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Counter the Attack, Unexpected Response to Parking Charge Notice
Twizzle
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 11:13
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I have now fought off 3 parking actions - in each case the companies turned shy of me.

I have not bothered with appeal procedures as I assert that I have never entered into any agreement with them in the first place. Appeals are about fines - not charges!

Firstly, I have affixed small but visible notices around my number plates which say "NO PARKING CONTRACTS ACCEPTED". If they take pictures of my number plates, these words show up as they are tightly aligned to the numbers. This means no company can claim that they were unaware of my terms and conditions when I entered the car park. If they use these camera methods, that is their problem. In fact, because so much parking company signage is buried within a car park rather than at the entrance, it is clear to anyone that I have set out my terms before they set out theirs.

Secondly, I have introduced my own charges to them. There is a clearly displayed tariff of charges in my car windows in relatively small print but not too small to read, which covers any eventuality and any company 'trying it on'. It sets out costs for responding to letters "£25 per letter" and a whole host of other costs associated with my collecting evidence with photography, recordings of interviews with shop staff, video creation and other items. I involve everyone.

The above means that the first thing that happens when a company writes to me demanding money is that they receive a bigger demand back, across 3 or 4 pages and containing a myriad of escalating charges and threats of action. If the company are stupid enough to proceed with their harassment of me, they will get trapped in a very lengthy and expensive court case which no company has so far risked embarking upon. I realise that such an approach could look 'crazy' but I have been careful to keep the language concise, and very much based on realities of contract law rather than pie in the sky assertions.

My case rests on the assumption that it will be very hard for a company to defeat the terms and conditions imposed by the driver (or owner as opposed to just the owner) entering their land, who has clearly stated that he will not agree to the imposition of un-agreed charges upon the 'driver or owner', and, where the parking company has failed to make the driver aware of their own terms and conditions at the point of entrance. Even so, I have not ever disclosed who precisely the driver was. The complexity mirrors their own complexity and assumptions.

Another point is that my contract also seeks to embroil the commissioning company into the argument. So, Waitrose for example, consequently also received many charges on invoices, discovering that they had unwittingly 'accepted' investigation of all of their trading practices. They had 'agreed' to having their practices published on a website and they would pay for the setting up and maintenance of the website. By the time they received the first invoice, I had already interviewed staff about wrongly priced and labelled items in the store and Waitrose were getting the bill for the research, the recordings and the photographs of signage - all of which was set out in the terms and conditions written on my car. If they wanted copies of my research they could have them, the costs amounting to hundreds of pounds.

Furthermore, all directors of the store company whether creative, accounting, company secretary, store development etc were emailed with a copy of the invoices which I imagine may well have governed discussion at the following board meeting, given the risks to reputation.

A lot of work went into the this, more than many people would embark on. My logic is simple. 'If you can impose non-agreed contracts upon me, then I can impose non-agreed contracts upon you - using your own logic of acceptance. So far, all companies have found the nearest exit by which to disappear. Now my templates are ready and any future actions will be far more simple to administer.

At any car park, where any company clearly set out ALL their terms and conditions at the entrance to a car park, so that I may freely decide whether or not to enter their land, I have absolutely no argument with that. Yet almost none of them do because they are hoping for soft targets to charge. It is only after parking inside that the complex rules and £100 type charges start to appear - too late! In this model I have used, the company(ies) agree to my contract first and I most clealry establish that I do not agree to theirs.

I hope this offers food for thought and am delighted to have these ideas developed.

Happy days.

PS. Look out for the story about a notorious car clamper, operating once in a northern tourist spot, as many used to, having to pay £65,000 in costs after he clamped someone! Coming soon! Someone I know well has taken the villain to the cleaners.

This post has been edited by Twizzle: Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 11:20
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post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 11:13
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Jlc
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 11:23
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Unfortunately doomed to failure. They have not accepted your terms and you have accepted theirs by conduct. Assuming the terms are clear then the driver has the opportunity to either accept them or leave.

I have only seen this work once where the PPC typo’d the response by saying they had accepted those terms...


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Twizzle
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 11:53
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One of the terms of some parking contracts is that 'by being on their land'. If you have to 'be on their land' to find out what the contract is, then it should have been displayed off-land - ie 'at entrance'. They will always argue but, when the arguments come to court, their behaviour would almost certainly be seen as unreasonable. I feel that such ways of operating bring the commissioning company, ie Tesco, Waitrose or whoever into disrepute, as any honest trader would want to make their terms clear BEFORE entering into the contract.

It would be like walking down a particular isle in the supermarket only to discover a sign at high level and in small print telling you that you have been charged £10 for entering the isle, and, not saying, "YOU MUST LEAVE THIS ISLE NOW IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO AGREE WITH THIS CONTRACT".

It's a shoddy way to do business and companies employing these devices can be accused of 'unfair trading', an allegation that they would not enjoy hearing or seeing published.
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andy_foster
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 12:20
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invictus poem summary


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"Whatever the intention of Parliament was, or was not, the law is quite clear." - The Rookie
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baggins1234
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 12:33
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QUOTE (Twizzle @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 12:53) *
"YOU MUST LEAVE THIS ISLE NOW".


Deportation as part of Brexit? cool.gif
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Jlc
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 12:49
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There's lots of shoddy practices but the charges are generally enforceable (subject to certain factors) and your idea doesn't work.

The driver has the opportunity to read the signs and leave if they do not accept the terms.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Twizzle
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 13:06
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If you are a person who hates conflict this approach it is not for you. But if you have a point to make and you are prepared to see it through, they are less confident of how to proceed. Like the poster above .... they just give up.

Here a rule from a Car Park shared by Morrisons, Boots, Carphone Warehouse and Argus.

Hidden in the small print is "you must spend £5 in Morrisons to use this Car Park". This means that if you purchase from Boots you must spend £5 in Morrisons etc".

It means that you cannot go to get a prescription from Boots without spending at Morrisons. You have no access to any store accept via this massive car park.

You can also not return within 4 hours. This means if the chemist says come back in an hour....etc.

I really do hope that the public have not been so weak as to pay excess charges here, because from the outset, my stance would be, "take me to court".

When I see any sign on entering a car park which implies reams of small print clauses, I reverse out via the same route I drove in, causing great disruption to the people coming in...I hope!

I simply refuse to engage with this kind of trading unless it utterly suits me at the time and where I have absolutely no alternative. I have taken most of my purchases back to small locations where parking spivs don't operate.

These operations are most likely to be found in areas where big high street chains dominate - and you only have to look at how poor their business is currently to estimate the uncalculated cost to the relationship with their customer by operating in this way.

One car park operator took me on... it rumbled on for years ...eventually the court ruled against them and they had to pay me £5000 in costs....with the court saying that their approach had amounted to harassment. It certainly helps being mad.

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ford poplar
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 13:44
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Twizzle is prob in contravention of number plate Regs with signs he affixed to the number plate.
Trying to be clever normally ends up with unexpected consequemces.
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Jlc
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 14:08
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Just a crazy thought but how about just following the posted terms and avoid any conflict whatsoever?

If you have a transcript showing a Judge has given you favourable judgment with such a 'contract' on your vehicle then please post it.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Incandescent
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 20:11
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Is this a troll post from FOTL ?
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Twizzle
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 20:19
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There is a growing problem of people driving on to city, town and country car parks and finding that they are becoming liable to, not even a parking fee but an admission fee. According to this relatively new form of trading, you have already accepted a contract for paying any amount, simply because you drove on to the land, even though you were not asked if you wanted to be involved in the contract.

Although some may say, "if you don't like the terms leave", the companies involved are making it harder to find the terms. Even then they do not explain that you have time to leave if you disagree. Take Waitrose for example.

1st sign: Simply says Waitrose Car Park. Even this is untrue because once inside, you may discover that you are in a Britannia Parking Car Park in there terms, not a Waitrose Car Park at all.

2nd sign: says see term and conditions.

3rd sign: see terms and conditions. ALL THE ABOVE SIGNS ARE AT HIGH LEVEL IN SMALL WRITING AND UNLIT.

So where are the terms and conditions?

To find the terms and conditions, you will have to park your car. ( I suggest you lock it.)

Locate a walkway that will take you into a shopping precinct.

Walk past 4 stores, 1 selling cameras, 1 selling hi fi equipment, a restaurant and 2 other stores.

Walk to the entrance of Waitrose. There, at very low level and unlit, you will find the terms and conditions. You left your car around 5 minutes ago!

When the store is closed, the terms and conditions are covered - but the car park enforcement still operates.

Nowhere in the car park, is there any sign that tells you where the terms and conditions are displayed.

There is no where in the car park any sign that tells you that you must walk to the Waitrose store or that you even have to buy anything there. Yet this is the only place you will be able to find the terms and conditions.

Upon entering the car park, you are forced into a one-way system that brings you out in a different street eventually. So if you were able to see any signs warning of charges you would be unable to avoid entering the car park.

In other words. No one parking can find out the terms, yet they will insist that you have accepted a contract.

Being in the car park is counted as parking.

I know that such systems had the original task of keeping the bays free for customers. However, mission creep means that the parking company make their money from "fines" (by another name). Therefore, the company, Britannia have ensured that the terms are hard to find and that nowhere at the entrance is there any reference to the terms, the £80 or whatever other parking charges apply. It is a venus fly-trap.

Given the Car Park has one big sign at the entrance saying "Waitrose Car Park", that is all I need to accuse the company of unfair trading.

I can't imagine why anybody would agree to any term, no matter how reasonable or how ridiculous, no matter how mild or extreme, without first being aware that you were liable in any way for any charge.

If you bought a new car, would you think it reasonable that Mercedes had charged you £20 for them driving your new car out of the showroom into their car park, simply because of a hidden sign! (I know not of such a scheme). But this is the same madness we are talking about.

If you're a turkey voting for Christmas, than carry on playing their games - if not, HIT BACK if you are caught out by a dodgy term or charge.

The best defence is attack - start issuing invoices to them and let the courts sort it out.


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southpaw82
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 21:40
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QUOTE (Twizzle @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 21:19) *
The best defence is attack - start issuing invoices to them and let the courts sort it out.

Brilliant, until you start to get costs orders against you. You first.


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The Slithy Tove
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 13:27
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QUOTE (Twizzle @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 21:19) *
1st sign: Simply says Waitrose Car Park. Even this is untrue because once inside, you may discover that you are in a Britannia Parking Car Park in there terms, not a Waitrose Car Park at all.

This statement alone demonstrates that you don't really understand the system at all.
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Spudandros
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 18:54
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QUOTE (Twizzle @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 21:19) *
There is a growing problem of people driving on to city, town and country car parks and finding that they are becoming liable to, not even a parking fee but an admission fee.


Eh,no. You don't become liable to a parking charge just by driving into private land. You become liable if, after having been given sufficient opportunity to read the signs and make up your mind whether you want to accept the terms or not. If you then park up, you are deemed to have accepted the terms of the contract. If you do not agree, you leave. A few minutes grace period to read the signs and decide is usually allowed.
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Churchmouse
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 18:56
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QUOTE (Twizzle @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 14:06) *
One car park operator took me on... it rumbled on for years ...eventually the court ruled against them and they had to pay me £5000 in costs....with the court saying that their approach had amounted to harassment. It certainly helps being mad.

Are you just here to brag and tease?

You haven't disclosed the magic language to us, so you apparently don't want to help others.

You claim to have prevailed in court, but you won't show us how you did it.

Frankly, to have any chance of success beating the PPCs at their own game you would first have to have a thorough understanding of contract law, which your initial post certainly does not indicate that you have. Believe it or not, we have seen numerous versions of what you have proposed; dozens, probably. And none of them work, because they fail to establish all of the elements of an enforceable contract under English law. You may have made an offer, but you have established no mechanism to ensure acceptance of it by the other party. If you cannot prove acceptance of your offer by a preponderance of the evidence, your contract will be unenforceable.

The PPCs rely on "acceptance by conduct", i.e., the driver parking after having been informed of the terms and conditions of the contract. This isn't just theory; this is what the courts consistently find--all the way up to the UK Supreme Court's Beavis decision. Once you have left your "offer car" in a PPC's car park by what mechanism can you prove that the PPS was even aware of your offer, much less had accepted it? The passage of time will not do it.

Personally, if I were to try what you're doing I would call the PPC on their helpline and try to negotiate different terms of parking prior to my "acceptance by conduct". I can tell you why I haven't actually done that: because a court would know exactly what I was trying to do and would probably not be amused (and I would risk having a very heavy book thrown at me).

--Churchmouse
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cabbyman
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 19:39
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QUOTE (Twizzle @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 14:06) *
One car park operator took me on... it rumbled on for years ...eventually the court ruled against them and they had to pay me £5000 in costs....with the court saying that their approach had amounted to harassment. It certainly helps being mad.


Parties involved? Case no? Date of judgement? Court? Judge? Transcript?

Being a matter of public record, don't be shy; give us the details. After all, you want us to follow your tried, trusted and proven formula.


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Cabbyman 10 PPCs 0
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southpaw82
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 20:36
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 19:56) *
(and I would risk having a very heavy book thrown at me).

The white one?

£5,000 is a meaty amount of costs in small claims, particularly in favour of a LiP.


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Slapdash
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 20:47
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I am interested in one aspect of the points made by the OP.

This is the "spend a fiver in waitrose for free parking". I don't think this is a particularly unreasonable condition. But given, as highlighted above, acceptance is often by conduct it does seem to be taking a tin opener to a can of worms.

I will often go (or rather SWMBO sends me) to the local M and S. Often for one thing. Like a cooked chicken. Often they won't have it.

How on earth is that supposed to work ? Any grace period in a car park with the sort of conditions is likely expired. I haven't fulfilled my side of the bargain. But not through my failing.

I am sure that should acharge be issued one would get it cancelled by the store. But being subjected to the hassle is fundamentally unreasonable.
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Korting
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 21:08
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You might well find that if M&S don’t have what you want in store, if you explain your predicament they may validate your ticket FOC.
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Slapdash
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 21:52
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Of course they would. A condition like that described by the OP needs some sort of biparty action to validate it.

I was just wondering where the contractual obligation - if fully tested - would actually pan out.

It seems an unfair term. (A local supermarket had a car park where they rebated the charge if you spent a tenner. But that seems substantially different to "I agree to pay 100 quid or spend a fiver".)

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