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I thought I'd paid - then I got a PCN
PEVictim
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 21:55
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I visited my local hospital with my son in April 2017 and parked for an hour and five minutes. Before I left I visited the parking pay machine entered my registration number, put in my bank card, and selected payment of £3 (for up to 2 hours). The machine then gave me a receipt, which I briefly looked at, and I saw the words ‘receipt’ and ‘amount £3.00’. I believed that I had made payment and so did my son who watched me throughout. Therefore I went to my car and drove home.

The next month I received a letter from Parking Eye demanding a payment of £80 because I had not paid for my parking on 17th April. I checked my bank account and found that no payment had been taken. I then found my receipt which I had fortunately kept. After studying it carefully, I spotted the words ‘card void’ which had been obscured by the machine overprinting other words printed on the ticket. As it was 10.20pm and dark outside I was not able to read these obscured words.

I do not know why payment was not taken as there were sufficient funds in my bank account at the time. The receipt that I was given by the machine clearly shows my intention to pay as it shows my visa card was used and the correct fee was selected - £3 for up to 2 hours. I can not recall the machine telling me that my transaction had failed. There are no barriers stopping you drive out of the car park when you haven't paid (as in many other car parks). So the receipt was the only way to inform me of non-payment.

I appealed to Parking Eye who turned me down and then appealed to Popla who also rejected my appeal. They said I hadn't paid and therefore I had broken the contract but did not acknowledge that the ticket machine had led me to believe that I did pay.

I have now received a 'Letter before County Court Claim' What should I do next?

I am quite happy to pay them the £3 they failed to take from me.
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cabbyman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 23:01
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What did you put in your POPLA appeal? What did POPLA's adjudication say?

I have a feeling that you appealed on mitigation, rather than legal points.

I will reserve a final judgement until you post the transcripts answering my above questions, but I have a feeling you may be better of paying this and putting it down to experience.

Next time, come on here early in the process. We don't lose many!


--------------------
Cabbyman 8 PPCs 0
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PEVictim
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 20:56
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I have no intention of paying the fine. I feel I was deceived into thinking I had paid by a misprinted receipt. I see it like paying for an item in a shop at the till, walking out, then being prosecuted for shop lifting because the transaction didn't go through. I can't see how that can be legal.

A copy of the receipt is attached.
Attached Image


This is what I sent to Popla ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I visited the RUH with my 20 year old son on 17th April 2017 and parked in the car park near the Princess Anne Wing. I went into the A&E unit with my son, and came out about an hour later.
Outside the A&E unit is a parking pay machine. This was the first time I had used one at the hospital and I found it a little tricky to operate even though I am quite confident with technology. I entered my registration number, put in my bank card, and selected payment. I recall having a conversation with my son about how long we had been there as I wasn’t sure if it had been under or over an hour – so I chose the payment for 2 hours to be safe.
The machine then gave me a receipt, which I briefly looked at, and I saw the words ‘receipt’ and ‘amount £3.00’. I believed that I had made payment and so did my son who watched me throughout. Therefore I went to my car and drove home.
Earlier this month I received a letter from Parking Eye demanding a payment of £80 because I had not paid for my parking on 17th April. I was a bit puzzled as I had remembered paying – especially as I had had the conversation about the duration of stay with my son whilst we were operating the machine. I then looked out my receipt which I had fortunately kept. After studying it carefully, I spotted the words ‘card void’ which had been obscured by other words printed on the ticket. This receipt I attach as evidence.
I do not believe that I have breached a parking contract as I believed that I had made the correct payment within the correct timescale. I do not know why payment was not taken as there were sufficient funds in my bank account at the time. I think Parking Eye did not make it clear to me at the time that I had not paid. In fact, by their machine issuing a receipt which showed ‘amount paid:£3.00’ helped me believe that I had paid. My son, who is a university student, watched me throughout and also believed I had paid.

I have looked through all the Parking Eye evidence and nothing within addresses the particular issue that I have and why I am appealing. They have not provided any evidence why they voided my payment even though they issued a receipt displaying 'amount £3.00'. Their evidence shows clear signage of £80 fine if I did not pay, so there is no logical reason I would deliberately chose to avoid paying the small sum of £3.
At the time I left the car park I was convinced (as was my 20 year old son who was with me) that I had paid £3 for my parking.
The receipt that I was given by the machine clearly shows my intention to pay as it shows my visa card was used and the correct fee was selected - £3 for up to 2 hours.
Parking Eye made no other way of telling me I had not paid. I can not recall the machine telling me that my transaction had failed. There are no barriers stopping you drive out of the car park when you haven't paid (as in many other car parks). So the receipt was the only way to inform me of non-payment.

However, the receipt did not make it clear that I had not paid. The words 'Card Void' had become obscured by other printed words, so that only the word 'Receipt' was visible. It's easier to see these obscured words in the daylight, but it was 10.20pm and very dark outside. Also printing the amount £3.00 also made me believe I had paid. If the amount shown had been £0.00 then it would have been clearer how much money had been taken. Usually, when I have received a Card Void Receipt in a shop, it is after a payment has already been made - so I get two receipts, showing the amount paid and the amount voided.

It is clear from my evidence that I attempted to pay and believed that I had complied with the parking conditions. I had used my card and I had put in the correct parking fee. Parking Eye's only way to communicate that I had not paid was an unclear receipt. I am quite happy to pay them the £3 they failed to take from me.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This was Popla's decision----------------------------------------------------------------

DecisionUnsuccessful

Assessor summary of operator case
On 17 April 2017 vehicle XXXXXX was issued with a Parking Charge Notice (PCN). This PCN was issued due to the motorist failing to make a valid payment for their parking session.

Assessor summary of your case
The appellant states that they took their son to hospital on the day of the contravention and despite having difficulty initially with the payment machine, they say that they believed that they had made a payment for a two hour parking session. On receiving the PCN, the appellant says that they checked the pay and display ticket received and this displayed ‘card void’ however this was obscured by other words printed on the ticket. The appellant says that they were not made aware that their payment had been void at the time of payment.

Assessor supporting rational for decision
When entering private land where parking is permitted, you are entering into a contract with the operator by remaining on this land. The terms and conditions of this land should be displayed around this area. It is essential that these terms are adhered to in order to avoid a PCN; it is the responsibility of the motorist to ensure that this is the case. The terms and conditions shown on the photographic evidence provided by the operator state ‘’Parking tariffs apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including bank holidays…Motorists must enter their full, correct vehicle registration when using the payment machine/terminal. Payment can be made via coin, card or paybyphone…Failure to comply with the terms and conditions will result in a Parking Charge of £100.’’ A PCN has been issued for the following reasons: the appellant has failed to make a valid payment for their parking session. In section 18.1 of the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice it states that ‘’In all cases, the driver’s use of your land will be governed by your terms and conditions, which the driver should be aware of from the start.’’ The operator has provided photographic evidence of the signage on site, including entrance signs which signpost the motorist to the full terms available within the car park. On looking at the evidence provided, I am satisfied that these terms have been displayed clearly and sufficiently. The car park is monitored by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) this system has captured the appellant’s vehicle entering site at 21:18 and leaving at 22:24 after completing a parking session of one hour and five minutes. The appellant states that they took their son to hospital on the day of the contravention and despite having difficulty initially with the payment machine, they say that they believed that they had made a payment for a two hour parking session. On receiving the PCN, the appellant says that they checked the pay and display ticket received and this displayed ‘card void’ however this was obscured by other words printed on the ticket. The appellant says that they were not made aware that their payment had been void at the time of payment. Whilst I note the appellant’s comments, the terms and conditions of the car park still apply. The signage in and around the area clearly states that a tariff applies. It is the responsibility of the motorist to ensure that they have paid the correct tariff and that their payment method has been successful. I acknowledge that the appellant struggled initially with the payment machine; however the signage advertises alternative payment methods such as paybyphone which could have been used to avoid the issue of a PCN. When looking at appeals, POPLA considers whether a parking contract was formed and, if so, whether the motorist kept to the conditions of the contract. Even if a motorist presents circumstances setting out reasons why they did not keep to the parking conditions, POPLA cannot allow an appeal if a contract was formed and the motorist did not keep to the parking conditions. In this instance, the appellant has remained on site for one hour and five minutes without making a valid payment and as a result they have breached the terms and conditions of the car park. It is the responsibility of the motorist to familiarise themselves with the available signage on site and ensure that their parking complies with the applicable terms and conditions before leaving their vehicle unattended on site. Upon consideration of the evidence, the appellant has failed to make a valid payment for their parking session. As such, they did not comply with the terms and conditions of the car park, and I can only conclude that the PCN has been issued correctly. Accordingly, I must refuse this appeal.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

This post has been edited by PEVictim: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 20:57
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SchoolRunMum
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 21:23
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Wow, that's astonishing and certainly one to fight - never seen 'CARD VOID' so obscured that you cannot possibly have read that in the dark! I wonder if the APP failed, or the link with your card provider was a bit dodgy that day, because it was Easter Monday, a Bank Holiday evening at gone 10pm, when glitches might have been less likely to have been immediately resolved by the companies involved in the electronic chain.

Not your fault. You have a defence and can argue that you made 'reasonable endeavours' to comply with an obligation, if you have to draft a defence to a court claim it would include something like this (there is a lot more that would need to go in as well!):

QUOTE
- The payment channel did not indicate any failure to make payment and responded as if payment had been made. As such the Defendant believed the necessary payment had been made and was unaware of any failure, which in fact is most likely to have been caused by a glitch in the payment service after the long Easter Bank Holiday weekend, the material date being Easter Monday, late in the evening.

- The failure of the payment service to accept payment is not the Defendant's responsibility. It is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment.

- In Jolley v Carmel Ltd [2000] 2 –EGLR -154, it was held that a party who makes reasonable endeavours to comply with contractual terms, should not be penalised for breach when unable to fully comply with the terms.


Luckily, a court would look at more than the black/white issues that the non-legally-minded Assessors at POPLA do:
QUOTE
When looking at appeals, POPLA considers whether a parking contract was formed and, if so, whether the motorist kept to the conditions of the contract. Even if a motorist presents circumstances setting out reasons why they did not keep to the parking conditions, POPLA cannot allow an appeal if a contract was formed and the motorist did not keep to the parking conditions.


Pah!!

What happened when you complained the Hospital, the NHS trust and/or PALS? As you would?

QUOTE
The next month I received a letter from Parking Eye demanding a payment of £80 because I had not paid for my parking on 17th April.


If you got the PCN any later than 2nd May, you really mucked this up. You were not liable as keeper, if the PCN arrived more than 14 days after the date of the parking event (and with May Day being 1st May I bet the PCN arrived later that week...). too late for that argument now, you threw it out with the bathwater when you admitted to being the driver (instead of appealing as registered keeper as any parking tickets forum would tell you to).

Did you know this PCN is also contrary to years-old, clear Government Policy, as patients are not supposed to be penalised like this in Hospital car parks:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-...s-10047797.html

You can defend this, if you get a claim, but what did PALS say when you complained at the start?
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PEVictim
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 21:42
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I haven't even contacted PALS. I was convinced that when presenting my evidence that Parking Eye and POPLA would uphold my appeal and that would be the end of it. That was the opinion of friends I have spoken to. It's only when both turned me down that I looked up this forum.

The hospital does not have a good reputation over this http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/news/bath-n...nes-royal-23974

I will contact the Hospital's PALS. Is there important I need to say to them?

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SchoolRunMum
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 22:01
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Contact PALS and copy in:

- ParkingEye's litigation team to try to head them off: enforcement@parkingeye.co.uk

- your MP

- Citizens Advice BANES, seeing as they have a file on this scam.

QUOTE
Is there important I need to say to them?


Say that (using CAB words from that article) People visiting the hospital over a Bank Holiday weekend at night, are likely to be deeply distressed and in a panic, and they are frequently in no state to take in complicated parking information. In your case...blah blah (explain the reason for the visit that night).

Also state (for ParkingEye Enforcement Team's benefit, so they learn you are not clueless as a potential Defendant):

The payment channel did not indicate any failure to make payment and responded as if payment had been made. As such, the driver and passenger both had the honest belief that the necessary payment had been made and were completely unaware of any failure, which in fact is most likely to have been caused by a glitch in the payment service after the long Easter Bank Holiday weekend. The material date being Easter Monday, late in the evening.

The failure of the payment service to accept payment is not the consumer's responsibility and remains within the control of the service provider(s). It is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment, when unaware of a system error. In Jolley v Carmel Ltd [2000] 2 –EGLR -154, it was held that a party who makes reasonable endeavours to comply with contractual terms, should not be penalised for breach when unable to fully comply with the terms.

Then show the recipients that you have researched and found that Government Policy actually prohibits this sort of contract, where the parking firm's income is ALL from ''fines'' causing an imbalance against consumer rights, to the detriment of the patients at Hospitals, because parking firms have no income if they don't reject valid appeals like this one, caused by their electronic link failure, not your fault:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/...king-principles

Ask why the NHS Car Parking Principles (issued some 3 years ago, and formally instructed to all NHS Trusts more than once in a formal Memorandum) are being ignored? And ask whether ParkingEye really want to take a case like this to court, just as a Bill is being prepared for its second hearing with the aim of reining in the worst excesses and cowboy conduct of this despicable industry. State that you have copied in your MP and will be asking him/her to lobby in favour of the Bill and ensure that this abhorrent practice in Hospitals is raised for debate again and included in the proposed changes.

Ask that ParkingEye cancel in the interests of goodwill and as a proactive decision to distance themselves from the 'proceed with the penalty and court at all costs, even in Hospitals' business practice that fails to meet the expectations of Government. In this case, continuing to pursue an unfair penalty from a Patient who did nothing wrong can certainly be deemed to be an unfair business practice: to blame a paying driver who keyed everything in right, for ParkingEye's own payment service failure or glitch, that night on a Bank Holiday Monday when for whatever reason, ParkingEye's system failed, not you, is patently vexatious. You are not liable for any sum at all and ParkingEye should have cancelled this at the outset.

State that any claim would be meritless and would have no prospects of success in court, regardless of POPLA's blinkered and narrow decision parameters.

Finish by saying that you are fully aware that ParkingEye (like all parking firms) can and do cancel cases after POPLA, and if they should protest that they 'can't cancel/it is too late' then the recipients of the email are advised this is absolutely untrue. All this has cost Parking Eye is about £27 to POPLA and maybe £10 for a few automated letters. Nothing for a driver to be liable for, since the error was very clearly theirs/within their control.

Include all of the above - be robust because PE do cancel when really pushed...much better to wallop it now then have to defend a court claim in 2 weeks' time by dropping the ball. Don't let PE have the last word. Reply, reply, and reply again like a broken record.

You will not be a PEVictim!

This post has been edited by SchoolRunMum: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 22:12
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PEVictim
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 22:37
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Thanks for the reply. All that information is extremely useful. I will be following your advice immediately.

I really despise companies like Parking Eye who take advantage of people's genuine mistakes.

It's not just about me but the many other victims. I want to campaign to get the hospital to get rid of Parking Eye. A few years ago I managed to get Bath & North East Somerset to cancel £222,000 of Bus Gate fines by running a Facebook campaign - https://www.facebook.com/cancelbusgatefines/ - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-27217561 - it took just 5 days! I don't want any more PEVictims at my hospital.

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SchoolRunMum
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 22:43
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Yay!

Sounds like you are the person to do this complaint well, and to up the game on Facebook as well - rude not to, seeing as you are good at it!

QUOTE
I really despise companies like Parking Eye who take advantage of people's genuine mistakes.


Agreed, that's why we come here after a full day at work/with family or other commitments, and other regulars do the early shift here, because we despise this rip-off. Re the proposed Bill, familiarise yourself with it. Here is a copy of a post by Bargepole ....

QUOTE
"Some action at last:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-1...ofpractice.html

This Private Member's Bill has Government and cross-party support, and stands a good chance of making it into statute.

The full text of the clauses will be published nearer the date of the second reading, but my sources tell me it's something we should support.

Now would be a good time to write to your MP urging them to support it."
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ford poplar
post Fri, 15 Sep 2017 - 00:04
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Find out why your Debit Card failed to complete the transaction.
Was it working the next time you used it?
Could you have entered the wrong PIN?
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PEVictim
post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 22:55
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QUOTE (SchoolRunMum @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 22:23) *
QUOTE
The next month I received a letter from Parking Eye demanding a payment of £80 because I had not paid for my parking on 17th April.


If you got the PCN any later than 2nd May, you really mucked this up. You were not liable as keeper, if the PCN arrived more than 14 days after the date of the parking event (and with May Day being 1st May I bet the PCN arrived later that week...). too late for that argument now, you threw it out with the bathwater when you admitted to being the driver (instead of appealing as registered keeper as any parking tickets forum would tell you to).




I've sent my letter off to the PALS, so now awaiting a reply.

Just found the original fine. It was dated 31st May - 6 weeks after the date of the incident!
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SchoolRunMum
post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 22:59
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In that case, you had better edit all your posts here...the ones that talk about who the driver was (unless that ship has already sailed).
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PEVictim
post Mon, 2 Oct 2017 - 19:12
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Success!

I finally got a reply back from the hospital PALS and the local hospital Parking Team have cancelled my PCN. They could obviously see that I intended to pay. It also shows how nasty Parking Eye are and how useless POPLA are.

Thanks to all of you who have given me support and I will be making a donation to this forum to show my thanks.

The parking at the hospital has become front page news in Bath http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/news/bath-n...r-unfair-504675. They need to join this forum.

Many thanks to you all.
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SchoolRunMum
post Mon, 2 Oct 2017 - 21:46
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Hahaha!

Well done. What did you write, exactly, and who did you copy in/whose cages did you rattle?

Getting a PE PCN cancelled after losing at POPLA, is usually difficult because PE pretend they ''can't cancel'' after going though POPLA (a lie).

QUOTE
I feel I was deceived into thinking I had paid by a misprinted receipt. I see it like paying for an item in a shop at the till, walking out, then being prosecuted for shop lifting because the transaction didn't go through. I can't see how that can be legal.


It was exactly like that - a very good analogy.

Thanks for the link to the Bath Chronicle; I am familiar with Bath as a SRM sprog went there, lovely City.
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