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  • FIRST POST
    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 6th Nov 17, 12:15 PM
    • 60Posts
    • 42Thanks
    manwyl
    SCS Law & Smart Parking
    • #1
    • 6th Nov 17, 12:15 PM
    SCS Law & Smart Parking 6th Nov 17 at 12:15 PM
    Hi, your advice is requested as my head is spinning after reading through the sticky threads. I've not seen a set of circumstances exactly like below (including the POPLA part) but apologies if I've missed something. I'm not certain on the way to proceed but first I'll explain the background.

    8 months ago our car parked in a car park associated with a Matalan Store but not owned by the store. Matalan offer discounts for the parking cost to their customers. We did not buy anything from the Matalan store that day. They use ANPR cameras and parking machines which require the VRN to be entered. This was incorrectly entered due to some of the keys not working properly (although this has been denied by Smart) and due to being in a rush and the pressure of a queue forming behind. The VRN entered was very similar to the actual VRN. Smart have confirmed there is a payment on their system at the time for a vehicle with a very similar VRN that wasn't in the car park. In short, the correct payment was made but the wrong VRN was entered. Smart rejected an appeal based on the information above and we naively assumed that POPLA would consider the circumstances based on the details above but this too was rejected. We answered all the leading questions and I believe the driver was identified. I realise now that this was a big mistake and was a missed opportunity.

    Since then we have ignored all letters from Debt Recovery Plus until receiving a letter at the end of October from SCS Law (acting on behalf of Smart Parking Ltd) which declares it is an LBC. They are requesting payment of £170 via Debt Recovery Plus to settle the matter. I shall try to supply a link to view the redacted letter -

    dropbox.com/sh/b2c2u24qwppur58/AACTONoflX1KgrOLUgFi3iz6a?dl=0[/url]

    BTW - Matalan have stopped using Smart Parking due to the number of customer complaints.

    I'm unsure on how to proceed as we have shot ourselves in the foot with POPLA already. I'm not sure which advice to follow in case it now doesn't apply. It's such a minefield that we've considered just giving in but I guess this is what they're relying on. My instinct is to fight it but after the POPLA mistake I've lost confidence.

    Any assistance on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if any more information is required.

    Many thanks
    Last edited by manwyl; 06-11-2017 at 12:20 PM.
Page 4
    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 28th Feb 18, 2:40 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5pb6c0wkqw9z3ji/AABvJYDswnFhUqMA0HhJEYzza?dl=0

    I think you have enough posts under your belt to post live links now.

    They have stated that at 14:46 there was a vehicle with a VRM similar to yours. Notwithstanding what they said (get it wrong, break the rules), it might be worth checking out whether a vehicle with that VRM actually exists. There was a case very recently where no actual vehicle currently had the incorrectly entered VRM attached to it. Could be useful if this ever gets to court.

    Use this tool:

    https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk

    How far 'out' was the entered VRM compared with your own? Transposed digits? Letter O used instead of a zero?
    Originally posted by Umkomaas
    Thank you for your reply.

    They have redacted the report so only half of each registration is visible. The part I can see matches the second half of my reg exactly. They should still be able to compare this report with a similar one from the ANPR cameras to help identify my ticket precisely. A smart parking rep found this in under a minute when we phoned them originally. They appear to be being deliberately thick on this point.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 28th Feb 18, 3:12 PM
    • 17,993 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    They have redacted the report so only half of each registration is visible. The part I can see matches the second half of my reg exactly.
    I'd go back to them and ask, in order to narrow the issues prior to this go to court, they reveal the full VRM of the vehicle in question.

    The nature of their reply will form part of your evidence to be presented before the court.
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • Immy_007
    • By Immy_007 1st Mar 18, 3:03 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Immy_007
    SCS Law
    i have received a letter from SCS law as well requesting payment for a car parking fines i received by overstaying the 3 hours free time

    i did not appeal as i was advised to ignore which i did and now after 2 years since the alleged date of contravention i have got a letter from SCS and given me 30 days to reply or they would take court proceedings. Either to acceot the charge, pay part or disoute

    what grounds can i use? i have only 4 days to reply back so any immediate urgent advise is appreciated

    Many thaks
    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 2nd Mar 18, 4:43 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    Hi Immy_007,

    I think the regulars will suggest starting a new thread to avoid any confusion and to have a read of the sticky posts for general information and advice. Having said that, also have a look at my original link above to see how your SCS letter compares to mine and the drafted reply. If your SCS letter is the same/similar to the one they sent me it may give you some pointers which might prove helpful in the short time you have to reply.

    So, please remember to start a new thread and good luck
    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 2nd Mar 18, 9:54 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    Here is my drafted reply. Please feel free to comment/suggest changes or additions. Thanks -

    I am in receipt of your letter dated **** ********* ****.

    I'd like to point out an obvious/deliberate flaw in Smart Parking's system. Why does Smart Parking allow a registration number, that hasn't entered the car park, to be inputted into their ticket machines? If Smart Parking operate live monitoring they could easily avoid a lot of hassle for everyone concerned by only accepting registrations that have been detected by the ANPR cameras.

    It should be easy to compare the transaction log with the ANPR log to identify exactly which of these transactions aren't directly associated with a vehicle in the car park at the time. The transaction at 14:46 is 2 minutes after the ANPR cameras detected my car entering the car park. It is therefore highly likely this was my transaction.

    Please reveal the full information for this transaction along with the full registration number to allow the issues to be narrowed prior to going to court.

    I disagree completely with your penultimate paragraph. When a car park is for the use of customers and non-customers how can Smart Parking expect to be able to ensure parking for Matalan customers? Total nonsense. People park there because it's convenient for Matalan but also for the Cheltenham Town centre in general. Therefore any potential loss is limited to the cost of a parking ticket which, in this case, was paid for. The penalty has no legitimate purpose. Smart Parking are being intentionally punitive.

    I too expect a reply within 14 days to provide the information requested and/or informing me this matter has been concluded.
    Last edited by manwyl; 02-03-2018 at 3:41 PM.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 2nd Mar 18, 10:28 AM
    • 7,539 Posts
    • 10,033 Thanks
    beamerguy
    manwyl

    Don't expect SCS to give a suitable reply ... if any.

    The more they ignore you, the better for you
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 6th Mar 18, 6:05 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    Thanks guys. I will get this sent in the post tomorrow and update you all again when I hear back
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 6th Mar 18, 6:16 PM
    • 58,434 Posts
    • 71,939 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    after the ANPR cameras detected my car entering the car park. It is therefore highly likely this was my transaction.
    Have you already blown your toes off by saying who was driving then? The above pretty much does.

    Avoid those words if you have not (must admit had no time to read back to page one!).

    Do you have to post it, is there no email for SCS Law? Waste of a stamp (don't pay for signed-for).
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 6th Mar 18, 6:23 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    Yep, already let that cat out of the bag during the appeal stage with POPLA before I realised it's importance and joined this forum.....
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 6th Mar 18, 6:25 PM
    • 58,434 Posts
    • 71,939 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Ah, OK, never mind it's only Smart who sue nobody except for half-baked odd ones in Scotland.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 14th Mar 18, 6:01 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    We've had another reply -

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8v0uvvwoqkutgky/Image%20%2833%29.jpg?dl=0

    They're annoying me now. See them in court?
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 14th Mar 18, 7:13 PM
    • 1,067 Posts
    • 2,063 Thanks
    Johnersh
    Ha. Actually, my darling SCS chums, it's highly relevant, because they are most definitely imposing a penalty for breach of contract not a parking charge. As in Beavis, the penalty rule is engaged.

    In Beavis the charge was found to be proportionate to a legitimate aim of "churning" a free parking facility. That is less clearly going to be the case where there is little or no dispute that parking was paid for and it was permitted to remain for the period you did (provided a fee was paid). I presume they've read the judgment?

    They're welcome to take it to court (assuming that you too have the stamina) but Beavis may well be the decision that is relied upon to demonstrate why you should not have to pay. Contrary to the belief of some parking companies Beavis is not a panacea that makes all parking charges legitimate/appropriate. Presumably they will have advised their client of that before proceedings are issued.

    I think it helps that the driver is not denied. It's a hell of a lot easier to give good witness testimony that a ticket was purchased and that they want £100+ for a de minimis error.

    Also the add ons won't fly at court, but there's lots on here addressing those arguments.

    My tuppence worth but obviously make your own decisions and consider differing views...
    Last edited by Johnersh; 14-03-2018 at 7:16 PM.
    "The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading."
    DISCLAIMER: I post thoughts as & when they occur. I don't advise. You are your own person and decision-maker. I'm unlikely to respond to DMs seeking personal advice. It's ill-advised & you lose the benefit of a group "take" on events.
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 15th Mar 18, 6:44 AM
    • 2,412 Posts
    • 4,289 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Ha. Actually, my darling SCS chums, it's highly relevant, because they are most definitely imposing a penalty for breach of contract not a parking charge. As in Beavis, the penalty rule is engaged.
    You can also point to the IAS's opinion in this one (one in the eye for the BPA). In their annual report the IAS Chief Adjudicator said:

    Of course, it is incumbent upon the motorist to take reasonable care in entering their details, and when they fail to do so properly very often a charge may be justified. However, where the mistake is so trivial that even someone applying their full attention might not realise - such as entering a '0' instead of a 'O' or a '1' instead of an 'I' - then it is, in my view, unfair to enforce a charge.

    As a consequence, I released guidance to all the adjudicators that they should have regard to the
    nature and extent of such mistakes in determining whether a charge is lawful. I am pleased to say
    that, since issuing the guidance, there has been a visible reduction in the amount of cases where
    operators pursue such parking charges and far fewer (justifiably) frustrated motorists as a result.
    The issue clearly meets the definition of "de minimis" so go back to SCS and point them to the article and put SCS and their client on notice for unreasonable costs.
    Last edited by IamEmanresu; 15-03-2018 at 6:46 AM.
    Idiots please note: If you intend NOT to read the information on the Notice of Allocation and hand a simple win to the knuckle dragging ex-clampers, then don't waste people's time with questions on a claim you'll not defend.
    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 15th Mar 18, 11:27 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    Thanks guys. Here is my draft response. I've asked for more information. I've asked for this before but it has been ignored. I'm not sure I can ask it any more clearly. Please feel free to make suggestions or comments. Many thanks

    I am in receipt of your letter dated **** ***** 2018.

    A similar registration entered alongside a payment for a vehicle not in the car park is highly relevant because Smart Parking are most definitely imposing a penalty for breach of contract, not a parking charge. As in Beavis, the penalty rule is engaged.

    I would like to highlight the IAS's opinion on this issue. In their annual report the IAS Chief Adjudicator said:

    “Of course, it is incumbent upon the motorist to take reasonable care in entering their details, and when they fail to do so properly very often a charge may be justified. However, where the mistake is so trivial that even someone applying their full attention might not realise - such as entering a '0' instead of a 'O' or a '1' instead of an 'I' - then it is, in my view, unfair to enforce a charge.

    As a consequence, I released guidance to all the adjudicators that they should have regard to the nature and extent of such mistakes in determining whether a charge is lawful. I am pleased to say that, since issuing the guidance, there has been a visible reduction in the amount of cases where operators pursue such parking charges and far fewer (justifiably) frustrated motorists as a result.”


    This issue clearly meets the definition of "de minimis". I hearby put SCS and Smart Parking on notice for unreasonable costs.

    I have asked for information on vehicles (with tickets bought) but were not detected by the ANPR cameras before and not received a full and proper answer.

    • Was the vehicle with registration ****** in the car park at the time in question i.e. was it detected by the ANPR cameras? YES or NO

    • If ****** was detected by the cameras, which other vehicle registrations, with tickets bought, were not detected by the cameras at the time in question? Compare the tickets bought with the vehicles detected around the time in question and send me ONLY the vehicle registrations that were not detected by the cameras.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Mar 18, 11:41 PM
    • 58,434 Posts
    • 71,939 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I would like to highlight the IAS's opinion on this issue. SCS Law, save your breath/ink if you are about to engage your template reply finger to point out that Smart Parking are BPA members, not IPC. I know that. The BPA have actually fallen well below the level of the IAS/IPC in this regard, missed a trick that any fair Judge would not miss when shown the following annual report where the rival 'IAS' Chief Adjudicator uttered some words of reason:
    Just a suggestion above to stop SCS saying 'irrelevant, Smart are not in the IPC'.

    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 16th Mar 18, 5:48 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    We've had another letter today. Court it is then -

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ol16uwcquuepl6j/Image%20%2834%29.jpg?dl=0
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 16th Mar 18, 6:01 PM
    • 17,993 Posts
    • 28,489 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Court it is then
    Highly unlikely I'd say. We've seen other Smart (threatened) court cases dropped as soon as a solid defence has been produced.

    If SCS are saying this is their formal LBC, then you need to utilise the NEWBIES FAQ sticky, post #2 response to a LBC and ask for every bit of information to which you are entitled to, facilitated by the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (PaP). Give them a whole list of your entitlement. Show them that you are not low-hanging fruit, ripe for the picking!

    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/pre-action-protocol-for-debt-claims.pdf
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 16th Mar 18, 8:55 PM
    • 1,067 Posts
    • 2,063 Thanks
    Johnersh
    Have they disclosed ALL the documents you have asked for in accordance with 5.1 and 5.2 of the protocol?

    Come back if and when in receipt of a claim.
    "The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading."
    DISCLAIMER: I post thoughts as & when they occur. I don't advise. You are your own person and decision-maker. I'm unlikely to respond to DMs seeking personal advice. It's ill-advised & you lose the benefit of a group "take" on events.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Mar 18, 12:06 AM
    • 58,434 Posts
    • 71,939 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    We've had another letter today. Court it is then -

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ol16uwcquuepl6j/Image%20%2834%29.jpg?dl=0
    Originally posted by manwyl
    No it isn't.

    Unlikely from Smart Parking, and anyway, we win some 99% of cases here - and yours has legs.

    Did you see SCS Law stuffed by Henry Hippo on pepipoo today?

    http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=114450

    Different parking firm and not the same circumstances as yours, but he included a £500 counter claim and got it, and his costs on top!

    And we hope HH will use part of his 'winnings' to buy the transcript of his case decision, to help other cases as it covers:

    - residential car parks/leases
    - a DPA claim that succeeded for £500
    - the Judge's comments about SCS Law's very nasty Letter before Claim threatening an attachment of earnings order and bailiffs.

    All very useful for other people to use, if he gets the transcript.

    I think his one was claim C0GF19AQ/2 at Reading Court, which heard half a dozen PPC cases today.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 17-03-2018 at 12:08 AM.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • manwyl
    • By manwyl 17th Mar 18, 12:29 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    manwyl
    No, they've not answered everything I've asked for. Should I respond to the 2nd to last SCS letter first to see if they will finally answer my question about ticket bought and registration entered on ticket not detected by their cameras?

    LBC - this apparently came as part of their first SCS letter and has already been responded to as being inadequate.
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