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stunned_monkey

Smart Parking Trowbridge Gateway centre

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After parking in the rooftop park of the Gateway Shopping Centre in Trowbridge (Boots, New Look and Next), my wife received a parking charge notice from Smart Parking.

 

At the time she parked there, she went looking for a machine, and found one with a cover saying "not in use". She went further and found a second, identically covered. She assumed all the machines were out and without walking the full area of the car park trying to find another machine, went about has business in Next for about 30mins. The charge would have been 80p.

 

I appealed the charge to SP on their website (as her). They unsurprisingly rejected it. Two points here: 1) in the appeal text submitted online, I referenced Ref Prendi - v- Camden - Case 2100346960 "...the Enforcement Authority cannot expect motorists to tramp [around] trying to find a machine in working order". 2) In their reply letter, they say that all 4 of the original *council* machines were covered, and that there were another 4 SP machines, *of which only two were working*.

 

Let me repeat: Of 8 machines total, 4 were covered and marked "not in use", and 2 of the remaining 4 were not working.

 

My wife then appealed to POPLA who have rejected her appeal:

 

Summary from POPLA: Given that the majority of the machines at the site were not working or were covered the appellant deems it reasonable of her to have assumed the paring[sic] charges were on[sic] in place on the date of contravention. The appellant states that as there were no signs pointing out where or how to pay she deems the parking charge to have been issued unfairly.

 

The relevant sections of the response (they also state the signage meets requirements - which we must accept):

 

Even if a motorist presents extenuating circumstances setting out reasons why they did not keep to the parking conditions, POPLA cannot allow an appeal if a contract was formed and the motorist did not keep to the parking conditions. While I appreciate the appellant’s comments and have no reason to doubt her version of events the terms and conditions of the site, require payment to be made when parking. On review of the signage in place at the site I am satisfied that the operator does clearly offer a cashless payment option for motorists at this site.

 

Fundamentally, it is the motorist’s responsibility to check for any terms and conditions, and either adhere to them or choose to leave. The appellant chose to stay, therefore accepted the terms and the parking charge that the operator subsequently issued

 

She's very annoyed about this because fundamentally, she wasn't trying to get away without spending 80p! Her "fault" appears to be not noticing and pursuing the cashless payment option (she didn't see any signs offering this, but does accept she may have missed them).

 

Should we pay up or push on?! I presume the next step pushing on would be writing to SP telling them we intend to challenge?

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Please complete this:

 

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?462118-Have-you-received-a-Parking-Ticket-(2-Viewing)-nbsp

 

And scan up to pdf ntk and appeal letter send


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Thanks, I believe I've already provided most of the info above. Yes there were ANPR photos. We don't have the original letter and the date was some point in late August and almost certainly arrived within 14 days. Appeal was submitted online. The facts of the case are not in dispute.

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well, the POPLA decision doesnt take into account any aspect of contract law that actually damages their paymasters claims.

 

Why would they? they Dont take into account any law regarding supremacy of contract, planning law etc.

 

If you cant pay because their equipment is faulty them you dont have to pay, your intention was there but you couldnt complete the contract because they didnt take your money and that means they have failed to form a contract by their own dereliction.

 

Look, it isnt their land so they cant actually stop you from parking there just because they didnt get the money so the POPLA statement is badly wrong..

 

However, how do you know that 2 were working?

Doesnt change the actualite but would be interested to know

Edited by dx100uk
Space/spell

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Well most of the info. is not all of it.

It does help us to give you the best defence should a Court case ensue and when you read a few cases on here you will see how successful we are in fighting off these spurious claims, not just by Smart but all the others too.

 

In most cases whether POFA has been mentioned or not can help to determine your chances in Court.

 

I take it that your wife is the registered keeper and by answering as her, you have confirmed that she is the driver thus removing one of the advantages that POFA provides-who the driver is.

 

At first they only know the name and address of the keeper who was not necessarily the driver on that day which gives Smart parking a problem [one of their other problems is that they were never smart in the first place].

 

If they decide to go to Court and only a small percentage are taken, they need to know the driver and their address since the Court does not accept that the keeper was the driver on the day in question. So by divulging the driver you have increased the chance of being taken to Court.

 

It would be stupid of Smart to take you to Court in this case however, but that has not stopped them in the past.

 

If they did go ahead the Courts are

not there to rip off motorists unlike the car parking companies and so called independent adjudicators.

 

So Prendi v Camden will be taken into account as will the fact that as no payment was made on the day no contract was therefore agreed and your wife by staying was trespassing. Only the landowner can sue for trespassing so Smart can go whistle.

 

No point in letting Smart know that yet as they will just ignore or divert and send in their unregulated debt collectors who will increase the amount charged and you will end up playing letter tennis with them. They think that you will cough up soon [most motorists do]because you appealed so

quickly.

 

Now you know that they haven't a leg to stand on just totally ignore them and all their demands including those from debt collectors. You do not owe them a penny so just sit it out. They will not want to give in as they want your money regardless of the legalities.

Edited by dx100uk
Spacing

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Thanks for the replies!

 

However, how do you know that 2 were working? Doesnt change the actualite but woudl eb interested to know

 

It was stated in SP's reply to our original appeal, and referenced in POPLA's summary.

 

No point in letting Smart know that yet as they will just ignore or divert and send in their unregulated debt collectors who will increase the amount charged and you will end up playing letter tennis with them. They think that you will cough up soon [most motorists do]because you appealed so

quickly. Now you know that they haven't a leg to stand on just totally ignore them and all their demands including those from debt collectors. You do not owe them a penny so just sit it out. They will not want to give in as they want your money regardless of the legalities.

 

So a contract is only formed in this case when we actually pay? ie a technical loophole.

 

I'm pretty familar with debt collectors and am not "scared" of them in the way the uninitiated often are (in fact it was the reason I joined CAG in the first place many moons ago - for actual debt problems, now long gone!).

 

That said... when you say unregulated, may I assume this means they *don't* have the power to affect my wife's credit file? She works as a mystery shopped so often has to sign up to mobile phone contracts, mortgages etc and needs to maintain a clean slate.

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Speculative invoices are noting to do with credit files.

 

But you dont ignore a letter of claim from a solicitor nor a northants bulk claimform


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Unregulated debt collecting agencies are unregulated partly because many of them couldn't pass the tests to become regulated -they know who they are.

 

They are allowed to pursue unregulated debt such as money alleged to be owed to car parking companies. Very often with the likes of Smart parking there never was money owed to them in the first place. Not that that would ever stop the unregulated companies from pursuing motorists.

 

Another danger with the unregulated debt collectors is that there is little chance of recourse against them should they fail to pass on any money that is sent to them.

 

Many of them are the lowest of the low which is why they are so popular with car parking companies-birds of a feather.

Edited by dx100uk
spacing

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I think you may have missed the point about EBs question. Just because Smart said there were two machines working doesn't mean that there were. As no more were found by your wife it is quite possible that all of them were not working or perhaps there were no more than 6 anyway. Don't let them fool you into believing what they say-Smart and all the major parking companies have no qualms in lying in Court so telling porkies to you is second nature.

In any case a well run company would direct you to a working machine if there was one. As Smart didn't point out where there was a working one it is reasonable to assume that there were none. Or in Smarts case, because they are not well run, perhaps they hoped motorists would assume there were no more and walk off without paying thus allowing Smart to send every motorist a £100 bill rather than 80p.

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both dca and debt are unregulated. The meaning for each is clear in law. Unregulated debt cnat show up on a credit file because theire is no credit agreement.

The DCA would ahve to have a credit agreement with you to add thei mystery £60 to the bill and you didnt sign one with them did you? therefor it is just unicorn food tax and not enforceable

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alos for the moment let us humour Smart and say that 2 out of 8 machine were working. What does that say about the reliability of their maintenace regime and the reliability of their machines? Also, lets say that the working machines were on a different level in the car aprk. Is there any autommatic reason why you have to go and look for them or even assume that a machine situated elsewhere has the same conditiosn for use as the falty oen where you aprked? No.

 

I once got a parking ticket for on street aprking in south London. I had bought a ticket but it was fro the wrong machine. The broken machine where I parked said I had to use the nearest amchine so I did. the council said that machine was in a different zone and I should ahve goen to one much further down the same road rather than crossing the raod to the one I used. I measured the distance between my vehicle and the 2 working machines. The one I used was 189 metres away and the "correct" one was 192 metres away. The parking adjudicator decided I had obeyed the wording of the contract and used the nearest machine even though it was in a different zone. Council argued that different terms applied to the 2 zones but they lost because wording was explicit.

 

Now in your case there was nothing to tell you to go and try every machine in the car park to make up for their laziness in maintaining their kit so you can truthfully say you tried to apy but yur money was refused. That menas you can still aprk as that offer wasnt withdrawn or they woulf have closed the car park.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras

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