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    • north8
    • By north8 10th Sep 18, 5:08 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 4Thanks
    north8
    PCN on university campus - POPLA appeal check
    • #1
    • 10th Sep 18, 5:08 PM
    PCN on university campus - POPLA appeal check 10th Sep 18 at 5:08 PM
    Hi,
    I'm the keeper of a car which received three PCNs while parked on campus at a university. The driver is currently studying there. The PPC rejected my initial appeal (mitigating circs), and sadly they know who the driver is (I just followed their appeal process without checking here first).

    I've complained to the university, but their complaints process takes over one month, so my POPLA time will have expired by then. I received great advice on Pepipoo, and drafted an appeal based on various templates. I was hoping someone could give it a last glance over before I submit it, but Pepipoo is very busy atm and my thread keeps getting lost.

    These are the points I'm appealing on:
    1. No breach of contract - the permit was valid
    2. No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice
    3. Inadequate signage - The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces
    4. Unlawful charge - no ‘every 24 hour clause’

    As my 28 days is running out and I'm starting to panic...I was hoping someone here might be willing to take a quick look at my appeal letter.
    Last edited by north8; 10-09-2018 at 5:12 PM. Reason: left out info
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 10th Sep 18, 6:02 PM
    • 9,949 Posts
    • 10,252 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 18, 6:02 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 18, 6:02 PM
    As my 28 days is running out and I'm starting to panic...I was hoping someone here might be willing to take a quick look at my appeal letter.
    Originally posted by north8
    If you post it, or a link to it, I'm sure someone will help.

    It's quite busy here too, so don't expect an instant response.

    PoPLA codes last at least thirty days.
    .
    • north8
    • By north8 10th Sep 18, 6:38 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    north8
    • #3
    • 10th Sep 18, 6:38 PM
    Draft POPLA appeal letter
    • #3
    • 10th Sep 18, 6:38 PM
    Thanks for your reply KeithP, and yes, of course

    It's a long one, but that's what Couponmad's pinned post recommended, so I followed the advice.

    I think it's almost good to go, but any final tips would be greatly appreciated, as we apparently only get one shot at this POPLA stuff. Many thanks.

    Here it is (tried to post as google docs link, but site wouldn't let me)

    ****

    Dear Sir or Madam

    I am the registered keeper of the above vehicle and I am appealing this parking charge from First Parking LLP.

    My appeal is as follows:
    • No breach of contract
    • Unlawful charge - no ‘every 24 hour clause’
    • No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice
    • Inadequate signage - The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces

    No breach of contract

    According to the landowner’s website (see below screenshot), the standard permit price is described by the words ‘yearly’, and ‘annual permit’.

    I am a genuine customer of the landowner (a fulltime student of the university) and an authorised user of this car park. I purchased the permit in person in late October 2017, soon after purchasing the vehicle itself (see proof of vehicle purchase below). No additional explanation of any terms and conditions, or any alternative meanings of ‘yearly’ were provided at the point of purchase.

    [NB add proof of purchase here]

    It is not the responsibility of the consumer if the vendor (in this case the landowner) has a different understanding of ‘yearly’, as this difference was not brought to the attention of the consumer at the time of purchase. In any case of ambiguity in meaning, the most favourable interpretation MUST be used, as stipulated in the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

    The consumer was entitled to rely on the vendor website where it clearly stated the words ‘yearly permit’. According to the description specified on the vendor website, this yearly permit was valid until October 2018, also making it valid at the time this PCN was issued. Therefore, there was no breach of contract.

    In light of the above evidence, this charge is unconscionable and offends against the penalty rule which was 'plainly engaged' in the case of ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis.

    The operator makes much of the Beavis case, yet they are well aware that the circumstances of the Beavis case were entirely different. Essentially, that case was about the abuse of a free, time-limited public car park where signage could be used to create a secondary contract arising from a relevant obligation and where there was a 'legitimate interest' flowing from the landowner, in charging more than could normally be pursued for trespass.

    In this case, we have an authorised user using the car park appropriately and there has been no loss nor detriment caused to the owner. While the courts might hold that a large charge might be appropriate in the case of a public car park, essentially as a deterrent, there is nothing in the case to suggest that a reasonable person would accept that this 'fine' is a conscionable amount to be charged under these circumstances.

    At the Supreme Court in Beavis, it was held at 14: ''…where a contract contains an obligation on one party to perform an act, and also provides that, if he does not perform it, he will pay the other party a specified sum of money, the obligation to pay the specified sum is a secondary obligation which is capable of being a penalty… ''

    This is NOT a 'more complex' case by any stretch of the imagination. At 32 in the Beavis decision, it was held that a trader, in this case a parking company: ''...can have no proper interest in simply punishing the defaulter. His interest is in performance or in some appropriate alternative to performance. In the case of a straightforward damages clause, that interest will rarely extend beyond compensation for the breach, and we therefore expect that Lord Dunedin’s four tests would usually be perfectly adequate to determine its validity.''

    Therefore, any putative contract needs to be assessed on its own merits. Consumer law always applies and no contract “falls outside” The Consumer Rights Act 2015; the fundamental question is always whether the terms are fair:

    LINK

    - Schedule 2: 'Consumer contract terms which may be regarded as unfair':
    ’’A term which has the object or effect of inappropriately excluding or limiting the legal rights of the consumer in relation to the trader or another party in the event of total or partial non-performance or inadequate performance by the trader of any of the contractual obligations…’’
    ''A term which has the object or effect of requiring a consumer who fails to fulfil his obligations under the contract to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation.''

    This charge is clearly punitive and is not saved from breaching the 'penalty rule' (i.e. Lord Dunedin's four tests for a penalty) by the Beavis case, which does NOT supersede other defences. It turned on completely different facts and related only to that car park with its own unique complexity of commercial justification. This case is not comparable.

    In this case the specific question is whether a reasonable person would agree to a term where parking in a place that they enjoy rights of way and easements and pay a significant rent for the privilege of peaceful enjoyment would also accept a further unknown/not agreed liability. I would suggest that a court would not accept this as reasonable.

    Unlawful penalty charge

    I wish to point out that this PCN cannot have been issued correctly, as First Parking LLP had already issued a PCN to this vehicle, which remained affixed at the time. As there is no ‘every 24-hour’ clause included on the car park signage (see below), the signage does not allow for more than one charge to be issued.


    No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice

    As this operator does not have proprietary interest in the land then I require that they produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner.

    The contract and any 'site agreement' or 'User Manual' setting out details - such as any 'genuine customer' or 'genuine resident' exemptions or any site occupier's 'right of veto' charge cancellation rights, and of course all enforcement dates/times/days, and the boundary of the site - is key evidence to define what this operator is authorised to do, and when/where.

    It cannot be assumed, just because an agent is contracted to merely put some signs up and issue Parking Charge Notices, that the agent is authorised on the material date, to make contracts with all or any category of visiting drivers and/or to enforce the charge in court in their own name (legal action regarding land use disputes generally being a matter for a landowner only).

    Witness statements are not sound evidence of the above, often being pre-signed, generic documents not even identifying the case in hand or even the site rules. A witness statement might in some cases be accepted by POPLA but in this case I suggest it is unlikely to sufficiently evidence the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement.

    Nor would it define vital information such as charging days/times, any exemption clauses, grace periods (which I believe may be longer than the bare minimum times set out in the BPA CoP) and basic but crucial information such as the site boundary and any bays where enforcement applies/does not apply. Not forgetting evidence of the only restrictions which the landowner has authorised can give rise to a charge, as well as the date that the parking contract began, and when it runs to, or whether it runs in perpetuity, and of course, who the signatories are: name/job title/employer company, and whether they are authorised by the landowner to sign a binding legal agreement.

    Paragraph 7 of the BPA CoP defines the mandatory requirements and I put this operator to strict proof of full compliance:

    7.2 If the operator wishes to take legal action on any outstanding parking charges, they must ensure that they have the written authority of the landowner (or their appointed agent) prior to legal action being taken.

    7.3 The written authorisation must also set out:

    a the definition of the land on which you may operate, so that the boundaries of the land can be clearly defined

    b any conditions or restrictions on parking control and enforcement operations, including any restrictions on hours of operation

    c any conditions or restrictions on the types of vehicles that may, or may not, be subject to parking control and enforcement

    d who has the responsibility for putting up and maintaining signs

    e the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement


    Inadequate signage - The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces

    I note that within the Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) 2012 it discusses the clarity that needs to be provided to make a motorist aware of the parking charge. Specifically, it requires that the driver is given 'adequate notice' of the charge. POFA 2012 defines 'adequate notice' as follows:

    ''(3) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2) 'adequate notice' means notice given by: (a) the display of one or more notices in accordance with any applicable requirements prescribed in regulations under paragraph 12 for, or for purposes including, the purposes of sub-paragraph (2); or (b) where no such requirements apply, the display of one or more notices which: (i) specify the sum as the charge for unauthorised parking; and (ii) are adequate to bring the charge to the notice of drivers who park vehicles on the relevant land''.

    Even in circumstances where POFA 2012 does not apply, I believe this to be a reasonable standard to use when making my own assessment, as appellant, of the signage in place at the location. Having considered the signage in place at this particular site against the requirements of Section 18 of the BPA Code of Practice and POFA 2012, I am of the view that the signage at the site - given the minuscule font size of the £60, which is in small font in most photographs and does not appear at all at the entrance - is NOT sufficient to bring the parking charge (i.e. the sum itself) to the attention of the motorist.

    In addition, the signage that does exist in this car park locates the signs themselves above the head height of an average person, and certainly above the easy view of a seated driver. A driver with a valid permit, as in this case, would have no reason to go out of their way to locate and study the signage.

    There was no contract nor agreement on the 'parking charge' at all. It is submitted that the driver did not have a fair opportunity to read about any terms involving this huge charge, which is out of all proportion and not saved by the dissimilar 'ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis' case.

    In the Beavis case, which turned on specific facts relating only to the signs at that site and the unique interests and intentions of the landowners, the signs were unusually clear and not a typical example for this notorious industry. The Supreme Court were keen to point out the decision related to that car park and those facts only:

    LINK

    In the Beavis case, the £85 charge itself was in the largest font size with a contrasting colour background and the terms were legible, fairly concise and unambiguous. There were 'large lettering' signs at the entrance and all around the car park, according to the Judges.

    Here is the 'Beavis case' sign as a comparison to the signs under dispute in this case:

    LINK

    This case, by comparison, does not demonstrate an example of the 'large lettering' and 'prominent signage' that impressed the Supreme Court Judges and swayed them into deciding that in the specific car park in the Beavis case alone, a contract and 'agreement on the charge' existed.

    Here, the signs are sporadically placed, indeed obscured and hidden in some areas, particularly in the section of the car park where this vehicle was parked (see the following images)

    The signs are unremarkable, not immediately obvious as parking terms and the wording is hard to read, being crowded and cluttered with a lack of white space as a background. It is indisputable that placing letters too close together in order to fit more information into a smaller space can drastically reduce the legibility of a sign, especially one which must be read BEFORE the action of parking and leaving the car.

    It is vital to observe, since 'adequate notice of the parking charge' is mandatory under the POFA Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice, these signs do not clearly mention the parking charge which is hidden in small print (and does not feature at all on some of the signs). Areas of this site are unsigned as described above with photo evidence. so it cannot be assumed that a driver drove past a legible sign, nor parked near one.

    This case is more similar to the signage in POPLA decision 5960956830 on 2.6.16, where the Assessor Rochelle Merritt found as fact that signs in a similar size font in a busy car park where other unrelated signs were far larger, was inadequate:

    ''the signage is not of a good enough size to afford motorists the chance to read and understand the terms and conditions before deciding to remain in the car park. [...] In addition the operators signs would not be clearly visible from a parking space [...] The appellant has raised other grounds for appeal but I have not dealt with these as I have allowed the appeal.''

    From the evidence I have seen so far, the terms appear to be displayed inadequately, in letters no more than about half an inch high, approximately. I put the operator to strict proof as to the size of the wording on their signs and the size of lettering for the most onerous term, the parking charge itself.

    The letters seem to be no larger than .40 font size going by this guide:

    LINK

    As further evidence that this is inadequate notice, Letter Height Visibility is discussed here:

    LINK

    ''When designing your sign, consider how you will be using it, as well as how far away the readers you want to impact will be. For example, if you are placing a sales advertisement inside your retail store, your text only needs to be visible to the people in the store. 1-2' letters (or smaller) would work just fine. However, if you are hanging banners and want drivers on a nearby highway to be able to see them, design your letters at 3' or even larger.''

    ...and the same chart is reproduced here:

    LINK

    ''When designing an outdoor sign for your business keep in mind the readability of the letters. Letters always look smaller when mounted high onto an outdoor wall''.

    ''...a guideline for selecting sign letters. Multiply the letter height by 10 and that is the best viewing distance in feet. Multiply the best viewing distance by 4 and that is the max viewing distance.''

    So, a letter height of just half an inch, showing the terms and the 'charge' and placed high on a wall or pole or buried in far too crowded small print, is woefully inadequate in an outdoor car park. Given that letters look smaller when high up on a wall or pole, as the angle renders the words less readable due to the perspective and height, you would have to stand right in front of it and still need a stepladder (and perhaps a torch and/or magnifying glass) to be able to read the terms.

    Under Lord Denning's Red Hand Rule, the charge (being 'out of all proportion' with expectations of drivers in this car park and which is the most onerous of terms) should have been effectively: 'in red letters with a red hand pointing to it' - i.e. VERY clear and prominent with the terms in large lettering, as was found to be the case in the car park in 'Beavis'. A reasonable interpretation of the 'red hand rule' and the 'signage visibility distance' tables above and the BPA Code of Practice, taking all information into account, would require a parking charge and the terms to be displayed far more transparently, on a lower sign and in far larger lettering, with fewer words and more 'white space' as background contrast. Indeed in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 there is a 'Requirement for transparency':

    (1) A trader must ensure that a written term of a consumer contract, or a consumer notice in writing, is transparent.
    (2) A consumer notice is transparent for the purposes of subsection (1) if it is expressed in plain and intelligible language and it is legible.

    The Beavis case signs not being similar to the signs in this appeal at all, I submit that the persuasive case law is in fact 'Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2000] EWCA Civ 106' about a driver not seeing the terms and consequently, she was NOT deemed bound by them.

    This judgment is binding case law from the Court of Appeal and supports my argument, not the operator's case:

    LINK

    This was a victory for the motorist and found that, where terms on a sign are not seen and the area is not clearly marked/signed with prominent terms, the driver has not consented to - and cannot have 'breached' - an unknown contract because there is no contract capable of being established. The driver in that case (who had not seen any signs/lines) had NOT entered into a contract. The recorder made a clear finding of fact that the plaintiff, Miss Vine, did not see a sign because the area was not clearly marked as 'private land' and the signs were obscured/not adjacent to the car and could not have been seen and read from a driver's seat before parking.

    So, for this appeal, I put this operator to strict proof of where the car was parked and (from photos taken in the same lighting conditions) how their signs appeared on that date, at that time, from the angle of the driver's perspective. Equally, I require this operator to show how the entrance signs appear from a driver's seat, not stock examples of 'the sign' in isolation/close-up. I submit that full terms simply cannot be read from a car before parking and mere 'stock examples' of close-ups of the (alleged) signage terms will not be sufficient to disprove this.

    I therefore respectfully request that my appeal is upheld and the charge dismissed.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 10th Sep 18, 6:55 PM
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    Umkomaas
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 18, 6:55 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Sep 18, 6:55 PM
    I'm the keeper of a car which received three PCNs
    Have First Parking issued you with 3 separate NtKs?

    Have you appealed each of these separately to First Parking?

    Are you appealing x 3 to POPLA?
    The fact that I have commented on your thread does not mean I have become your personal adviser. A long list of subsequent questions addressed for my personal attention is unlikely to receive a reply.
    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.
    • north8
    • By north8 10th Sep 18, 7:19 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    north8
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 18, 7:19 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 18, 7:19 PM
    The PCNs were stuck onto the car itself. Is that the same as NtK? I only had the PCNs.

    I made the mistake of appealing immediately to FP using their Online system in which I gave away the identity of the driver. I appealed to FP for each PCN separately.

    Yes, I'm going to send three separate popla appeals. This one and the second one will be identical and will include all the clauses, but the first of the three will not include point 4.

    Hope that all makes sense. Is there anything else I should be doing? Thanks.
    • north8
    • By north8 10th Sep 18, 7:23 PM
    • 13 Posts
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    north8
    • #6
    • 10th Sep 18, 7:23 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Sep 18, 7:23 PM
    It won't let me edit the post on the phone, so I want to clarify that I meant point 2 (about the 24 hour rule), not point 4.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 10th Sep 18, 7:34 PM
    • 62,736 Posts
    • 75,676 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #7
    • 10th Sep 18, 7:34 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Sep 18, 7:34 PM
    If you have 3 POPLA codes for 3 PNCs issued WITHOUT the car being moved in between, then you will need to state all 3 POPLA codes at this point:

    Unlawful penalty charge

    I wish to point out that this PCN cannot have been issued correctly, as First Parking LLP had already issued a PCN to this vehicle, which remained affixed at the time. As there is no ‘every 24-hour’ clause included on the car park signage (see below), the signage does not allow for more than one charge to be issued.
    And I would change the sub-heading and wording to something like this:

    Three duplicate PCNs issued for one single parking event (the car was not moved between each PCN)

    POPLA currently has three appeals in about exactly the same parking event, as the car was not moved in between the 3 PCNs.

    The 3 POPLA codes are as follows, since the POPLA decisions will of course need to be the same for all three, or at the very least, POPLA must consider dismissing the second and third ones as 'not properly given':

    xxxxxxxxxx
    xxxxxxxxxx
    xxxxxxxxxx

    I wish to point out that this PCN cannot have been issued correctly, as First Parking LLP had already issued a PCN to this vehicle, which remained affixed at the time. As there is no 'every 24-hour' clause included on the car park signage (see below), the signage does not allow for more than one charge to be issued for a single period of parking.

    There is no term allowing for multiple PCNs for the same parking event. An analogy can be that, if a person failed to purchase a train ticket on a sleeper train from, say, Edinburgh to London, that person could only be penalised once, and could not reasonably be issued a penalty dated for the evening period and a second penalty for the same continuous journey, dated the next morning.

    If First Parking LLP wished to give themselves this right, and communicate it to consumers, they could have done the same as some parking firms do and actually state that a PCN can be issued each 24 hour period.

    As they have failed to do that, what First Parking LLP are trying to do, is to recover parking charges of £300 for one period of parking, when the sign only mentions £100, and this cannot be upheld using the terms as drafted.

    If the operator wishes to suggest the car was moved in between, then the burden of proof rests with them, and their ticketing employee would reasonably be expected to have taken photos of the wheel valve positions each day, (like real Civil Enforcement Officers do, with proper PCNs for Councils). And in fact, Councils routinely cancel duplicate PCNs when drawn to their attention.

    It's only the private parking world which expects to make some six times the sum a Council would charge (£300 rather than £50, as a direct comparison for the same conduct) and get away with daylight robbery.

    I like your first point - an unusual one and well argued!

    Make sure you do embed the Uni website screenshot talking about 'yearly' permits, as well as your proof of purchase, as I think your point has legs.

    Do you also have an email from the Uni confirming the 'yearly' permit?


    sadly they know who the driver is (I just followed their appeal process without checking here first).
    Ouch, not again...

    The PCNs were stuck onto the car itself. Is that the same as NTK?
    No. But because you blabbed about driving, they didn't even need to send any NTKs.

    but the first of the three will not include point 4.
    I would do three POPLA appeals EXACTLY the same.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 10-09-2018 at 7:41 PM.
    • north8
    • By north8 11th Sep 18, 8:41 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    north8
    • #8
    • 11th Sep 18, 8:41 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Sep 18, 8:41 AM
    Thanks Coupon-mad, that's excellent advice! I'll certainly change point 2 to use the text you suggested.

    I don't have a confirmation email from the university, as they only sell permits in person at the library, not online. So there's no e-trail of this. The only proof is the fact I didn't purchase the car until October 2017, so couldn't have had a permit earlier.

    They didn't mention any unusual T&Cs or interpretations of "yearly" at the time of purchase, so I just slapped the permit on my car, and didn't give it another thought (until I got these PCNs), as had been safe in the assumption it was for 1 yr! Oct to Oct.

    I'll add as much evidence as possible to the letter, and pdf it to POPLA as you advise in the newbies thread. I'll update soon on the outcome. Thanks so much again to everyone who has helped me so far – you lot are amazing.
    Last edited by north8; 11-09-2018 at 9:24 AM.
    • north8
    • By north8 11th Sep 18, 8:48 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    north8
    • #9
    • 11th Sep 18, 8:48 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Sep 18, 8:48 AM
    One last question: in the supporting photos for POPLA (of signage etc, is it ok to leave the number plate of my car uncovered? I'm guessing yes, as they already know it, but could someone pls confirm for definite?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 11th Sep 18, 9:35 AM
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    Umkomaas
    One last question: in the supporting photos for POPLA (of signage etc, is it ok to leave the number plate of my car uncovered? I'm guessing yes, as they already know it, but could someone pls confirm for definite?
    Originally posted by north8
    Leave it uncovered for POPLA to see that it is one and the same vehicle for which the charges have been issued.
    The fact that I have commented on your thread does not mean I have become your personal adviser. A long list of subsequent questions addressed for my personal attention is unlikely to receive a reply.
    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.
    • north8
    • By north8 11th Sep 18, 10:12 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    north8
    Makes sense, will do that, thanks for replying
    • north8
    • By north8 13th Oct 18, 4:04 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    north8
    Update: comments requested by POPLA
    Hi there,

    My appeal just came back from POPLA with an evidence pack from the PPC. My original appeal was on four grounds:

    1) No breach of contract (relates to inaccurate info about the meaning of "yearly", provided by the vendor (university)).
    2) Unlawful charge - Three duplicate PCNs issued for one single parking event (the car was not moved between each PCN, no mention of 24 hour clause on signage OR in contract)
    3) No evidence of landowner authority
    4) Inadequate signage

    The PPC have sent in a bunch of additional photos, none of which seem to counter my claims on point 4. They also sent a copy of the contract (heavily redacted), plus a generic overall statement (which is an exact copy of another one I found on here). It includes this line: "The appellant has failed to provide us with a full name and serviceable address of the driver at the time of contravention, we have now invoked keeper liability." This is inaccurate and does not relate at all to my case, as I (stupidly) provided my info in my original appeal, not knowing any better. Clearly, the PPC has simply attached pics of my car to a copy pasted statement (as found elsewhere on this forum).

    My question is: what sort of approach should I take in providing my comments to give the best impression on POPLA? Is there a specific process to follow?

    TIA for any tips.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 13th Oct 18, 4:16 PM
    • 9,949 Posts
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    KeithP
    Your best bet is to re-read post #3 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread.

    Especially the bit following:
    AFTER SUBMITTING YOUR POPLA APPEAL:
    .
    • north8
    • By north8 13th Oct 18, 4:20 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    north8
    Thanks Keith. One quick question: Am I restricted to using the 2000 character box on the POPLA site, or can I just email my comments to POPLA (one email for each PCN number) ?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 13th Oct 18, 4:28 PM
    • 9,949 Posts
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    KeithP
    The current thinking here is that PoPLA simply will not bother to read a long rebuttal.

    Stick to the 2000 characters.
    .
    • north8
    • By north8 14th Oct 18, 5:02 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    north8
    Hi there,
    I've drafted my rebuttal based on the info in the newbies thread. I only addressed 3 points of the original 4, as the operator provided what looks like a valid landowner contract, albeit heavily redacted. Does anyone have any comments on this rebuttal before I send it off to POPLA?
    Thanks for any pointers, as always.

    ***

    Ref: POPLA appeal: XXX

    The operator has submitted a 29 point ‘evidence’ pack in support of their disputed invoice. I do not intend to address every point in detail, as the text is clearly a copy-pasted template, much of which is inaccurate or indeed irrelevant to this case. Exact copies of this very text exist online, suggesting a certain lack of attention to detail on the part of the operator.

    I therefore ask the assessor to consider the following points in support of my original POPLA appeal, submitted on 20/09/2018.

    No breach of contract. The vendor (the University) provided misleading information on its website, using the term ‘yearly’ to describe the permit, without any additional explanations or alternative meanings of this term. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that “in any case of ambiguity in meaning, the most favourable interpretation MUST be used.” Clearly, the most favourable interpretation of ‘yearly’ is 12 months, hence this permit, purchased October 2017, was still valid at the time of the alleged infraction. I have provided details of this omission to the University’s Head of Security, Mr X (signatory to the heavily redacted contract…), and asked him to consider invoking the cancellation clause for genuine customers.

    Unlawful charge, no 24-hour clause. The signage does not mention a 24 hour clause, so only one PCN can be issued for a single parking event. Hence, 2 of the PCNs are invalid under the terms of the contract. The car was not moved between PCNs (I have solid evidence of this), with the onus on the operator to prove otherwise. Their supplied photos are insufficient.

    Inadequate signage - The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces. The elaborate assortment of photos, maps, etc provided by the operator show nothing different from my original photos, which clearly prove a distinct lack of signage in easy view of the driver. The specific location where this car was parked has no signage to the front or sides of the driver’s seat view. Furthermore, a genuine customer holding a valid permit would have no motivation to go out of their way to study parking signage in detail.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 14th Oct 18, 5:13 PM
    • 19,845 Posts
    • 31,342 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    You've only 2,000 characters (not words) to play with, but you've overshot @ 2,182 so you'll need to do a bit of pruning.

    But I would definitely argue about the amount of redaction of the contract and argue that it is putting you at a disadvantage in not seeing all the terms (the only part you can't really demand to see is the £££s element of the contract).

    I know this will add to the burden of reducing your character count, but important enough IMHO to warrant some major surgery on what you've already drafted.
    The fact that I have commented on your thread does not mean I have become your personal adviser. A long list of subsequent questions addressed for my personal attention is unlikely to receive a reply.
    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.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 14th Oct 18, 5:19 PM
    • 9,949 Posts
    • 10,252 Thanks
    KeithP
    To help with the character count, the whole of the paragraph starting "The operator has submitted..." can go.
    .
    • north8
    • By north8 15th Oct 18, 11:42 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    north8
    OK, have taken into account all the advice I've received, and here's my new rebuttal. It's just over 2000 chars but can cut it further. Do you think it's pretty much good to go?

    ##

    Please consider the following points in support of my original POPLA appeal, submitted on 20/09/2018.
    • No NtK was ever served.
    • There was no breach of contract, for the reasons already explained in my appeal. In short, the permit vendor (the landowner) breached terms of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in relation to the most common meaning of ‘yearly’. Hence, this permit was still valid at the time of alleged breach. The landowner’s Head of Security, Mr X, has been informed and is taking action.
    • No 24 hour clause on signage (see p14 of evidence pack). 3 PCNs were issued for one uninterrupted parking event, with onus on the operator to prove the car was moved between PCNs. I can prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was not, and the operator’s photos are insufficient proof.
    • Inadequate signage. Despite many ‘evidence’ photos and maps, none disprove my point that in this specific parking space signage cannot be viewed whatsoever from either the front or sides of the car. The presence of one sign behind a thick hedge, or far behind and far to the side of this specific parking space, is not sufficient.
    • The many ‘evidence’ photos of signage on the entire site still do NOT prove that any were clearly visible from this specific car parking space at the time of alleged breach. As can be seen in the provided aerial map, this space differs from most of the car park, being located in front of a thick, high hedge, with NO presence of signage in front, or indeed anywhere along this parking row. This can be seen in P11 & 12 of the ‘evidence’ pack, and easily backed up via Google satellite maps.
    • Despite ‘updated’ signage, the text (including the £60 charge) remains too small to read clearly. Plus, it is located far above normal head height. Size of sign is irrelevant; size of text is.
    • No landowner contract. The contract is heavily redacted, as is the name of the landowner signatory. Hence, validity cannot be proven; this contract could easily be fake. Plus, the excessive redaction deliberately aims to puts me at a disadvantage by hiding key points.
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