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FightBack Forums _ Private Parking Tickets & Clamping _ Excel Parking/VCS/BW Legal coming up to 6 years

Posted by: the_ism Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 17:04
Post #1423364

Hi all,

I've been searching around your website and Money Supermarket, and feel a bit silly as I can't seem to find a definitive answer, and in all honesty feel a bit out of my depth with this, so hoping for some advice.

I've received a Final Notice letter from BW Legal, with VCS as their client, dating to a PCN from December 2012 for a car I no longer own.

Now the car was in the car park at the time, and when I initially received a letter I said I would not pay the PCN as the amount seemed unreasonable and that they could only claim for the earnings lost on account of me parking there without a ticket (even though the car park was nearly empty!), which from my research at the time was the best response.

I did also receive a letter prior to this one which was "the First Letter" as they call it, which I ignored. Shortly after this, the phone calls from BW Legal started, which I have also ignored.

I know it's approaching the 6-year mark which is why they are hounding me. As the contravention was late in 2012, I think they can hold it against the Registered Keeper, but please correct me if I'm wrong? I've also noticed that at the time the car park was managed by Excel Parking and not VCS.

I'm not really sure what my response, if any, should be at this point? Can I go for the "I entered into an agreement with Excel Parking and as such VCS has no grounds to seek a claim"?

Sorry if this has been asked a million times, but I have attempted to search for VCS Excel and BW legal. I just fear I'm missing something.

Any help will be much appreciated!

Many Thanks!

Posted by: cabbyman Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 17:27
Post #1423366

Show us a copy of the letter from BWL, redacting identifying detail.

It's certainly worthwhile using deadlines to the full when approaching a timeout but we need to see which letter you have. When was the event? Early or late December? Are we aiming for New Year?

Posted by: Jlc Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 17:32
Post #1423367

Whilst PoFA (for keeper liability) was in force it doesn’t mean it’s automatic.

They almost certainly didn’t comply. Do you have the original paperwork to confirm?

Posted by: Redivi Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 20:09
Post #1423399

I entered into an agreement with Excel Parking and as such VCS has no grounds to seek a claim

Never admit that you were (a) the driver or (b) the driver entered into any contract

I would keep it short and blunt

Your client is not the operator whose signs were displayed in the car park
It cannot possibly have entered into any contract with the driver

Posted by: the_ism Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 12:45
Post #1423524



Goes on to mention the usual CCJ stuff and how to make a payment. But I'm certain at the time of the contravention that the car park had Excel parking on the signage.


I'll look for the original paperwork!

Thanks for all your help so far!

Posted by: nosferatu1001 Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 14:40
Post #1423551

Just a debt colelctor letter. Not a LBA
BE prepared for one
Get pics of the signs at the time. You need them if you are being chased by VCS for something from Eccel.

Posted by: ManxRed Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 14:57
Post #1423554

Yes, the letter you have received requires a response within 17 days or they will recommend their client takes action. Let the 17 days time out.

Then, if you receive a Letter Before Action/Claim from BW Legal, send the response Redivi suggests above but do it as late as possible, to meet their deadline. String this out as much as you can. They need to give you a certain amount of time to respond to a Letter Before Claim anyway.

Posted by: ostell Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 15:43
Post #1423564

Looking at Albert Street car park it says that it is NCP, even going back in time. Can you point out the actual car park on Street view and you might be able to find out the operators at the time. Some of the timelines go back to 2012.

Posted by: the_ism Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 16:19
Post #1423571

Thanks for all the advice! I've tried looking and haven't been able to find the original PCN.

As for trying to get pictures of the signage, its been changed now, but doing some searching has brought me to:

http://parking-prankster.blogspot.com/2017/01/vcs-discontinue-another-Albert-street.html

In that post, the Ms. O had parked in the same car park in 2014 and it the signage still had Excel Parking on it, it does include a picture but isn't dated, so not sure how useful that is.

But it does list three instances where VCS/BW Legal lost against similar cases.

Only just saw Ostells post, below is a google maps link to the car park.

https://goo.gl/maps/4bSV5c3mtrK2


Posted by: cabbyman Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 16:41
Post #1423579

If I'm in the right car park, this shows an Excel sign from 2017:

https://goo.gl/maps/V3PRHBLBBVB2

I think my strategy would be:

1. Stay quiet until a LBC is received.
2. Delay the response until the last possible moment but, in that response, require details of notices, signs and authority that they intend to rely on in court. Give them a deadline of 28 days. They may take all that time!!!
3. Pick holes in their response, particularly if they don't include copies of the above. Give them a deadline
4. Delay further before you remind them that the signs onsite were Excel, including the evidence from GSV and Pranky.

Hopefully, by this time, Christmas will be upon us, but you need to keep a letter ping-pong going with them to try to timeout.

Posted by: The Slithy Tove Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 16:55
Post #1423589

The image in post 5 has some numbers under "Zone A". This is probably enough for them to identify your case. You should redact that bit and update the posted image.

Posted by: Spudandros Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 22:53
Post #1423685

QUOTE (cabbyman @ Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 17:41) *
If I'm in the right car park, this shows an Excel sign from 2017:

https://goo.gl/maps/V3PRHBLBBVB2


the signage in 2008 is for Excel, as is the signage for 2012.
You can wind the history bar back on Street View to see it in past visits by the Google van.
Click on the location panel in the top right corner, on the date with a clock icon next to it. Handy tool for checking photos of signs are contemporaneous with the parking event.

Posted by: ostell Wed, 10 Oct 2018 - 07:46
Post #1423707

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.480237,-1.8910859,3a,15y,307.24h,79.22t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sxJBXH_DDt1Ww5XmfQgSG9Q!2e0!5s20120701T000000!7i13312!8i6656 Later versions of the sign may have made a mention of VCS but this one doesn't appear to have. Take a print of that 2012 image for use in court.

Oh dear , they've done it again!

Yes, delay matters as long as possible and in any case even if the make a claim as VCS they are on a very sticky wicket. There is a recent case, if my memory serves me right, where they lost on this very fact. The rep for VCS tried to state that they were associated companies but the judge didn't allow it.

Posted by: the_ism Wed, 10 Oct 2018 - 09:00
Post #1423729

Now I feel even more silly as I had been on street view to look for the signage and couldn't zoom in enough to see the T&Cs, not realising there was a HUGE Excel Parking logo on the top right-hand corner!

Phone calls have kept coming. Also got a text message last night saying "We have recently attempted to contact you regarding a personal business matter"

In regards to cabbyman's post, specifically, point 2. What does he mean by Authority?

Posted by: ostell Wed, 10 Oct 2018 - 09:29
Post #1423737

Authority to issue charges, ie the contract with the landowner.

I believe that if you require additional information after a letter before claim they have to extend the 30 day again after their response to allow you time to respond to the response.

My own thought about the Excel/VCS difference is keep quiet until the claim is actually issued. It can then be used to kill the claim dead. Others will comment about this.

Posted by: Redivi Wed, 10 Oct 2018 - 09:37
Post #1423738

I'm guessing that Cabbyman is referring to the authority from the land-owner that allows its contractor to take legal action

My own thought about the Excel/VCS difference is keep quiet until the claim is actually issued. It can then be used to kill the claim dead. Others will comment about this.

I would mention it now and argue "unreasonable behaviour" if the claim is issued

If BWL tries to switch horses and issue a claim on behalf of Excel, they will have the problem that their client has never issued a parking notice

Posted by: cabbyman Wed, 10 Oct 2018 - 15:52
Post #1423875

Sorry, yes. I was referring getting them to provide an unredacted copy of the authority from the landowner to a) Issue tickets in this location and b) Progress them to court.

Posted by: SchoolRunMum Wed, 10 Oct 2018 - 17:38
Post #1423942

Delay the response as long as possible between each step, but send VCS a SAR at some point soon, to string it out. And a copy to BW Legal, saying that you object to data processing while a SAR is being requested.

When you do the SAR, it goes directly to VCS' Data Protection Officer, contact details should be findable on their Privacy page of their website. No template, no generic rubbish you find for a SAR. Just an email headed up SAR and Objection to Processing my registered keeper data, and asking for all data VCS hold, all photos taken, all letters sent, all electronic records held or updated and clear explanations of whether the staff and systems holding & processing such data were VCS or Excel, at every point of data processing & storage.

Posted by: bearclaw Thu, 11 Oct 2018 - 14:57
Post #1424246

QUOTE (ostell @ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 - 08:46) *
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.480237,-1.8910859,3a,15y,307.24h,79.22t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sxJBXH_DDt1Ww5XmfQgSG9Q!2e0!5s20120701T000000!7i13312!8i6656 Later versions of the sign may have made a mention of VCS but this one doesn't appear to have. Take a print of that 2012 image for use in court.

Oh dear , they've done it again!

Yes, delay matters as long as possible and in any case even if the make a claim as VCS they are on a very sticky wicket. There is a recent case, if my memory serves me right, where they lost on this very fact. The rep for VCS tried to state that they were associated companies but the judge didn't allow it.



Are you thinking of this one...? http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=120254

Although the judge picked up on the VCS/Excel I dont think that was the reason they lost it.

Posted by: ostell Thu, 11 Oct 2018 - 20:30
Post #1424352

There was one where they lost because of this

Posted by: henrik777 Thu, 11 Oct 2018 - 20:49
Post #1424362

QUOTE (ostell @ Thu, 11 Oct 2018 - 21:30) *
There was one where they lost because of this


If VCS went bust would Excel pay their debts ? Of course not. They're different companies (related means little).

They should always lose on this. If not they'll lose on appeal.

Posted by: the_ism Sun, 25 Nov 2018 - 14:16
Post #1436910

Sorry about the lack of posts, have been a bit busy with work. But I have received a letter from BW Legal:



Am I now at the point where I need to go with Cabbyman's advice and require details of notices, signs, and authority that they intend to rely on in court and ask for this within 28 days?

Thanks again for all your help.

Posted by: bearclaw Sun, 25 Nov 2018 - 15:49
Post #1436931

Have you had anything back from them about the SAR you made? They were presumably made well over a month ago now?

Posted by: ostell Sun, 25 Nov 2018 - 15:53
Post #1436932

OK, the target now is to get them to not raise a claim before 24th December. I would suggest a letter to them asking for further information so that you can narrow the issues between you before you decide on your response. The aim is get them past the 6 years beofre they start the claim. http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=121523&view=findpost&p=1409213. You request that they halt processing until such time as they provide satisfactory answers and you have had time to consider those answer. Hopefully it will become statute barred.

If not then the defence will be that they are strangers to any alleged contract. They will not then be able to raise another claim as Excel as they will be past the 6 years. Well they may raise it but it would be futile

Posted by: Redivi Sun, 25 Nov 2018 - 18:33
Post #1436968

You need to respond pronto, preferably by email

You're already past their deadline

Posted by: SchoolRunMum Sun, 25 Nov 2018 - 19:41
Post #1436979

Send Excel another SAR online and tell BW Legal, in writing, that the case is subject to a SAR and that a claim now would be premature and the matter must be placed on hold whilst the data processing issue is processed and you are then given time to consider the data provided.

Posted by: the_ism Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 15:25
Post #1437299

Hi all, thanks for the responses. I'll be honest so far I haven't sent them any letters or made a SAR online. I think I might have messed up by leaving things so late! BangHead.gif

The letter that ostell recommended seems great but refers to letters that have already been sent or received. Would I be okay to go with something like this:

Thank you for your letter. I request that you provide a Letter Before Claim (LBC) that complies with the requirements of the Practice Direction on Pre-action conduct. As such can you please send me the following information/documents:

1. An explanation of the cause of action
2. Whether they are pursuing me as driver or keeper
3. A copy of the notice to keeper
4. Whether they are relying on the provisions of Schedule 4 of POFA 2012
5. What the details of the claim are; where it is claimed the vehicle was parked, for how long, how the monies being claimed arose and have been calculated
6. Provide me a copy of the contract with the landowner under which they assert authority to bring the claim, as required by the IPC code of practice section B, clause 1.1
7. A plan showing where any signs were displayed
8. Details of the signs displayed (size of sign, size of font, height at which displayed)
9. Provide details of the original charge, and detail any interest and administrative or other charges added.

Please provide the following information within 28 days, as you should already be in possession of the relevant documents this should be a trivial matter. A refusal to comply with the Practice Direction will result in an immediate referral to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. I also request that you halt processing until such time as satisfactory answers to the above are provided and I have had time to consider those answers.

As always any help/suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks all.

Posted by: bearclaw Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 16:02
Post #1437320

Also send a SAR to the parking company (NOT to the solicitors). Do it NOW should be done ages ago but there you are.

Tell the solicitors that you have sent an SAR to the parking company to narrow the issues as you still havent the info and ask them to wait until the parking co have responded tell them it's to help narrow the issues as per the PAP etc.... make it sound reasonable that you are trying to comply. Might get them to wait - they in theory should talk to their clients and tell them... it all adds time

Posted by: the_ism Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 15:06
Post #1437646

Thanks for the advice guys.

Did both first thing this morning. Will let you know when I hear back.

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