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GXS Services Shoreham Port - Final Demand BW legal

ronnie1977
ronnie1977 Posts: 26
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edited 17 December 2023 at 9:18PM in Parking tickets, fines & parking
Hi All, I have been following the advice in the newbies thread about a parking charge from GXS services at Shoreham Port. I have now received a Final Demand from BW Legal where they say if they don't hear from me by the 25th of December I will be sent a letter of claim.

I know its late on but the thing I haven't done yet is send a letter to the landowner so I have drafted the below (quite lengthy complaint!) which also gives all the history. I wondered if anyone could look over it and give me any comments or suggestions? Is there anything additional that I could be doing particularly around the protection of freedoms act that might get this cancelled (such as complaining to the IPC or DVLA) or do I just need to wait for the letter of claim and court? Any advice at this stage would be much appreciated. 

Dear Sirs, 
 

Unfortunately, I would like to make a complaint about GXS services Limited which I understand are the parking agents at the Ladybee enterprise centre which is an area which Shoreham Port is the Landowner. I live locally to the port. 

On the 6th of June 2023 I received a Notice to Keeper from GXS Services Limited, the letter gave sparse information but was an invoice for £100 for an alleged parking event which occurred on the 1st of May 2023 (the letter had arrived 7 days from the date of posting that was on the notice, which seemed strange, however became a theme with subsequent communications from GXS). I wanted to contact GXS about this unsolicited invoice however quite incredibly the letter stated that ‘the ability to appeal the charge was no longer available’! 

GXS claim that at the time the parking charge was incurred, a notice to driver was ‘affixed’ to the vehicle, and that there was only 21 days from the date of the notice to appeal. As supposed evidence of this they include a picture on their website, however I have downloaded and attached this picture and you can clearly see that the notice was not affixed to the windscreen and must have been placed there for the purposes of taking the picture. Were it to have been affixed it would have been stuck flat against the screen, however you can clearly see that this is not the case and that the sides and corners curl up. In a windy port area, there was little chance of this notice remaining on the vehicle.

As GXS own evidence shows that the notice to driver was not affixed to the windscreen, then the notice to keeper I received is not compliant with the Protection of Freedoms Act as it should have been received within 14 days.  

According to GXS the only way to communicate with them at this point was to send a letter! They do supposedly offer the functionality to appeal through their website, however I was prevented from doing this, and the website stated that the time to appeal had expired. I therefore sent them a letter disputing the charge and asking for more information. Having no confidence that the letter would be responded to, I also searched the internet and found an email address for them and sent the same communication to [email protected]. I have attached a copy to this email. 

I received no reply to either the letter or the email and in the meantime GXS sent me further communication ‘a final reminder’, however now the charge had increased to £160 without explanation! The letter was received on the 5th of July although it stated that it had been posted on the 29th of June! The letter advised that if payment was not received within 7 days (a period that had already expired), the matter would be referred to a company called trace debt recovery. 

I subsequently received a letter from trace debt recovery dated the 13th of July, the charge had now increased to an eye watering £170! It’s useful to note that the addition of these fake add on fees is routinely thrown out by judges dealing with parking court cases, and, was referred to as “An attempt at extortion,” by Neil O’Brien MP, when he was the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). The DLUHC estimated the cost of Debt recovery per case at £8.42, 8 times less that the £70 add on fee applied in this case. 

Trace sent me several letters threatening legal proceedings and again confirming that there was no option to appeal the charge. I am now receiving further letters from BW legal including a final demand dated the 20th of November 2023. Is clear from the wording of their letters, which state that ‘until these are paid ‘further collections activity (which could be, where relevant, letters, emails, calls, SMS) will continue’, that the purpose of these companies is to pressurise motorists in to paying these extortionate fees in a manner which could be considered as harassment.  

One final point I have relates to the signage on site which is unclear. From the pictures provided by GXS you can see that the vehicle was charging at the time. I have visited the site and it is not clear what the relationship is between payments for charging and payments for parking. I am not sure if the charging facility is provided by GXS or yourselves, however it is normal elsewhere in the area that when cars are charging that they do not pay an additional charge for parking. When an additional charge is payable this is normally clearly stated on the signage, whereas charging is not mentioned at all in this instance. As you may be aware the process of charging a vehicle, plugging in, downloading an app, and paying can be quite onerous and take a lot of focus, If the signage is not very clear then you cannot expect motorists to pay additional charges on top.

As a community focused organisation, I am sure that you will shocked and horrified at the behaviour of your parking agent who are not following the correct process, claiming additional ‘fake’ add on fees, making it difficult for motorists to appeal and not responding to communications. The actions of GXS have been causing me a lot of stress and anxiety, and I would be grateful if you would instruct them to cancel the parking charge and stop their associated debt recovery companies from harassing me. I hope that you will also do something about the management of parking going forward to resolve some of the issues I have highlighted above, if you look online Shoreham port is getting a very bad reputation based on the behaviour of this company which I am sure will be deterring people from visiting the port area and engaging with the companies there such as the Port Kitchen.

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Comments

  • Umkomaas
    Umkomaas Posts: 41,138
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    Hi All, I am in the process of 
    ...... of what?  
    Please note, we are not a legal advice forum. I personally don't get involved in critiquing court case Defences/Witness Statements, so unable to help on that front. Please don't ask. .

    I provide only my personal opinion, it is not a legal opinion, it is simply a personal one. I am not a lawyer.

    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.

    Private Parking Firms - Killing the High Street
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,290
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    edited 17 December 2023 at 9:10PM
    Ignoring GXS at Shoreham Port, I hope!

    IMHO the signage is shocking there.  Seen so many people caught out there.  IMHO GXS' presence ruins the reputation of the Harbour side of the road. You can park free on street in Southwick otherwise.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Umkomaas said:
    Hi All, I am in the process of 
    ...... of what?  
    Sorry, posted by accident! Full details are on there now! Thanks for replying so quickly.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,290
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    edited 17 December 2023 at 11:38PM
    I'd remove almost all of the paragraphs about letters and just show that as a chronology, a timeline in bullet points. It will be less distracting and easier for the landowner.
     Also remove 'of' in all your dates which is bad grammar when written down.

    I like the bit about the PCN (likely an empty yellow envelope in my experience) being allegedly placed only for the photo opportunity.  Doing that - if they did - lets a rogue parking firm deny the driver/keeper the discount. Clever, innit?

    Remove this because the landowner won't have the foggiest clue what you mean (and they don't have to use the POFA):
    As GXS own evidence shows that the notice to driver was not affixed to the windscreen, then the notice to keeper I received is not compliant with the Protection of Freedoms Act as it should have been received within 14 days.

    So, make the complaint a third as long by huge culling and a chronology of single lines for the letters.

    And if you are local go for a walk there some days with your phone and try to catch secret images of their guy 'ghost ticketing'.  Southwick Port makes for a nice walk doesn't it?  Go catch him, even if it takes weeks.

    I'm the lady filmed on Shoreham Beach in the 'Parking: The Big Con?' documentary with Alexis Conran last year (still viewable!).  Suffice it to say, I'm localism. West Sussex.

    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
  • I'd remove almost all of the paragraphs about letters and just show that as a chronology, a timeline in bullet points. It will be less distracting and easier for the landowner.
     Also remove 'of' in all your dates which is bad grammar when written down.

    I like the bit about the PCN (likely an empty yellow envelope in my experience) being allegedly placed only for the photo opportunity.  Doing that - if they did - lets a rogue parking firm deny the driver/keeper the discount. Clever, innit?

    Remove this because the landowner won't have the foggiest clue what you mean (and they don't have to use the POFA):
    As GXS own evidence shows that the notice to driver was not affixed to the windscreen, then the notice to keeper I received is not compliant with the Protection of Freedoms Act as it should have been received within 14 days.

    So, make the complaint a third as long by huge culling and a chronology of single lines for the letters.

    And if you are local go for a walk there some days with your phone and try to catch secret images of their guy 'ghost ticketing'.  Southwick Port makes for a nice walk doesn't it?  Go catch him, even if it takes weeks.

    I'm the lady filmed on Shoreham Beach in the 'Parking: The Big Con?' documentary with Alexis Conran last year (still viewable!).  Suffice it to say, I'm localism. West Sussex.

    Thanks for this Coupon-mad. I will follow your advice and cut the content down so as I don't send the landlord to sleep! 

    Yes they really are an unscrupulous bunch aren't they GXS, I wonder when the port authority will realise the damage that they are doing and kick them off site....

    Ive seen that documentary and think thats it's great what you are doing to raise awareness of the actions of these rogue companies and to campaign for change.
  • Umkomaas
    Umkomaas Posts: 41,138
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    Yes they really are an unscrupulous bunch aren't they GXS, I wonder when the port authority will realise the damage that they are doing and kick them off site....
    Probably when the current contract expires, as to do anything earlier will invoke expensive cancellation clauses. So many landowners sign up to these contracts without reading the eye-watering small print!
    Please note, we are not a legal advice forum. I personally don't get involved in critiquing court case Defences/Witness Statements, so unable to help on that front. Please don't ask. .

    I provide only my personal opinion, it is not a legal opinion, it is simply a personal one. I am not a lawyer.

    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.

    Private Parking Firms - Killing the High Street
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,290
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    edited 18 December 2023 at 11:32PM
    I seem to recall the previous incumbent was Ethical Parking, another name used by One Parking Solution (ex-clampers).

    I recall helping with a POPLA appeal where 'Ethical' produced a landowner authority signed by the named person at the Port Authority.

    When I Googled him, turns out he'd apparently permanently relocated to Bermuda two years BEFORE he supposedly signed the document.

    This is the calibre of private parking firms, especially those inflicted at Southwick along the port area.  Classy stuff. Not...

    Not firms deserving of anyone's money IMHO.


    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • ronnie1977
    ronnie1977 Posts: 26
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    Hi, I have now received a letter of claim from BW legal.

    I have found the template to send them on the newbies thread but before I send it off I had a couple of questions.

    1) On the newbies thread I cant find any mention of sending a subject access request to the parking operator. I am sure I had seen somewhere that you send a SAR at the letter of claim stage? 

    2) below the template communication it states that:  'You can briefly also state (ABOVE those two questions) your reasons for disputing the claim and/or state (if true) it was so long ago you have no idea what it's about and/or (if true) that you were not the driver and do not believe their client can hold the keeper liable.'
    I am presuming that the purpose of this is that it might encourage BW legal not to proceed with the claim? In which case is it worth putting in here about the Ghost ticketing? Am I right in saying that as the NTD window ticket was not served, a NTK should have been sent within 14 days and therefore the parking operator cannot hold the keeper liable?

    GXS have provided a picture of the ticket on the window but you can clearly see that it's not stuck down. 

    Any advice would be much appreciated. 
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,290
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    edited 14 January at 3:34PM
    Yes you are right with all that.

    Do mention that the keeper suspects ghost ticketing. If GXS have photos of a ticket/yellow envelope not stuck down then you can say so and suggest this is a rogue ticketer using a yellow envelope as a prop for the photo, which enables a parking operator to wait a month then not offer the discount. 

    Be robust. Angry. Pushy.

    No 'Hi' or kind regards!

    Where EXACTLY at Southwick (Shoreham Port isn't Shoreham) did this happen?
    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
  • ronnie1977
    ronnie1977 Posts: 26
    First Anniversary First Post
    Forumite
    Yes you are right with all that.

    Do mention that the keeper suspects ghost ticketing. If GXS have photos of a ticket/yellow envelope not stuck down then you can say so and suggest this is a rogue ticketer using a yellow envelope as a prop for the photo, which enables a parking operator to wait a month then not offer the discount. 

    Be robust. Angry. Pushy.

    No 'Hi' or kind regards!

    Where EXACTLY at Southwick (Shoreham Port isn't Shoreham) did this happen?
    Thanks Coupon-mad. Its the Lady Bee Enterprise Centre.
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