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MSE News: British Parking Association agrees to face its critics

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  • BFG_2
    BFG_2 Posts: 2,022 Forumite
    edited 17 October 2009 at 9:16AM
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    Meth,

    a brilliant post.

    As one of the posters who has 'been less than complimentary about BPA and its members'........I've gotta say that I kinda think you've wasted your time and effort.

    If they haven't responded after 9/10 days [to even the simplest of the questions], they're not likely to respond at all.

    Any [truthful] replies would only serve to undermine the PPC's position and business model. Any admission [eg you're correct, PPCs can't enforce any tickets/invoices whatsoever] would probably make it ionto the mainstream press [Daily Mail would love it] and so more people would know the truth....and PPCs would be even more undermined.

    For this reason, I suspect you will find that we never hear from the BPA again [after all they've got their free and unquestioning PR spin [see title of this very thread as an example of spin working]].

    The best we can expect is a vague wishy-washy posting that doesn't answer a single one of the valid questions, but will be in essence a press release - seeking once again to keep blurring the lines, obfuscating and misleading everyone. [I guess that's wny many people see the BPA as a slimy front for a bunch of ....see previous postings [if they haven't been deleted, lol]].
  • BFG_2
    BFG_2 Posts: 2,022 Forumite
    edited 17 October 2009 at 3:35PM
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    Just to clarify...........

    The BPA announced they would face their critics back in Sept.........September 18th to be exact.

    Today is 17th October [around 30 days later] and since their free PR announcement we have had ...er, um, oh yeah - a couple of vague responses not actually answering the questions directly, a weeks silence, a 'sick' note, followed by 10 days of silence.........and er...that's it.

    Thye certainly do seem keen to engage.....not.
  • ChickenVindaloo
    ChickenVindaloo Posts: 3 Newbie
    edited 17 October 2009 at 4:27PM
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    I have just decided to de-lurk, having followed these developments with great interest.

    I found the site after receiving a PPC invoice over 2 years ago. Like 99% of forum visitors, the company simply gave up after a couple of letters.

    Having read both their initial letter to Martin and their subsequent half-hearted contribution to this board, I am also of the belief that the BPA will not respond to any more of your points.

    It makes me think of that film "The man who sued God" with Billy Connelly - you can't ask an organisation to justify its existence and expect unbiased replies.

    Having been approached by struggling members (mainly struggling because hardly anyone pays these tickets anymore!) the BPA made a token gesture by contacting Martin. However, they have now realised that the majority of the population now know that nothing will happen if they don't pay, and also that people won't swallow the wishy-washy propaganda they have attempted to dispense.

    So overall, they are "damned if they do, damned if they don't".......
  • Methusela
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    Having been approached by struggling members (mainly struggling because hardly anyone pays these tickets anymore!) the BPA made a token gesture by contacting Martin. However, they have now realised that the majority of the population now know that nothing will happen if they don't pay.
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Not sure I entirely agree about “hardly anyone paying these tickets any more”.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]You don't have to read too many of the the postings in the “Private Parking Tickets” thread to see a common theme appearing. Many of those looking for advice are seriously frightened by the threat of legal action being taken against them.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]That is precisely what the PPCs rely on - and it works. I can vouch for that because, when I was threatened in this way, my first reaction was to pay the “fine” quickly before I lost the availability of a reduced payment and ended up paying far more. I knew nothing about the relevant law or about Martin's advice or the discussion forums and only a timely word of advice from my son made me do some research, after which I decided not to pay.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]But remember, not everyone is computer literate and even those who are might not think of searching the internet before paying a PCN. I suspect that those who do look here for advice are only the tip of a very large iceberg, most of which is hidden out of sight.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]According to dvla's website, they sold 800,000 RK's details to private parking contractors in the past twelve months. I don't see much evidence of those 800,000 RKs having posted for advice. Many of them will be frightened into paying up straight away, as I nearly did. That is why I think only a change in the law will stop the PPC's rip-off charging scam.[/FONT]
  • Driver8
    Driver8 Posts: 743 Forumite
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    How many PPC Companies are not paying their fee's now?

    The BPA staff hopefully will, in the not too distant future be looking for new jobs eheheheheheheh. The senior management there must be getting worried. They will not post again because they know they have been rumbled. They cannot defend liars,thieves, extortionists, con men, crooks and downright scum.

    I hope they spend the next ten years getting grief to pay their bills. They deserve it.
  • ripped_off_driver
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    It was a nice bit of free publicity for the BPA but of course they were only ever in it for cynical, self serving reasons. But when you have Martin Lewis referring to those wise heads who advise "just ignore" as "rabid militants" I think there is a fair amount of gullibility/naievety to be exploited. Tens of thousands are pleased they listened to the "rabid militants" as opposed to those foolish enough to "appeal" who then became "hooked fish".
  • usignuolo
    usignuolo Posts: 1,923 Forumite
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    Just to clarify, a parking enforcement firm has to be a member of the BPA to get electronic access to the DVLA database. It does NOT need to be a member of anything, just have a parking contract, to be given written access to the same database. In other words, they can send in a list of vehicle registration numbers (cost £2.50 each I think), and the DVLA will send them back the names and addresses of the keepers. The DVLA says the charge only covers the cost of doing this and they are obliged by law to supply this information as they have to respond to any "reasonable" request for it.

    If you look at many of the firms with parking contracts, their members have SIA registrations (to clamp your car) but no BPA membership.
  • nicechap
    nicechap Posts: 2,852 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 19 October 2009 at 2:06PM
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    Methusala,

    I'd still like them to answer whether they think its OK for their members to clamp blue badge holders in contravention of their SIA licences, and whether PPCs should clamp people on their own property.

    Like others, I really doubt we'll get any sort of honest and complete answers from the BPA, if they are so casual with the truth as they were concerning use of "precedent" in their first few posts, and so duplicitous to say they've been ill whilst logging on regularly, I think its unlikely they'll come back for a factual or legal debate as they can't possibly win without the government changing the law.
    Originally Posted by shortcrust
    "Contact the Ministry of Fairness....If sufficient evidence of unfairness is discovered you’ll get an apology, a permanent contract with backdated benefits, a ‘Let’s Make it Fair!’ tshirt and mug, and those guilty of unfairness will be sent on a Fairness Awareness course."
  • AlexisV
    AlexisV Posts: 1,890 Forumite
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    Sorry, I've lost my Alx*27 login due to a house move. But this is me!

    A response:
    Alx*27

    It is not for the BPA to comment on any particular form of action used. The BPA believes that it would be fairer for everyone if the law was able to define and describe a ‘parking ticket’ and that a universal form existed for all operators – this is currently not the case and therefore confusing for all.

    Until the government makes this happen and better regulation comes in to existence car park operators will have to interpret the Law of Contract and Consumer Protection Regulations themselves. This can, and does, lead to a variety of documents and forms which sometimes cause confusion and uncertainty amongst the motorist.

    Where a motorist decides to park on a piece of private land and there is a risk of trespass or breach of contract a landowner will have the right of redress which is usually delivered in the form of parking enforcement notice The ‘parking ticket’ is an easily understood mechanism for communication between the landowner (or his agent/operator) and the motorist and therefore is regularly used. Clarity in this area is a must and we hope the government will act soon on this.

    For the government to act, you'd have to create completely new statute, or overturn well established contract law.

    You reference to breach of contract and redress is at odds with the the amount demanded by parking companies. They never demand redress - they only demand profit. These companies could not survive if they charged damages for breach of contract, e.g. £1 in a pay and display car park.

    You comments about the BPA not commenting on any form of action is bizarre. You are have already issued guidelines regarding keeper liablity, but this is being ignored. What is the point of even being a representative organisation if you do not keep your members in check if they flout your codes of practice?

    Surely a letter to the companies above reminding them of their obligations would be the actions of a organisation whose existence is justified?

    Re. NCP railway byelaw tickets, as has been mentioned, they are not legitimate penalty charges which would involve a trip to magistrates court. Such cases are thrown in with the rest of the normal invoices and followed up by the usual Roxburge / Graham White threats which dry up if ignored.

    It interests me that you are pushing for government clarity. Are you genuinely trying to get these tickets legitimised? The chances for that are slim, especially when the current system of duping motorists seems to bring in such income for such little outlay.
  • Ezmondino
    Ezmondino Posts: 404 Forumite
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    The BPA were on radio 5 live this morning, but there doesn't seem to be a recording on the BBC site. They were talking mostly about clamping.

    Recent news story about clamping here though:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8317867.stm
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