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Vehicle Control Services, Gallagher Retail Park Scunthorpe
Yogi_B
post Mon, 22 Feb 2016 - 11:00
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Hello to everyone and I'm hoping for some definitive advice regarding VCS of Sheffield who operate the site at Gallagher Retail park, Scunthorpe adjacent to the ground of Scunthorpe United F.C.

I have received one of their 'invoices' after straying onto the park in a company registered van in December. The circumstances are that at the time I was employed by an agency for a well-known automotive parts company, delivering to clients all over Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the East Midlands. Instructions had been given to meet one of the clients to drop parts with him near to the retail park, rather than at his business premises, as the parts were needed straight away. On reaching the general area it had been impossible to immediately locate the client and the van was driven onto the retail park with a view to safely stopping in order to contact him by phone and pinpoint him. I was and still am to some degree entirely unfamiliar with the area.

The vehicle was a long wheelbase Sprinter van which is unsuitable to take into most car parks because of its size but as the area in question is a quiet road, bordered both sides by wasteland. Certainly as one enters the retail park, if there were any signs about stopping at the entrance, they were not very noticeable. Furthermore, there was no painted lines on the road surface or kerbs and I believe that any signs asking people not to stop or park are situated on the wasteland adjacent to the road but are not particularly clear. A stop was made within the park, to get out of the van and to make the necessary phone call, but having read the notice I then left the area, two or three minutes later minutes later, as shown by the 'invoice'.

The company received in January an' invoice' from VCS and I informed my manager at the time that this was not a valid notice, such as from the Police or Council, and that she should inform HR to stonewall VCS who had no power to demand the driver's details. Unfortunately, and much to my anger, this advice was not followed and coming back from holiday ten days ago, I found my 'invoice' dated 4th February from VCS, as I was registered as keeper of the vehicle on that day. I might add that since the end of January, my contract with this company expired and I no longer work for them.

Now I'm no expert on all this, which is why I'm asking for advice but from what I can glean from trawling through lots of threads is that VCS are not members of the BPA which means a Popla code is not an option to appeal but they use the not so Independant Appeals Service which are seemingly some kind of kangaroo court. My gut instinct is to totally ignore them and wait for the deluge of junk mail that will inevitably follow but as I believe things have changed somewhat regarding appeals etc, I ask your advice.

I certainly have no intention of paying a penny for a necessary two minute stop on a deserted back street road on a Tuesday lunchtime in December. I can understand that because of the proximity of Scunthorpe United, on match days some kind of restriction on parking might be suitable for this area but even so asking for £100, or £60 if paid quicker, does not represent an accurate charge for parking for two hours, let alone a stop of two minutes as borne out by their ,photographic evidence'.

Your comments and advice are greatly appreciated.

This post has been edited by Yogi_B: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 - 14:57
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post Mon, 22 Feb 2016 - 11:00
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nosferatu1001
post Mon, 14 Mar 2016 - 01:32
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As above really. File and ignore debt collectors letters. Come back if they try court - they'd be nuts to do so, but you never know!
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Yogi_B
post Tue, 19 Apr 2016 - 11:54
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The below letter threatening court proceedings arrived on the mat this morning. I'm taking it that this another of their intimidatory letters and should just be filed with the others that I've got? Perhaps those more knowledgable can advise me accordingly.


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ostell
post Tue, 19 Apr 2016 - 13:16
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note the "may commence" and talks about debt collectors File and ignore.
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Yogi_B
post Tue, 19 Apr 2016 - 13:24
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QUOTE (ostell @ Tue, 19 Apr 2016 - 13:16) *
note the "may commence" and talks about debt collectors File and ignore.


I thought as much, thanks for your reply. What is the usual time/ quantity span of letters from VCS before they then pass it onto debt collectors and their letters start arriving?

This post has been edited by Yogi_B: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 - 13:26
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nosferatu1001
post Tue, 19 Apr 2016 - 16:20
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Variable

While it states they may commence witout further notice since this isnt a letter before action, to do so would be to break the Civil Procedure Rules, and so you can already show they are acting unreasonable. Meaning even if they win, you could get your costs paid by them anyway.
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Yogi_B
post Wed, 27 Jul 2016 - 13:56
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The post the other day brought two letters, both identically dated and in the same envelope. The first from VCS saying that the matter had been passed to their 'legal department' and the second from BW Legal who I notice have appeared on this forum quite a lot recently.

I've attached redacted copies of both letters but am just a little confused going through some of the threads involving BWL, some seem to say ignore while some say acknowledge receipt in case of future County Court proceedings to demonstrate a reasonable attitude or as in the case of THIS THREAD the advice is that BWL are treating 'non-repliers' as low hanging fruit and are issuing proceedings..

Nearly all refer to parking in car parks, in only one thread which refers to 'no stopping' (at Robin Hood Airport) HEREthe advice is seemingly to ignore. Since my initial email response to VCS to say that I do not accept their invoice, I have steadfastly ignored them and did not take up their kind offer of appealing to the IAS rolleyes.gif .

As always can I throw this out to the more knowledgable among you for your advice.






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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 27 Jul 2016 - 14:08
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here are two versions of the letters ,which is why youre seeing two lots of advice.

This is the DEBT RECOVERY letter. You can tell this, because your research will have told you that phrases such as "will seek..." are not letter before action phrases.

However, Gan suggests, and I agree, that you ALWAYS respond to actual solicitors letters, as otherwise if they did issue proceedings, a court may oerlok that this isnt a real letter at all.

Draft up the response, based on the others, and post here for critique.
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Yogi_B
post Wed, 27 Jul 2016 - 14:33
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 - 15:08) *
here are two versions of the letters ,which is why youre seeing two lots of advice.

This is the DEBT RECOVERY letter. You can tell this, because your research will have told you that phrases such as "will seek..." are not letter before action phrases.

However, Gan suggests, and I agree, that you ALWAYS respond to actual solicitors letters, as otherwise if they did issue proceedings, a court may oerlok that this isnt a real letter at all.

Draft up the response, based on the others, and post here for critique.


Thanks for your speedy response Nosferatu. I'll do some research into the various threads and see what I can come back with.
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Yogi_B
post Tue, 2 Aug 2016 - 14:28
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I've cobbled the below together as a response to BW Legal, can some of you with the necessary expertise just check over and suggest any edits or things to add. Thanks in anticipation.

Dear BW Legal,

With reference to your letter dated 19th July 2016, ref VCS/*******…
I am the registered keeper of the vehicle and for reasons that have already been furnished to Vehicle Control Services Ltd prior to your instruction, any debt to VCS Ltd is strenuously denied.
In your letter I note several breaches of the Solicitor's Code of Conduct Chapter 11 regarding your attempt to take advantage of a third party's lack of legal knowledge. I refer in particular to your claim for £54 legal costs. Even if they have been incurred, you are fully aware that they cannot be recovered in the Small Claims Court and should be met by your client.
I also note your misrepresentation of the consequences of an adverse judgement.
You are in breach of Chapter 11 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct, specifically (Indicative Behaviours) IB 11.7 and 11.8.
If I receive a Letter Before Action that fully meets the requirements of the Practice Direction for pre-action conduct and protocols, I will provide a more detailed response. However, be assured that any court claim against me will be defended fully on the grounds that it is both vexatious and without merit.

Yours Faithfully
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emanresu
post Wed, 3 Aug 2016 - 05:37
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As well as the above you can also complain.

BW Legal is a member of the Credit Services Association (http://www.csa-uk.com/consumer/our-members/) and these letters breach their Code of Practice (http://www.csa-uk.com/assets/documents/com...of_practice.pdf) with regards to the wording.

Here are part of the code they have breached

(Every member shall:)
1(a) - conduct its business in compliance with all relevant legislation, regulations, regulatory guidance and requirements and this Code of Practice

1(p) - not place restrictions or time limits on the legitimate querying of unallocated payments

1(v) - when an account is reasonably disputed or a complaint is received, suspend collection activity and investigate and where applicable refer the matter to their client

1(dd) - ensure that they take into account the customer’s domicile and the law applicable to the agreement underlying the debt

6(a) - when seeking to identify an individual, take reasonable steps to ensure that data and information used in the identification process is, to the best of their knowledge, accurateand adequate

10© - only state an intention to commence proceedings that are reasonably likely to be undertaken against or applied for in respect of the customer.


Send a complaint to the CSA here

http://www.csa-uk.com/assets/documents/for...plaint_form.pdf

Since VCS are responsible for the behaviour of BW legal raise another complaint with the DVLA

This post has been edited by emanresu: Wed, 3 Aug 2016 - 05:38


--------------------
Where there is a claim - there is a counterclaim.
Are Parking companies misusing your personal data or interfering with your lease? Counterclaims are only £25. Makes them sit up and take notice. For leaseholds, join in the Managing agents too. Since the purpose of these claims is to frighten you, give them something to be frightened of.
Subject Access Requests to the DVLA?Find out who accessed your data and when. Try SubjectAccess.Requests@dvla.gsi.gov.uk. [Apologies if it does not work]
Double Dip / ANPR FaultsThe BPA Report on ANPR Double Dips is here. Ideal case for a counterclaim (see above).
Daily Court List. See who is doing what and where here
Printing and posting Witness Statements. Easy and cheap way DoxDirect
What is court like. A District Judge's view
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Yogi_B
post Wed, 3 Aug 2016 - 15:30
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Dear BW Legal,

With reference to your letter dated 19th July 2016, ref VCS/*******…
I am the registered keeper of the vehicle and for reasons that have already been furnished to Vehicle Control Services Ltd prior to your instruction, any debt to VCS Ltd is strenuously denied.

In your letter I note several breaches of the Solicitor's Code of Conduct regarding your attempt to take advantage of a third party's lack of legal knowledge. I refer in particular to your claim for £54 legal costs. Even if they have been incurred, you are fully aware that they cannot be recovered in the Small Claims Court and should be met by your client.
I also note your misrepresentation of the consequences of an adverse judgement.You are in breach of Chapter 11 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct, specifically (Indicative Behaviours) IB 11.7 and 11.8.

Furthermore, as a member of the Credit Services Association and therefore signatory to their codes of practice, BW Legal is in breach of several of these codes. As the debt is disputed continued correspondence from yourselves will be seen as a further breach of that COP.

If I receive a Letter Before Action that fully meets the requirements of the Practice Direction for pre-action conduct and protocols, I will provide a more detailed response. However, be assured that any court claim against me will be defended fully on the grounds that it is both vexatious and without merit.

Yours Faithfully

Thanks for your input Emanresu, I've added a line and mentioned the Credit Services aspect without going into specifics at this stage.

I've noticed in some other threads mention of the Data Protection Act but I'm unsure how to word this properly regarding holding of my details on theirs and VCS's databases. Is that worth adding to this or will the above be sufficent?


This post has been edited by Yogi_B: Wed, 3 Aug 2016 - 15:31
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Yogi_B
post Thu, 4 Aug 2016 - 08:45
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Just to bump this up a bit, can my last draft go to BW as it is, or does it need any amendments, such as DP? At nearly a fortnight since their letter was received I think that it may be time to send them something. Thanks again in anticipation.
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Yogi_B
post Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 10:26
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Just received my second letter from BWL, headed FINAL NOTICE now saying that they have been instructed by VCS to collect payment within 17 days or commence County Court proceedings. They have continued with their incorrectly worded blurb about County Court Judgments.


Not quite sure now how to continue with this. Do I ignore this letter or reply back to reiterate my position? It is interesting that they make no mention of my letter sent on 8th August (I have proof of posting) refuting their claim and telling them to refer it back to VCS. I did not enter details of proposed defence but made it abundantly clear that I would defend against any subsequent proceedings.



This post has been edited by Yogi_B: Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 11:06
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Steve_999
post Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 10:38
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QUOTE (Yogi_B @ Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 11:26) *
. . . .

Unfortunately I'm struggling to upload a picture of it as I seem to have reached the limit of my photo attachment allowance.
. . . .


This will help re posting images.
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Yogi_B
post Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 10:50
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QUOTE (Steve_999 @ Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 11:38) *
QUOTE (Yogi_B @ Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 11:26) *
. . . .

Unfortunately I'm struggling to upload a picture of it as I seem to have reached the limit of my photo attachment allowance.
. . . .


This will help re posting images.


Thanks I managed to find another way.
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Gan
post Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 11:17
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Dear Sir

Ref ***

I note your Final Notice dated 8th August

I refer you to my previously reply, a copy of which is enclosed

My position is unchanged

Yours Faithfully


You've already warned them about their breaches of the CSA and SRA codes of conduct so go ahead with complaints to both organisations
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Yogi_B
post Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 11:25
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QUOTE (Gan @ Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 12:17) *
Dear Sir

Ref ***

I note your Final Notice dated 8th August

I refer you to my previously reply, a copy of which is enclosed

My position is unchanged

Yours Faithfully


You've already warned them about their breaches of the CSA and SRA codes of conduct so go ahead with complaints to both organisations


Thanks for that Gan appreciated. Should I also mention about my complaint to CSA and SRA?

I was going to add the following:

In my last letter I made mention of your company’s breaches of both the codes of conduct of the Credit Services Association and Solicitor’s Regulation Authority, breaches which you have continued to make in your latest letter and therefore I have no alternative but to report this to both bodies.

This post has been edited by Yogi_B: Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 12:34
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cabbyman
post Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 13:53
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NO!

Gan's letters are precisely crafted to avoid saying anything unnecessary. You have already warned them that you will be complaining to SRA and CSA.


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Yogi_B
post Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 14:19
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QUOTE (cabbyman @ Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 14:53) *
NO!

Gan's letters are precisely crafted to avoid saying anything unnecessary. You have already warned them that you will be complaining to SRA and CSA.


Fair enough, glad that I asked first.
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SchoolRunMum
post Mon, 22 Aug 2016 - 14:28
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Go ahead and make those complaints though!

Strong versions to copy from are shown here:

SRA complaint: http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=107836

and here:

CSA complaint: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5490266

Make sure you only include relevant paragraphs of course (i.e. if the example says 'the BW Legal letter says this' then you must only use if if your letters do say it!
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