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Stansted Airport Mid stay
kerl
post Mon, 27 Nov 2017 - 14:46
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Hi,

I got charged £23 for supposedly using the mid stay Stansted car park for 2 hours and 11 minutes - that is 11 minutes more than the 2 hours limits for £1.5. I have complained to the airport but they refuse to refund or otherwise help. Communication is not being helped by grammar mistakes making airport replies difficult to comprehend. What should be my next steps now? Complains say I should talk with Civil Aviation Authority but looking around Manchester Airport Group which runs the car park is member of the International Parking Community. If anyone can offer some advice please do so.

Here is the full, long, boring story with the precise dates obfuscated - I have already send that to the complains. They supplied me few more replies after that which has provided me with additional ammunition - that is they send me a picture of the full terms and conditions sign. They appear to be the same as the ones in the website, in a big non lit sign, with tiny black letters against a dark blue background, on the bus only lane, dealing mostly with pre-booked parking. I have uploaded the pictures they provided me with at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gWNjequpt...Vm41WuBnig9b5Y3 . Web term and conditions at http://www.stanstedairport.com/terms-and-c...and-conditions/ - I have yet to compare them side by side.


On XX I dropped off two elderly relatives that do not speak English to the Stansted airport using the mid stay car park facility. The airport staff provided us with the gate number upon baggage drop off and the train stop they should take to get there . With this information and the airport map I was able to guide them over the phone once they were past security. I then returned to mid stay car park and left paying £1.5
On XX+7 I dropped my elderly and non English speakers wife's parents, with my pregnant wife escorting me. Again I used the mid stay car park. However on this occasion at baggage drop off the airport staff refused to provide us with the gate number without any explanation - even after explaining them that the passengers do not speak English. We asked again at the security reception but again we were not provided with the gate without any explanation. Asking again another member of the airport staff that was helping with the queues at Ryanair baggage desks he cited security reasons for being unable to provide us this information. At this stage I was completely taken by surprise with the behaviour of the airport staff especially given a completely different experience less than a week ago. Eventually once the passengers went past security we had to guide them over the phone regarding what to watch in the monitors and how to ask for help by the staff until some fellow passengers kindly provided them with help.
Having now spend a significant amount of time and being aware that the 2 hours period for £1.5 was coming to a close myself and my pregnant wife headed back to the car park. My wife though had to use the bathroom while we were waiting for the bus, and with the bathrooms very busy we had to take the next bus.
After getting back to our car and paying at the gate I was met with the £23 charge. It did not feel right but with a 2 hours journey ahead and a pregnant passenger who had already spend 2 hours in the first part of the journey and 2 hours at the airport we went ahead with our journey.
The next day checking the receipt from the car park, I saw I was charged £23 for a supposed overstay of 11 minutes. Supposedly I parked from 13:54 until 16:04. Checking my dash camera footage which has GPS synced clock I noticed that I entered the car park at 13:58. 11 minutes of supposed overstay resulting to a £23 especially given the circumstances was outrageous therefore I used the online form to complain to the airport.
Starting from XX+11 the airport replied and after some back and forth I was told that the actual reason they could not provide us with the gate number was that it was not confirmed at the time. Had we been made aware of that fact at the time we were at the airport we would have acted accordingly and not spend additional time needlessly.
On XX+21 reply the airport declined my request for refund claiming the charge of £23 is correct due to 10 minutes of overstay. However in the reply on the XX+30 the grace period is mentioned as 15 minutes and that should be enough to get to the barrier due to the distance between the free set down zone from the barrier. This is not true as I have visited the mid stay car park on several occasions and the free set down zone moves around thus entry/exit driving time varies considerably especially if there is bus/car traffic and congestion due to inconsiderate parking on the road instead of the parking bays as I have encountered from time to time. More confusingly, the same reply indicates the grace period does not apply when paying at the barrier. This defies the whole purpose of claiming having a grace period.
Asking further clarifications I received a reply on XX+33 which states: 'If we placed a grace period for those who pay at the barrier, unfortunately you would be over the price band and will be charge the daily rate'. As the second part of this reply is unclear what it actually means I have asked and I wait for clarification.
I have asked repeatedly to be provided with the terms and conditions for parking at mid stay car park. I have been pointed to either to the website or at the signs at the barriers. The website covers none of the matters discussed. The signs point to a phone number at the customers service building. I have called the phone number 01279 680128 and the staff confirmed they do not hold an updated copy of the terms and conditions to provide the customers with. Note the sign at the barrier is not lit therefore to actually read the small letter information during the night on my latest vist I had to exit my vehicle and get really close with a camera.

Given all these events it is therefore established at least that
the airport staff on XX+7 failed to provide us with information that would have saved us time
the time measuring device used by the car park is not accurate
the terms and conditions for mid stay parking, in particular regarding grace period and how it varies if paid at barriers, are not available to the car park users
the responses from the airport customer support services are unclear and difficult to understand

Therefore due to airport negligence, hidden terms and conditions, inaccurate time measuring equipment, and substandard level of service, please take appropriate to refund the £23 for the use of the mid stay car park on X7.




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post Mon, 27 Nov 2017 - 14:46
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peterguk
post Mon, 27 Nov 2017 - 15:30
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QUOTE (kerl @ Mon, 27 Nov 2017 - 14:46) *
I got charged £23


By who? A PPC or Stanstead Airport?

How? Something in the post?

When? When did you receive whatever it is you received?


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Barry S
post Mon, 27 Nov 2017 - 16:09
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£23 is the price Stansted quote for parking in the Mid Stay car park for longer than two hours if you don't prebook.

I can't remember if they have pay stations (in which case the 15 minutes grace period after payment would kick in) or if it's pay at the exit barrier (where no grace period would apply) off the top of my head, however. I suspect you may be able to do either.
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kerl
post Tue, 28 Nov 2017 - 16:07
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Thank you for your replies. The charge was at the exit barriers by the car park operator, which is MAG on behalf of Stansted airport. They also have a separate payment machine right before the barriers for cash payment. Why grace periods do not apply for barrier payment?

Cheers,
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The Rookie
post Tue, 28 Nov 2017 - 16:16
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Because the grace period applies for subsequent penalties, you were charged the publicised amount for the duration of your stay.


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Incandescent
post Tue, 28 Nov 2017 - 22:29
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Surely you understand that the £23 is to put people off from staying there a long time ? I can't see how a complaint can be sustained if the amount is publicised and on the car park charges board.
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kerl
post Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 00:08
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£23 for supposed 11 minutes is robbery, especially given the fact their clocks have the wrong time.

The whole concept of the grace period as I understand it is to allow for time to drive in/out of the parking as opposed to actual stay time, it is nowhere mentioned that by paying at the barrier this time is somehow disregarded.
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DancingDad
post Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 01:00
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QUOTE (kerl @ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 00:08) *
£23 for supposed 11 minutes is robbery, especially given the fact their clocks have the wrong time.

The whole concept of the grace period as I understand it is to allow for time to drive in/out of the parking as opposed to actual stay time, it is nowhere mentioned that by paying at the barrier this time is somehow disregarded.


Robbery....... ??
11 minutes over in a pay and display council space is worth 80 quid in central London.
100 notes in a PPC car park
So £23 sounds like a bargain in comparison.

Any grace period applied in any pay on foot system is simply so people can pay, get back to their car and get to the barrier.
There is possibly an inequality if you also have option to pay at barrier but sorry, I find it difficult to get excited over if the notices and payment scales are clear.
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paulajayne
post Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 08:35
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QUOTE (kerl @ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 - 16:07) *
which is MAG on behalf of Stansted airport.


MAG (Manchester Airport Group) Own the airport so not on behalf of.




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kerl
post Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 10:49
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Thank you for the comments. I do not necessary agree the fact there are worse robbers out there qualifies the £23 for 11 minutes a a bargain. For someone that can't get their clocks right requiring absolute punctuality is absurd. The cheapest phone in the market out there gets accurate time from the network.

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peterguk
post Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 11:24
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QUOTE (kerl @ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 10:49) *
Thank you for the comments. I do not necessary agree the fact there are worse robbers out there qualifies the £23 for 11 minutes a a bargain. For someone that can't get their clocks right requiring absolute punctuality is absurd. The cheapest phone in the market out there gets accurate time from the network.


Some might suggest your timing isn't perfect either...


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kerl
post Fri, 1 Dec 2017 - 22:29
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 11:24) *
QUOTE (kerl @ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 - 10:49) *
Thank you for the comments. I do not necessary agree the fact there are worse robbers out there qualifies the £23 for 11 minutes a a bargain. For someone that can't get their clocks right requiring absolute punctuality is absurd. The cheapest phone in the market out there gets accurate time from the network.


Some might suggest your timing isn't perfect either...


I would love to come to that...I have full GPS records + the video that correlates with it so my dash camera clock is orders of magnitude more accurate than whatever they are using.

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samthecat
post Fri, 1 Dec 2017 - 22:54
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Are their entry and exit times out by a similar amount? If so it makes no difference.


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If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
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DancingDad
post Sat, 2 Dec 2017 - 10:02
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QUOTE (kerl @ Fri, 1 Dec 2017 - 22:29) *
.........I would love to come to that...I have full GPS records + the video that correlates with it so my dash camera clock is orders of magnitude more accurate than whatever they are using.


Landlord I know used to reckon that if anyone wanted to call time according to their watch, they ought to buy their own pub.
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BertB
post Sat, 2 Dec 2017 - 16:00
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If you were charged £23 for being 4 minutes late I could get your argument about clocks, but you were 11 minutes late.

And why would you need 15 minutes grace period at a pay on exit barrier? That is for pay on foot systems.

Just sounds like desperate scrabbling to me. I can't see them refunding this to be honest based on what you are complaining about
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kerl
post Sat, 2 Dec 2017 - 18:36
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QUOTE (BertB @ Sat, 2 Dec 2017 - 16:00) *
If you were charged £23 for being 4 minutes late I could get your argument about clocks, but you were 11 minutes late.

And why would you need 15 minutes grace period at a pay on exit barrier? That is for pay on foot systems.

Just sounds like desperate scrabbling to me. I can't see them refunding this to be honest based on what you are complaining about


The only thing I know for a fact at this stage is they got the entry time 4 minutes wrong. At this stage I am considering their whole stay calculation system inaccurate. It could be off by just 4 minutes, it could be totally messed up - I don't know.

Regarding the other part - Why not? You need time to drive around in a car park - especially a large one such as an airport car park. Surely you are supposed to be charged for the time of stay, rather than the time required to drive in/out, right?

BPA says 'You should allow the driver a reasonable period to leave
the private car park after the parking contract has ended,
before you take enforcement action. '

IPC 'Drivers must be allowed a minimum period of 10 minutes to leave a site after a prepaid
or permitted period of parking has expired'

Noone says anything about special exceptions for barrier payment. Like I said they have a cash payments machine right before the barriers - why treat them differently?

This one for example uses barrier entry/exit time to calculate the duration of stay, adding the grace period https://www.smartparking.com/automatic-numb...ecognition-anpr . Simple and clear. I could not find anything similar for Stansted.

Cheers,
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The Rookie
post Sun, 3 Dec 2017 - 12:56
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But it wasn't an overstay penalty, it was the fee for the duration, so neither CoP applies at all.

While your entry time may mismatch by 4 minutes, there is nothing to suggest the entry and exit mismatched, time to put it down or experience.


--------------------
There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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DancingDad
post Sun, 3 Dec 2017 - 15:55
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 3 Dec 2017 - 12:56) *
But it wasn't an overstay penalty, it was the fee for the duration, so neither CoP applies at all.

While your entry time may mismatch by 4 minutes, there is nothing to suggest the entry and exit mismatched, time to put it down or experience.


That's where I keep coming back to.
If we were being told that the overstay was less then 4 minutes and that was the reason, I would hope that the airport would respond to any claim and refund.
May be a forlorn hope but.....

Trouble is it comes down to your clocks are wrong but I was late leaving anyway!

Possibly sounder argument on apparent discrepancy between pay on foot and pay at barrier and any grace period.
After all, one gives time to find car and drive to barrier within the allowed time, the other excludes.
I know there have been times in pay on foot parking that I have just made the deadline at the machine but would have failed had I needed to drive to barrier.
And would probably be as miffed as Kerl is about that.
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kerl
post Sun, 3 Dec 2017 - 20:53
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sun, 3 Dec 2017 - 15:55) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 3 Dec 2017 - 12:56) *
But it wasn't an overstay penalty, it was the fee for the duration, so neither CoP applies at all.

While your entry time may mismatch by 4 minutes, there is nothing to suggest the entry and exit mismatched, time to put it down or experience.


That's where I keep coming back to.
If we were being told that the overstay was less then 4 minutes and that was the reason, I would hope that the airport would respond to any claim and refund.
May be a forlorn hope but.....

Trouble is it comes down to your clocks are wrong but I was late leaving anyway!

Possibly sounder argument on apparent discrepancy between pay on foot and pay at barrier and any grace period.
After all, one gives time to find car and drive to barrier within the allowed time, the other excludes.
I know there have been times in pay on foot parking that I have just made the deadline at the machine but would have failed had I needed to drive to barrier.
And would probably be as miffed as Kerl is about that.


And it is annoying these are not clarified anywhere, even in the small print. What kind of 'contract' is that with hidden terms and conditions, looks more and more a scam to me. Maybe they do not apply grace period to the cash payment machine too - they have not actually confirmed if it would be different, it is implied/deduced by their answer. I will certainly opt for cash payment next time to see if the receipt has printed anything on about that or maybe there is small print on the machine itself.
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DancingDad
post Sun, 3 Dec 2017 - 21:38
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I can't speak for Stanstead but certainly pay on foot parking I use have warnings on the machine that the ticket must be used at the barrier within..10 -15 minutes. Or vehicle must leave within as that car park uses ANPR and the barrier opens automatically if you have scanned and paid.

There has to be some sort of period between paying and leaving else anarchy.
And no good still trying to apply end time on ticket else repeated arguments on "I paid before the time expired"

I can see pay at barrier without any grace period being fair but only if that is the only option. After all, it is down to the driver to allow enough time.
But with the issues of some twonker at the front having issues in paying and clogging up the whole system.

Two systems, one with grace one without.... that ain't good.
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