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  • FIRST POST
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 7th Aug 18, 1:11 PM
    • 17Posts
    • 0Thanks
    rippedoff16
    Advice please on case regarding contracting with minors
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 1:11 PM
    Advice please on case regarding contracting with minors 7th Aug 18 at 1:11 PM
    Hi There
    I am after a bit of advice please, hoping someone can help
    I will set the scene
    *17 Year old son, new to driving visits a fast food joint drive thru, pulls over in car park for 10 mins eats his food, fails to validate a ticket then leaves. he did this 2 nights running
    * 2 X PCNs arrive for £100 each
    * we appealed to Parking Company and it got rejected
    * we appealed to POPLA on basis of contract law. i.e a 17 year old, not commercially mature, is a Minor etc. Minors are able to void contracts on grounds of misunderstanding etc, this does not apply to contracts for necessaries eg, Employment, Accommodation etc
    *POPLA rejected this stating that parking is a necessary

    My question is this, UK contract law is quite specific, I feel that POPLA have misinterpreted this and as such I will not be paying the charge. I cannot find anyone else using this part of contract law as a defence and I am pretty sure that the parking company may not want to pursue in the courts for fear of setting a precedent ( i.e if they lose then all 17 year old drivers could use this as an angle)

    I now have 28 days to pay ( so the parking company say) before they take legal and recovery action.

    does anyone think I have a good chance here, is it worth me pursuing ?

    would be grateful if anyone knows of other cases
Page 3
    • Snakes Belly
    • By Snakes Belly 8th Aug 18, 2:03 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 96 Thanks
    Snakes Belly
    I have taught this age group and they are extremely naļve when it comes down to finance and contracts etc.
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 8th Aug 18, 8:40 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rippedoff16
    Yes, a 17 year old would have the capacity to understand. Please try to avoid setting the rights of teenagers back to the days of Agar-Ellis in the cause of getting out of a parking ticket.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    No one is trying to set the rights of teenagers, but clearly in this case My son made the same mistake twice, this surely demonstrates that he didn't have the capacity to understand the implications of the contract, had he realised that he was going to be faced with a £200 bill on top of the cost of his big mac and Fries I can assure you he would have validated his ticket. This practice prays on the errors people make and that is why minors are protected by contract law. Yes he has the capacity to drive and yes needs to accept all the laws that go along with that, but no where along the way was he taught about the rogue unregulated commercial practices of these companies, neither through schooling or through his driving tuition.
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 8th Aug 18, 8:49 AM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 9,765 Thanks
    The Deep
    The fact remains that your son bought food in a restaurant and ate it in their free car park.

    IMO, no judge in the land is going to award the scammer damages for breach of contract. All the debate about his age is otiose. Let us keep a sense of proportion here please.
    Last edited by The Deep; 08-08-2018 at 8:58 AM.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 8th Aug 18, 8:50 AM
    • 8,159 Posts
    • 10,696 Thanks
    beamerguy
    but no where along the way was he taught about the rogue unregulated commercial practices of these companies, neither through schooling or through his driving tuition.
    Originally posted by rippedoff16
    The problem is that regardless of age, the problem only
    hits home when they get a ticket

    Even a driving instructor could not explain the problem
    if they have never experienced it

    From a new driver to an OAP, this unregulated industry
    can strike at any time
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 8th Aug 18, 8:59 AM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 9,765 Thanks
    The Deep
    I agree with Beamish, caveat emptor!
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 8th Aug 18, 9:06 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rippedoff16
    The fact remains that your son bought food in a restaurant and ate it in their free car park.

    IMO, no judge in the land is going to award the scammer damages for breach of contract. All the debate about his age is otiose. Let us keep a sense of proportion here please.
    Originally posted by The Deep

    Thank you and that is why I am now confident enough to see this through.

    Not sure the Parking Company will want to test this in court, could open the floodgates for many more cases
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 8th Aug 18, 9:32 AM
    • 36,854 Posts
    • 20,996 Thanks
    Quentin

    Not sure the Parking Company will want to test this in court, could open the floodgates for many more cases
    Originally posted by rippedoff16
    Some do and some don't


    For whatever reason you have refused to answer the question which company you are involved with


    Presumably you have checked yourself whether or not they currently take court action!
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 8th Aug 18, 9:45 AM
    • 1,153 Posts
    • 2,187 Thanks
    Johnersh
    All the debate about his age is otiose
    I agree it's a red herring and have provided illustrative authority as to why that point us likely to fail. He's well capable of entering into a parking contract.

    Focus on age (your worst point) and you risk not doing justice to the far better arguments such as:

    1. The signs are rubbish/too small/poorly located
    2. He was a customer
    3. It's onerous and no one pointed out the terms and/or reminded him to enter details etc.
    "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.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 8th Aug 18, 9:54 AM
    • 36,854 Posts
    • 20,996 Thanks
    Quentin
    I agree it's a red herring......
    Originally posted by Johnersh
    From the OP's response to #43 it seems at last that he/she agrees the age defence is a dead end


    (Though now seems to think these people won't dare try court over these breaches of the contract by a paying customer!)
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 8th Aug 18, 10:15 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rippedoff16
    Some do and some don't


    For whatever reason you have refused to answer the question which company you are involved with


    Presumably you have checked yourself whether or not they currently take court action!
    Originally posted by Quentin
    apologies, I thought the advice was not to mention directly who the company is as they are known to trawl these forums ?
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 8th Aug 18, 10:21 AM
    • 36,854 Posts
    • 20,996 Thanks
    Quentin
    Don't know where you saw that advice (what did you think the reason was when you were asked the question originally?)

    Whatever, what makes you now say they won't take court action now the futility of the age issue has been accepted??
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 8th Aug 18, 10:25 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rippedoff16
    Don't know where you saw that advice (what did you think the reason was when you were asked the question originally?)

    Whatever, what makes you now say they won't take court action now the futility of the age issue has been accepted??
    Originally posted by Quentin
    Ok in that case its MET Parking

    My Popla appeal was rejected on many points, signage, no warnings, etc. I thought that the contracting with minors was thier weakest response so have now focussed on that. I note that in the last 3 years they have only taken 3 cases to court
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 8th Aug 18, 10:30 AM
    • 36,854 Posts
    • 20,996 Thanks
    Quentin
    So now isn't the time to be stressing about that attempt to use that defence point!

    Ignore everything. See #4 in the FAQ which advises on the debt collectors stage

    In the unlikely event of a lbcca or Court correspondence then come back for advice on how to defend (properly!) at that time

    They have 6 years to start legal proceedings
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 8th Aug 18, 10:36 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rippedoff16
    So now isn't the time to be stressing about that attempt to use that defence point!

    Ignore everything. See #4 in the FAQ which advises on the debt collectors stage

    In the unlikely event of a lbcca or Court correspondence then come back for advice on how to defend (properly!) at that time

    They have 6 years to start legal proceedings
    Originally posted by Quentin

    Perfect and thanks for your help. I was just testing the water before deciding what the next steps were. will take your advice, will sit tight. Just didn't want this to end up costing more.

    Thanks Everyone
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 8th Aug 18, 10:48 AM
    • 8,159 Posts
    • 10,696 Thanks
    beamerguy
    Ok in that case its MET Parking

    My Popla appeal was rejected on many points, signage, no warnings, etc. I thought that the contracting with minors was thier weakest response so have now focussed on that. I note that in the last 3 years they have only taken 3 cases to court
    Originally posted by rippedoff16
    POPLA nowadays is useless, their assessors do not
    understand, one or two do, but in general .... useless
    No surprise to us

    I don't think a judge would agree with you as he has a driving
    licence and that covers everything to do with driving.

    Forget the POPLA bunch whatever they say is not law
    A judge may well view the signs in a different way and
    you should labour this point
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 8th Aug 18, 11:12 AM
    • 36,854 Posts
    • 20,996 Thanks
    Quentin
    . I was just testing the water before deciding what the next steps were.
    Originally posted by rippedoff16
    Once popla fails there's nothing to do as you are in the wait and see/debt collectors stage

    (As mentioned above)

    File the correspondence you get from the debt collectors and see if court action does turn up
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 8th Aug 18, 11:40 AM
    • 2,275 Posts
    • 3,795 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5864382


    The legalities of 17 year olds incurring parking charges was debated at length on this thread not very long ago. Don't mean to be grumpy, but if you'd searched the forum you would have found a lot of information on this before you even started your thread. Please use this forum as the resource it is, by reading similar problems to your own and the advice given. I'm not discouraging you from posting your own thread, but your first post asked if anyone knew of similar cases - a simple search would have taken you to the thread I've linked to above, in which relevant legislation, case law and explanatory notes were linked.

    Would your 17 y/o think he could get out of a council ticket because he's 17? If not, why should he get off a private one because of his age? Old enough to drive a car, old enough to read signs (if well placed and clearly worded) telling him what the t&cs of the site are. 17 y/os may well be naļve and unworldly, but then so are lots of adults.

    You are far better off focusing on the fact that your son didn't realise that he had to do something to avoid a charge other than simply be a customer - whether that was presenting something for validation or, as is more common, entering his Reg on a tablet at the counter. The point is, how well was this requirement communicated to him as a driver, both at the point of parking and when he ordered his food (if it was communicated at all)? Was it hidden in small print on the signs in the car park? Was it on the signage at all? What exactly did the signs say (these things often boil down to the precise wording)? Was there any sign up inside the McD's to indicate what he had to do, how and where? How prominently displayed was any signage inside the restaurant?


    There are lots and lots of threads on this specific issue - often they are gym threads, often pub/restaurant ones too - where users are supposed to sign in on a tablet (or take some other step to validate them as a user of the establishment). The usual defence is that the requirement to do x, y or z did not form any part of the contract between driver and PPC because it was not properly communicated (or at all).


    Please move on from the issue of him being a minor and focus on this. What exactly did the signage say?


    If it comes to it, you can choose to argue the minors point, but I think it's weak and it may detract from other defences you have which may be much better/stronger defences.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
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