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ParkingEye County Court Defence- I have proof?

edited 4 May 2018 at 3:26PM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
52 replies 14.2K views
JoshBruxJoshBrux Forumite
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Hi guys, let me first just say that i appreciate any and all responses i get to this thread, i dont poat here often, but im in need of some help.

Yesterday i recieved a County Court Letter from ParkingEye, stating that i owed them £175 due to a parking vioaltion that occured back in December 2017, the incident occured after i failed to put in my registration plate into a terminal when i was going to watch a film at Odeon, causing them to accuse me of staying over my welcome by about 2 and a half hours.

I did receive one other letter, a £60 fine and the usual picture of my car entering and leaving the premises. To my ignorance, following the advice the last time something similar happened, i just ignored, hoping it would go away.

I went straight to Odeon today and spoke to the manager asking if anything could be done. We had a fairly long conversation. He mentioned how this was becoming a daily occurence for him since the enforcement started, he mentioned how he now has to get his staff to verbally prompt the customers that come in because the ipads used for signing in your license plate and the signing used to indicate them arent at all obvious.


Nevertheless, i managed to get him to fire off an rather meekly email to ParkingEye, stating that i had proof i was a paying customer (In the form of a bank statement with a transaction to Odeon cinemas) and asking them "If anything could be done to cancel the fine" but he did say that sometimes they dont even bother to reply.

I got a copy of the email, headed and everything, which i planned to send as my defence.

I was just wondering, is this a wise choice? If they still go ahead, would they still be able to? Obviously i have ignored a letter and i do take responsibility for that, but I feel like as i can prove i was a paying customer, ive been wrongly fined in the first place, so would that still stand in court?
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Replies

  • edited 3 May 2018 at 6:02PM
    The_DeepThe_Deep Forumite
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    edited 3 May 2018 at 6:02PM
    You have not been fined, it is an invoice for an alleged minor breach of contract. If this went to court they may struggle, especially if the signs/instructions were not clear, Judges often regard these claims as de minimus.

    This is an entirely unregulated industry which is scamming the public with inflated claims for minor breaches of contracts for alleged parking offences, aided and abetted by a handful of low-rent solicitors.

    Parking Eye, CPM, Smart, and another company have already been named and shamed, as has Gladstones Solicitors, and BW Legal, (these two law firms take hundreds of these cases to court each year). They lose most of them, and have been reported to the regulatory authority by an M.P. for unprofessional conduct

    Hospital car parks and residential complex tickets have been especially mentioned.

    The problem has become so rampant that MPs have agreed to enact a Bill to regulate these scammers. Watch the video of the Second Reading in the HofC recently.

    http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/2f0384f2-eba5-4fff-ab07-cf24b6a22918?in=12:49:41

    and complain in the most robust terms to your MP. With a fair wind they will be out of business by Christmas.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
  • Guys_DadGuys_Dad Forumite
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    You didn't key in your number because you didn't know. Right?

    So, why didn't you know? I suggest that it was because you didn't see any signs saying that. Your argument, therefore, is based around lack of prominent signage. To prove that, you need photographic evidence. Get some !

    You have probably lost the keeper liability get out as the manager with his weak email probably gave the PPC sufficient information to confirm you were driving.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    I was just wondering, is this a wise choice?

    Yes as the amount you'd waste in attending is less than you'd save. ParkingEye often give drivers the £60 offer.

    What will happen here is that you'll be encouraged to fight it, but the choice is always yours depending on how valuable your time is.
  • Ralph-yRalph-y Forumite
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    have you complained to head office ?

    have you written a nice feedback on the faceace / trip advisor .... ect pages ?

    there are sections of the newbies thread

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4816822

    that detail what to expect ... and ... what to do re court case's

    please look through ....

    and just in case you think that all this is fair and regulated


    the debate ....

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-02-02/debates/CC84AF5E-AC6E-4E14-81B1-066E6A892807/Parking(CodeOfPractice)Bill

    the comments ....


    ''Rip-offs from car park Cowboys must stop''; unfair treatment; signage deliberately confusing to ensure a PCN is issued; ''years of abuse by rogue parking companies''; bloodsuckers; ''the current system of regulation is hopeless, like putting Dracula in charge of the blood-bank''; extortionate fines; rogue operators; ''sense of injustice''; unfair charges and notices; wilfully misleading; signage is a deliberate act to deceive or mislead; ''confusing signs are often deliberate, to trap innocent drivers''; unreasonable; a curse; harassing; operating in a disgusting way; appeals service is no guarantee of a fair hearing; loathed; outrageous scam; dodgy practice; outrageous abuse; unscrupulous practices; ''the British Parking Association is as much use as a multi-storey car park in the Gobi desert''; and finally, by way of unanimous conclusion: ''we need to crack down on these rogue companies. They are an absolute disgrace to this country. Ordinary motorists and ordinary residents should not have to put up with this''.

    the course of action ...


    These are the exact words used, so you should quote them to your MP in a complaint and ask him/her to contact Sir Greg Knight MP if he wants further information about this scam.


    good luck

    Ralph:cool:
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    I encourage you to fight it! You have a defence and can use his email and statement.

    I expect PE will write to you and offer a £60 settlement, then you can decide whether to continue to a hearing. If you win - and almost every poster who reports here after getting full advice, does win - you can then ask for your costs back including loss of salary or loss of leave, travel, and you can try for £19 per hour time spent on it too.

    Can you ask the Manager to sign a witness statement, saying:

    - that he wants it cancelled and does not support the charge
    - that there is no legitimate interest in pursuing cinema patrons
    - this is almost a daily occurrence now and the terminals are far from obvious and were not drawn to the attention of cinema goers

    A WS like that will help your case later on.

    You should have complained at the time and it would have been cancelled.

    Now your priority MUST be to do the AOS and the defence, do NOT assume anything will stop the steamroller of PE when in excited 'court claim' full harassment mode.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • JoshBruxJoshBrux Forumite
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    Coupon-mad wrote: »
    I encourage you to fight it! You have a defence and can use his email and statement.

    I expect PE will write to you and offer a £60 settlement, then you can decide whether to continue to a hearing. If you win - and almost every poster who reports here after getting full advice, does win - you can then ask for your costs back including loss of salary or loss of leave, travel, and you can try for £19 per hour time spent on it too.

    Can you ask the Manager to sign a witness statement, saying:

    - that he wants it cancelled and does not support the charge
    - that there is no legitimate interest in pursuing cinema patrons
    - this is almost a daily occurrence now and the terminals are far from obvious and were not drawn to the attention of cinema goers

    A WS like that will help your case later on.

    You should have complained at the time and it would have been cancelled.

    Now your priority MUST be to do the AOS and the defence, do NOT assume anything will stop the steamroller of PE when in excited 'court claim' full harassment mode.

    Thanks to everyone that has replied so far, im going up there again tomorrow some pictures of the signs, i believe it says something about "Customer Parking" surely if i can prove i paid that would be a solid defence?

    I also have the managers email address now so ill draft up a witness statement and send off to him to see if he'll sign it, if not i suppose i could complain to head office to trt to get them to force his hand.

    Would it in the meantime be sensible for me to ask for the extended 28 period so i can get my facts together?

    Im slightly confused at this point though, has this actually been taken to court or is it still just a threat? Does my defence go straight to PE and if so can they still withdraw the case?
  • nosferatu1001nosferatu1001 Forumite
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    If you have a claim form, of course this is going to court. Theyve lodged a claim against you, with the court.

    Of course you acknowledge to give yourself extra time - doing EXACTLY what the newbies thread tells you, and NOTHING more - why wouldnt you do that? Especially when C-MM just told you to do exactly that!
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Would it in the meantime be sensible for me to ask for the extended 28 period so i can get my facts together?
    No, because you do not even need to get photo evidence, not yet! No evidence goes with a written defence. You need to work on the DEFENCE ONLY, after doing the AOS online first.
    Does my defence go straight to PE
    Errrrmmm...no, unless you want a CCJ by default, as the court will think you didn't defend!

    Read the NEWBIES thread post #2 and the 'know what happens when' section by bargepole that I linked there. You need to see clearly what to do first, and it's not to go & get photos yet.

    YOU ARE AT CLAIM STAGE, THAT CLAIM FORM DID NOT COME FROM PARKINGEYE, IT CAME FROM THE COURT.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • edited 4 May 2018 at 3:24PM
    JoshBruxJoshBrux Forumite
    23 Posts
    edited 4 May 2018 at 3:24PM
    Ok thanks for clarifying, its almost as if this whole system is set up to make people roll over:rotfl:

    Ive read through Bargepoles thread and submitted the AOS, im working on the defence now, its going along the lines of,

    -I have a valid ticket and proof, the sign says for customer parking only, i was a customer, therefore i was wrongly issued the ticket.

    -The court paper says that i parked without a "Valid parking ticket", at no point do you have to pay to use the car park. (Im not 100% sure they even have a pay and display terminal, but I'll obviously go and check)

    -The signage used to indicate the ipads used to enter your registration are not clearly marked. This can also be shown in the Witness Statement which shows the manager of the establishment has had to take extra steps in order to mitigate the matter, such as getting staff members to verbally prompt customers when they enter the building. This was not the case when i visited back in December. (I dont have the Witness Statement yet, i was going to give PE a couple of days to see if they respond to his email, if not I'll ask)


    Thats what i have so far, how does it sound?
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Not like a defence! That's like a half-baked Witness Statement.

    Read some examples of ParkingEye claim defence* threads; you write it in the third person 'the Defendant avers that...' (not ''I did this'') and there is MUCH more to say to put the Claimant to proof of their claim.


    *those are your forum search keywords, I would suggest.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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