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Received a Parking Charge Notice from VP Parking Solutions Ltd

Hello All,

I'd appreciate a bit of advice, I received a Parking Charge Notice today from VP Parking Solutions ltd on a customer car park, I did use the shop but I also used a shop across the road whilst parked there. I was less than 5 minutes away from the car park. I spoke to the attendant and he gave me some BS excuse about never seeing me visit the shop and waiting at my car for 15 minutes for me to return and that I needed to ring the number about getting it revoked. Initially, when I got home I rang the number but their offices were closed. I had to go out again so I thought I'd have a look on here when I got back. I've read I lot of the information on here now, Martin's article from a couple of years ago, the watchdog video and some of the links to the information from legal advisers etc.

My question is, am I right just ignoring this and potentially the threatening letters over the next few months as this is just a scam? It comes across as one but I also want to avoid any future trouble. Thinking back though, the guy was putting notices on a lot of cars.

Any help would be appreciated!

Replies

  • Yes, it's a scam.

    Firstly, the legal stuff.

    Only councils, the police, train operators and Transport for London can impose legally enforceable fines or penalties. A private company or individual can't. Private parking companies (PPCs) call their tickets Parking Charge Notices, not Penalty Charge Notices. In law, they’re called speculative invoices.


    Any warning signs are usually so badly positioned and worded, that they won’t have created a fair and legally binding deemed contract between the car park owner and a driver entering the car park in the first place. See The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1997 and Excel Parking Services vs. Cutts, Stockport, 2011.

    All the car park owner (CPO) can claim from a driver in damages for any alleged breach of any alleged contract is what they’ve lost as a result. If it’s in a free car park or the driver paid, this is £0.00. Demanding more has been judged to be unreasonable and therefore an unfair contract penalty under the terms of The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1997, which is not legally enforceable. See Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd. vs. New Garage & Motor Co. Ltd., House of Lords, 1914 and countless cases since.

    There are also now recent landmark court cases, VCS Parking Control vs. Ronald Ibbotson, S!!!!horpe, 2012, HM Revenue & Customs vs. VCS Parking Control, Lower Tax Tribunal, 2012 and VCS Parking Control vs. HM Revenue & Customs (Appeal), Upper Tax Tribunal, 2012. In these cases, the judges ruled that only the CPO can charge for parking and take drivers to court. The Upper Tax Tribunal is a court of record, equivalent to the High Court, and therefore its judgement sets a legal precedent.

    What should I do now?


    We don’t condone not paying or overstaying in a pay car park. If you owe the CPO the original charge, then you ought to write to the CPO, offering this in “full and final settlement”. In any event, you should write to the CPO, advising them that they are "jointly and severally liable" for the actions of their agents, the PPC, and that any further actions by either of them would be regarded as harassment under the terms of The Protection from Harassment Act 1997. This ought to make the CPO call off the PPC and, hopefully, realise the potential cost of doing business with a PPC.

    Don’t appeal to the PPC. They always reject them. What’s in it for them to let anyone off? Actually, there is something in it for them: information. They need to know the identity of the driver of the vehicle involved at the time, because that’s who the alleged contract was with. If they don’t know who the driver was, they have to make do with harassing the registered keeper.

    With windscreen notices, an appeal letter will tell them your name and address, and maybe who was driving at the time. If they don’t know who the driver was, they have to buy the details of registered keeper from the DVLA. With postal notices, they’ve had to do this already. But they still need to know the identity of the driver.

    They sometimes say that they have the right to ask for this information. This doesn’t mean that you have to tell them.

    However, even if you’ve written and told them who the driver was, it just means that they can now harass the driver instead of harassing the registered keeper.

    How will they do this to me?

    The PPC, then a debt collector and then a solicitor will send you a series of letters. The debt collector and solicitor are usually also the PPC, but using different headed paper. These letters will threaten you with every kind of financial and legal unpleasantness imaginable to intimidate you into paying.


    But, they can't actually do anything, for the same reason that a blackmailer can't take anyone who didn’t pay them to court.

    What should I do then?

    Continue to ignore everything you get from the PPC and their aliases. It does seem odd to deal with something like this by ignoring it. Eventually, they will run out of empty threats and stop throwing good money after bad.
    The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in my life. :)
  • BASFORDLADBASFORDLAD Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Just ignore it and any future letters. That's all the is to it really
    For everthing else there's mastercard.
    For clampers there's Barclaycard.
  • HO87HO87 Forumite
    4.3K Posts
    Despite the threatening contents of their letters VP Parking Solutions Ltd t/a AS Securi-T of Southampton have never taken anyone to court so why should they start now? As S_L has stated, following recent higher court decisions they know that their chances of succeeding are pretty much zero and taking cases to court isn't actually part of their business model. They make their money knowing that a majority (its shrinking but is still a majority) of people will simply pay up on receipt of their invoice, others may have to be "persuaded" with a few threatening letters but they allow those who ignore them throughout to just walk away as it's cheaper to do so and saves all of the hassle of court and the serious risk of losing anyway.
    My very sincere apologies for those hoping to request off-board assistance but I am now so inundated with requests that in order to do justice to those "already in the system" I am no longer accepting PM's and am unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future (August 2016). :(

    For those seeking more detailed advice and guidance regarding small claims cases arising from private parking issues I recommend that you visit the Private Parking forum on PePiPoo.com
  • jogplcjogplc Forumite
    10 Posts
    Thanks for the advice people, I'll just file it away and ignore them
  • jogplc wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice people, I'll just file it away and ignore them

    Good, but also warn as many people as possible about slamming Private Parking Companies.
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