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  • FIRST POST
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 6th Jun 16, 11:09 AM
    • 18Posts
    • 7Thanks
    Kpros
    PCN - Armtrac Security!
    • #1
    • 6th Jun 16, 11:09 AM
    PCN - Armtrac Security! 6th Jun 16 at 11:09 AM
    Hi Guys,

    I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

    I'm after a little bit of advice and guidance if possible?

    My partner received a letter in the post on Saturday regarding a PCN from Armtrac Security Services (they have a false postcode!). I have spent a few hours over the weekend doing research and trying to familiarise myself with the up to date laws (a lot of valuable info from this and various other forums and sites, thank you!).

    The letter received Saturday was the generic 'if it is not paid within the next 14 days the matter will be referred to Debt Recovery Agents or the Country Court for recovery of the outstanding debt...'. I don't know if this is classed as a 'Letter before Court' or not?

    I have to say the letter was poorly worded/poor punctuation e.t.c, I'm no expert but I think a threat of debt recovery or court is incorrect as they can't issue debt agency before court however I wasn't at all 'panicked' by it, just wanted to get a second opinion and was hoping you guys could help.

    I have advised my partner that we are to ignore it as previously this was the best thing to do however after my research today I am aware of a few changes to the law that may mean there is a chance that they could issue court proceedings?

    Please see below the reply letter that I have drafted over the weekend. I've typed it out ready to send but would really appreciate a second opinion from somebody with experience in this area to see if there is anything that I should add/take out?

    ***(Since writing this I've found out that although they are not with the BPA they are with the ICA (they do have their logo on top of the letter) however I'm still not convinced that this gives them the rights to obtain my details from the DVLA>)***

    Letter:

    Armtrac Security Services
    P.O BOX 154
    Penzance
    TR20 9WD

    Ref PCN xxxxx

    4th June, 2016

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to you in relation to the speculative invoice letter that I have received this morning regarding an alleged Parking Charge Notice (xxxxxx) that according to your letter was issued on 08/03/16. You mention in your letter ‘previous correspondence’ however this is the very first that I have heard of this.

    Please be aware that I was not driving my vehicle on the day mentioned in your letter (or any vehicle for that matter) and I have proof to confirm my whereabouts and that I was not driving my/any vehicle. If my vehicle was driven on that day and/or parked in a location that you deem to be ‘illegal’ to trigger a Parking Charge Notice I have no knowledge of this but ultimately refuse to disclose any potential driver details to you and I am under no legal obligation to do so.

    As the registered owner of the vehicle that I believe this Parking Charge Notice to be in relation to I request that you cancel this invoice on the grounds that I was not the driver and I further request that you chase the driver and do not contact me again regarding this matter.

    As you are not a member of the BPA* (*source- British Parking Association Approved Operators official website (britishparking co uk/Approved-Operators[/url]) June 2016) you should not have been able to obtain my details through the DVLA.

    As this is a PCN (Parking Charge Notice) I am assuming that this has been issued due to my vehicle allegedly being parked somewhere that you deem to be private land. If this is the case then I would like to point out that the sum demanded on this letter (£100) is invalid. The sum demanded bears no relation to any loss by the landowner and is unenforceable on the basis that it constitutes a penalty. I would like to further bring to your attention (and the landlord of wherever my vehicle has allegedly been parked) that private parking fees must be reasonable and a genuine pre-estimate of the likely loss to be suffered when the parking contract is breached. A very high parking charge which does not reflect any true losses should be seen as a ‘penalty’ and thus are not recoverable in court. Such penalty charges are challengeable as unfair under the Unfair Contract Terms in Consumer Regulations Act 1999 also.

    I trust that this matter is now closed and you accept this as my full cooperation however should I receive any further threatening letters from you then I will consider a police charge of unlawful harassment. Also, should you fail to cancel the charge then I will be forced to recover my losses which include time spent constructing, printing and sending this letter, all time spent researching and correspondence with the DVLA for misuse of keeper details. This will be based upon the pre-approved court rate of £18.00 per hour. I will use all legal avenues to recover these costs.

    As a final point, In writing this letter I have done a search of your postcode on 3 reputable websites (as well as speaking with the Royal Mail of which I have the call recording) and your postcode does not exist. This could be seen as fraud (this is not a misprint as I have been made aware that you have been using this postcode for a number of years).

    Regards

    Registered Keeper
Page 1
    • Redx
    • By Redx 6th Jun 16, 11:14 AM
    • 12,030 Posts
    • 14,199 Thanks
    Redx
    • #2
    • 6th Jun 16, 11:14 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Jun 16, 11:14 AM
    armtrac are IPC members so follow the advice for IPC members in the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread

    KBT Cornwall Ltd (Trading as Armtrac Security Services)

    01/03/2015
    www.armtracservices.co.uk


    as an IPC member they are allowed DVLA access

    start again and follow the IPC member advice
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • Captain Krunch
    • By Captain Krunch 6th Jun 16, 12:18 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Captain Krunch
    • #3
    • 6th Jun 16, 12:18 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Jun 16, 12:18 PM
    Armtrac don't use keeper liability so I would follow Redx advice re: IPC members and provide the proof that you weren't driving. Also inform them of the reasons why you wont be appealing to the IAS appeals service. They will lie to you in their reply. Im deep in Armtrac country. They haven't been court for a number of years (as far as I know) and their contracts are badly worded.
    Yes, that post code doesn't exist but the PO Box is registered to the sorting office in Penzance so it makes it as far as there and then it gets collected. Their office is in Carvedras, ST Georges St, Truro. Someone has to drive 50 mins one way to collect the mail. Havent figured out why they do that yet!!
    Which car park are we talking about?
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 6th Jun 16, 12:32 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    • #4
    • 6th Jun 16, 12:32 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jun 16, 12:32 PM
    Hi Guys,

    Thank you both for your replies, they are very helpful!

    Thanks. I did actually look at the newbie thread before posting this but wanted a bit more advice.

    After looking, would you suggest this template is a better letter to respond with (from the newbie thread):

    Dear {name of IPC member, only IPC members for this version!!!}

    Re PCN number:

    I am not ignoring your charge for a purported parking infraction. As this is purely a charge, issued under an alleged contract and the driver has not been identified, I require the following information so that I can make an informed decision:

    1. Who is the party that contracted with your company? I require their contact details.
    2. What is the full legal identity of the landowner?
    3. As you are not the landowner please provide a contemporaneous and unredacted copy of your contract with the landholder that demonstrate that you have their authority.
    4. Is your charge based on damages for breach of contract? Answer yes or no.
    5. If the charge is based on damages for breach of contract please provide your justification of this sum.
    6. Is your charge based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking? Answer yes or no.
    7. If the charge is based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking please provide a valid VAT invoice for this 'service'.
    8. Please provide a copy of the signs that you can evidence were on site and which you contend formed a contract with the driver on that occasion, as well as all photographs taken of this vehicle.

    If you believe you have a cause of action, send a Letter before Claim within the next 21 days and I will take advice and will respond.

    However, in my opinion, there is a better alternative than legal proceedings, namely that we utilise the services of a completely independent ADR service suited to parking charges. This does not include the IAS appeal service - which lacks any transparency and possibly any independence from the IPC - unlike the alternative offered by the British Parking Association, POPLA, which is transparent and has been shown to be independent.

    Do not send debt collector letters and do not add any costs or surcharges. I will not respond to such contact and to involve another firm would be a failure to mitigate your costs which are not my liability because the POFA 2012 can only potentially hold a registered keeper liable if certain provisions have been met and even then, the 'amount of the parking charge' is the only amount pursuable.

    Yours faithfully,

    Captain Krunch - we are based in the Redruth area and this wasn't even at a car park, it was apparently on the side of a road outside of a school (drump road going up the hill, the first left after the police station), I think out of the blue they put signs up and started issuing tickets in an area that for years previous had been used for parents to park to collect children
    • Herzlos
    • By Herzlos 6th Jun 16, 12:45 PM
    • 3,570 Posts
    • 3,087 Thanks
    Herzlos
    • #5
    • 6th Jun 16, 12:45 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jun 16, 12:45 PM
    Check with the council if they can even be issuing tickets there. Is it on the road or some open space off the road?
    • fisherjim
    • By fisherjim 6th Jun 16, 1:04 PM
    • 1,572 Posts
    • 2,117 Thanks
    fisherjim
    • #6
    • 6th Jun 16, 1:04 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jun 16, 1:04 PM
    And I doubt that they use the term "illegal" in their correspondence?
    To quote the words of the great Count Arthur Strong "You Couldn't make it up"
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 6th Jun 16, 2:11 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    • #7
    • 6th Jun 16, 2:11 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jun 16, 2:11 PM
    Thanks for all of your help, really appreciated.

    Captain Krunch - What would be my grounds for not appealing to the IAS? And the template I mentioned above from the newbie forum, is this the right one to use? Do you advise that I use this to completely replace my letter or heavily amend my letter and send this after if they don't play ball/continue to threaten me?

    Herzlos- I've just called the council and it is a private road (it used to be a construction site, there is now a new estate (Chy Kensa) there and it seems as though Armtrac have recently obtained jurisdiction over the whole land adjoined to the estate. The car was parked on the road (not in the estate or in anybody's parking bays, just on the road).

    Fisherjim- No, they didn't use the word 'illegal', this was the wrong choice of words.

    The council said to go through land registry, find out who owns it and speak to them but I'm not sure that's necessary yet?

    Thanks guys
    Last edited by Kpros; 06-06-2016 at 2:15 PM.
    • Fruitcake
    • By Fruitcake 6th Jun 16, 2:24 PM
    • 35,436 Posts
    • 71,473 Thanks
    Fruitcake
    • #8
    • 6th Jun 16, 2:24 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Jun 16, 2:24 PM
    There are two templates in the NEWBIES thread. One is for BPA members and is in blue The other one is for IPC members.

    You can add more to it if you wish, but do not send your original appeal from post 1. The only relevant parts you should use are the first three paragraphs, plus copies of proof that you were elsewhere if you wish.

    The NEWBIES thread explains why the author of that thread does not believe an IAS appeal is worthwhile. It is a kangaroo court.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister.

    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 6th Jun 16, 2:35 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    • #9
    • 6th Jun 16, 2:35 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Jun 16, 2:35 PM
    Hi Fruitcake, thanks for your message.

    Yes, the template that I copied for clarification was for IPC members. I read that section of the thread relating to the IAS appeal - the fact that they always favour the parking firm, I just wanted some clarity on how to word it but I'm assuming its simply that I want a separate outfit.

    Thanks
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 6th Jun 16, 7:37 PM
    • 38,254 Posts
    • 49,719 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    You don't need to waste much time on this because they will reject the challenge and you WON'T bother with the IAS. So you end up the same as all 'IPC PCN-holding' posters on here = collecting letters for years and coming back only if you actually get a Solicitor's Letter before Claim (or from Armtrac themselves) or court papers of course.

    That's it, there are no other steps which is why a template will do. Just to look reasonable and to show you are not ignoring it. That's all.
    PCN in a private car park in England/Wales? DON'T PAY IT BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    USE THE 'FORUM JUMP' ON RIGHT, GO TO THE PARKING TICKETS FORUM. READ THE 'NEWBIES' THREAD.
    Do NOT read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 6th Jun 16, 8:16 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    Hi Coupon-mad,

    Thank you for your message. I wasn't sure if my letter was the solicitor letter before claim or not.

    I have decided to use just a couple of sections of my letter (thanks fruitcake for the advice) and then see what they come back with. If they do what you say (which is probable) I will then send the template and do absolutely nothing until they take official action.

    I have had a more thorough read of the Newbie forum, really useful.

    Thanks for your message.
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 28th Jun 16, 6:14 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    Hi Guys,

    I took all of the considerable advice that you all kindly put together for me (thank you) and stuck to the template.

    I have now had a response from Armtrac - link below (I have left out the photo evidence and standardised ways to pay stuff, I'll detail what I've left out below).

    My intention is to now send the other template with the addition of a couple of lines, I just want to make sure that this is still valid in the present year as I know some of these change with law changes and if this appropriate based on the response that I have received? I have copy and pasted below:

    Link to their letter to me (discluding an alleged email to Armtrac from Royal Mail stating the address is legal, copy of original PCN, a form to add the drivers details which includes a statement of truth, photos of the vehicle parked and a picture of the sign:

    http://imgur.com/a/96xfK

    My reply letter using template:

    Armtrac Security Services
    P.O BOX 154
    Penzance
    TR20 9WD

    Ref PCN xxxxxx

    Friday 1st July, 2016

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to your recent letter dated 24th July which was a reply to my letter to you dated 4th June.

    You have been incredibly dismissive in your letter and ignored a number of key points that I have raised in my response letter to you.

    As I have already mentioned I did not receive any previous letters aside from the last one of which I have replied to and have fully cooperated with you. The last letter was the very first that I had received from you and my first knowledge of this. I will not repeat this again.

    Also (and as previously mentioned) I do not know who was driving my vehicle that day and was out of the area. There are a number of potential drivers who had consented access to my vehicle at this time however I do not have precise information and/or contact details for these as stated in my first letter.

    I am not ignoring your charge for a purported parking infraction. As this is purely a charge, issued under an alleged contract and the driver has not been identified I require the following information so that I can make an informed decision:

    1. Who is the party that contracted with your company? I require their contact details.

    2. What is the full legal identity of the landowner?

    3. As you have confirmed that are not the landowner please provide a contemporaneous and unredacted copy of your contract with the landholder to demonstrate that you have their authority.

    4. Is your charge based on damages for breach of contract? Please answer yes or no.

    5. If the charge is based on damages for breach of contract please provide your justification of this sum.

    6. Is your charge based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking? Please answer yes or no.

    7. If the charge is based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking please provide a valid VAT invoice for this 'service'.

    8. Please provide a copy of the signs that you can evidence were on site and which you contend formed a contract with the driver on that occasion, as well as all photographs taken of this vehicle.

    If you believe you have a cause of action, send a Letter before Claim within the next 21 days and I will take advice and will respond. However, in my opinion there is a better alternative than legal proceedings, namely that we utilise the services of a completely independent ADR service suited to parking charges. This does not include the IAS appeal service - which lacks any transparency and possibly any independence from the IPC - unlike the alternative offered by the British Parking Association, POPLA, who are transparent and have been shown to be independent. I will present them with my confirming my whereabouts which will rubbish any accusations of me being the ‘driver’ during the alleged times.

    Do not send any debt collector letters and do not try to add any costs or surcharges. You are not permitted to even consider ‘other hands for collection’ before a court hearing. I will not respond to such contact and to involve another firm would be a failure to mitigate your costs which are not my liability because the POFA 2012 can only potentially hold a registered keeper liable if certain provisions have been met and even then, the 'amount of the parking charge' is the only amount pursuable.

    Regards

    xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
    Registered Keeper


    Thanks for your support

    Damien
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 28th Jun 16, 6:36 PM
    • 10,262 Posts
    • 15,123 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Not sure what you're hoping to achieve by sending this. They've said in their letter to you that some 108 days have elapsed since the ticket (more now) and won't go any further on it.

    Even if they allowed you to appeal and provided access to the IAS, any appeal from you would be doomed and the PPC may be buoyed by that 'win' against you and chance their arm at court.

    Personally, I'd wait to see what their next move is (probably meaningless debt collector letters) and go from there. Little point in any further communication with them now.
    NEWBIES - wise up - DO NOT IGNORE A PARKING CHARGE NOTICE - you have been warned!

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

    Please note: I am NOT involved in any 'paid for' appeals service.
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 28th Jun 16, 6:54 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    Hi Umkomaas,

    I wasn't looking to achieve anything, I just assumed the rule of thumb was to keep replying to acknowledge their letter but thanks for the advice, I will await their next move
    • Herzlos
    • By Herzlos 28th Jun 16, 8:38 PM
    • 3,570 Posts
    • 3,087 Thanks
    Herzlos
    Nah, you just want to do enough to look reasonable to a court if it ever got there. There's no point repeating yourself to these people, and they've stated that they regard the appeals process closed. You take option 3; let them pass it to debt collectors, who you can completely ignore.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 28th Jun 16, 11:28 PM
    • 38,254 Posts
    • 49,719 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    No, just stop. Collect and keep all letters but stop.

    No point engaging with an IPC firm, beyond one challenge so as to look reasonable in case they ever decide to take the matter to a small claim bunfight. In which case, update this thread then. We will help.

    No need to do ANYTHING other than that and anyone trying IAS appeal is 99% certainly wasting their time.
    PCN in a private car park in England/Wales? DON'T PAY IT BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    USE THE 'FORUM JUMP' ON RIGHT, GO TO THE PARKING TICKETS FORUM. READ THE 'NEWBIES' THREAD.
    Do NOT read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Captain Krunch
    • By Captain Krunch 29th Jun 16, 2:17 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Captain Krunch
    Link to their letter to me (discluding an alleged email to Armtrac from Royal Mail stating the address is legal, copy of original PCN, http://imgur.com/a/96xfK
    Originally posted by Kpros
    If its the email I've seen it only confirms the PO Box number is correct. The email from the Post Office doesn't say anything about the postcode because armtrac never asked the Post Office to confirm the post code.
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 29th Jun 16, 11:19 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks so much for all of this support. Some really key information here and I will take the unanimous advice and send no further letters to them and see if they ever take us to court...option 3 has been selected!

    Captain Krunch -yes its that same email with the sender details blanked out 'due to data protection'. As you've said it does not confirm the post code and my exact paragraph on my letter to them was purely about the postcode not existing, not address:

    "In writing this letter I have also carried out a search of your postcode through 3 reputable companies (as well as speaking with the Royal Mail of which I have the call recording) and your postcode does not exist. This could be seen as fraud (this is not a misprint as I have been made aware that you have been using this postcode for a number of years)."

    I will await further news! Again, thank you all so much for your continued advice and support.
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 22nd Sep 16, 9:26 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    Hi All,

    Just a quick update...

    I took all of your advice and did not reply to them. Since their last letter I have heard nothing from them. I can't be sure but it looks like they've given up and moved on to the next one.

    Thanks for all of the help and support, you've saved me money and helped me avoid becoming a victim of circumstance.

    Damien
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 22nd Sep 16, 10:04 PM
    • 10,262 Posts
    • 15,123 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Go check on their website and act as if you're going to actually pay the £100 parking charge (but obviously don't press the 'Pay Now' button!). This should give you access to your charge - if it's been cancelled, it should say so. If it's still 'live', don't fall asleep on it; be ready to receive further harassment, whether next week, next month, or next year - further down the line.
    NEWBIES - wise up - DO NOT IGNORE A PARKING CHARGE NOTICE - you have been warned!

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

    Please note: I am NOT involved in any 'paid for' appeals service.
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