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  • FIRST POST
    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 12th Jun 17, 7:16 PM
    • 10Posts
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    forumuser1665
    MET parking / Virgin Active gym PCN
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:16 PM
    MET parking / Virgin Active gym PCN 12th Jun 17 at 7:16 PM
    Hello there.

    I've read through a LOT of the newbie information, but I did end up going round in circles and my brain got a bit frazzled so please forgive me if I make a mistake here.

    I think I should start a new thread to do with the PCN we have received, and what I'd like to do is tell you the story and then draft a POPLA appeal and get some feedback on it.

    I hope that's right. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin...

    We are members of Virgin Active gym in Solihull (and I notice there's another thread on here of someone who fought the same battle, but in a very personal way without using the templates).

    We got the PCN in April, and appealed firstly to Virgin Active themselves (unsuccessfully) and then MET Parking (also unsuccessfully) on the following grounds:

    - the signage in the car park says there is a limit of 4 hours car parking and does not mention any possible extension, whereas inside the building there is a different sign which says by entering a vehicle registration the car parking time is unlimited, and as such the time limit aspect is unenforceable (I got that from the guy who had the exact same problem).

    - when the car parking signs first went up, I asked in person about the parking limitations, and was not told we had to enter the vehicle registration. Maybe there is no excuse for ignorance, but from that point (a few years ago) I have never paid any attention to the signs. However, I was told that since we are members we can use that car park for as long as we like as long as we are using the facilities (which we were).

    - we overstayed the 4 hours by around 15 minutes. I think that a £100 charge for 15 minutes extra car parking does not seem fair.

    - MET Parking do not have any financial interest in the land. The car park is used by Virgin Active for members only (which we are), but the land is owned by Blythe Valley Business Park. I can't find it now but I believe they are not allowed to charge unless they have an interest in the ownership of the land.

    I also enclosed photos showing the discepancies between the outdoor and indoor signs, to support the argument that there can be no time limit applied if time is unlimited by entering a registration.

    Right. I hope I'm on the right track. I'm now going to draft the POPLA appeal document, which I will post here later, but any initial feedback would be appreciated.

    I should mentioned that in the appeal response from MET (originally sent 26th of April, but never received by us, so it was re-sent on Friday and arrived today) does include a POPLA verification code which is valid (they sent a new one in the follow-up letter).

    I have been into the POPLA appeal just to see the options, and I'm not sure whether I should say (a) we were not improperly parked (we can park there as long as we like as members), (b) the amount requested is not correct (£100 is excessive for 15 minutes parking) or (c) "other reasons" and then write a long letter.

    Anyway. I will get on and draft the appeal letter and post it here later.
Page 1
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 12th Jun 17, 7:31 PM
    • 31,513 Posts
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    Quentin
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:31 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:31 PM
    Don't give up on the gym who presumably you pay for the privilege of parking in with your subscription. Raise hell. It will be much simpler to get this killed off

    And if you have inadvertently used your real name as your forum name you need to get MSE to change it asap. The ppcs monitor this forum and can use your posts against you
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Jun 17, 7:34 PM
    • 46,959 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:34 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:34 PM
    Right. I hope I'm on the right track. I'm now going to draft the POPLA appeal document, which I will post here later, but any initial feedback would be appreciated.
    Yes, sounds like the signage argument has legs, if you explain it well to POPLA's Assessor (NB: they are not legally-trained). Any ambiguity of terms drafted on a sign or contract, MUST be interpreted in the way that most favours the consumer - as per the Consumer Rights Act 2015, Transparency section:

    https://www.addleshawgoddard.com/globalassets/specialisms/financial-regulation/consumer-rights-act-guidance.pdf

    I should mentioned that in the appeal response from MET (originally sent 26th of April, but never received by us, so it was re-sent on Friday and arrived today) does include a POPLA verification code which is valid (they sent a new one in the follow-up letter).
    Quelle surprise!

    MET in ''the lost rejection letter/POPLA code'' shocker! We had one like it on here or on pepipoo forum at the weekend, where the document they said was the *missing* rejection letter from April, had just been edited that day...

    Anyway you need to read the NEWBIES thread post #3 where the template POPLA appeal wording is, and where it tells you to submit a long PDF appeal under 'OTHER'. Not ticking other boxes.

    Did you admit who was driving, or not?
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 12-06-2017 at 7:36 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 12th Jun 17, 7:45 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    forumuser1665
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:45 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:45 PM
    Thanks for your swift responses so far.

    I will check out that link later, and indeed I am basing my response on the template in NEWBIES post #3. There is such a lot to read it will take me a while. I will try to get my draft posted on here tomorrow.

    There has been no admission in the appeal of who was driving, and I won't mention it on here.
    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 13th Jun 17, 10:28 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    forumuser1665
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:28 PM
    Draft POPLA appeal
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:28 PM
    Right then. I've waded through a lot of stuff, and I've put together an appeal which is based on a mixture of the templates, what a chap called Ian wrote in his appeal against MET Parking on the very same car park, and a few words of my own.

    I've gone with the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach advocated by Coupon-Mad as I want to get everything in there.

    The draft can be seen here on dropbox (you'll have to add https colon slash slash double-u double-u double-u dot d rop b ox dot co m in front of this, and remove the spaces, as I can't post links):

    /s/rfu1ff1p95qanfe/our-appeal.docx?dl=0

    The only things I've left out are the keeper's name and the POPLA reference, which I will fill in before sending it.

    I am unsure as to how suitable point 6 is in this case. I chopped a lot out which was relevant to a faulty parking ticket machine. in this case, there is no charge for parking, and there is no time limit if you enter your vehicle registration. I have mentioned before that I asked staff about the new parking signs when they were first put up, and no mention was made of the registration entering then. I think that machine has been brought in more recently but having been told it wasn't aimed at members and was aimed at non-members using the car park for other reasons (shopping, airport, etc.) I had never paid it any attention until now. I have also left that out of the appeal, but can include it if anyone thinks it might help.

    Any advice on this at this stage, gratefully received.
    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 13th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    • 10 Posts
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    forumuser1665
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    I just found the button to say thank you to previous posters.

    Maybe someone else can piece together the link from what I've written up there and post it. The reason I'm not allowed is that I'm a "new user". I'm not, as I've been lurking here for ten years, but I haven't posted much. Or maybe it's because I got MSE to change my username on Quentin's advice.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 14th Jun 17, 7:42 AM
    • 31,513 Posts
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    Quentin
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 17, 7:42 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 17, 7:42 AM
    You need more posts before you can do links. Changing your name just retains your anonymity
    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 14th Jun 17, 7:53 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    forumuser1665
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 17, 7:53 AM
    Not enough posts
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 17, 7:53 AM
    It makes perfect sense that I need to post more often before I can post a link.

    Would anyone with more posts be kind enough to piece together the link and post it here, so it's easy for anyone to access?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 14th Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    • 13,145 Posts
    • 20,539 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    It makes perfect sense that I need to post more often before I can post a link.

    Would anyone with more posts be kind enough to piece together the link and post it here, so it's easy for anyone to access?
    Originally posted by forumuser1665
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rfu1ff1p95qanfe/our-appeal.docx?dl=0
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    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.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th Jun 17, 8:49 PM
    • 46,959 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    Your POPLA appeal looks to have all the points needed. I like the individual touches and photos from inside and outside, and the Virgin Active contract terms about parking, proving ambiguity.

    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 15th Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    forumuser1665
    Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like if it were your own appeal, you'd be happy to put it forward. I will tidy up the last bits and do so...but first I did take Quentin's other piece of advice as well, and realising that I only took my appeal to the local club management, I contacted head office. I'm waiting for a call back promised either today or tomorrow. I will send the appeal to POPLA after that if that is also unsuccessful.

    Many thanks to all who contribute to this forum. It really is a brilliant resource. I will keep you updated on the progress as I know you like to keep the stats of how many people you have helped.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 15th Jun 17, 9:02 AM
    • 31,513 Posts
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    Quentin
    Whatever the outcome of their call back to you, you still proceed with your popla appeal until you get confirmation in writing from MET they have cancelled
    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 15th Jun 17, 9:04 AM
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    forumuser1665
    Understood. In that case, the appeal goes in today. I'm glad you lot are here!
    • Half_way
    • By Half_way 15th Jun 17, 9:42 AM
    • 3,593 Posts
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    Half_way
    What did you say to the gym? if you didn't say the right things you would have been fobbed of with a nothing to do with us, our car park is managed by another company - contact them type response.
    From the Plain Language Commission:

    "The BPA has surely become one of the most socially dangerous organisations in the UK"
    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 15th Jun 17, 9:56 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    forumuser1665
    I pointed out that I spend hundreds of pounds a year with them, having been a loyal member for ten years, and bringing my wife and two children with me as members since then. I said I found it unacceptable that when they offer free parking that I can be charged by a parking management firm.

    I've just this minute had a response from Virgin Active and they again say they can't stop the ticket standing but they will make sure I won't lose out. So it will all be OK one way or another.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 15th Jun 17, 10:00 AM
    • 31,513 Posts
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    Quentin
    Ask them to confirm in writing they will reimburse you the amount you have to pay to end this now. (Which will be cheaper for them than paying you for the time you have to spend dealing with this)

    Then pay it off and get reimbursed

    Save you a lot of time and hassle

    And someone in virgin might see their mistake in not showing met who is the boss of their arrangement
    Last edited by Quentin; 15-06-2017 at 10:04 AM.
    • Half_way
    • By Half_way 15th Jun 17, 10:36 AM
    • 3,593 Posts
    • 5,087 Thanks
    Half_way
    What did you say to the gym? if you didn't say the right things you would have been fobbed of with a nothing to do with us, our car park is managed by another company - contact them type response.
    From the Plain Language Commission:

    "The BPA has surely become one of the most socially dangerous organisations in the UK"
    • forumuser1665
    • By forumuser1665 15th Jun 17, 10:44 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    forumuser1665
    See post #15, Half_way. I have also told them how much inconvenience and stress this has caused, and reiterated that I don't see the point of having the system in place when it's not clear why anyone else would park there when there's nothing else nearby (if it's for the airport, then it could be as simple as "no overnight parking" and do away with the four-hour limit).

    The appeal has already gone in, Quentin, but I have asked VA to confirm they will reimburse and even if the appeal fails we won't lose out.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Jun 17, 10:50 PM
    • 46,959 Posts
    • 60,318 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    VA are stupid, then.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

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