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Zip Car (Westminster Council) PCN’s
Afk28361
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 07:31
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Hi all,

I'm new to these forums and would like some advice regarding a number of PCN's which have accumulated and have been charged to my Zip Car Account.

Background

I registered with Zip Car on 23rd April 2019 and began using their service quite regularly, generally to travel from my mums house and back to my flat in Westminster. I would regularly park on my street in Westminster on a Sunday night and drop off the Zipcar here which was within their 'drop off zone'. My street is residents only from Monday to Friday 8am to 6.30pm, however i would only park here generally on a Sunday night when there were no restrictions on parking.

I first received notice of a Westminster PCN from Zip Car on June 18th, relating to a contravention which occurred on 29th April 2019, almost two months after the alleged contravention. The contravention occurred a day after I had dropped off the Zip Car within their 'drop off zone' (which it was legal for me to park at time of the drop off). I then received another three emails from Zip Car shortly after on the following dates:
a. Notified on June 20th --> PCN issued 3rd May
b. Notified on July 3rd --> PCN issued 1st May
c.Notified on July 4th --> PCN issued 30th April

All four of the PCN's relate to a single trip, when i dropped the car off on a Sunday Night, in my first week of membership with Zip Car. It seems as if because the car was left on the street for another week or so without another user picking it up it had accumulated a number of PCN's.

I then received another email of a further PCN on July 16th relating to a PCN issued on Tuesday 8th May after a trip i made with Zipcar on Sunday 6th May.

Thankfully i stopped using Zip Car after a couple of weeks, because God knows how many more of these PCN's I could have accumulated, between 23rd April and June 18th the date which i was first made aware of any PCN that had been charged to my account.

Long story short ZIpCar have been chasing me for about. GBP1,000 which is obviously a large sum of money, in relation to these PCN's and have now transferred this to a debt collector 'ACT Credit Management' who are acting as their agent.

I have received a 30 day notice from the debt collectors asking me to either pay or dispute the debt or they may take me to court. I had received a number of previous letters threatening court action if i did not respond after 5 days.

Would be great to get any advice around whether or not i have a chance to dispute the debt or whether i will have to just pay.

Pretty sure the Zipcar's T'c & C's say i cannot park in residents bays in Westminster however as expected i never read the fine print and assumed where i parked was fine since this was showing within their 'drop-off zone' and it was legal to park there at the time. It seems they also have different arrangements with different councils around where users can park.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz-UaWi-WG...ew?usp=drivesdk

I have a lot more correspondence from Zipcar and the debt collectors which I can share if necessary.



Thanks
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post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 07:31
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hcandersen
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 08:27
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Whether this is purely a contractual matter or not will depend on facts.

We need to see some Zip Car correspondence in order to see what's what.

The presumption from your account is that Zip Car were served with PCNs as the registered keeper and paid the penalties. Were this not the case then the alternative would have been for them to request the council to transfer liability to you, in which case you would have received PCNs in your own name and all that would be owing to Zip would be their accumulated admin. charges, but not to the tune of £1000!

We don't know why they paid. We do not know the extent and nature of their correspondence with you e.g. it is not a single step from them notifying you that you owe them £X to debt chasers. We do not know why they did not charge the amounts to your debit/credit card - we know you cancelled your account before they received the PCNs, but not why they still did not charge you direct: cancelling does not vitiate their ability to pursue you for debts incurred prior to cancellation.

Maybe if you start with the most recent letters from ACT and Zip we could plot a path through the maze.

Unless Zip have obtained judgments against you then they/the credit company cannot take any direct action against your assets.
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Mad Mick V
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 14:32
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@hca
They probably paid some of them on the enduring conditions point as you describe here:-

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...t&p=1517480


About time this truly awful company was taken to task.

Mick

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Afk28361
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 19:21
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 08:27) *
Whether this is purely a contractual matter or not will depend on facts.

We need to see some Zip Car correspondence in order to see what's what.

The presumption from your account is that Zip Car were served with PCNs as the registered keeper and paid the penalties. Were this not the case then the alternative would have been for them to request the council to transfer liability to you, in which case you would have received PCNs in your own name and all that would be owing to Zip would be their accumulated admin. charges, but not to the tune of £1000!


We don't know why they paid. We do not know the extent and nature of their correspondence with you e.g. it is not a single step from them notifying you that you owe them £X to debt chasers. We do not know why they did not charge the amounts to your debit/credit card - we know you cancelled your account before they received the PCNs, but not why they still did not charge you direct: cancelling does not vitiate their ability to pursue you for debts incurred prior to cancellation.

Maybe if you start with the most recent letters from ACT and Zip we could plot a path through the maze.

Unless Zip have obtained judgments against you then they/the credit company cannot take any direct action against your assets.


Thanks for the response.

Yes, that's correct they had paid all of the PCN's and did not transfer liability over to me which seems to be their standard policy.

I had actually changed my registered card on my Zip Car account to one which did not have any funds on the account which is why they haven't been able to charge me.

They had sent me a number of emails, which I have left a link with all of the attachments below (hopefully you can view these), essentially notifying me of the PCN's and saying that I had 5 days to appeal, otherwise they would go ahead and pay the fines. From what i have read online, I can't find any cases where Zipcar has actually challenged a PCN with the council, they seem to always settle the PCN (at the full and not reduced amount, given how long their processing times are) and then try and recoup from the customer.

Links to some of the correspondence I've received.

ACT Credit Management Correspondence

Letter of Claim - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cTj_X1ZbP...hVjSwA9bRroKNll
Pre-legal Notice - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QZIdM8en2...-g9cG9spTuwd1ua

Zip Car Correspondence

Notices of over due amounts - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fFkfTLmuN...LkRZMomZDvYiT2L
Notices of PCN's - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mHbyhO4fT...mr0YyL_ye4uyzpV

I haven't responded to any of these as i wasn't really sure what to say given under their t's and c's i'm liable for any charges which occur as a result of my use their vehicles, it just doesn't seem right that i can 4 tickets as a result of 1 trip i made, all the meanwhile they take 2 months to even notify me.

I thought they may eventually stop chasing me but now the debt collectors are threatening court action.

Would be great if anybody could suggest a possible argument or response in trying to dispute the claim.

Thanks
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cp8759
post Sat, 9 Nov 2019 - 17:41
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Show us the rest of the letter dated 28th October.

Ultimately if you an put together an arguable defence, there's a chance the case might get written off, debt collection agencies only really like collecting undisputed debts. However you can't send them any old rubbish or they may well take you to court.

Ultimately, regardless of what you do you may well have to defend the claim in court but under the small claim rules, the only costs that can be added are the court fee (£60 for claims from £500.01 to £1,000) and the cost of the claimant's representative costs of travelling to and from the court building (unless there's a contractual provision allowing for legal costs contrary).

For now, you must start by showing us, in full, the terms and conditions for the hire of the vehicle.


--------------------
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Afk28361
post Sun, 10 Nov 2019 - 17:33
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@cp8759 full t’s and c’s are here https://members.zipcar.co.uk/en-CA/london/member-contract , for context ‘Zip Car Flex’ is the service I used.

And the full letter I received from the debt collectors on the 28th October is here... https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cTj_X1ZbP...hVjSwA9bRroKNll
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cp8759
post Sun, 10 Nov 2019 - 20:00
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All the notifications from zipcar which you put on your google drive say:

If you feel this Notice was issued incorrectly and would like to appeal it, please contact us by responding to this email within the 5 day window.

If we do not hear from you, the PCN and the processing fee will be paid and settled by Zipcar in 5 days’ time. So, if you are satisfied that the PCN has been issued correctly, no further action is required by you.


So you had an opportunity to challenge the penalties, did you tell Zipcar you wanted to appeal? If not, why not?


--------------------
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Afk28361
post Yesterday, 22:13
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No I didn’t appeal at the time, as I didn’t think I had much of a chance after I had read their t’s and c’s, In hindsight I probably should have.

Does this affect my ability to dispute the debt now?
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Mad Mick V
post Yesterday, 22:37
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All the PCN's appear to have been paid at the £130 rate. This leads me to conclude that Zipcar has no idea about process and has thus prejudiced the OP.

In other words they could have paid at the discount rate and billed the OP as per their T&Cs but they have faffed on about asking the OP if he wishes to appeal and have thus gone over the discount timescale. Not their job to do this.

They could have transferred liability to the OP via the Council and named him as the hirer and let him deal with any appeals.

A complete and utter ***-up.

Mick

This post has been edited by Mad Mick V: Yesterday, 22:38
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hcandersen
post Yesterday, 22:52
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Yes.

No I didn’t appeal at the time, as I didn’t think I had much of a chance after I had read their t’s and c’s,


But you didn't pay them either, so I'm struggling with your rationale if, as you say, you thought you were in breach of contract. Keep your head down and it'll all blow over?

The issue I'm struggling with is the amounts owed. All will be revealed, but it's a good bet that they paid on receipt of the NTOs for the full penalties. Which begs the question when they first became aware of these penalties. The process is PCN on car, 30+ days later NTO issued.

They cannot just add arbitrary extra-contractual charges, this is a cost of the business. At present, I can see 3*£130 and Schedule 4 provides that they may charge £15 for processing each occurrence. Therefore £390 + 3*£15, a total of £435. Not £972.71.

Do you have a breakdown of £972.71?

At present you might consider paying £435 because IMO there's nothing to suggest that you are on anything but a hiding to nothing if you insist on them taking this matter to court. And if they engage formally with court action then as said by others you leave yourself liable for additional costs.

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