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Horizon Parking (Sainsburys)

Hello all,

I searched the forum for 'horizon invalid' to see if there was an existing discussion about my specific problem but it did not come up with any relevant results, apologies in advance therefore if it has!

Last week we parked in Sainsburys Kingston-upon-Thames, which we do fairly regularly, who have a car park managed by Horizon Parking, and they operate an ANPR system. They offer 2 hours free parking for Sainsburys customers, and what we usually do is park up, walk into the town and do our shopping, then come back and shop in Sainsburys to get a voucher, which you then scan on the payment machines for the free parking.

We have had issues in the past with this car park, their signage is misleading as a reasonable person, without reading the small print, would assume one could stay longer than 2 hours but just have to pay. You cannot, and we have twice had occasions where the voucher has scanned but a message along the lines of "voucher not accepted" and then "nothing to pay" comes up, when we have been a few minutes over the 2 hours. Despite expecting a penalty notice through the door, we never had.

This time, as we have 2 small children in tow, we were cutting it close to the 2 hours, we obtained a voucher, tried to scan it, at what would have been almost exactly 2 hours (a couple of minutes either way), and received the message 'Invalid voucher'. I went back into the store to get another voucher (took a minute), entered the number plate, scanned the voucher - same message. When we were given the second voucher the guy said that if this one didnt work then to get one from customer services next time as they have a different machine. Also worth noting was that there was another customer behind me doing exactly the same.

So we went back into the shop, short queue for the customer services woman, and we asked for another voucher as we had 2 which said 'invalid'. The other customer was behind us again. She then asked if we were over 2 hours, which we NOW definitely were, because if we were "it wouldnt work". Unhelpfully the customer behind didnt know if they were over 2 hours, if they knew they were under we would have known there was some kind of fault. At this stage we therefore gave up and left, half expecting not to receive a notice because we didnt previously when just over 2 hours.

We just received the PCN, and the car was registered leaving the car park 9 minutes over the 2 hours, and the reason for issuance of the PCN is "Exceeded Maximum Stay Period (ANPR) - Overstay Duration: 9 mins".

I am confused as to what my next step ought to be, because I can see many different avenues to approach this; complain that the voucher system wasn't working, that the message was cryptic/different from before (indicating a fault, when it was an overstay), that if we paid for a ticket on the 2 hour limit we would have been given 10-15mins to load up the car and leave the car park, de minimis, unclear signage, to complain to Sainsburys, ignore, etc.

I would be grateful if someone could recommend the best course of action in this case, I can give more details if necessary.

Thank you

Fiona

Replies

  • edited 26 March 2017 at 9:09AM
    RedxRedx Forumite
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    edited 26 March 2017 at 9:09AM
    2 simple answers

    1) use the correct template (from the NEWBIES sticky thread) and appeal to HORIZON as keeper, adding a line that the "overstay" is covered by the relevant CoP and the time to initially park up and read the signs , plus the time to leave the car park is covered by that relevant CoP

    2) secondly, complain as KEEPER to Sainsburys head office in writing (or by email), as an occupant of the vehicle (do not reveal who was driving) and insist that they cancel it due to patronage (prove it with receipts or redacted bank statements etc) and due to what the customer had been told

    ideally send this to their CEO

    the latter should get the cancellation, but do BOTH

    ps:- you will never receive a "penalty" notice , neither Sainsburys or Horizon are allowed by law to issue a "penalty"! notice (or a "FINE" either)

    they can issue an invoice , called a Parking Charge Notice , or PCN for short , this is what you have received and it will say so on it

    pps:- there are plenty of "overstay" thread on here, and faulty machine threads, although they may not be about Horizon or Sainsburys

    the machines at the Peel Centre in Stockport are operated by Excel and that is one of many that come up regularly on here and in parking prankster`s blogs
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
  • LamiladLamilad Forumite
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    2) secondly, complain as KEEPER to Sainsburys head office in writing (or by email), as an occupant of the vehicle (do not reveal who was driving) and insist that they cancel it due to patronage (prove it with receipts or redacted bank statements etc) and due to what the customer had been told
    As Redx says this should get it cancelled. Lay it on thick with your complaint - you are a regular customer spending £££s on a regular basis. The only reason you were even there was to spend money in their shop. They have a duty of care to ensure their customer are not taken advantage of.

    As if shopping isn't stressful enough with 2 young children you shouldn't have put up with the hassle of messing about with a faulty machine and having to traipse in and out of the shop faffing about with vouchers which won't scan.

    You shop with Sainsbury's because you believe them to be a reputable company who can be trusted with your family's shopping needs. You do not expect them to expose you to the nefarious practices of a private parking company who issue outrageous charges for minor infringements which in this case are a result of their own faulty machines.

    Tell them that the private parking industry has a terrible reputation for preying on innocent motorists. So much so that it was subject to parliamentary debate this week.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=72292389

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/parliament-discuss-unfair-parking.html
  • Guys_DadGuys_Dad Forumite
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    As above - but also remind Sainsbury about the Grace periods referred to in the BPA Code of Practice and also adopted by councils that gives you 10 minutes over time.

    http://www.britishparking.co.uk/write/Documents/AOS_Code_of_Practice_October_2014_update_V5..pdf

    and also POPLA's annual report on Grace periods https://popla.co.uk/docs/default-source/default-document-library/popla_annualreport_2015.pdf?sfvrsn=2

    Appeal on that point with Horizon as well.
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    We just received the PCN, and the car was registered leaving the car park 9 minutes over the 2 hours, and the reason for issuance of the PCN is "Exceeded Maximum Stay Period (ANPR) - Overstay Duration: 9 mins".
    Wow, I would say this PCN was issued contrary to the BPA CoP and gives you grounds to complain to the Information Commissioner about them obtaining your DVLA data. Then if the ICO agree, you can sue for compensation for data misuse.

    The BPA CoP states a MINIMUM of ten minutes MUST be allowed.

    Horizon had no reasonable cause to obtain your data at all.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
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