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  • FIRST POST
    • Lukebeynon89
    • By Lukebeynon89 21st Nov 17, 3:55 PM
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    Lukebeynon89
    Excel and BWlegal trouble!
    • #1
    • 21st Nov 17, 3:55 PM
    Excel and BWlegal trouble! 21st Nov 17 at 3:55 PM
    Hey all,

    Just looking for advice on my situation with Excel and bwlegal.

    It all started when I received a letter from a debt recovery company earlier in the year asking for a settlement for a PCN I apparently received on 2/12/16.

    I was parked in 1 of 3 excel run car parks (in close proximately to each other) that night! I also paid (I’ll explain that later)... I had absolutely no idea I had even accumulated a pcn due to there being nothing on my car upon my return to it! No sticker or note to say I had received a PCN! (I also wasn’t expecting to see one due to the fact I had paid)

    So the first thing I knew about it was via this threatening letter off this debt recovery company a few months ago!

    I obviously ignored the letter as far as the recovery company were concerned but did email the appeal department on excel to say that I had paid that evening and have photographic proof of doing so! (Which I do)

    I received nothing back but an email saying my appeal was unsuccessful and outside of appeal timeframe.

    I’ve had nothing more from excel or the recovery company since!

    But alas, I have received a letter from “bwlegal” saying that “further to our first letter dated 13/10/17 regarding your non payment of our clients PCN given to you on 2/12/16” etc etc they go on to say “Our client now requires full payment of £130.00 in the next 17 days or we have been instructed by them to commence county court proceedings against you”

    Now, not only am I fuming that I have only ever received 2 letters about this “PCN” THIS ONE and the one earlier in the year from the recovery company! They are now claiming I’ve received at least 3/4... But I’m also fuming over the fact I have paid the fee to park there!!

    The charge is for “not displaying a paid parking ticket”

    Now, this is where it gets interesting/worrying!

    As mentioned before, this car park is within very close proximity to 2 other excel car parks, all of which are in the area of Swansea SA1 and all of which charge the same amount for whatever duration you park!
    On the night of 2/12/16 me and two friends went to watch a band in Swansea and parked there, it was something like £2.40 for 3 hours. None of us had change so honestly we were going to risk not paying, but on arrival to the payment station it said “no change? Pay online using ringo” my friend offered to pay for it as I had driven so I let him. Now he went online on this ringo site, searched for our car park (sa1) and the 3 different ones came up! All “owned by excel” My friend clicked our one, put all of my car details in and paid the £2.40 off his card. Screen shorted the whole thing and showed me. There was no option of printing anything off of course as it was on his phone, all that was said was “thank you for your payment, parking confirmed” We then went to watch the band and returned to our car. THERE WAS NOTHING ON MY CAR AT ALL. Certainly not a PCN!!

    Then a few months later I received the debt recovery email and now this one!!

    Now, upon looking at my friends car park selection, he picked SA1(1) we were parked in SA1(2).. So he had paid for the car park about 50 yards away! Now, it is exactly the same price as our car park so excel have lost no money. ALSO even though he chose the other car park, there is a message saying “if you pay to park in this car park, you may also use sa1(1) (2) or (3) ...Rover only”

    So friends, what do I do? Will I have a leg to stand on in court as even if my friend picked the right car park, we couldn’t “display a paid parking ticket” anyway as it was online...
    Also, with the car park saying you can “use SA1 (1) (2) or (3) car parks Rover only” did he actually not do anything wrong on picking the other car park? (My worry with this is the “Rover only” what does that mean?)
    Thirdly, I have paid excel the amount they needed to park there! Right car park or not they received my payment of the correct amount for how long I was there so have lost no money at all!!

    I’m very confused and very angry at this situation as you can imagine and I come to you for help! Now I have screen shots of the whole payment if you’d like me to show you them?

    Thanks,
    Luke! X
Page 1
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 21st Nov 17, 4:05 PM
    • 1,809 Posts
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    IamEmanresu
    • #2
    • 21st Nov 17, 4:05 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Nov 17, 4:05 PM
    Lots of articles on the SA1 car park if you search.
    Life's for living, get on with it rather than worrying about these. If they hassle, counter claim.

    Send them that costs schedule though, 24 hours before the hearing, and file it with the court. Take with you evidence that you have sent the costs schedule to them and when.
    LoC
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 21st Nov 17, 4:09 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 2,360 Thanks
    Lamilad
    • #3
    • 21st Nov 17, 4:09 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Nov 17, 4:09 PM
    Clearly they have failed to make it clear to the motorist which car park they are in. It sounds like this 3 different car parks in one location thing is designed to confuse drivers and cause them to be issued with a PCN. This sort of thing is a beach of the consumer rights act 2015.

    If you have proof that you paid in one of the car parks then that works heavily in your favour.

    I don't know what "Rover only" means, perhaps someone else does.

    You will almost certainly receive court papers now, no matter what you say to Excel or BW Legal, but with the help of this forum you will almost certainly win.

    When your receive the 'letter of claim' you must respond so come back at that stage.

    Read the NEWBIES thread post #2 so you know what to expect with the small claims process and how to prepare your defence. Also read other threads about Excel/ BW Legal court cases
    • Lukebeynon89
    • By Lukebeynon89 22nd Nov 17, 1:51 AM
    • 5 Posts
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    Lukebeynon89
    • #4
    • 22nd Nov 17, 1:51 AM
    • #4
    • 22nd Nov 17, 1:51 AM
    Thanks for your responses!

    m.my ringo.co.uk/parkinglocator/2891?detail=1

    If you put http:// in front of that ^^ That is the Ringo site! You can see in the map how close the car parks are together! But all prices are the same and I have a receipt of Payment!

    I am puzzled as to what the “rover permit” means also it it does state you can park in any one of these if you have paid in either one!

    Also what I’m most confused about it that they said the PCN is for “not displaying a valid ticket”

    I paid online, on my phone in the car park like the sign told me too! How can I get a valid ticket when it’s online? Makes no sense!

    What’s even worse is I didn’t even have a PCN! Nothing on my car and the first I hear about it is from the recovery company demanding I pay as Excel have been ignored by me!?

    So you think I’m definitely going to court!? How do you think I will get off based on this? 😕
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 22nd Nov 17, 6:00 AM
    • 1,809 Posts
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    IamEmanresu
    • #5
    • 22nd Nov 17, 6:00 AM
    • #5
    • 22nd Nov 17, 6:00 AM
    How do you think I will get off based on this?
    Confusing signs. You can't have a contract with someone unless you know and agree terms. If the terms are incoherent, then "contra proferentem" applies

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra_proferentem
    Life's for living, get on with it rather than worrying about these. If they hassle, counter claim.

    Send them that costs schedule though, 24 hours before the hearing, and file it with the court. Take with you evidence that you have sent the costs schedule to them and when.
    LoC
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 24th Nov 17, 11:59 AM
    • 1,747 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    • #6
    • 24th Nov 17, 11:59 AM
    • #6
    • 24th Nov 17, 11:59 AM
    Hello OP, I'm from Swansea and know the carparks.


    Was "rover" defined anywhere? on the app, or the signage? If not, then you are entitled to assume from what you say about how the app worked on the night that this wording means your ticket covered any of the 3 car parks. As the above post says, the contra preferentem rule provides that any uncertainty in a contract be resolved in your favour.


    Could you scan and post your BW letter here? It will be what we call a LBC (have you read the newbies thread? you must). It must comply with the requirements of the Protocol for Debt Claims and you are entitled, inter alia, to documents showing the contravention, a copy of the contract (ie the signage) etc etc. You need to do a careful reply to it, complaining about how they've not complied and requesting documents. This is probably on the newbies thread (or a link to another thread with a suggested precedent you can use as a starting point)


    The way this forum works is regulars give up free time to advise, but want posters to educate themselves first so that we are answering genuine and often novel questions, rather than wasting time hand holding and guiding you through the process which is already explained in the newbies thread. We ask you to read that thread and then to select a number of other threads to read. You will then get a good gist of how this all works. When it comes to drafting, we ask you to prepare your own first draft by reading other threads/newbies thread, and then to post it on here for our help/comments.


    You've probably been given 14 days to respond to the letter, but should have been given 30. So the first thing is to respond to it, complain about non-compliance and request documents and to make your defence clear.


    Do NOT identify yourself as driver, at any stage, until you decide how you are defending. If your above posts identify you as driver, edit them so they refer to "driver" and "keeper" (you are the registered keeper of the car at DVLA). At present you seem to have a defence by not admitting you were driving, because the only other way you can be liable is as keeper, but only if the parking co complies with the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act (which it sounds like it didn't - if no windscreen ticket they have to serve a Notice to Keeper within 14 days, did they?).
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 24th Nov 17, 12:01 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    • #7
    • 24th Nov 17, 12:01 PM
    • #7
    • 24th Nov 17, 12:01 PM
    Just re-read your original post - presumably you identified yourself as driver in the appeal? in which case you can't now deny/not admit that and the POFA argument falls away.


    But you have a good defence as driver (you paid and abided by the t&cs) so I don't think it's an issue.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 24th Nov 17, 12:01 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    • #8
    • 24th Nov 17, 12:01 PM
    • #8
    • 24th Nov 17, 12:01 PM
    Your friend will need to be prepared to be a witness for you and go to court with you on the day if it gets that far.
    • Lukebeynon89
    • By Lukebeynon89 28th Nov 17, 12:03 PM
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    Lukebeynon89
    • #9
    • 28th Nov 17, 12:03 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Nov 17, 12:03 PM
    thanks for the info,

    I had no letter off them within the first 14 days, but around a month later had one saying they HAD sent one.
    I replied with an email to the appeal department saying I had paid via the ringo service and have screenshots and receipts, but as I was outside the 28 appeal date. I only had a reply stating basically along the lines “your appeal is unsucceful and out of the date etc and were require payment”

    I sent another email and had no reply.

    Then received a debt recovery companies letter a few months later, I emailed that company stating again, I’ve already paid and have evidence of doing so, I had nothing I reply only a couple more letters over the next few months.

    I then received a letter from BWlegal last month stating that they had also already sent me a letter (I never received a first letter off them! Not delivered to me at least) and that their client excel needs payment of £130 within 17 days or they will start county court proceedings...

    So now I’m wondering what to say back, do I really go through all the time of sorting a complicated and detailed defence to email them, for it to probably be ignored and they send me another letter? Or do I just email them back stating as I have before, that I’ve paid and have screenshots and reciepts!?

    Also, I can’t find a way to put my screenshots into my post to show you?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 28th Nov 17, 1:49 PM
    • 4,731 Posts
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    KeithP
    Also, I can’t find a way to put my screenshots into my post to show you?
    Originally posted by Lukebeynon89
    Upload the pics to a web hosting site like tinypic, there are many others, and post a link to it here - like you did in post #4.
    .
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 28th Nov 17, 1:52 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Funny how so many letters have not been received.... they obviously don't send some and then pretend they do and the legislation/court rules say that if something is posted, it's deemed served/received the 2nd day after postage. It's up to them to prove they posted it, but all this will be is a statement saying "it shows on our system as having been generated and posted on x date" and the court is likely to believe them on balance.


    They clearly take advantage of this by not posting some things, or their system is not fit for purpose and things are getting accidentally not posted. It's just too much of a coincidence, there is clearly something wrong.


    If you'd asked me this at the time, the court rules actually say that a party cannot reject a reasonable form of ADR and if they do then they can later be punished on costs (even if they win) or the court can stay any proceedings and order them to go to ADR. POPLA is a form of ADR and so I would have used this to argue that the 28 day time limit was arbitrary, particularly since you had not received the original correspondence/notice. If you were only a few days/couple of weeks out of time they may have let you do POPLA.


    Anyway, too late now.


    You just have to defend on the basis that you paid.


    Normally we say ignore debt collectors and only respond now when you get a LBC from BW Legal (who act for Excel/VCS). But make sure you get and keep your evidence now - eg go back to the car park, photograph the signage/machines (sometimes VCS and Excel confuse themselves with each other and Excel cases have been defeated on the basis that the correct Claimant should have been VCS - or it might be the other way round).


    However, I think in your case as you say it's a baseless claim you may want to protect your ability to try to get an unreasonable behaviour costs order from them. So I think every time you get a letter you copy your appeal, with the attached evidence, and send it to them with a brief covering letter "this is a baseless charge. I have already produced evidence that I paid for the parking in the attached letter dated x. Please stop writing to me and processing/retaining my data, you are committing an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act and are breaching my rights under the Data Protection Act. If you/your client proceeds any further, I specifically reserve my right to counterclaim for damages, the amount of which will eclipse the amount you are now seeking to recover from me".
    Send that every time. Keep a copy of every time you do. Don't throw anything away.


    When they then sue you and lose you can produce all the times you told them to p*** off and this strengthens your claim to costs. When the time comes, I'd also issue a counterclaim against them. This is what Hayles31 did, read her thread - she won £500. These letters also set you up for the counterclaim because you can say you put them on notice x times that you felt harassed by their constant and ever-increasing demands for money.
    • Lukebeynon89
    • By Lukebeynon89 29th Nov 17, 2:55 AM
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    Lukebeynon89
    tinypic.com/view.php?pic=14lt2r7&s=9#.Wh4bc0qnyEc

    I hope that worked^^^

    That’s the receipt my friend received after paying on the night of the “PCN” I received yet had nothing tell me I received!!

    i67.tinypic.com/2j4ria8.png

    This pic^^
    Shows two of the 4 excel car parks in the area, all very close to each other!


    i65.tinypic.com/2hhqg68.png

    This pic ^^^ shows the charges of the car park... All the excel car parks in the area charge the same amount! Still very confused over the whole (rover only) part!?

    i66.tinypic.com/1zh0b4x.jpg

    This pic is simply the bottom half of the prices screen in the last pic, as you can see it states if you pay for this car park you can use any of the other ones mentioned (the excel ones in the area)... But still unsure of the “rover only” statement!? Is that going to effect this at all? I don’t think it’s explained well enough at all!


    i63.tinypic.com/2da0dxh.jpg

    This pic is just a photo of the machine prices and where it says you can use ringo! Doesn’t mention anything about a valid ticket when paying online or anything like that?


    Hope this clears up what I meant by paying for the car park next door, but it says you can! As well as me not having a ticket because obviously I paid online!

    Again, thanks for your ongoing support!
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 29th Nov 17, 10:36 AM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    But still unsure of the “rover only” statement!? Is that going to effect this at all? I don’t think it’s explained well enough at all!

    Contra preferentem rule - this is a rule applied to contractual disputes which says that any uncertainty is resolved against the person who drafted the contract (ie in your favour). So you would say the rover term isn't well defined and you assumed, by applying the ordinary meaning of "rover", that this meant you were entitled to roving parking in any of the car parks (as it says in one of your other pictures/screenshots) and that by paying in one it would cover parking in the other.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Lukebeynon89
    • By Lukebeynon89 29th Nov 17, 1:45 PM
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    Lukebeynon89
    Yeah that’s what I thought was my best line of defence!

    Thanks all for helping me feel a bit more confident about this!

    I am going to reply to BWLegal today with this evidence and defence, hopefully they will back off?

    Do you think it is best for me to reply with all this evidence for them to see or just reply stating that I have the evidence, but not actually show them?
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 29th Nov 17, 2:02 PM
    • 1,136 Posts
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    nosferatu1001
    Send anything you have to help. You cant be accused of being unreasonable
    Dont expect them to back off, they have a fairly automated system.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 29th Nov 17, 3:50 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    The pre-action obligations of the Protocol and the old PD apply equally to you as to them. So you are expected to produce an explanation of your defence and the core evidence you would rely on. So yes, send them everything. This way you also set yourself up for seeking unreasonable behaviour costs from them.


    Don't get your hopes up about them settling. Most PPCs proceed blindly to court, that's their MO. Most people panic and pay, even if they start off defending. The ones they lose/take to court are loss leaders (even the ones they win they spend more hiring an advocate for the day to present the case than they recover).
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
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