MSE News: Clampdown on cowboy clampers revealed by Government

This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Motorists could soon challenge unfair wheel clamping through independent tribunals, the Government has announced today ..."
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  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    Important questions arise which will only become clearer in time.
    1) Who runs the tribunal and pays for it? What teeth will it have?
    2)Will the law of contract be overturned or will it still have a place? If still in place what is the point of a tribunal.?
    3)What regs will clampers have to follow? What enforcement will there be to ensure they cough up?
    4) What will be the position of landowners who at present are also liable?
    5)What is there going to be in place to prevent clampers from morphing to get out of paying?
    6) Will there be insistence on non cash payment to stop them taking the money and running?
    7) Will they be responsible for damage to vehicles?
    I'm sure there's a lot more but that's a start.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • CoblcrisCoblcris Forumite
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    Forcing clampers to be bonded as a condition of license would be useful.
  • trisontanatrisontana Forumite
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    Coblcris wrote: »
    Forcing clampers to be bonded as a condition of license would be useful.

    Outlawing private clamping in the England (as it has been in Scotland) would be even more useful.
    What part of "A whop bop-a-lu a whop bam boo" don't you understand?
  • greenfacegreenface Forumite
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    Mortgage-free Glee!
    whats in it for the government
    :cool: hard as nails on the internet . wimp in the real world :cool:
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    taxes, taxes and more taxes.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    greenface wrote: »
    whats in it for the government


    Money (as always), publicity and 'positive' things for their chinless wonder candidates to crow about before the election.
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  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Might be good for some MSEers and pepipoo posters near enough to Enfield to go along to this after all we are all 'employed in a parking/clamping advice capacity' (albeit voluntarily and not on the side of the clampers...;)).

    Just time to register your interest in attending:

    (quoted directly from parkingreview.co.uk/news):

    SIA backs national immobiliser meeting 6 Jan 2010 | Issue Online | Events > The parking calendar

    The fifth Vehicle Immobiliser Network meeting will be held in Enfield on Tuesday 16 March. The meeting is being organised and facilitated by Newline* Securities with the full support of the Security Industry Authority (SIA).
    The event is an opportunity for those working in the vehicle immobilisation sector to engage with the SIA and others in their industry. Delegates will be able to discuss and explore issues about the industry and regulation.
    The event forms part of the SIA’s stakeholder engagement strategy and follows the successes of the meetings held in January and November 2008, and March and September 2009.
    If you would like to attend the meeting, which is free of charge, please visit www.the-sia.org.uk/vi-network to register your interest by 5 February.




    * P.S. I have mentioned before that Newline were recently kicked out of BPA membership (also reported on Parking Review website).
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  • edited 29 January 2010 at 11:35PM
    Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    edited 29 January 2010 at 11:35PM
    Another article from Parking Review website (in which the CAB are quoted as saying they would support a ban on clamping if the appeals process was unfair):

    QUOTE
    The Citizens Advice Bureau is calling for more focused regulations on unfair practices by private parking companies. In the three years from April 2006 to March 2009 complaints to the bureau about parking based problems in England and Wales rose by 52%.
    Complaints concerning clamping firms have increased from 8,514 in 2005-06 to 12,900 in 2008-09. Most cases included mention of inadequate signage warning of clamping risks and the charges; or unreasonable additional charges being applied.
    Common grievances were the speed of clamping and subsequent towing away of the vehicle, and the time it takes to release a vehicle afterwards.
    Other objections included failure to acknowledge parking permits and blue badges; the difficulty of determining the legitimacy of the clampers, and the lack of a complaints and appeals process and procedure.
    David Harker, Citizens Advice Bureau’s chief executive, said: “There is a serious imbalance of power between car owners and private parking companies. The objective of those who demand payment seems to be to make money, not to ensure fair parking. Furthermore, there is currently no right for consumers to appeal fines or seek redress.
    “The government has said they are planning to do something about this issue. We want proper regulation in this sector that the parking public can understand and can see is fair.”
    The charity wants the current regulator for the industry the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to be given more powers so that, as well as licensing, they can also deal with companies found to be operating unfairly. It also wants the SIA to be able to demand that firms return money to those they have overcharged.

    “We consider that if the industry can’t be regulated in a way that the public can see is fair, transparent, reasonable and proportionate then Citizens Advice believes there should be a ban on private clamping, which is already the case in Scotland,” said Harker.

    QUOTE




    BUT!
    Am I reading this right?

    The CAB thinks that the SIA would be the best bet to act fairly as an independent regulator? The same SIA which is in cahoots with a BPA-banned clamping firm at their planned immobilisers' meeting, where they will discuss 'issues about the industry and regulation'...?!

    !!!!!!?
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  • edited 29 January 2010 at 11:36PM
    anewmananewman Forumite
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    edited 29 January 2010 at 11:36PM
    Coupon-mad wrote: »
    SIA backs national immobiliser meeting
    Would be simply amazing if some people go to that meeting, highlight the status of the host company with the BPA, and put forward a different point of view, while being cool-headed and rational about it. Even better if there were some TV cameras and some heavies caught on camera taking a dislike to people who don't share their views (like on rogue traders). Hope this is posted on Pepipoo somewhere :)

    Oh yeah, and I would seriously donate cash to buy a clamp if it were to be accidentally placed on some delegate's cars :D Give them a new point of view on clamping when they want to be on their way home.
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Found another relevant interesting news article on good old Parking Review:

    QUOTE
    Which? wants action on clamping

    8 Sep 2009 | Issue 210 | News > Clamping

    1104-t.jpg



    Research by Which? magazine indicates that there is a lack of clarity or consistency over the signage posted by private clamping companies. During July it surveyed parking conditions on roads within 500 metres of a rail station in London’s Zone 4.
    Release charges across the research area varied from a flat fee of £100 for any contravention to £360 for being towed away, reports the magazine. In addition, 2,388 members of the Which? online panel completed a survey which revealed that 63% had successfully appealed against private parking fines via the small claims court.
    Which? responded to the Home Office’s recent consultation on vehicle immobilisation.

    We support the government’s aim of greater regulation of the sector, but want it to cover tickets for parking on private land,” it said “We’re calling for minimum standards on private parking signs and costs, rigorous monitoring of enforcement companies and independent appeals process.”


    QUOTE
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