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Letter before claim - ParkingEye POPLA refused

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  • Letter before claim - ParkingEye POPLA refused

    Good afternoon

    As the title says I have received a letter before claim from Parking eye subsequent to a refusal of a POPLA appeal. I would be grateful for some advice as to how to pursue this matter.

    In summary the case has gone this way so far.

    on 11/10/18My OH parked as a bone fide guest at a hotel in Manchester for a meeting. It was her first time at the site.

    Having parked she purchased a ticket from the machine. The backlighting on the machine was not working (verified by a witness who provided a statement) and the area poorly lit in full darkness and torrential rain. Despite not entering a VRM a ticket was issued.

    She left pretty much on time and according to ANPR times there was an overstay of at most 2 minutes.

    The initial claim from Parking-eye was based on an overstay of 2hrs 2 minutes.

    She had retained the ticket and a copy was sent to ParkingEye who refused the appeal on the basis 'Insufficient time was paid for'.

    The matter was appealed to POPLA highlighting a host of matters namely

    Purchase of a ticket
    Being a bone fide guest entitled to free parking
    Defective machines
    Failure to establish an overstay occurred
    Lack of accuracy of the ANPR system times
    Lack of right to collect charges
    Acting in contravention of Cagius decision.

    In support were two statements from witnesses showing the OH paying and giving rise to the query on the ANPR
    An experts report re the ANPR questioning the identification of the vehicle and the ANPR accuracy
    My statement

    POPLA provided a number of photographs of signs which were at least 4 years old and out of date including one which showed prices pre increase. In short there was no reliable photographs adduced.

    In addition Parking Eye widened the scope of their claim to include everything. Only at this stage does the issue of entering a full VRM become an issue to them. In support of this they produced a photograph dated 3/10/18 (which is also the one with the out of date pricing on it) copy attached. The wording is clear that failure to comply with the parking tariff would result in a charge. Only after that statement is the issue of entering a VRM raised. We argued the language is an invitation/request and not directive with any punitive features.

    These were refused in a superficial and unreasoned decision from POPLA.

    In contradiction of ParkingEye's claim of an overstay POPLA have decided this is now a case of failure to make a valid payment to park. Stating that the issued ticket was not valid as it didn't have the VRM on it. It does not consider the issues of the defective machine or, if it were mandatory to enter a VRM why the machine would allow one to be issued without one being entered. (Looking at other car parks since the wording on others is really clear on that point.) All points that were argued.

    Today we have received the Letter before county court claim dated 20th March which now states that the issue is an unidentified breach of contract. No documents are provided or details listed and the explanation given being they can't say what they will provide as no defence has been filed. I find this bizarre as they bring the case and should know what their case is.

    It seems to me on even a superficial reading of the pre action protocol this is clearly in breach of it in several areas.

    Our case is and always was that the OH was a bone fide guest who despite not being required to pay did so. She has produced a ticket bought at noted times consistent with the ANPR system cameras and that even if there was an overstay it was within the grace period that ParkingEye concede was operable. Any reference to entering a VRM is, because of the nature of the sign and the lack of enforcement by the ticket machine, voluntarily and therefore not subject to any contractual conditions.

    I would grateful for views on this case and your advice on the way forward. I am happy to share any other documents that may be useful.

    Thanks



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  • #2
    Hi & welcome.

    The letter before claim....was it a compliant pre-action protocol, complete with a returnable form & income/expenditure sheet?

    The site sign in your first post is dated 2018.......

    POPLA provided a number of photographs of signs which were at least 4 years old and out of date including one which showed prices pre increase. In short there was no reliable photographs adduced.
    Was this not disclosed to POPLA? (I'm guessing not, but just want to make sure.)

    Re the disputed payment, how do they know that no payment was made? (According to them)
    CAVEAT LECTOR

    This is only my opinion - "Opinions are made to be changed --or how is truth to be got at?" (Byron)

    You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
    Cohen, Herb


    There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he
    gets his brain a-going.
    Phelps, C. C.


    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!"
    The last words of John Sedgwick

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by charitynjw View Post
      Hi & welcome.

      The letter before claim....was it a compliant pre-action protocol, complete with a returnable form & income/expenditure sheet?

      I would say not. For the following reasons but would appreciate views on this.

      They say the reason for claim is breach of contract but they do not say what that breach is
      There is no list of documents relied on and they say they can't until a defence is filed. This would appear to be nonsense They clearly know their case otherwise what are they claiming for so this seems to be disingenuous at best as they clearly can state the documents they will rely on. I think they just don't want to nail their colours to the mast




      The site sign in your first post is dated 2018.......

      yes and all the others were 2014. raises the question why all the others weren't refreshed at that time. Interestingly only 3 days before the incident the prices are wrong.



      Was this not disclosed to POPLA? (I'm guessing not, but just want to make sure.)

      Yes they were and the point strongly made to POPLA that they couldn't rely on any of them as evidence of what was present on the night.

      Re the disputed payment, how do they know that no payment was made? (According to them)


      Based solely on the absence of a registration number on the ticket. I don't think they are saying no payment was made I think its more a technical the ticket is not valid.

      There is a good case to be made about how do you get a ticket without putting cash in
      What other vehicles entered and exited around that time and do they appear on the ANPR as paid
      Why does your machine allow tickets to be issued without putting a VRM in
      Did the machine cash balance that night?

      etc etc

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by lhtec View Post
        [/B]

        Based solely on the absence of a registration number on the ticket. I don't think they are saying no payment was made I think its more a technical the ticket is not valid.

        So they changed horses midstream, as it were? (Re their cause of action.)

        There is a good case to be made about how do you get a ticket without putting cash in
        What other vehicles entered and exited around that time and do they appear on the ANPR as paid
        Why does your machine allow tickets to be issued without putting a VRM in
        Did the machine cash balance that night?

        You are quite within your right to demand to see evidence....a copy od the P&D records from that machine circa the time/date of the alleged contravention.

        etc etc
        ####

        CAVEAT LECTOR

        This is only my opinion - "Opinions are made to be changed --or how is truth to be got at?" (Byron)

        You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
        Cohen, Herb


        There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he
        gets his brain a-going.
        Phelps, C. C.


        "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!"
        The last words of John Sedgwick

        Comment

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