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POPLA Appeal help please - Athena ANPR (Lidl car park)

Please excuse me if I've done anything wrong with this post , I'm a new boy to this site. I received a £90 ' fine ' from the above for parking in the local Lidl car park twelve minutes over their one hour limit. The simple reason was that both my wife and I are elderly , both awaiting hip operations , she took a long time shopping around. The extra time ironically was spent circling the car park waiting for her to come back to the car. Unfortunately we did not keep the receipt and paid cash , the shop anyway is now closed for repairs for several months. I wrote to Athena and as expected my appeal was rejected on 25/3/14 but I've been given an Appeal Verification code.
Would it be possible for someone to give me some general advice for my Popla appeal ?
1) Reading through the numerous posts on here I'm a little confused over the different wording I should use if it should be either of a) breach of contract (damages ) or b) contractual charge ( agreed sum). I hope I've got that right but I expect you'll know what I mean.Their rejection letter actually says ' you agreed to the contractual terms detailed on the signage ' .What is it usually with these Lidl / Athena setups?
2) I used the Parking Cowboys checker on the rejection letter dated 25/3/14 and Appeal Verification code with the following result :-
'Grounds for complaint
This code was generated 1 day(s) before the date of your appeal rejection letter. This means that you have not been given the full 28 days to appeal that you are entitled to under the British Parking Association's Code of Practice. Please consider making a
complaint.'
Is this relevant , can I use it?
3) Is there a general Popla appeal format I should apply that would work and if so could someone kindly point me to the form I could use? Please forgive me for any bother caused , we are both elderly , but I refuse to be coerced like this , I'm feeling like ignoring it , life is too short for us but I've started the process now, maybe I will if Popla reject it ! By the way , although I was driving I have not admitted this , the original charge came to me as Keeper. Thank you in anticipation of any help.
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Replies

  • da_ruleda_rule Forumite
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    Have a look at posts 7 and 8 on this thread for a POPLA appeal template: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4790403&highlight=athena

    I would complain to Steve Clarke at the BPA regarding the POPLA code. His email address is in the complaining section of the Newbie sticky thread.
  • edited 1 April 2014 at 12:10PM
    ColliesCarerColliesCarer Forumite
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    edited 1 April 2014 at 12:10PM
    Hi Shepss and welcome to the forum

    What is it usually with these Lidl / Athena setups?

    As their rejection letter actually says ' you agreed to the contractual terms detailed on the signage '

    It looks like Athena may be trying to claim it was a contractually agreed sum and not a breach of contract.

    This type try to claim the extortionate sum was a charge/tariff displayed on the signage and therefore part of the contract the driver agreed to when they used the car park. But they often get the wording wrong.

    3) Is there a general Popla appeal format I should apply that would work and if so could someone kindly point me to the form I could use?

    The thread da_rule has pointed you to, is a good starting point.
    Would suggest you read the whole thread - including the additional points the original OP submitted to POPLA because this appeal was initially put together before it became apparent that Athena attempt to use the “Contractual terms” model.

    Almost all of the points in that POPLA appeal will apply but you may need help with the wording of the point challenging the charge in your POPLA appeal if they are trying to claim it was a contractual term.

    Ideally it would be useful to see a photo of the signs they use so that it can be checked whether the correct wording has been used to claim contractual charge or whether it's really a breach of contract.
    Is it possible for you to post up? EDIT - Ignore this request - see my next post
  • ColliesCarerColliesCarer Forumite
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    I have found a photo of an Athena/Lidl car park notice on the internet.

    The wording says 1 hour FREE PARKING If your vehicle remains in this car park for more than 1 hour you agree to pay a £90 Parking Charge ......

    Is the wording on the signs at the store you visited the same?
  • ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    Thank you both for your replies. ColliesCarer , I'll post back about the sign when I visit town tomorrow.
  • edited 1 April 2014 at 2:36PM
    ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    edited 1 April 2014 at 2:36PM
    p.s Excuse me for asking. Is there a quick way to get to your own original posted thread (s) here? I eventually found it by searching under my user name which seemed a bit laborious. Must be something on my profile page listing my thread(s) but couldn't find anything.Also someone pm'd me after I posted my problem ( kirkbyinfurnesslad ) offering to do the claim for £16 and if I lose they meet the charge. Is this usual and has anyone done it? Anyway , my thanks for all advice and I'll get that sign checked out. One thing I'm not going to do is worry about Athena and their nonsense at this late stage in my life.
  • edited 2 April 2014 at 11:00PM
    Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    edited 2 April 2014 at 11:00PM
    If you read the other current threads you will see that KIFL has started to offer a paid service for those people with no time or inclination to send their own letters but this can be done yourself, following the templates/info in the NEWBIES thread at the top of the forum which explains how to win these appeals. We have 100% record at POPLA and NEWBIES do these appeals all the time.

    Also the fact that da_rule showed you a similar Athena thread with a POPLA appeal wording on it, which he just searched to find, hopefully shows you how simple and helpful the forum search facility is (it's a heading on page one) 'search this forum' next to 'forum tools' just above the 'Private Parking ticket? NEWBIES read this first' sticky thread.

    Have a look at other threads by trying 'Athena' or 'Lidl' as your unusual search keyword.

    And under the headings above your thread you'll see 'forum tools' up here right now - there's an option to 'subscribe to this thread'. But personally I just click on my own username if I want to find threads I've recently posted on, or search a fairly unusual/specific word I know was in it.

    Please do show a pic of the sign because Anthena don't always word their signs as if it's a 'breach' to park longer, so as you will read on other Athena threads when you search, that can be an issue. You will have to remove the http:// from your URL as you can't post working links here yet.
    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
  • edited 2 April 2014 at 1:24PM
    ColliesCarerColliesCarer Forumite
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    edited 2 April 2014 at 1:24PM
    Hi Shepss,

    Yes there is a quicker way - just click on your own user name - then click the "statistics" tab - then click show all threads

    The forum offers free advice and information to help anyone who wishes to deal with this themselves to succeed in getting the charge cancelled and has an excellent success record in helping people achieve that.
    It does however mean the poster needs, and will be expected, to put in time and effort to gen up and to submit the appeals as the forum can only go so far.

    There are also a lot of people who feel daunted by the task or who have too much else going on in their lives to have the time to sort it out themselves, they can then get disheartened and go away - maybe to then submit their own appeals that aren't worded correctly and so lose, ignore the charge and end up with court papers or who just pay up.

    Re Kirbyinfurnesslad's offer - he is a very knowledgeable and trusted member of the forum. In an effort to help people who feel the DIY approach with forum info and advice is not for them, for whatever reason, he has recently begun offering the service for anyone who feels they would rather have someone else deal with this for them and have a guarantee that the fee for doing that would be all they paid.

    EDIT - apologies for the crossover C-M - I really must check my browser settings
  • ShepssShepss Forumite
    42 Posts
    Thank you both so so very very much for your helpful replies including the thread information. We are both elderly and not in the best of health , but I am determined to see this through to the end not least because the time I went over was merely spent circling the car park. I wasn't even taking up a parking space! In fact , because I was so long waiting for my wife to shop I left my space , went out , and came back in to circle round for more than ten minutes because in my naivety I thought I wouldn't be logged up on the camera for more than the hour's parking time by doing this.l I have taken some photos of the sign which I shall try to upload when I get back from picking up our granddaughters from school this afternoon.Again , many many thanks
  • ColliesCarerColliesCarer Forumite
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    Hi Shepss,

    Best way to let us see the sign photos is to upload them onto a photo sharing site such as photobucket or tinypics - If you need to register with a site of this type before you can upload then make sure any username you pick with doesn't identify you personally.

    As you are a NEWBIE you won't be able to post the links directly so the way to get round this is to remove the http://www bit and just post the rest of the information - someone will then reconstruct the links for you in their post so they can be clicked on.
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Shepss wrote: »
    Thank you both so so very very much for your helpful replies including the thread information. We are both elderly and not in the best of health , but I am determined to see this through to the end not least because the time I went over was merely spent circling the car park. I wasn't even taking up a parking space!

    If either of you has a longterm medical condition then you are likely to be covered by the Equality Act 2010. That would mean that you should tell Athena that they should make a 'reasonable adjustment' to the arbitrary time limit otherwise it's a disability discrimination on their part and on the part of their client as well. You don't need a Blue Badge by the way, to be considered protected by the Act, if you have longterm medical/mobility issues which could have slowed you down when shopping. Ageism is also illegal under the same Act but it's woollier!
    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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