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Parking Eye, Mercure Hotel Wetherby, Most expensive 20 minutes parking ever?
AlfaRomeo
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 11:39
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Hello everybody,

I have just received a "Parking Charge Notice" from Parking Eye, which informs me that a week or so ago a car, of which I am reg'd keeper, was parked in the carpark of the Mercure Hotel, Wetherby, for a grand total of 20 minutes and 52 seconds. For this privilege they are inviting me to pay them £100!

The PCN includes photos of the car, which are marked with an arrival and departure time. To the best of my knowledge, any signs explaining about possible parking restrictions are either not there, or extremely easy to miss(!). I was not a patron of the hotel at the time.

Before posting I have spent a bit of time trawling the site to see what I could learn. However, from what I gather the advice can vary a bit depending on several factors such as the location or even the firm which has issued the notice... also there appears to be a bit of an ignore/appeal debate going on, the current feeling on which appears to be swaying towards toeing the line and appealing?

So I figured I'd post this up for some more specific advice, if you'd be kind enough to give it!

Obviously happy to share more information as needed.

Thanks in advance.

This post has been edited by AlfaRomeo: Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 11:55
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post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 11:39
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Redivi
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 12:35
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What have they alleged and why was the car there ?

Is it a pay car park or is the driver supposed to register the car at reception ?
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AlfaRomeo
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 13:02
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Hi Redivi

The closest thing I can see to any allegation is the wording in the "parking charge information" part of the form. Essentially that their signage states that the car park is on private land, is managed by ParkingEye Ltd. and is for hotel patrons only. The allegation is of "either not purchasing a valid pay and display ticket, by remaining at the car park for longer than permitted, or by not entering registration details via the terminal [in the hotel reception]"

No details of the car had been entered in the reception terminal. I'm surmising, but I guess it works on the terminal only, i.e. not a pay car park.

The driver was staying in the Wetherby/Harrogate area and had made a plan to meet a family member that day, who was to be driving past nearby, up the A1. The plan was intially quite general, in that a meeting had been agreed, but only an approximate time and place. The intention was to stay in touch via phone and then narrow down the timing and location as the day progressed. Since it was a convenient/safe place and a good landmark, it was decided to use the Mercure Hotel on the A58, which has a car park right beside the road.

The other party arrived approximately 10-15 minutes after the driver and also parked in the same car park. After some more minutes of exchange, all parties then left the carpark and went on their way. I am given to believe the other party has not yet received any form of "notice", which I assume is because they were not present in the car park for as long.

I have not yet contacted the hotel, (which I'm guessing will be high up on the advice list!). Not that I expect I'm likely to get much joy out of them, but I guess even as a formality/part of the process it still has to be done.

This post has been edited by AlfaRomeo: Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 08:27
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ostell
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 15:52
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Does the NTK mention POFA? Probably on the back page.

Is this a hire car?

Be careful that you don't infer who was driving, or hint at it. #3 hints at it.
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AlfaRomeo
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 16:25
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Yes, there is a paragraph relating to the Protection of Freedoms Act on the back of the notice.

Nope, not a hire car.

QUOTE (ostell @ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 16:52) *
Be careful that you don't infer who was driving, or hint at it. #3 hints at it.


Sure, I'm totally with you. However since Redivi asked what the car was doing there... All suggestions for a better way to answer that question, in a "forum friendly" way, gratefully received :-)

Thanks

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ostell
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 16:28
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As is stated in many other threads use "The driver......." etc.
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kommando
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 16:32
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Its not forum friendly when seen in a PPC's evidence pack.
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emanresu
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 17:07
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Is it me or does the panache of "Mercure" and "Wetherby" jar somewhat.


--------------------
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
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AlfaRomeo
post Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 19:04
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QUOTE (emanresu @ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 18:07) *
Is it me or does the panache of "Mercure" and "Wetherby" jar somewhat.


Haha, probably not just you. biggrin.gif

In its defence, Wetherby is a nice little town from what I have seen of it.



QUOTE (ostell @ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 17:28) *
As is stated in many other threads use "The driver......." etc.


Ok, thanks for the clarification. My response to that question was about the best I could come up with, but it's apparently quite a difficult line to tread when you're not used to this sort of thing!


QUOTE (kommando @ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 17:32) *
Its not forum friendly when seen in a PPC's evidence pack.


Forgive me, kommando. What I meant by "forum friendly" was just "within the guidelines of this forum", or "better than what I'd already said". It was a genuine request - I'm not sure from your response if you thought I was being sarky or childish - if so, apologies, please be assured I wasn't! If not, then it's me who's misinterpreted and I'll shut up now :-)

This post has been edited by AlfaRomeo: Tue, 31 Jul 2018 - 19:23
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The Rookie
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 00:58
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Edit #3 remove any I, you, they, he she etc, refer to the person carrying out the drivers actions as ‘the driver’ and you as the reciepent of the PCN as ‘the keeper’, don’t vary from this.


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AlfaRomeo
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 08:36
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OK, hopefully sorted now, thanks.
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AlfaRomeo
post Sat, 4 Aug 2018 - 10:04
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I was poised to give the hotel a ring and then I had a thought - should I also avoid making all reference to anyone but "the driver" when speaking to them?
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ostell
post Sat, 4 Aug 2018 - 10:42
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Your thoughts were correct, it is often the case that everything will be handed to the parking company for action so don't identify the driver
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AlfaRomeo
post Sat, 4 Aug 2018 - 10:58
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OK, thanks.

It's a shame in a way, as I would think the chances of appealing to the hotel's better side (if they have one) would be stronger if I didn't have to adopt (what some might see as) a rather defensive position of not saying who the driver was! But I understand why one has to do that, so I'm glad I asked here first anyway.

Under normal circumstances, who actually has the right to revoke the charge? Is it only the landowner? If the hotel say they can't do anything about it are they just being lazy?

Cheers
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ostell
post Sat, 4 Aug 2018 - 11:46
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It's whoever contracted with them. In your case it would probably be the hotel. When you get a "nothing to do with us" response it normally means "we can't be arsed"

If the hotel is a chain then an email to the CEO often helps.
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cabbyman
post Sat, 4 Aug 2018 - 13:58
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Tell the hotel that they ARE responsible for the actions of their agent and, in the event that a cause for action may arise against their agent, they will be joined to the action as principle. They are perfectly capable of getting this cancelled, particularly as the driver hasn't yet completed their Trip Advisor review.

This post has been edited by cabbyman: Sat, 4 Aug 2018 - 13:59


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AlfaRomeo
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 16:18
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Small update.

Firstly, to be totally honest, and as much as I know I'm going to get told off by folks on here, I have now probably let this one run on much longer than I should, for which reason I am a numpty. Apart from anything, sorry for those that replied earlier that you'll probably have to read back over the thread to remember what it was all about!

Latest correspondence from Parking Eye is a "Letter Before County Court Claim", dated 13/09/18, stating they require the full £100 and that if I "wish to contact them" I must do this within 30 days from the date of the letter (which would take us to the 13th october), and enclosing a form with a variety of answers I can tick.

From the start I have not made any contact with Parking Eye about this, and have instead spoken with the Hotel in the hope that I can cut out Parking Eye entirely and just get them (the hotel) to cancel the charge.

I spoke by phone to a staff member at the hotel, who gave me an email address (seemingly owned by the hotel group, not Parking Eye) to send details to. I sent pretty much a verbatim copy of the original details I gave in post #3 above (also referring only to "the driver") along with a plea to cancel the charge, and have not yet received a response.

Speaking to another person at the hotel I have now been informed to expect a 28 day turn-around on that email address. This is of course useless, as it would take me beyond the 13th October date imposed by the latest Parking Eye letter.

I then spoke to the customer services of the Mercure parent, Accor Hotels, hoping to get to speak to somebody in a relatively senior position. Was informed that I could not be put through to the hotel's manager directly, but was asked by the customer services operator to send her the details via email, which she would forward to the relevant person. Feels a bit like another dead end.


In the meantime, I happened across an online review of the same hotel by a patron who had received two £100 notices and was naturally not over the moon. In a response to this review, the general manager mentions that if residents receive a parking charge due to not following the protocol, they (the hotel) can request Parking Eye to cancel the charge. Not that the driver was a hotel patron in my case, but at least this seems to suggest that the power of cancelling the charge lies with the hotel.


Finally, in speaking to the hotel I also found out that the time limit for parking is 20 minutes. The entry time was 14:56:06, and the leaving time was 15:16:58, resulting in an "over-stay" of just 52 seconds! I know of a few expensive car parks, but I've never seen one which charges nearly £7,000 per hour :-)

So, I'm wondering what might the next step be? Time to respond to Parking Eye with an explanation/request to cancel? I realise they have already provided an opportunity to appeal which I have yet to take, but my gut feeling was to try and sort this out solely via the hotel, and that any plaintive response to Parking Eye was nothing more than a waste of time. Anyway, I realise I've probably not followed the path the experts on here may suggest, and have not acted as fast as I should. However I'd really appreciate any pointers.

Thanks all.
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anon45
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 18:32
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Were you actually *parked* for more than 20 minutes, or, as I suspect, was this time of entry into and exit from the car park as recorded by PE's ANPR cameras?

PE signs do typically state in tiny font that "parking" is deemed to be the time taken in the car park, but I would argue that this interpretation of the phrase "parking" is contrary to the natural meaning of the English language, is onerous and detrimental to the consumer by setting a concealed trap with a punitive charge (falling foul of Lord Denning's "red hand rule"), and not saved from the Consumer Rights Act (edited) 2015 by its (lack of) prominence in the the way that the "core charge" almost certainly is, post Beavis.

This post has been edited by anon45: Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 20:14
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AlfaRomeo
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 19:42
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I've tried to work out from the photographs supplied on the PCN, along with a bit of google satellite view, where exactly the "boundaries" of the ANPR system are. It looks like the point where the car triggered on the way in is quite different to where it was re-photographed on the way out. In both the in and out photos it's the front of the car in the shot.

It's clear from the "in" photo that the car was ~50m in from the main entrance off the A58, and maybe 20-30m from the point where the car was eventually pulled into a space. The "out" photo less easy to place.

In any case, even assuming that the exit camera was in about the same place as the entry one, then yes it is perfectly possible that those expensive 52 seconds were spent driving to, looking for, reversing out of and then driving away from, the space in which the car was eventually parked. If the exit camera was actually closer to the main road on the way out, then there might have been even a few more seconds of "not-parking" :-)

Incidentally, the google view also shows that there were originally barriers at the position of the ANPR, these can be seen in the satellite view but are magically gone on the street view. They were not there by the day in question (which is a shame as it would have meant the driver would not have entered!)

This post has been edited by AlfaRomeo: Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 07:35
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nosferatu1001
post Tue, 9 Oct 2018 - 06:48
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CRA2015, not UCTA2015
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