twitter and facebook, so that can be her job.

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Write an email to their manager (if you can find an address), and tell them you will give them one opportunity to address this before you resort to social media.

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Cheers Oddfellow. I'll try and get an email together, alternatively I can go talk to the manager face to face when I go there tonight to photograph the signage.


Few photos of forms and signs.


The notice to keeper letter (should this mention Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012?)


A giant banner, indicating that the car park for Lidl is at the bottom of this road (no mention of Athena on this sign, and its the first sign you see)


The sign beneath the ANPR camera on one of the entrances (there are 2, the car was clocked on the second one). There are a few of these signs in the car park.


A rather more comprehensive sign. The print gets quite small on this sign, there are a few of these in the car park. Reading it is not an easy job when standing, whilst driving could be dangerous. This particular sign is also high up, I'd estimate a height of 3 meters.


I went in to try and talk to the manager whilst there taking photos.

It was fruitless.


Only the deputy manager was in.

He refused to give me the number to the shop,

refused to give me head office number or email.


he gave me the managers name at a push, and said Id have to appeal through Athena.

I asked him if Lidl own the land, and he said they did and Athena manage it.

Nothing I didn't already know.


Waiting on a reply from Lidl customer support.






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never email people, always post. If you email Lidl will just forward it and the parking co will use the email addy to harass you. By writing you make them think about the content of the reply and Athena will have to cough up to send you demands.

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Ah, makes sense. The email was sent yesterday, should I just re-iterate and send a postal version? Or should I leave it as it is now that it has been sent?


Also is there anything I should be doing in the meantime? Should I be appealing to Athena and requesting a POPLA code?


Many thanks.

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I've received a response from Lidl, I intentionally left out personal details, dates, reg numbers or any personal information at all when composing the email to Lidl stating how disgusted I was about their parking tactics, and that I was willing to put my opinion all over their social media channels.


This is the response I received today:





Re: Parking Charge


Thank you for contacting us regarding the above.


The most efficient way to appeal your parking charge is to do so with the Car Park Management company direct. Details of how to do this will be on the parking charge notice you have received. If you still wish for us to do this on your behalf, we kindly request the following:


· Permission to pass your details to our Car Park Management Company for appeal*


· A receipt, this may be for the date of the contravention or prior visits. Please note for Data Protection reasons, we cannot accept bank statements as proof of shopping, any bank statements sent in to us will be deleted from our system.


· The Parking Charge Notice Number


· Your Vehicle Registration Number


* In order to quickly resolve your request, we would like to pass your details to our Car Park Management Company so they can get in touch with you directly regarding your appeal. As the company who manage our car park, they will be able to assist you further with this. For Data Protection reasons, we need your permission to do this. Please let us know if you agree with the transfer of your details?


Please send these details direct to the address below, quoting your reference or reply directly to this email (without deleting the subject line):


Customer Service Department

Lidl UK

Tailend Farm

Deans Road


EH54 8SE


We hope that this matter is brought to a speedy and efficient conclusion. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.


Yours sincerely,

For and on behalf of Lidl UK GmbH



Chantelle Paton

Customer Service


[T] + 44 (0) 370 444 1234 / 0800 977 7766



Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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and now all you have got is a cut and paste response which is exactly what writing would have avoided.


You dont want them to pass anything on

you want them to instruct their servants to cancel the ticket or you will be taking action to publicise their desire to rook their customers with these unlawful charges.

( you can tell them that the signage is there illegally and that makes Lidl culpable for allowing them)



Ah, makes sense. The email was sent yesterday, should I just re-iterate and send a postal version? Or should I leave it as it is now that it has been sent?


Also is there anything I should be doing in the meantime? Should I be appealing to Athena and requesting a POPLA code?


Many thanks.

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Sorry, the email was sent before I received that advice (it was sent late on Monday).


Do I ignore this email? (they have no details that link this email to the incident), or do I respond to it instructing them not to pass on any details?


And as a next step should I send them a letter, mentioning the illegal signage and instructing them to get Athena to cancel the ticket? Do I need to be careful of any pitfalls (which I appear prone to :-() when wording the letter?


Your advice is appreciated.

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you send a letter to LIDL. Look up the british CEO's address and send it to him. It will get passed down but not necessarily to the people who send out the autoresponders so you should get some person actually reading it.


Tell them Athena's ref No and copy your receipt to show that the driver was a genuine customer.

Hopefully you have read some of the miriad of postings here that remind you not to name the driver and to always write in the third person so you write as the keeper and say that the driver did this or that..

Edited by honeybee13
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Cheers Eric,


Yes I've read copious threads on this now. There is a healthy number of Athena ANPR Ltd related successes on money saving expert site who have had their PCN cancelled by emailing the CEO.


I will get on putting pen to paper for this letter.


The CEO appears to now be a Mr Christian Hartnagel. His email address is in a fair few threads on pepipoo, however finding an actual postal address for him is proving to be difficult. Can I assume he resides at head office? I have head offices address as:


Lidl UK GmbH

19 Worple Road



SW19 4JS.

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go for it. It will at least get read by someone in his team, who will then pass it on to someone who has the authority to deal with it rather than some CS person who isnt allowed to make a decision.

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Appeal date is coming up assuming 21 days after issue date is any day and not working days, which would make appeal date the 19th.


I would say Lidl have not had a chance to respond to my letter yet, was sent on the 6th via first class.


Should I start thinking about sending the appeal to Athena? Of what I've read, they seem to refuse whatever material you put in the letter, so content is not all that important as long as I recieve a POPLA code and keep the ball rolling correct?


Many thanks.

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Any advice on the above would be appreciated - postal service with upcoming Easter weekend will make timing tighter.


I have been reading other Athena related posts here. Am I right in thinking they are a member of IPC and therefore use IAS? Does this mean I should be appealing and asking for an IAS code, or is it best not appealing at all?



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you don't get an IAS code.

they are not popla



let it run.




please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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well done












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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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