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PCN - VCS in Sheffield - Soft appeal rejected
BigAlC
post Tue, 28 Apr 2015 - 11:45
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Hi all,

I've joined here from MSE in the hope some legal eagles can give me a bit of a pointer regarding the appeal to the entirely "unbias" IAS board.

Here is the link to the MSE topic, but I'll copy the latest post and add some information below;

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5228413

QUOTE
So, as for the pcn. It has been issued under a code 81. "Parked in a restricted area of a car park".

As you can see from the pictures above, there is no signage to dictate that the area is restricted, neither on the floor markings or on posts. This alone makes this ticket null and void in my opinion but obviously they thought otherwise by responding on this point saying;
QUOTE
"As per the statement made by our patrol officer, your vehicle was parked in a restricted area. Specifically, they stated, "not parked in a bay or space, parked in a service bay". The signs on site clearly state, "Park correctly and only between the lines of a single marked bay". It is not unreasonable to expect motorists to check signs in situ before leaving their vehicle.
.


I think they have caught themselves out there, as he says the patrol monkey has said one thing, and their own sign says another. Please correct me if I am wrong.

It goes on to say;
QUOTE
Your vehicle was not parked in a parking bay, and the signs on site indicate that any area that is not a parking bay may not be used for parking. Accordingly, this notice was issued correctly for a breach of the Terms and Conditions displayed on site and quoted above, and the charge will therefore stand. Whilst we appreciate what you have stated in your correspondance, we must advise you that it is the landower's decision whether or not to have lines warning motorists. As the signage in the car park is deemed as adequate, there is no need for lines warning motorists as well.

Personally, I still think this is rubbish. Again though if anyone can enlighten me that would be wonderful.

I also pulled up the charge amount and questioned its value, here is the response;

QUOTE
We note your comments in relation to the amount of our PCN charges and we can confirm that they represent a sum for liquidated and ascertained damages in respect of a breach of the "parking contract". Those charges have been calculated in advance and were clearly set out on the signage. When a motorist parks in breach of the terms and conditions of parking, a loss is incurred by us as incorrect parking prevents the efficient management of the car park. If we are unable to regulate the car park, our clients would not require our services and the company would cease to exist. It is therefore justifiable that the operator seeks to enforce its terms and conditions.


I will be sending another letter to them today, asking for a fully compliant VAT invoice to be sent to me with a breakdown of all charges applied to create the £100 charge. We shall see what they say.


So I will have a look for a template, unless someone wishes to provide something which might stand a chance of getting the PCN thrown out?

It will basically be along the same lines as my original appeal of contravention did not occur due to lack of restricted area signage and ergo lack of signage stipulating where restricted areas are and disproportional charges.

I understand that once this letter is fired off, unless I get a court order or similar I simply ignore further letters, although there is an option to deny the "collection agency" and refer them back to VCS.

Oh as a side note, I'll be getting a witness statement from one of the business owners to add ammo to my rebuttle.

Cheers for any help anyone can offer. I realise it's a mammoth first post and I've probably left loads out, but please ask any questions you need answering.

Al.
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post Tue, 28 Apr 2015 - 11:45
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 29 Apr 2015 - 14:21
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Indeed, get your side in place, and see what happens

I dont suggest ignore - my preferred solution is to tell them you will not appeal to the IAS, due to your reasonable belief that their assesment will not be fair, and will therefore be a waste of time. As a result payment will only be made after a court orders you to, and that for the avoidance of doubt the engagement of debt collectors will be fruitless, as you will dispute any debt with them
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BigAlC
post Thu, 30 Apr 2015 - 08:20
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So, just a quick update. A response as per above will be drafted today, and sent off tomorrow when I can get to the post office. I'll stick a copy up when it's done.

In other news; I've drafted a complaint to my local big hitter MP's and will be sending those off to, just to add to my paper trail should the LBC arrive.

For those interested;

QUOTE
Dear Mr XXX,

I write to you today with a complaint and a feeling of great concern over the way the people are treated within your constituency, and the greater area of Sheffield in regard to the operation of what can only be classed as predatory Private Parking Firms.

As I'm sure you are aware from the news and undoubtedly other contact from the public, these companies only cause problems and pain for every day motorists and their families, with untold stress and confusion due to the illegitimate operating nature of their business model and harassment of individuals to obtain monetary gain.

Unfortunately one such company operate within your constituency. The firm in question is Vehicle Control Services Ltd, who to all intents and purposes are a self regulated firm, despite having claimed to joined an unbiased approved body in the IAS/IPC.

The appeals process they follow is fundamentally flawed, and stacked against the appellant.

When looking in to this approved body for appeals and the attached "adjudicators", the names behind them show that they are owned and directed by the same people. I would argue then that how can such a body be unbiased in their approach when it is mutually beneficial to both parties to uphold any challenge in the favor of the claimant and not to hear any argument from the appellant? Furthermore when challenged at appeal stage, the "unbiased" assessor is not named and kept completely anonymous. Surely this is meant to be a completely transparent appeals process? I would argue further that the entire process is questionable, and were you to take some time to really look in to the number of appeals upheld that the percentile would be very low.

I employ you Mr XXX to take some time from your busy schedule to look in to this body and their very underhand tactics in relation to supporting their own self serving "scam" on the public and to really consider what this is doing in order to support the communities of Sheffield and the wider country, when the law that we rely on is being so flagrantly flouted by these conscienceless money grabbers.


Yours Sincerely,


Cheers,

Al.
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numanoids
post Thu, 30 Apr 2015 - 08:24
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QUOTE (BigAlC @ Thu, 30 Apr 2015 - 09:20) *
So, just a quick update. A response as per above will be drafted today, and sent off tomorrow when I can get to the post office. I'll stick a copy up when it's done.

In other news; I've drafted a complaint to my local big hitter MP's and will be sending those off to, just to add to my paper trail should the LBC arrive.

For those interested;

QUOTE
Dear Mr XXX,

I write to you today with a complaint and a feeling of great concern over the way the people are treated within your constituency, and the greater area of Sheffield in regard to the operation of what can only be classed as predatory Private Parking Firms.

As I'm sure you are aware from the news and undoubtedly other contact from the public, these companies only cause problems and pain for every day motorists and their families, with untold stress and confusion due to the illegitimate operating nature of their business model and harassment of individuals to obtain monetary gain.

Unfortunately one such company operate within your constituency. The firm in question is Vehicle Control Services Ltd, who to all intents and purposes are a self regulated firm, despite having claimed to joined an unbiased approved body in the IAS/IPC.

The appeals process they follow is fundamentally flawed, and stacked against the appellant.

When looking in to this approved body for appeals and the attached "adjudicators", the names behind them show that they are owned and directed by the same people. I would argue then that how can such a body be unbiased in their approach when it is mutually beneficial to both parties to uphold any challenge in the favor of the claimant and not to hear any argument from the appellant? Furthermore when challenged at appeal stage, the "unbiased" assessor is not named and kept completely anonymous. Surely this is meant to be a completely transparent appeals process? I would argue further that the entire process is questionable, and were you to take some time to really look in to the number of appeals upheld that the percentile would be very low.

I employ you Mr XXX to take some time from your busy schedule to look in to this body and their very underhand tactics in relation to supporting their own self serving "scam" on the public and to really consider what this is doing in order to support the communities of Sheffield and the wider country, when the law that we rely on is being so flagrantly flouted by these conscienceless money grabbers.


Yours Sincerely,


Cheers,

Al.


Why not send it to ALL the candidates? Problem is that nobody is an MP anymore until next week but notifying them all about a legitimate concern you can chase up the eventual winner once they take the position and remind them and ask for them to investigate.
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BigAlC
post Thu, 30 Apr 2015 - 09:15
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Good point.

Picked the two most high profile (Blunkett / Clegg), but admittedly shouldn't miss the chance to get them all covered.

Will get that sorted and sent out before week is out.

Cheers,

Al.
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emanresu
post Thu, 30 Apr 2015 - 10:09
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QUOTE
I employ you Mr XXX


implore?

You may want to point out that the IAS is substantially different from all the other Adjudicators in that it has failed to appoint a Chief Adjudicator and is essentially unregulated by a qualified person.


--------------------
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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Castle
post Thu, 30 Apr 2015 - 11:32
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QUOTE (BigAlC @ Thu, 30 Apr 2015 - 10:15) *
Good point.

Picked the two most high profile (Blunkett / Clegg), but admittedly shouldn't miss the chance to get them all covered.

Will get that sorted and sent out before week is out.

Cheers,

Al.

Blunkett isn't standing for election and Clegg may be looking for another job come 8th May.
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BigAlC
post Thu, 30 Apr 2015 - 17:47
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Another good point. I'll hold off until the elections are through.

In an update to the car park, all of a sudden, double yellow lines have appeared all around the area concerned. So surely that means that by proxy they accept that they were in the wrong?

In which case is it worth mentioning in my response back to vcs when I refuse to appeal via the biased ias?

Going to have another go at getting the land owners details as well to get it cancelled since they've now marked up restricted areas.

Cheers,
Al.
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nosferatu1001
post Fri, 1 May 2015 - 13:47
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Yes. Same as suddenly replacing signage indicating the prior signage was inadequate.
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BigAlC
post Sat, 2 May 2015 - 10:50
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Well, in relation to signage, I went and measured from the floor to the bottom of each sign in the given area, and each one comes in at between 73 to 80 inches, before the sign starts, so well above the prescribed t&c for IPC.

Also, they still have BPA logos on them, not the required IPC ones who they are now part of.

Photos taken of everything, including the new double yellows.

I'm looking forward to any further correspondence now, whilst my evidence folder gets fatter.

This post has been edited by BigAlC: Sat, 2 May 2015 - 10:51
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dom123
post Mon, 4 May 2015 - 22:58
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Hi there, looks like I've been caught out by this one the weekend (on the yellows stupidly!), didn't notice as usually park in this spot. Looks like the only defence I'll have will be sign height and markings, do you happen to have a copy of the pictures you've taken of the signs?

Does anyone think it's worth me challenging? I honestly didn't see the signs so there was no contract! Just think I don't have much of a case.
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BigAlC
post Tue, 5 May 2015 - 06:38
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If someone could give this a quick check over to make sure it makes reasonable sense, that would be much appreciated.

As mentioned I won't appeal direct to IAS due to unfair and unbias.

QUOTE
In relation to your response letter dated 23 April 2015, I write to inform you that I will not be appealing to the IAS due to my reasonable belief that their assessment of my case will not be unbias or fair, as is shown in their public performance and therefore will be a waste of time.

Due the above, a payment for your invoice will only be provided should a court order the registered keeper to make such a payment. Although this will be defended and evidence provided to prove that a contact cannot be formed on various grounds.

For clarity, engagement of debt collectors will yield no results as the invoice will be disputed with them and they will be referred back to you.

I would like to add at this point that there have been double yellow lines painted on the floor in the area of the contravention. This by proxy re-enforces my point that the area in which the vehicle was parked, was not at that time a restricted area. The landowner by virtue of having these lines added to the car park has admitted fault and that the area was not therefore a restricted area prior to this.

I hereby give you 28 days to cancel this notice, should I hear no correspondence within this time from you directly then I shall consider this matter closed, and no further action will be taken.


Cheers all.

Al.

This post has been edited by BigAlC: Tue, 5 May 2015 - 06:50
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BigAlC
post Tue, 5 May 2015 - 12:47
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If anyone could just skim over this before 4pm that would be grand.

I'm intending on printing and sending off this afternoon, I think most points are covered, but I don't want to give all of my points away on the response.

cheers again.

Al.
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BigAlC
post Wed, 6 May 2015 - 17:40
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Letter above was sent first class yesterday, confirmation of postage obtained.

So 28days brings me until the 2nd June and I am all clear fingers crossed. If not it'll just have to wait until after my holiday.

Cheers,
Al
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BigAlC
post Thu, 25 Jun 2015 - 12:20
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Hi all,

Sorry for lack of reply. Anyway, I've got my NTK. Woo. It arrived on 01-06-15. Contravention occurred on 10-03-15. So more than the 56 days limit. However, as I've already appealled to VCS I don't suppose this means much?

Can anyone confirm or deny that I should now just go in to ignore mode for everything further other than LBC letters?

I'm kind of hoping to be pro-active in getting them to do one. I've contacted the land management company with little success so far, so just keep peppering them with emails in the hope of getting something sorted out.

Cheers for any input.

Al.
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 25 Jun 2015 - 20:04
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So you appealed and they still sent an ntk? Surely they had no reasonable cause to do so?
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BigAlC
post Fri, 26 Jun 2015 - 06:11
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Thu, 25 Jun 2015 - 21:04) *
So you appealed and they still sent an ntk? Surely they had no reasonable cause to do so?


Correct. In my haste to tell them to do one, I appealed instead of waiting for the NTK to arrive. It arrived the day I went on holiday for 2 and a bit weeks.

So far I've gone through the process with VCS appeals, was rejected (no suprise) and offered the chance to use IAS which I responded to VCS saying I won't be as they are basically the same company and completely unbias. Gave them 28days to respond or I consider the matter closed. Heard nothing until after day 28 which was when the NTK arrived.

Usual stuff, red writing, do not ignore, pay £100 or risk court action blah blah.
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nosferatu1001
post Fri, 26 Jun 2015 - 10:38
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Completely biased, not unbiased smile.gif

So the query is - WHY did they access your registered keeper information?

They had an appeal from the driver, therefroe they had NO REASONABLE CAUSE to access the RK data. This is a breach of the DPA, surely?

As it is after day 28, write back and state you consider the matter closed. You will not entertain further correspondance from them unless they lay papers, which you will vigouously defend, poinitng out to the court the unreasonable behaviour of VCS when it comes to the question of costs.
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BigAlC
post Fri, 26 Jun 2015 - 11:53
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Ah yes, Biased is what I meant. Ta.

I'll give the DVLA a ring to see who has requested my data recently. There is a line in the NTK, I quote:

"Your details were either obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) as the registered keeper / owner of the vehicle OR you have contacted us as the driver, OR you have been identified as the driver at the time of the contravention but payment remains outstanding."

I'll draft a letter tonight / tomorrow and get it posted off about the 28 days and costs etc. Although I doubt there will be a response other than the debt collectors letters.
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nosferatu1001
post Fri, 26 Jun 2015 - 12:03
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It means if they do, through idiocy, try to take you to court and tack on spuroius extra charges for DCA etc, you can point out you already told thenm you would only pay on a court ordering you to do so - so they failed to mitigate their own costs.
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BigAlC
post Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 12:07
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Just a quick update, nothing of much note, but helps keep a timeline of things.

So, sent a response to VCS on 26th June basically mentioning 28 days were passed etc. All quiet so on the front so far.

Also sent a request for access information to DVLA on same day. Still waiting to hear back on that.

Also sent letters to the MP's of local constituencies on the 10th outlining what a farce the company is and how they are in effect an unregulated body. Will see if I get any response from that.

Cheers.
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