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Playing the parking companies at their own game

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  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 131,479 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    Now you are talking.  A claim for damages for harassment can have merit but only if they were not entitled to pursue the debt.
    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
  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    Debszzzz2 said:
    Jopkins said:
    You say it's a not dissimilar case, but I think it's verydissimilar. For one; he was the defendant, and it was intended as a line of defence. I am interested in taking this forward as a claimant, not a defendant. Secondly; trying to "sell" information that the parking company likely had a right to know is very clearly unreasonable. Thirdly, the defendant was liable to be charged as he was the registered keeper, as it was his responsibility.

    The second point there is important; he was attempting to charge the company for something which they had a right to know. My point here is that the company DON'T have a right to send me these letters after I've asked them not to - but they have continue. I COULD possibly pursue harassment if I wanted, but instead, I have opted to charge them for doing the thing I have asked them not to do (just as they would charge me for doing what they've instructed me I don't have a right to do - park in a space). If they have a legal right to send me these letters regardless, then I don't have a leg to stand on, much like how they couldn't charge me if I have a legal right to park where I did (which I did, via the permit). However, as far as I know, they don't have a right to do that, so I'm trying to test whether I am able to charge them as a result.
    I think that many of us would like to see you get one over on the scammers. However, many legally trained professionals would appear to have a "glass half empty" attitude when it comes to advice before taking legal action.

    Haver you tried sending them an invoice yet for their breach of contract? Have they responded to that? Have you sent them the ubiquitous reminders? Have you added a fee to the invoice as it has now been handed to your internal debt recovery department? Have you sent them a Letter of Claim?

    I would love to read about how this progresses. If you have a few hundred £ that you can afford to risk, I'm sure there are many on here who would wish you good luck. Have you thought about maybe trying to crowdfund so you can get proper legal advice before moving on to actual legal action?
    As long as there are a few drops in that glass I don't mind spending a few hundred quid trying to drink from it!

    I have sent them eight invoices so far, for their eight letters they have sent to me. They have ignored everything so far. Initially I sent them a reduced £50 "pay in 14 days" invoice with the exact wording that they use, then two weeks later, an updated £100 "Please pay all now" invoice, with a reminder. I have not added any fees, however, as I didn't state that I would, and I didn't want to push it more than I need to. I suppose I could send them an email stating that on the basis of eight unpaid invoices, if payment is not made within 21 days then an admin charge of £70 will be added to each invoice - what do you think?

    Good idea about crowdfunding, although I actually run a charity so most of my crowdfunding goes on that. If anyone on here wants to help me take a swing at it, go for it haha!
  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    Now you are talking.  A claim for damages for harassment can have merit but only if they were not entitled to pursue the debt.
    Quick aside as I don't know the forum etiquette - am I supposed to be clicking "quote" on each person I reply to?

    This is exactly my point, however rather than claiming I'm being harassed - e.g. that I can't deal with their actions - my claim is that I can deal with their actions, I just require payment in order to do so, for my time and inconvenience. We both know they have no legal right to repeatedly contact me, so I want to make the argument that if they are doing something to my detriment to which they have no right to do, then I have a right to charge them. It would be the same principle as charging junk mail deliverers for sending it, which I know has been suggested in theory but the downfall is that it would be virtually impossible to actually contact and track them down - which isn't so in this case. Companies very often give an "admin charge" for these kind of things, and that's essentially what I want to do.

    Ultimately, if they had stopped mailing and texting me when I'd asked them to, I'd have no claim over them - it'd be unreasonable for me to claim otherwise. However, as they have continued with something unreasonable and to my detriment, I do want to bring a claim against them, and I want it to be as strong as possible, which is why I'm looking for help.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 131,479 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    We both know they have no legal right to repeatedly contact me.
    But they do.

    Like I said 'a claim for damages for harassment can have merit but only if they were not entitled to pursue the debt'.
    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
  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    We both know they have no legal right to repeatedly contact me.
    But they do.

    Like I said 'a claim for damages for harassment can have merit but only if they were not entitled to pursue the debt'.
    Sure, but in this instance, I have provided them with photo proof of the fact that I had a permit, and pointed out to them that in their "evidence", their photo didn't include the driver side window, which was where the permit was displayed. Do you think they're able to pursue the debt even where I have demonstrated to them that I am not in violation of their contract?
  • MacPingu1986
    MacPingu1986 Posts: 171 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Jopkins said:
    We both know they have no legal right to repeatedly contact me.
    But they do.

    Like I said 'a claim for damages for harassment can have merit but only if they were not entitled to pursue the debt'.
    Sure, but in this instance, I have provided them with photo proof of the fact that I had a permit, and pointed out to them that in their "evidence", their photo didn't include the driver side window, which was where the permit was displayed. Do you think they're able to pursue the debt even where I have demonstrated to them that I am not in violation of their contract?
    Based on what you've said, any attempt by the parking company to pursue the debt will fail.

    That doesn't mean that sending letters to you constitutes acceptance of your fee schedule.
  • pould
    pould Posts: 251 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Jopkins said:
    pould said:
    Jopkins said:
    pould said:
    Jopkins said:
    You can file a claim for damages for distress for abuse of your data, if you think you have grounds.

    See the current threads by @pould and @Anto_28 who are both suing a PPC.

    But your approach has no legs and is arguably unreasonable conduct.  A cautionary tale:

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.com/2017/01/parkingeye-win-and-are-awarded.html?m=1
    Thanks for that. I do think this is a far cry from unreasonable behaviour though; I have presented them with evidence that I had a permit, and they have elected to pursue me anyway, meaning I have to deal with their mail and texts frequently (no idea how they got my number!). In my view, that is the unreasonable behaviour, and I am simply trying to ensure I'm compensated for my time.

    I would of course really like to put the shoe on the other foot and see whether the public can take them to court, rather than the other way around - I've got time and don't mind the faff, so if I am able to successfully invoice them for this, that would help other people too.

    I don't really want to claim for abuse of data or distress as I think that would seem a lot more unreasonable than simply charging a reasonable fee - as they do themselves - for my time in dealing with their requests. I just want to give myself the best possible chance in court. 

    I'm confused as to what it is you want to take the PPC to court for, if not a data breach or distress / harassment. Surely a Tort would be on one of those two grounds?
    Hi - my claim would be for unpaid invoices. In the same way that they want to take me to court for not paying their PCNs, as per my original post, after I provided evidence that I was not in breach of contract, they therefore had no reason to be contacting me. So, I informed them that I would issue an Unwanted Contact Charge (using all their own language against them) for each occurrence. Then, each time they sent me a letter or a text, I have sent them an invoice, which so far have gone ignored. 

    Basically, their whole business model (let's ignore for a moment that I had a permit) is that each time I park in a spot without a permit, I agree to pay them £100. So, I have turned it around and given them a clear notice that each time they write to me regarding this specific PCN (after I have given clear evidence that I am not in breach of their terms) they agree to pay me £100, for the trouble of dealing with their correspondence. 

    So I'm not looking for "damages" as such, but trying to use their own business model against them.
    Did the PPC agree to a contract with you to pay you each time they sent a letter? If not, you don't have any chance of winning such a tort.

    The law is clear - a contract has to be entered into willingly on both sides. Unless you can demonstrate the PPC consented to the contract, it's game over. 

    These things are much better dealt with by arguing a data breach and harassment. 
    They entered into it by sending me letters after I asked them to stop - exactly in the same way that they would argue that you or I enter into a contract with them by using a parking space. Do you think there is a material, legal difference?

    Massive material difference.
    They would argue that they were sending post to you in good faith and had a valid business reason to do so (chasing unpaid debts).
    What you're suggesting is akin to posting a sign outside your door saying "if you ring my doorbell, you agree to pay £100". It's not a fair contract because to enter into it prevents people engaging in lawful acts (delivering post etc) and engaging in reasonable every day actions. A judge would dismiss it instantly.
  • pould
    pould Posts: 251 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Jopkins said: 
    My point here is that the company DON'T have a right to send me these letters after I've asked them not to
    And this is where your tort falls over, because they DO have a right to ask you in a reasonable manner to pay an outstanding invoice (as they see it).
    Do you really think if you owed a credit card company money, you could send them a letter saying "If you send me invoices I will charge you £100 per invoice. Sending me an invoice constitutes acceptance of these terms."?
    You don't have a case and any reasonable solicitor will tell you so.


  • pould
    pould Posts: 251 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 14 February at 10:38AM
    Jopkins said:
    I have not added any fees, however, as I didn't state that I would, and I didn't want to push it more than I need to. I suppose I could send them an email stating that on the basis of eight unpaid invoices, if payment is not made within 21 days then an admin charge of £70 will be added to each invoice - what do you think?
    I think that unless those charges had been laid out clearly in the original contract, you're making exactly the same bullying mistake the PPCs make. Even if they were, they could be challenged as unreasonable (what does the £70 actually represent?)
    I'm trying to be gentle here with you, but you are giving the impression of someone who has no familiarity with the law in this area and is going to get absolutely mauled if you ever appear in front of a judge. In fact, a case presented on these arguments might not even appear in front of a judge - if I was defending I would move to dismiss on the basis your case has no merit.
  • Anto_28
    Anto_28 Posts: 151 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    If this was my case, rather than play what appears to be a silly game with them, I'd be going down the same route as myself and @pould and hit them for the DPA/GDPR breaches.

    I also had my permit on display (and have evidence from my side and the PPC side in the form of an evidence photo from the PPCs employee!) and was served a PCN and the action I'm taken is fully merited.

    I'm sure a judge will take actions into consideration when a case is put before him and the route me and pould are taking will be seen to be professional, while I personally think your actions will be deemed highly unreasonable IMHO.
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