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Parking Eye Defence- County Claim

Hello All, 

Thanks in advance for your help on this. I've received a county claim from Parking Eye for a ticket I haven't paid. The claim is as follows (sorry it's so wordy): 


Amount Claimed
£120.00
Court Fee
£35.00
Solicitor Costs
£50.00
 
 
Total Amount
£205.00
Issue Date
22/01/2024


POC entered car park without valid parking ticket. 

The acknowledgement was received on 15/02/24.

Question 1) I worked out that that was the last date it could be accepted is that right? Also is it right that my defence is due on 6/03?

In brief, I was a visitor to a residential site, signs said visitors could authenticate reg for free parking, the means to authenticate didn't work/couldn't be located, I paid for parking retrospectively but it late became apparent I overstayed by 27 mins. I appealed to Parking Eye and they rejected it. I appealed through POPLA and they rejected it, I received the LBCC where Parking Eye added £20 and I didn't get round to emailing them. Now we're at the CC point.

 Background of the situation- I was visiting a friend at a residential property the signage said visitors have free parking but must authenticate their vehicle at the terminal. My friend mentioned that there was also an online way to authenticate, Parking Eye had given residents a QR code that was meant to lead to a page that I could enter my reg number. The page wouldn't load/was a broken link/was decommissioned. I opted to try to authenticate in person so when I entered the car park and parked my car and I went out in search of the terminal (with my two toddlers). There was no signage for the terminal, and so I went to reception where I thought it would be- it wasn't there and the receptionist/door man didn't know where it was, he told me to ask my friend that I was visiting who of course didn't know where it was. When I got to my friend's house I tried again to sort the online page and it still wasn't working. I went on with the rest of the visit and thought I will sort it later. I returned to my car and saw there was an option to pay for parking, I estimated that I was there for around 2 hours and so paid for the parking using paybyphone, settled my children in the car, set up the Sat nav and drove off. 

I then received the fine, appealed it on the grounds that I had paid for parking, they rejected on the grounds that it wasn't enough I had been there for 2 hrs 27 mins and only paid for 2 hours. They also said 2 or 3 other cars had authenticated their parking on their system so it was in good working order. I then appealed to POPLA citing the above that the means to authenticate didn't work. I added that the 27 mins extra I would have been looking for the terminal, getting ready to leave. They rejected it as well- I hadn't given evidence of online website not loading (I gave them a link instead of a screenshot of it not loading), they sided with Parking Eye in terms of authentication must work (that is false as those cars could have been authenticated in ways I wasn't aware of or didn't have access to as a visitor). 

I had tried to email the site manager/property management to complain/get it cancelled- they apparently recently changed management. It turns out that the QR code/ online authentication was indeed decomissioned but they didn't communicate that until after my visit. I visited 4/8/23 they sent an email to residents on 16/8/23 which I have evidence of. 

I now need to prepare a defence.

I'll post my draft in a moment. I've tried to ensure I've copied the right template as so many other threads point out.

Q2) I need help on how much info I give at this point and if this is defendable? And also if the folllowing points are important to discuss or not- the whole overstaying 27 mins wasn't my fault (I believe) I didn't check the time i entered the car park as I expected to have free parking, so I had to estimate. Any extra time was likely spent me looking for terminal and preparing to leave, I was with two young children and pregnant. Additionally, there isn't the option to pay for half an hour, for parking I guess you can't round down as it was closer to 2 hours than 3? 

Truly appreciate the support. 

Comments

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 131,514 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary


    Issue Date
    22/01/2024

    POC entered car park without valid parking ticket. 
    The acknowledgement was received on 15/02/24. 

    Question 1) I worked out that that was the last date it could be accepted is that right? Also is it right that my defence is due on 6/03?
    No your dates are wrong. See what @KeithP has to say.
    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


  • Issue Date
    22/01/2024

    POC entered car park without valid parking ticket. 
    The acknowledgement was received on 15/02/24. 

    Question 1) I worked out that that was the last date it could be accepted is that right? Also is it right that my defence is due on 6/03?
    No your dates are wrong. See what @KeithP has to say.
    Thanks for your response. I was worried I'd sent in acknowledgement too late, but there's not much I can do about that now. I just gave birth so was behind on things. Also don't know last date for defence. Either way will try to send defend in latest Monday now I've been able to post for advice.
  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,600 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 23 February at 12:58AM
    I've received a county claim from Parking Eye...
    Issue Date
    22/01/2024

    The acknowledgement was received on 15/02/24.

    Question 1) I worked out that that was the last date it could be accepted is that right? Also is it right that my defence is due on 6/03?

    With a Claim Issue Date of 22nd January, you had until Monday 12th February to file an Acknowledgment of Service.
    You missed that deadline. There was nothing to be gained by delaying filing an Acknowledgment of Service and by trying to do that you have given the Claimant the opportunity to seek a Default Judgment against you. 

    You might want to check your MCOL Claim History. If a Default Judgment has already been recorded, then not much point on you rushing to file a Defence.

    However, if no Default Judgment has been recorded yet, and no Acknowledgment of Service has been logged, best get your Defence filed very quickly - before 8am tomorrow morning.

    On the other hand, if your MCOL Claim History shows your Acknowledgment of Service has been accepted and no Judgment has yet been made, then you have until 4pm on Monday 26th February 2024 to file your Defence.
    That's just a few days away. 
    To create a Defence, and then file a Defence by email, look at the second post in the NEWBIES thread.
    Do not try and file a Defence via the MoneyClaimOnline website. Once an Acknowledgment of Service has been filed, the MCOL website should be treated as 'read only'.
  • Thanks for this reply, I've prepared a defence that's probably as best as I can do for now which I'm posting below. My MCOL website mentions an AoS was submitted on 15/02 and I'll send in the defence today by email during working hours as per your other helpful posts. If anyone can have a look at my defence I'm posting below and offer any major edits I'd be most grateful. Thanks.

    I've used the template and I'm copying the bits I've edited. 

    The facts known to the Defendant:

    1.     The facts in this defence come from the Defendant's own knowledge and honest belief.  Conversely, the Claimant sets out a cut-and-paste incoherent and sparse statement of case. The POC appear to be in breach of CPR 16.4, 16PD3 and 16PD7, and fail to "state all facts necessary for the purpose of formulating a complete cause of action". The Defendant is unable, on the basis of the POC, to understand with certainty what case, allegation(s) and what heads of cost are being pursued, making it difficult to respond. However, the vehicle is recognised and it is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper and driver.

    2.     The Claimant mentions that the Defendant’s car was captured by their ANPR systems entering and leaving the site on 04/08/23 and parking without paying to park. This is false and the Claimant admits to that in their rejection of the Defendant’s appeal. They recognise the fact that the Defendant paid for 2 hours parking on said date. The Defendant was a permitted visitor to the given site and as per the signage displayed at the site on said date visitors were afforded free parking with a valid visitor permit authenticated at a terminal or online. Unfortunately, there was no terminal available for the Defendant to authenticate visitor parking; upon arrival and reading the signs the Defendant went out in search of the terminal to authenticate their parking and could not find it. The Defendant went to the reception to ask for the terminal and the receptionist did not know where the terminal was. The Defendant then went to visit their friend and attempted to use the designated online system for authenticating visitor parking which the Claimant had told residents to share with their visitors. The Defendant was unable to authenticate the visitor parking despite trying to consistently, the website was not operational on the date of visit and the Defendant has evidence of this. The Defendant then returned to their car and estimated the amount of time they had been on site and paid for parking retrospectively, set up the SAT NAV for their subsequent journey before promptly leaving the site.  

    3.     It is important to note that the Defendant has appealed both to the Claimant and to POPLA and in both appeals both organisations fail to address the points raised by the Defendant pertaining to the location of the terminal for vehicle registration number authentication and the failing of the designated online system for VRN authentication also. The Claimant must provide evidence that the Defendant truly had the ability to authenticate their VRN during their visit as per the signage at the site. This includes the exact location of the terminal and whether that location was accessible to visitors to the site especially as the unclear signage did not direct to its location.

    4.     The Defendant’s payment for parking for an estimated 2 hours was made in goodwill and to avoid parking charges, despite there not being a necessity to do so as the Defendant had followed due process in trying to authenticate their VRN using the avenues the Claimant provided which were found to be faulty. The Claimant’s rejection of the Defendant’s appeal mentions an alleged overstay of 27 minutes given that the ANPR system captures that the Defendant spent 2 hours and 27 minutes on site whilst the Defendant only had evidence of paying for 2 hours. It is important to recognise that the Defendant did not note the time of entering the site for the purposes of parking as they had not expected to need to pay for their parking duration given that they were a visitor and visitors were afforded free parking with authentication of their VRN. Therefore the only thing the Defendant could do was estimate their time on site. This time was

    5.     Additionally, as per the Private Parking Code of Practice, the Defendant was entitled to a minimum of 5 minutes consideration period, and an additional 10 minute grace period upon exit, totalling a minimum of 15 minutes additional time. The 5 minutes consideration period was clearly not a sufficient amount of time for the Defendant as they had to walk around the site searching for the terminal whilst with young children and whilst also pregnant. They were unable to find the terminal and so then spent time trying to authenticate their VRN using the designated online system which was faulty. Additionally, while leaving the facility, the Defendant must highlight that they were travelling with small children and thus settling them and fastening them safely to their car seats upon arrival as well as setting up the SAT NAV took time. It took the Defendant around 13 minutes to leave the facility once everyone was safely seated in the car. The alleged late exit of the Defendant’s vehicle from the car park was due to circumstances beyond the Defendant’s control, and as such constitutes frustration of contract.

    6.     In calculating the alleged overstay of the parking period using vehicle entry/exit time, as recorded by ANPR cameras, the Claimant has denied the Defendant 5 minutes consideration period and the 10 minutes grace period. In addition, the code defines the parking period as follows, which the Claimant has not followed: "2.24 parking period - the length of time that a vehicle has been parked, i.e. left stationary otherwise than in the course of driving, after any relevant consideration period has expired (excluding instances where the driver has stopped to enable passengers to leave or enter the vehicle). This is not the period between a vehicle being recorded as entering and departing controlled land."

    7.     In calculating the time duration of the alleged contract breach, the Claimant has recorded the duration of the parking event as the time between the Defendant’s vehicle entering and exiting the car park, as captured by ANPR cameras. It is denied that this is an accurate representation of the parking event, the contract between the Defendant and the Claimant only began when the Defendant paid for the parking using “paybyphone app” after failing to authenticate their VRN using the faulty systems provided by the Claimant. The start time of the contract therefore was much later than the time the Defendant’s vehicle entered the car park. This is supported by National Car Parks Ltd v Revenue And Customs [2019] EWCA Civ 854 (20 May 2019) “The best analysis would seem to be that the contract was brought into being when the green button was pressed. On that basis, the pressing of the green button would represent acceptance by the customer of an offer by NCP to provide an hour's parking in return for the coins that the customer had by then paid into the machine.”

    8.     The Defendant knew that no offence or mischief had occurred and honestly believed from initial research, that private parking charges and the appeals systems were unlikely to be fairly weighted in favour of consumers.

    9.     This fact was later confirmed in all readings of the Private Parking Code of Practice Bill, from February 2018 to date, where MPs universally condemned the entire industry as operating 'an outrageous scam' typically relying upon hidden, punitive terms that purposely rely on drivers not seeing an unexpected obligation. Both the British Parking Association ('BPA') Trade Body and indeed, ParkingEye themselves were specifically named and shamed more than once in Parliament and the Bill was introduced purely because the industry is out of control, self regulation has failed, and in many cases any 'appeal' is futile.

     

    10. The Claimant will concede that no financial loss has arisen and that in order to impose an inflated parking charge, as well as proving a term was breached, there must be:

    (i). a strong 'legitimate interest' extending beyond mere compensation for loss, and

    (Ii). 'adequate notice' of the 'penalty clause' charge which, in the case of a car park, requires prominent signs and lines.


  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 131,514 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    That's good but there's an extra point to add. Search the forum for

    ParkingEye £120 not on signs
    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
  • That's good but there's an extra point to add. Search the forum for

    ParkingEye £120 not on signs
    Thanks a lot, I've found the point and added it and just emailed over the defence. I'll start working on the next points
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