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  • FIRST POST
    • vienly
    • By vienly 2nd Dec 17, 3:20 PM
    • 99Posts
    • 12Thanks
    vienly
    Lidl PCN (Athena)
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:20 PM
    Lidl PCN (Athena) 2nd Dec 17 at 3:20 PM
    Hi All,

    Need some advice.

    My parents who visited Lidl on the 26th November did their shopping there, got their receipt and entered it in the Parking Terminal machine upon leaving. Today they receive an PCN from Athena Parking stating a £90 for over staying the 10 minute free period, even though it's 90 minutes for paying customers.
    They only stayed about 40 minutes.

    So either my parents entered in the incorrect number plate (the letter O instead of 0), or their system has a problem.

    Now I've sent an email directly to Lidl customer services, and CEO as other people have mentioned doing that, awaiting a response.

    The only buggiest issue is they have of course thrown away their receipt, but remember spending approximately £50 there. I've asked Lidl to check their security cameras ect between the specific times on checkout and car registration but will that be enough?

    What should I be doing on the Athena Parking appeal part?
    Do I wait until Lidl respond or do I appeal at the same time?
    I know there is a template I would have to email to them from the noobie thread, I believe Athena is an IPC member.

    Thanks for help
    Last edited by vienly; 02-12-2017 at 3:25 PM.
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 2nd Dec 17, 3:32 PM
    • 4,747 Posts
    • 3,086 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:32 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:32 PM
    So either my parents entered in the incorrect number plate (the letter O instead of 0), or their system has a problem.
    Originally posted by vienly
    And we know the answer to that...
    Their machine for some unknown reason distinguishes between a '0' and a 'O'.

    That is strange because the fonts used for number plates makes no such distinction.

    So clearly it is the fault of the machine or their software.
    There is no way that your parents are in any way to blame.

    Your parents have done nothing wrong... that's definite.
    .
    • jayu619
    • By jayu619 2nd Dec 17, 3:33 PM
    • 112 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    jayu619
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:33 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:33 PM
    Hi there,

    My parents had the same problem - they were there for only 20minutes, where Lidl car park only allows 10mins free. They didn't enter their registration # simply because they didn't know they had to nor did any of the clerks informed them of this. We do not use that Lidl as we have a closer one nearby albeit without a carpark, but on their way back that particular day, they decided to pop into one with a car park.

    Anyway, I wrote the following letter on their behalf, and got a reply a few days later and got my ticket cancelled without hesitation. I sent them this one email below and that was that. I did not even have to contact Lidl. Maybe it will be of help to you:

    *************

    Dear Athena ANPR LTD,

    THIS IS NOT AN APPEAL!

    You issued me with a parking ticket on **/**/2017 which was unfairly and unlawfully issued. I decline your invitation to name the driver, which is not required of me as the keeper of the vehicle. I will not be paying your demand for payment for the following reasons:

    - There are mitigating circumstances to explain why the vehicle was parked where it was and the charge be waived for this reason. Please obtain evidence from Lidl of the driver in question shopping at that particular store as well as loading bags into the vehicle in question. No receipt was kept from that day nor does a reasonable person would be expected to keep one for a small buy; AND

    - The charge is disproportionate and not a genuine pre-estimate of loss. The amount you have charged is not based upon any genuine pre-estimate of loss to your company or the landowner. The charge of £90 you are asking far exceeds the cost to the land owner.

    - You are not the landowner and do not have the standing to offer contracts to drivers nor to bring a claim in your own right.

    - Your signage was not sufficiently prominent nor clearly worded and consideration did not flow from both parties, so there was no contract formed. This is a non-negotiated and totally unexpected third party 'charge' foisted upon legitimate motorists who are not your customers and are not parties of equal bargaining power. Therefore ALL terms are required to be so prominent and the risk of a charge so transparent that the information in its entirety must have been seen/accepted by the driver. No reasonable person would have accepted such onerous parking terms and I contend the extortionate charge was not 'drawn to his attention in the most explicit way' (Lord Denning, Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd [1971] 2 QB 163, Court of Appeal): 'The customer is bound by those terms as long as they are sufficiently brought to his notice beforehand, but not otherwise. In {ticket cases of former times} the issue...was regarded as an offer by the company. That theory was, of course, a fiction. No customer in a thousand ever read the conditions. In order to give sufficient notice, it would need to be printed in red ink with a red hand pointing to it - or something equally startling.'

    From my understanding of the law, for a contract to form, three main elements must be present: there must be an offer, an acceptance of that offer, and a thing called consideration - something of benefit or value for all the parties involved in, or privy to, the contract. Thus, in a privately owned and operated car park, by parking at Lidl car park, the driver of the vehicle generally accepts the car park owner's 'offer' of parking at an agreed fee. The 'consideration' the driver receives is the benefit of parking the car, while the consideration received by Athena ANPR LTD is the fee the driver pays for the privilege. And failing to pay this fee is a breach of contract. But reject this because although there were signs at the car park, albeit very small and ridiculously placed, the signage was not clear nor did staff members at the Lidl store state to enter any car registration number plate before departing. No reasonable person would have been expected to know this having shopped at that particular Lidl for the first time.

    Furthermore, this is a contractual agreement between Athena and Lidl - and it can be seen that the driver of the vehicle, was loading his/her shopping into the car. No receipt is available because this was a small buy of no more than £20 and nor could it be reasonably expected that a customer keeps their receipt when paying by cash. Therefore, as I imagine there ought to be a contractual agreement to be in place between Lidl and Athena, I suggest you obtain CCTV image/footage of shopping being loaded into the vehicle - something which your ANPR cameras fail to capture.

    My son is a lawyer and from my understanding, under contract law the courts cannot enforce a motorist to pay a penalty clause. Unless you wish to take me to court for being the registered owner of the vehicle to recover the amounts, please do so as this will be even more costly for you than me.

    The fine of even the reduced amount of £45 is way out of proportion for a stay of 12 minutes over the first 10 minutes allowed. A reasonable person would not be that stupid to incur a fine that costs more than the shopping done at Lidl that very day. That reasonable person would have paid for parking - which would you pay, £45 (or £90) -vs- a couple of pounds? I will let you ponder up on that question.

    Further to consulting my son about the contractual agreement, you mention in your letter that failure to pay would cause debt collection company to follow up on outstanding fines/fees. But my son advised me to reiterate that in mentioning/writing that part in your letter goes against any privity of contract rules, that is, only the parties of a contract can sue each other for damages – but prevent third parties from doing so - in this case, your debt collection company. If a contract for parking existed, the parties involved would be the driver in question and Athena ANPR LTD. The debt collection firm are a third party, and therefore cannot take legal action – and implying they can is a false representation of law and fact. I have also been advised to remind you that dishonestly making a false representation you know is, or might be, untrue or misleading, with the intent to make gain for yourself or another, is a criminal offence contrary to section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

    If your legal department wishes to cite the recent case of Parkingeye v Beavis as a legal authority, my son advised me that this case was in respect to a 3hour free parking which the motorist overstayed, and is similar to the case of 10minutes at Lidl Beckton. The court held that a clause (within a contract between Athena and the driver will not be regarded as a penalty if it 'serves a legitimate purpose' and is not 'manifestly excessive'. In this particular case, the penalty does serve a legitimate purpose of ensuring motorists are not parking to go elsewhere within the Lidl complex. But the fine is ridiculously excessive, so on a matter of point of law, Athena ANPR LTD will fall foul of the second limb, stated by a Supreme Court judge.

    Therefore, if you wish to take me to court - as the registered owner of the vehicle - you may wish to do so at the expense of your company. And you will also need to prove the costs are fair and reasonable under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. Thus, I will have no choice but to instruct my son to take Athena ANPR LTD to court for criminal proceedings.

    Also, I must add that if you choose to pursue me please be aware that I will not enter into any correspondence and this will be the only letter you will receive from me until you answer the specific points raised in my email.

    I will also be complaining to Lidl about this ridiculous so-called 'parking charge' and about your whole set-up which does nothing to drive up standards in the parking industry, nor pays any regard to Lidl's purported customer service ethic. This is not an example of parking management, this is a covert practice which, to any reasonable person, might appear to be a business model akin to a protection racket on site. Lidl will be informed of customers' disgust at your entire business approach and your unwarranted threats. Despite your reliance upon impersonating 'PCNs' I am aware that you are no parking Authority, merely one of many from an industry known to make their profits by farming car parks and routinely emptying the pockets of customers of legitimate businesses. As I am sure you can tell, I am incensed by this harassment.

    Kindest regards,

    **************

    Jay
    • vienly
    • By vienly 2nd Dec 17, 3:44 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    vienly
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:44 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:44 PM
    Wow that is one strong letter Jay, unfortunately the circumstances are different to my parents and yours as there is a mistake somewhere rather than them overstaying.

    Also we don't have any lawyers in our family

    So the question is, do I appeal at the same time, and if you don't mind use some of the paragraphs used in Jay's appeal?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 2nd Dec 17, 3:45 PM
    • 4,747 Posts
    • 3,086 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:45 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:45 PM
    My son is a lawyer ...
    Originally posted by jayu619
    Make up your mind.

    On your earlier thread it was your brother who was training to be a lawyer.

    And what is that 'genuine pre-estimate of loss' stuff about?
    You need to speak to your brother/son again about that. In particular, ask him how that argument has been influenced by Beavis.
    .
    • jayu619
    • By jayu619 2nd Dec 17, 4:04 PM
    • 112 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    jayu619
    • #6
    • 2nd Dec 17, 4:04 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Dec 17, 4:04 PM
    Make up your mind.

    On your earlier thread it was your brother who was training to be a lawyer.

    And what is that 'genuine pre-estimate of loss' stuff about?
    You need to speak to your brother/son again about that. In particular, ask him how that argument has been influenced by Beavis.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    We have a more than 1 brother who are dong different things in the legal world. In any case, and not to be rude, my family circumstances should not determine a persons' outcome.

    As far as I am concerned, the letter worked having consulted my brother with basic contract rules. this occurred a while ago, and I've put 2017 for OP's case.

    Cheers and good luck
    • vienly
    • By vienly 2nd Dec 17, 4:42 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    vienly
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 17, 4:42 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 17, 4:42 PM
    So I have just received a response from Lidl Customer services, what would be the next step?
    I did not ask for an appeal, I specifically told them to cancel the PCN as it wasn't my parents fault.
    I also sent the same email to Lidl's CEO.


    Re: Parking Charge Notice
    Thanks for getting in touch.
    Unfortunately, we are unable to make an appeal on your behalf. This is because all appeals need to be placed in writing directly to Athena ANPR by the appellant. Doing so allows you to retain your right to formally appeal any decisions made by Athena ANPR.
    Details of the appeals procedure can be found on the reverse of the Parking Charge Notice or on the Athena ANPR website: www.athena-parking.com.
    You can process an appeal via the following methods; online (https://www.athena-parking.com/appeals/start.asp), via email (appeals@athena-parking.com) or by post at the below address:
    Athena ANPR Ltd
    PO Box 4758
    Ascot
    SL5 5DJ
    When raising your appeal please include the following information:
    Parking Charge Notice Number
    Vehicle Registration Number
    To further support your appeal please attach / enclose any of the applicable following documents:
    Lidl store receipt or proof of shopping with us
    Disabled badge holder evidence
    Further documentation which may support your case
    Athena will then conduct your appeal and communicate the outcome to you directly in writing.
    We hope that your appeal is brought to a speedy conclusion.
    Thank you for contacting usYours sincerely,
    For and on behalf of Lidl UK GmbH


    Beverley Middlemass
    Customer Service

    [T] + 44 (0) 370 444 1234 / 0800 977 7766
    [E] customer.services@lidl.co.uk

    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
    For more information visit our website www.lidl.co.uk
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 2nd Dec 17, 7:07 PM
    • 4,747 Posts
    • 3,086 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 17, 7:07 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 17, 7:07 PM
    We have a more than 1 brother...
    Originally posted by jayu619
    One of which is your son??
    .
    • Ralph-y
    • By Ralph-y 2nd Dec 17, 9:03 PM
    • 2,392 Posts
    • 2,917 Thanks
    Ralph-y
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 17, 9:03 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 17, 9:03 PM
    when your parents paid did they use cash or a card ?

    Ralph
    • vienly
    • By vienly 2nd Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    vienly
    when your parents paid did they use cash or a card ?

    Ralph
    Originally posted by Ralph-y
    Cash, I had a thought about them producing a bank statement also but they used cash unfortunately....
    • vienly
    • By vienly 4th Dec 17, 10:10 AM
    • 99 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    vienly
    Successfully received cancellation email from Lidl this morning, no thanks to Lidl's customer service and their generic response, had to go above them right to the top. Many thanks to all.

    Word of advice for anyone else dealing with Lidl, DO NOT email their customer services team as first point of contact, they will NOT read your email, reply with a generic response and redirect you to Athena.

    Go straight to the top as others have mentioned.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 4th Dec 17, 10:53 AM
    • 6,467 Posts
    • 8,286 Thanks
    beamerguy
    Successfully received cancellation email from Lidl this morning, no thanks to Lidl's customer service and their generic response, had to go above them right to the top. Many thanks to all.

    Word of advice for anyone else dealing with Lidl, DO NOT email their customer services team as first point of contact, they will NOT read your email, reply with a generic response and redirect you to Athena.

    Go straight to the top as others have mentioned.
    Originally posted by vienly
    Well done ..... Lidl customer services already known
    as rubbish .... the CEO/MD is the only answer
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 4th Dec 17, 10:54 AM
    • 15,905 Posts
    • 24,659 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Well done, and thanks for linking this thread in the ‘Complaints’ thread.

    Go straight to the top as others have mentioned.
    We have always advised emailing Christian Haertnagel MD as all too often CS just shoot you a fob-off template.
    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.
    • Styles76
    • By Styles76 4th Dec 17, 4:18 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Styles76
    I am having to do the same thing, who did you email?
    • vienly
    • By vienly 4th Dec 17, 6:45 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    vienly
    I am having to do the same thing, who did you email?
    Originally posted by Styles76
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5713921&highlight=christian+haert nagel
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 4th Dec 17, 7:31 PM
    • 6,467 Posts
    • 8,286 Thanks
    beamerguy
    I am having to do the same thing, who did you email?
    Originally posted by Styles76
    Hi, you must start your own thread for help

    Do what "vienly" did and any further problems help
    is available if you start your own thread
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • Ralph-y
    • By Ralph-y 4th Dec 17, 8:08 PM
    • 2,392 Posts
    • 2,917 Thanks
    Ralph-y
    Styles76 does already have his/her thread ....


    Ralph
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 4th Dec 17, 8:25 PM
    • 6,467 Posts
    • 8,286 Thanks
    beamerguy
    Styles76 does already have his/her thread ....


    Ralph
    Originally posted by Ralph-y
    Right "Dunce Newbie report"

    Best to keep to his/her own thread and just read
    the threads for the info
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
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