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Parking Eye - Mistyped reg - POPLA Appeal not upheld - advice requested
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 11:33
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Only just found this forum. Unfortunately the driver is already quite some way down the track in terms of appeal. Nonetheless, perhaps someone here can offer some insight/suggestions please.
I've read the FAQs and threads. I've also read up a little on some case histories such as Beavis, Cargius and Heggie.

Here's the sequence of events...
1. Driver picked up courtesy car while own car being repaired. Driver signed paperwork from courtesy car company stating that driver would be liable for parking fines and admin fees.
2. Driver parked courtesy car in Parking Eye Car Park which uses ANPR. The car park offers 30 mins free parking, charges apply thereafter. (For info, the driver had previously used the car park on an infrequent basis, and still has a valid ticket from parking their own vehicle 4 months prior).
3. Driver entered reg number in machine, paid for parking to cover 1 hour, displayed ticket in windscreen.
4. Driver returned within the paid for period and left car park.
5. Courtesy car returned a couple of days later. Parking ticket was in vehicle and was also returned.
6. PE contact courtesy car company who pass driver details to PE.
7. Courtesy car company write to driver with invoice for £54 admin fees relating to their handling of the PCN.
8. Driver advises courtesy car company that there will be no payment to them at this time.
9. Approx 5 weeks after the alleged parking offence PE contact driver with Parking Charge Notice of £100 for "not purchasing the appropriate parking or parking without a valid permit in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the signage". The PCN has photos of the courtesy car entering and leaving the car park. Time in car park is stated as 57 minutes.
10. Driver immediately writes to PE Appeals Department setting out the circumstances (courtesy car, clearly remembered purchasing 1 hour ticket, entered reg details from key fob). Driver begins to think that it could be that they may have mistyped the unfamiliar car reg into the parking machine, so in the letter to PE the driver specifically requests PE to furnish details of all number plates entering the car park around the same time period.
11. PE respond to driver asking for valid parking ticket or PayByPhone transaction details. The number plate details that the driver requested are not provided by PE, nor is there even any acknowledgement of the driver's request in PE's letter.
12. Drivers writes in response to PE pointing out that the driver no longer has the ticket (and why) and that the number plate information requested previously by the driver has not been furnished by PE. Driver repeats the request for PE to provide number plate information in and out of the car park during the period in question with associated times.
13. PE write to driver stating that the appeal has been unsuccessful: "Our records confirm that no parking was purchased on the date of the parking despite there being payment methods available on the day in question". PE again fail to acknowledge the repeated request by the driver for number plate records, let alone provide the information requested. PE provide POPLA code.
14. Driver calls POPLA to get a better understanding of the Appeal process and stating that PE have not provided the number plate info requested. POPLA assure driver that they will request this of PE as part of the Appeals process.
15. Driver submits online appeal to POPLA. This includes a quite detailed response on the “operator evidence” and a further request for the number plate information. The comments made on the operator evidence included:
- Sufficient parking was purchased, and for a period in excess of the time parked
- PE have repeated failed to provide the number plate info and has thus failed to provide the full, necessary and sufficient evidence of all records to justify their reason for rejection beyond reasonable doubt
- The driver has not set out to deliberately enter wrong information into the parking machine nor to deprive PE of revenue. PE has suffered no loss. This appears to have been genuine human error
- It is the driver’s assertion that the parking machine log records should show that a payment was made for a vehicle that does not appear in the ANPR records on that day.
- Mention made of PE v Heggie case. (Many forum contributors will know that this case was upheld in Heggie’s favour: Heggie mistyped the number plate and PE provided records that showed Mr Heggie had typed in number plate details that were different to the vehicle parked). Driver therefore believed PE would furnish similar information on the basis they had done so previously. Driver believes PE have been unreasonable in not providing this information, as this may have enabled the issue to have been resolved earlier without the need for PE’s litigious approach.
- The operator allowed the “erroneous” payment transaction to proceed without any warning to the driver. PE could easily have matched ANPR records versus payment machine details to detect discrepancies. It’s reasonable to assume that the payment was associated with the correct vehicle and that as the prescribed fee was offered by the driver and accepted by the payment machine that there was no breach of contract.
- Ambiguous terms & conditions and parking contract – with specific reference by the driver to the three different types of sign provided in the “Operator Evidence”. The driver feels there are strong grounds to challenge whether a valid contract was ever actually formed at law.
- PE’s operator evidence also has typos and human error, so it’s unfair to punish the driver’s possible human error when the claimant is equally culpable.
- On the balance of probabilities, the driver has paid the correct fee for a vehicle occupying the space that the vehicle in the ANPR photo occupied and PE has suffered no loss.
16. POPLA uphold PE’s case that the driver has exceeded the permitted free stay without making a payment. The response states that PE’s T&C’s in the car park clearly state that “motorists must enter their full correct vehicle registration when using the machine”. POPLA’s response continues “The whitelist lookup provided confirmed no valid payment was registered to the appellant’s vehicle. The PCN was issued correctly”. I note that in the motorist’s comments to the operator’s case file he has questioned the clarity of the signage. However, the motorists comments are to comment on the operator’s case file and not an opportunity to raise new grounds appeal and as such, I have not considered it.”
17. PE send driver “letter before County Court Claim” setting out additional costs for solicitor and court (totalling £75) that will be added to the £100 PCN. Much mention made of the Beavis case that PE won.
18. Driver does not respond to letter. Feels that evidence requested was not provided. Admits possible human error (though this can’t categorically be known as the evidence that only PE hold has not been furnished). Driver also feels POPLA’s investigation not thorough enough – it did not address all points raised by the driver and has deliberately dismissed some - and has failed to apply common sense in its judgement. The driver does not believe that it’s fair or moral – and indeed may be discriminatory (against anyone who is dyslexic for example) to demand that the correct registration be entered and that there be no grounds for appeal on the basis of genuine human error. Driver feels there was no point in trying to “negotiate” with PE now as PE are not contactable by phone and PE have already clearly ignored the driver’s requests for information and are unlikely to change their approach.
19. Driver receives County Court Business centre claim form for £175.
20. Driver calls the courtesy car company to see the key fob. The car was no longer on their fleet. However the courtesy car company did say that “to improve accuracy” they no longer have the handwritten key fobs that were in place at the time of the incident.
21. Driver calls BPA who tell the driver that their Code of practice does not govern payment machines!
22. Driver incensed that common sense would have resolved the situation without the need for time-wasting appeals and litigation. Driver feels POPLA process was just a game. The real issue here is what is moral, decent, fair and honest. Driver responds online to County Court with Acknowledgement of Service and stating that the driver will dispute the claim in full. A defence is due to be submitted within 14 days. The driver intends to act as Litigant in Person – given the small claim amount involved the driver currently feels it would be inappropriate to oil the legal wheels for a simple day-to-day matter that should have long since been easily resolved and where the driver has made every effort to do so.

Sorry – all this is ever so wordy, but I hope helpful.
Any comments and/or suggestions on a defence would be appreciated.
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post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 16:52
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Sorry to hear that you were not successful on this occasion. So that we all learn from this, what fake data did PE present?
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post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 16:52
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post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 17:01
Post #42


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Details are earlier in the thread. In short, payment data presented by PE was dodgy - the regnum entered by the driver from the keyfob wasn't present on PE's list. Instead the regnum of another vehicle the driver owns *was* present but with the 'O' (oh) change to a '0' (zero). A blind man could have seen that the number from the keyfob had been replaced by the other regnum. Such an obvious QWERTY error. But judge bottled it - always easier to say the driver made a typo than to entertain the possibility of fraud by PE.

This post has been edited by reg-number: Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 17:04
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