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Holiday Inn - False claim of Free Parking advertised on Website
A175
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 13:13
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Wondering if anybody can advise on the the following, don't seem to be able to find any other references to it...

The driver got (what I've now found from this forum to be a pretty common) a £100 fine notice from Parking Eye after visiting the Holiday Inn hotel in Lancaster.

The driver met up with another there (who also has a fine) for a drink, as they have done for several years, because it's halfway between where they live, and they were returning a dog from a stay at their house while we were on holiday.

Their website clearly states "Ample free car parking onsite", but it turns out this is no longer the case. It is a fully chargeable car park, though I'm not sure if customers are meant to be able to claim back at reception or something. Obviously they didn't spot any signs there are advising of charges, as they weren't looking for them, with it always having been free previously.

I've been trying to get in touch with Holiday Inn for clarification, but wanted some advice on the false advertisement of free parking. Would this in itself be grounds for appeal?

This post has been edited by A175: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:08
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post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 13:13
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Jlc
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 13:19
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Any information on the website is totally unrelated to any alleged parking contract formed. The website is not offering nor forms a contract.

Only the signage at the site counts.

Of course, Holiday Inn may want to intervene out of 'embarrassment' but they'll probably say appeal to the parking company...

There are a number of possible appeal angles but deal with the principal first. If they won't play ball then come back and we can investigate those angles but bear in mind they will almost certainly reject any appeal anyway because they can.


--------------------
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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A175
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 13:30
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Thanks for the reply, JLC, makes sense. I guess the only thing the website could lead to would be a theoretical, but unlikely, separate case against Holiday Inn for false advertising or similar?

So when you say deal with the Principal, do you mean Parking Eye?

It's not clear on the letter, if the driver is appealing should they pay first anyway (and hence pay "only" the £60 discounted rate) or not pay at all?

Not surprised that initial appeals don't work, why would they. Guess it's more a case of whether POPLA would uphold any subsequent appeal. Seems ridiculous to me that everything I read about focuses on legal technicalities, when the simple facts are that they were customers of the hotel who had been led by the hotel to believe that the parking was free.

This post has been edited by A175: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:09
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Jlc
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 13:46
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The website isn't making an offer - but trading standards might be interested if it is misleading.

The principal (i.e. who employed ParkingEye) would likely be Holiday Inn. (Or they should have significant sway on the landholder)

How long after the event did the PCN arrive? Does it make reference to the Protection of (sic) Freedoms Act?

If the signage is there then whether you were expecting them isn't the legal test. If they are sufficient and clear is. Unfortunately nowadays you always have to keep an eye out.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 13:46


--------------------
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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cabbyman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:00
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EDIT all your posts so as not to reveal the identity of the driver. Refer only to 'the driver.' This is crucial!!!!

Have a go at Holiday Inn, but don't lose sight of PE's arbitrary appeal deadlines. You don't want to give them an excuse.

Compile your initial appeal to PE and post here for critique before sending.


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Cabbyman 8 PPCs 0
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A175
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:10
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QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:00) *
EDIT all your posts so as not to reveal the identity of the driver. Refer only to 'the driver.' This is crucial!!!!


Done, thanks for the heads up. What's the reason for this, is the owner / keeper not liable regardless of who was driving?
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Jlc
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:13
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QUOTE (A175 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:10) *
Done, thanks for the heads up. What's the reason for this, is the owner / keeper not liable regardless of who was driving?

That depends on the answer to my question about PoFA. If they have complied then they can pursue the keeper regardless.


--------------------
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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A175
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:15
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:46) *
How long after the event did the PCN arrive?


10 days

QUOTE
Does it make reference to the Protection of (sic) Freedoms Act?


Yes it does

QUOTE
If the signage is there then whether you were expecting them isn't the legal test. If they are sufficient and clear is. Unfortunately nowadays you always have to keep an eye out.


Damn. Sounds like my only likely chance is with the hotel being reasonable about it. And they aren't even answering the phone or replying to emails (IHG Customer Services on Twitter just tell me to contact the hotel direct).


QUOTE (Jlc @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:13) *
That depends on the answer to my question about PoFA. If they have complied then they can pursue the keeper regardless.


Yeah, that paragraph explains that they'll come after the owner if they don't know who the driver is, basically.
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:29
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Keepr, not owner. Owner isnt liable.

Facebook, twitter, trip advisor etc. MIght get them to notice.
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cabbyman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:32
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Have a look at PoFA Sched 4 para 9 and check that it complies with ALL of that, word for word.

Get pics of signs.


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Cabbyman 8 PPCs 0
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A175
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:38
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QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:32) *
Get pics of signs.


That bit will be tricky, I live two hours drive away sad.gif
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:43
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Look on GSV, or havea look.
Frankly theyre PE so POFA is likely complied with

I disagree with JLC; the website is an OFFER by the principal land owner of AMPLE FREE PARKING. Promissory Estoppel, they cannot make that offer then change it when you get there.
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A175
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:45
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QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:32) *
Have a look at PoFA Sched 4 para 9 and check that it complies with ALL of that, word for word.


Might be nothing but...

©describe the parking charges due from the driver as at the end of that period, the circumstances in which the requirement to pay them arose (including the means by which the requirement was brought to the attention of drivers) and the other facts that made them payable;
(d)specify the total amount of those parking charges that are unpaid, as at a time which is—
(i)specified in the notice; and
(ii)no later than the end of the day before the day on which the notice is either sent by post or, as the case may be, handed to or left at a current address for service for the keeper (see sub-paragraph (4));


I can't see anything on the notice that describes the charges which should have been due after period the car was there, it only says that I didn't pay...
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cabbyman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:04
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The signs are very unclear on GSV, however, they seem to show that parking tariffs apply. If that proves to be the case, they are at odds with the website. Pics of signs are likely to be quite important in beating this, if you can get hold of any.

I think a letter to HI at Lancaster, requiring them to instruct PE to cancel, asking them to copy you into the instruction, or you will be having a word with trading standards. You will also include them as joint defendants in any action that you may take for improper use of your personal details.

Await the opinion of others.


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ostell
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:08
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Take a screen print of that web page that promises free parking. Send a copy with the letter to HI.
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A175
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:20
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Thanks for all the advice, folks.

After a sustained campaign across Twitter, Facebook and TripAdvisor, and a lot of buck passing from HI at a national level and inability to get a response at local level, I finally just received an email from the local manager, and it looks positive so far... says he will "contact parking eye on your behalf and request the cancellation of the fine".

I assume I'm not out of the woods yet, as he could come back saying PE refused to cancel?

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ostell
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:27
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Start writing your appeal to PE now including a copy of that email and reminding them that their principal has requested them to cancel

You're not out of the woods until PE confirm that they have cancelled the charge.

This post has been edited by ostell: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:28
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Jlc
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:47
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:43) *
I disagree with JLC; the website is an OFFER by the principal land owner of AMPLE FREE PARKING. Promissory Estoppel, they cannot make that offer then change it when you get there.

That's twice in as many days Nos. tongue.gif

Is the website making a contractual offer? It's tenuous that promissory estoppel expressly applies but we know what the PPC will think about that...

Hopefully, the OP will get the cancellation deserved anyway.

The website isn't clear though:
Attached Image


...it could be 'free' if the conditions are followed, e.g. registering with the reception to whitelist.

Further to this the American website says:
QUOTE
Further IHG does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within the Materials. IHG may make changes to the Materials, or the programmes, policies or other information described in the Materials, at any time without notice. IHG makes no commitment to update the Materials.


...and the UK site makes no reference to parking.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:55


--------------------
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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cabbyman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:54
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I think it's reasonable to assume 'free' car parking on the basis of that website. I would be most upset if, having booked a room on the basis of that website, I then find there are parking tariffs in force. That could constitute an expense for which I hadn't budgeted.

It's up to the claimant to rebut any contention the defendant makes, not for the defendant not to consider the possibility.


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Jlc
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:57
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QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:54) *
I think it's reasonable to assume 'free' car parking on the basis of that website.

It probably would have been if the terms accepted by conduct were followed.

It appears the OP was not staying at the hotel so no other contractual terms were accepted, i.e. at the time of booking.

p.s. I'm not endorsing the abhorrent practice but it's never simple...

This post has been edited by Jlc: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:58


--------------------
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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