Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • BarryStanyer
    • By BarryStanyer 17th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    • 15Posts
    • 11Thanks
    BarryStanyer
    Vehicle Control Services Fine
    • #1
    • 17th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    Vehicle Control Services Fine 17th Mar 17 at 5:59 PM
    It's a pity I have joined too late to defend my VCS PCN Issued to me on the 19th December 2014
    I write this thread as an advisory for others to beware of my experience.
    I received a Notice to Keeper from VCS on the 30th Jan 2015 to which I thought, although many people had advised me to ignore any private company PCN, I ashould email an appeal.
    My appeal was, in a nut shell, that I had delivered my elderly mothers hearing aid to Specsavers for repair.
    I had been told by Specsavers to park at the rear and drop it in. This I did and withing a 2 minute period received a PCN from VCS.
    The VCS Parking Attendant was there and simply stated I had parked on private land from 12:53 to 12:55 and there were appropriate notices.
    Long story short version:
    I sent the email appeal with my PCN number and car reg only to receive an automated email back saying to supply my full address. I did not reply to this because I knew they had my full address as they had sent me a NTK
    Over the next 2 years I was harrassed to the point of therapy by red letters threatening debt collectors at my door and solicitor letters. The £100 / reduced to £60 fine within 14 days increased to £259 by the time I received the County Court Business Centre papers in the post.
    I enlisted the support of my local MP and the Leader of the controlling Council who both wrote to VCS in an attempt to gain leniency for a 2 minute parking period wrongly advised by Specsaver.
    Specsavers directors even wrote to VCS to confirm that their Audiology Manager had told me to park at the rear to deliver the hearing aid. All to no avail. VCS just wrote back and claimed they were valid in applying a PCN no matter how long it was for. They even claimed that I had used a disabled badge when the disabled person was not in the car. The badge used is in fact my own!
    Even the local paper and the local radio ran a story.
    I attended my local court on the 13th March 2017 to find a VCS Lady Barrister and another gentleman with a similar fine. The lady barrister was very friendly and chatty until we went into the Judges Chambers then she was business as usual.
    The Judge declared that Specsavers should not have advised me to park on land which was not theirs and that I could not be judged as a service vehicle loading / unloading.
    He questioned the VCS interest charges of 18% and additional costs of £54 the fine was therefore reduced to £203 which I now have to pay within the next 8 weeks. (In my case I shouldn't have gone to Specsavers!!)
    I have an email from my local MP which details current government action relating to these private parking companies. I have copied this below just in case it may be of any assistance to anyone.

    I am sorry that it was not a better outcome for you, however it is a positive that the Court has ordered that the overall fine be reduced.

    I can appreciate your concern about this issue and I know that unfair parking charges can be a cause of real frustration and significant cost for many people. I agree it is vital that people who have received parking tickets on private land should have a fair and open appeals process against fines they consider to be unreasonable.

    The practices of private parking companies relates to the wider issue of the use of County Court Judgments to enforce debt. I note that the Law Gazette has stated that 85% of County Court Judgments are issued by default (i.e. when no defence is submitted). There can be many reasons for a defendant not replying to the Court's warning. For example, the letters may be sent to a previous address.

    In the last Parliament, the Opposition tabled an amendment during the passage of the 2012 Protection of Freedom Act to significantly improve the legal protection for motorists against unreasonable charges for parking on private land. The Opposition's clause would have established a proper independent appeals process and would have capped the maximum fine that could be levied. Unfortunately, the Coalition Government rejected the clause.

    The current Government has announced that it will consult on ways to protect people from having their credit ratings affected despite being unaware of the claims made against them. The consultation is expected to be launched in spring 2017 and will look at the role of parking companies and examine how drivers are informed of fines.

    This follows a consultation launched by the Coalition Government in March 2015 to investigate the practices of parking companies which could be in breach of consumer protection laws. The Coalition Government consulted on a range of issues including excessive private parking charges, unclear or missing signage, and the aggressive use of bailiffs. However, unfortunately the Government has still not responded to this consultation.

    I would like to thank you once again for bringing this matter to my attention and I wish you all the very best for the future.
Page 1
    • Fruitcake
    • By Fruitcake 17th Mar 17, 6:12 PM
    • 40,303 Posts
    • 80,496 Thanks
    Fruitcake
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:12 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:12 PM
    What a shame you didn't find us sooner.

    Good effort by the MP, even if he/she does refer to these speculative invoices as fines. It explains a lot about what should have happened but never did. It also explains what should be happening in the future.

    It would be useful to know your MP's name as they seem to be more on the ball than many concerning this unregulated scam industry. Other posters in your area might find his/her details useful.

    He/she does appear to have tried to help on your behalf which is more than can be said for many.
    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
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Mar 17, 6:25 PM
    • 49,919 Posts
    • 63,338 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #3
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:25 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:25 PM
    Strikes me that you should sue Specsavers...and you still could. They have admitted liability for this after all, in writing.

    What a shame you didn't come here. We almost never lose these claims, I can recall just ONE reported, and that person didn't get advice all along the way IIRC. Your defence could have won if you had used other arguments, grace period etc. Collecting an item is loading...that could have been argued better. Never mind. Sue Specsavers.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • BarryStanyer
    • By BarryStanyer 17th Mar 17, 6:37 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    BarryStanyer
    • #4
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:37 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:37 PM
    My local Labour MP for my area which is Talke in Stoke-on-Trent is Ruth Smeeth. I truly hope she doesn't mind my giving out her name here but she is very good and has helped me and other locals with other things.
    I did mention grace period to the Judge as by coincidence when I revisited the parking site to photograph the notice there was another VCS attendant there and I chatted with him. Rightly or wrongly he said there had been a law change in Sept 2015 to allow for a 15 minute grace period.
    The Judge said when I mentioned this " do you have a signed statement from this person?"
    I did research it and believe???? that it only applies to when you buy a ticket and may be delayed getting back in time. Not sure if this is true.
    Yes I went to the Specsavers today, spoke to a Director and they have offered to provide a new free set of glasses.
    Still better than nothing.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    • 49,919 Posts
    • 63,338 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #5
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    I was talking about the Grace period set out in the IPC Code of Practice. You should have pointed out where the PPC failed to comply with their Code. Plus other things in defence - too late now. What's done is done.

    The ten minute 'grace period' after paid for time that you are talking about was a Council penalty Notice change, not a law change and the person you chatted to was having you on. It doesn't affect private parking.

    It was the Code of Practice that you needed to read.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 17-03-2017 at 6:46 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • BarryStanyer
    • By BarryStanyer 17th Mar 17, 7:04 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    BarryStanyer
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:04 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:04 PM
    Thanks for all the replies.
    I did appeal to the IPC and they rejected my appeal saying VCS had acted within their rules but yes sad it is all too late. Hope I can beat my other CEL fine.
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 17th Mar 17, 8:31 PM
    • 874 Posts
    • 1,838 Thanks
    Lamilad
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 8:31 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 8:31 PM
    Thanks for all the replies.
    I did appeal to the IPC and they rejected my appeal saying VCS had acted within their rules but yes sad it is all too late. Hope I can beat my other CEL fine.
    Originally posted by BarryStanyer
    This thread is devastating to read. Even though defended without forum advice I'm surprised the judge found in favour of the claimant given what the defendant has been able to use in court... I guess he lost this game of DJ bingo.

    Follow CM's advice and sue Specsavers, only costs £25 to file a claim. You may think there being nice and trying to help you but the fact remains you wouldn't have parked there if they hadn't told you to, and you been through a lot of cr*p and are now well out of pocket thanks to them... If you accept the free glasses ensure it's 'without prejudice'
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • 49,919 Posts
    • 63,338 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    Thanks for all the replies.
    I did appeal to the IPC and they rejected my appeal saying VCS had acted within their rules but yes sad it is all too late.
    Originally posted by BarryStanyer
    I was just saying that one point of defence would have been breaches of the IPC Code of Practice, NOT that you shoud have gone to the IPC. I would almost never say to appeal to the IAS; you should never have done that; it is considered a kangaroo court. What a shame you didn't come here and learn this in time, much much earlier.

    Hope I can beat my other CEL fine.
    CEL - you would have to try very hard to lose!
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,567Posts Today

7,606Users online

Martin's Twitter