Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Holiday Inn - False claim of Free Parking advertised on Website
FightBack Forums > Queries > Private Parking Tickets & Clamping
A175
Wondering if anybody can advise on the the following, don't seem to be able to find any other references to it...

The driver got (what I've now found from this forum to be a pretty common) a £100 fine notice from Parking Eye after visiting the Holiday Inn hotel in Lancaster.

The driver met up with another there (who also has a fine) for a drink, as they have done for several years, because it's halfway between where they live, and they were returning a dog from a stay at their house while we were on holiday.

Their website clearly states "Ample free car parking onsite", but it turns out this is no longer the case. It is a fully chargeable car park, though I'm not sure if customers are meant to be able to claim back at reception or something. Obviously they didn't spot any signs there are advising of charges, as they weren't looking for them, with it always having been free previously.

I've been trying to get in touch with Holiday Inn for clarification, but wanted some advice on the false advertisement of free parking. Would this in itself be grounds for appeal?
Jlc
Any information on the website is totally unrelated to any alleged parking contract formed. The website is not offering nor forms a contract.

Only the signage at the site counts.

Of course, Holiday Inn may want to intervene out of 'embarrassment' but they'll probably say appeal to the parking company...

There are a number of possible appeal angles but deal with the principal first. If they won't play ball then come back and we can investigate those angles but bear in mind they will almost certainly reject any appeal anyway because they can.
A175
Thanks for the reply, JLC, makes sense. I guess the only thing the website could lead to would be a theoretical, but unlikely, separate case against Holiday Inn for false advertising or similar?

So when you say deal with the Principal, do you mean Parking Eye?

It's not clear on the letter, if the driver is appealing should they pay first anyway (and hence pay "only" the £60 discounted rate) or not pay at all?

Not surprised that initial appeals don't work, why would they. Guess it's more a case of whether POPLA would uphold any subsequent appeal. Seems ridiculous to me that everything I read about focuses on legal technicalities, when the simple facts are that they were customers of the hotel who had been led by the hotel to believe that the parking was free.
Jlc
The website isn't making an offer - but trading standards might be interested if it is misleading.

The principal (i.e. who employed ParkingEye) would likely be Holiday Inn. (Or they should have significant sway on the landholder)

How long after the event did the PCN arrive? Does it make reference to the Protection of (sic) Freedoms Act?

If the signage is there then whether you were expecting them isn't the legal test. If they are sufficient and clear is. Unfortunately nowadays you always have to keep an eye out.
cabbyman
EDIT all your posts so as not to reveal the identity of the driver. Refer only to 'the driver.' This is crucial!!!!

Have a go at Holiday Inn, but don't lose sight of PE's arbitrary appeal deadlines. You don't want to give them an excuse.

Compile your initial appeal to PE and post here for critique before sending.
A175
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:00) *
EDIT all your posts so as not to reveal the identity of the driver. Refer only to 'the driver.' This is crucial!!!!


Done, thanks for the heads up. What's the reason for this, is the owner / keeper not liable regardless of who was driving?
Jlc
QUOTE (A175 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:10) *
Done, thanks for the heads up. What's the reason for this, is the owner / keeper not liable regardless of who was driving?

That depends on the answer to my question about PoFA. If they have complied then they can pursue the keeper regardless.
A175
QUOTE (Jlc @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:46) *
How long after the event did the PCN arrive?


10 days

QUOTE
Does it make reference to the Protection of (sic) Freedoms Act?


Yes it does

QUOTE
If the signage is there then whether you were expecting them isn't the legal test. If they are sufficient and clear is. Unfortunately nowadays you always have to keep an eye out.


Damn. Sounds like my only likely chance is with the hotel being reasonable about it. And they aren't even answering the phone or replying to emails (IHG Customer Services on Twitter just tell me to contact the hotel direct).


QUOTE (Jlc @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:13) *
That depends on the answer to my question about PoFA. If they have complied then they can pursue the keeper regardless.


Yeah, that paragraph explains that they'll come after the owner if they don't know who the driver is, basically.
nosferatu1001
Keepr, not owner. Owner isnt liable.

Facebook, twitter, trip advisor etc. MIght get them to notice.
cabbyman
Have a look at PoFA Sched 4 para 9 and check that it complies with ALL of that, word for word.

Get pics of signs.
A175
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:32) *
Get pics of signs.


That bit will be tricky, I live two hours drive away sad.gif
nosferatu1001
Look on GSV, or havea look.
Frankly theyre PE so POFA is likely complied with

I disagree with JLC; the website is an OFFER by the principal land owner of AMPLE FREE PARKING. Promissory Estoppel, they cannot make that offer then change it when you get there.
A175
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:32) *
Have a look at PoFA Sched 4 para 9 and check that it complies with ALL of that, word for word.


Might be nothing but...

©describe the parking charges due from the driver as at the end of that period, the circumstances in which the requirement to pay them arose (including the means by which the requirement was brought to the attention of drivers) and the other facts that made them payable;
(d)specify the total amount of those parking charges that are unpaid, as at a time which is—
(i)specified in the notice; and
(ii)no later than the end of the day before the day on which the notice is either sent by post or, as the case may be, handed to or left at a current address for service for the keeper (see sub-paragraph (4));


I can't see anything on the notice that describes the charges which should have been due after period the car was there, it only says that I didn't pay...
cabbyman
The signs are very unclear on GSV, however, they seem to show that parking tariffs apply. If that proves to be the case, they are at odds with the website. Pics of signs are likely to be quite important in beating this, if you can get hold of any.

I think a letter to HI at Lancaster, requiring them to instruct PE to cancel, asking them to copy you into the instruction, or you will be having a word with trading standards. You will also include them as joint defendants in any action that you may take for improper use of your personal details.

Await the opinion of others.
ostell
Take a screen print of that web page that promises free parking. Send a copy with the letter to HI.
A175
Thanks for all the advice, folks.

After a sustained campaign across Twitter, Facebook and TripAdvisor, and a lot of buck passing from HI at a national level and inability to get a response at local level, I finally just received an email from the local manager, and it looks positive so far... says he will "contact parking eye on your behalf and request the cancellation of the fine".

I assume I'm not out of the woods yet, as he could come back saying PE refused to cancel?

ostell
Start writing your appeal to PE now including a copy of that email and reminding them that their principal has requested them to cancel

You're not out of the woods until PE confirm that they have cancelled the charge.
Jlc
QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 15:43) *
I disagree with JLC; the website is an OFFER by the principal land owner of AMPLE FREE PARKING. Promissory Estoppel, they cannot make that offer then change it when you get there.

That's twice in as many days Nos. tongue.gif

Is the website making a contractual offer? It's tenuous that promissory estoppel expressly applies but we know what the PPC will think about that...

Hopefully, the OP will get the cancellation deserved anyway.

The website isn't clear though:
Click to view attachment

...it could be 'free' if the conditions are followed, e.g. registering with the reception to whitelist.

Further to this the American website says:
QUOTE
Further IHG does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within the Materials. IHG may make changes to the Materials, or the programmes, policies or other information described in the Materials, at any time without notice. IHG makes no commitment to update the Materials.


...and the UK site makes no reference to parking.
cabbyman
I think it's reasonable to assume 'free' car parking on the basis of that website. I would be most upset if, having booked a room on the basis of that website, I then find there are parking tariffs in force. That could constitute an expense for which I hadn't budgeted.

It's up to the claimant to rebut any contention the defendant makes, not for the defendant not to consider the possibility.
Jlc
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:54) *
I think it's reasonable to assume 'free' car parking on the basis of that website.

It probably would have been if the terms accepted by conduct were followed.

It appears the OP was not staying at the hotel so no other contractual terms were accepted, i.e. at the time of booking.

p.s. I'm not endorsing the abhorrent practice but it's never simple...
cabbyman
But, was a customer of the hotel, albeit only for a short period.
nosferatu1001
The website isnt unclear at all

You are entitled to rely on the information given to you. that information states "ample free parking", "complimentary self parking" . That is utterly unambiguous. There is nothing stating "subject to conditions..." meaning it isnt subject to any.
Dennis Basher
Edit - comments removed. Not relevant to this case
Broadsman
QUOTE (A175 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 16:20) *
Thanks for all the advice, folks.

After a sustained campaign across Twitter, Facebook and TripAdvisor, and a lot of buck passing from HI at a national level and inability to get a response at local level, I finally just received an email from the local manager, and it looks positive so far... says he will "contact parking eye on your behalf and request the cancellation of the fine".

I assume I'm not out of the woods yet, as he could come back saying PE refused to cancel?


Had this a few years ago with HI and PE. Do NOT take a request as something that the manager will do.

DEMAND he does it, don't let up on Twitter, FB and TripAdvisor until such time as you have an email confirming cancellation.

The manager shouldn't be requesting anything, he employs PE, not the other way round.
A175
So, the manager has emailed PE with:

Could i please request the cancellation of parking fine reference ########

Vehicle reg- ######

I can confirm that the guest has used the hotel facilities. Please do let me know if you require any additional information.


Fingers crossed, but I'm not counting my chickens yet...
cabbyman
As noted above, it's a shame he 'requested' rather than 'required.' Keep that E mail safe; it's a pivotal piece of evidence.

In the expectation that PE will refuse, compile your initial appeal to them and post here for fine tuning.

Is there any way at all that you can get photos of the signs? I think they may be quite important given the statements made in the website.
nosferatu1001
Frankly the signs can say anything
They are estopped from enforcing any additional terms as the landowner has granted free parking, with no conditions.
A175
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:49) *
Is there any way at all that you can get photos of the signs? I think they may be quite important given the statements made in the website.


Just the ones off Street View, which are almost legible...
cabbyman
GSV's not good enough, IMHO.

Let's face it, it would be worth the trip to save £200 on two tickets!

Or, you could be very cheeky and ask the manager to take some and send them!!!! That would be fun!!! smile.gif
A175
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:49) *
In the expectation that PE will refuse, compile your initial appeal to them and post here for fine tuning.


Will do - I think I saw links to examples / templates somewhere on here, but can't find now...?
nosferatu1001
MSE newbies thread has example POPLA appeals. Dont blindly copy and paste, understand WHAT youre copying and why.
A175
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:55) *
GSV's not good enough, IMHO.

Let's face it, it would be worth the trip to save £200 on two tickets!

Or, you could be very cheeky and ask the manager to take some and send them!!!! That would be fun!!! smile.gif


Now that would be fun... I've not yet broached the subject of the fine the driver's father also got with him yet... Thought it best to get one done and dusted at a time...

Annoyingly I drove past Lancaster on Saturday before I knew about the fine. No plans to head there in the next few days though.


QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 18:02) *
MSE newbies thread has example POPLA appeals. Dont blindly copy and paste, understand WHAT youre copying and why.


Cheers, will do!
A175
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:49) *
In the expectation that PE will refuse, compile your initial appeal to them and post here for fine tuning.


Does the point I made on page 1 about the letter not complying with POFA by not explaining the charges which should have been due hold any water / is it worth including?
nosferatu1001
POPLA wont care.
A175
QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 09:38) *
POPLA wont care.


OK, so where does any contravention of POFA come into the picture?
A175
Here's my initial draft.

The bold part I have added to the template on MSE, while the italic part I have left in, though I'm not sure how relevant it is - it's true that the driver did not see them, so they can't be that prominent, but on the other hand I have little general proof as to their size or prominence...


I challenge this 'PCN' as keeper of the car.

The driver of the car was a paying customer of the landowner, and as such the principal landowner has already contacted you instructing you to cancel the PCN – as per email sent to you by Stuart Hodgson, Operations Manager on 13th September 2017.

Given the principal landowner’s website makes a clear offer of “Ample Free Parking”. Promissory Estoppel they cannot make that offer then change it when a customer arrives at the site. Hence your signs are estopped from enforcing any additional terms as the landowner has granted free parking, with no conditions

Furthermore I believe that your signs fail the test of 'large lettering' and prominence, as established in ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis. Your unremarkable and obscure signs were not seen by the driver, are in very small print and the terms are not readable to drivers.

There will be no admissions as to who was driving and no assumptions can be drawn. You must either rely on the POFA 2012 and offer me a POPLA code, or cancel the charge.

Should you obtain the registered keeper's data from the DVLA without reasonable cause, please take this as formal notice that I reserve the right to sue your company and the landowner/principal, for a sum not less than £250 for any Data Protection Act breach. Your aggressive business practice and unwarranted threat of court for the ordinary matter of a driver using my car without causing any obstruction nor offence, has caused significant distress to me.

I do not give you consent to process data relating to me or this vehicle. I deny liability for any sum at all and you must consider this letter a Section 10 Notice under the DPA. You are required to respond within 21 days. I have kept proof of submission of this appeal and look forward to your reply.

Jlc
QUOTE (A175 @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 10:18) *
Should you obtain the registered keeper's data from the DVLA...

Haven't they accessed this already?
A175
QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 10:21) *
QUOTE (A175 @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 10:18) *
Should you obtain the registered keeper's data from the DVLA...

Haven't they accessed this already?


Hmm yeah, not clear on that point... it is meant to be the template for appealing a PCN from BPA members... but how do you get a PCN if they've not already obtained details from DVLA?
nosferatu1001
Because NtD exist

POPLA wil not care about one relatively minor non compliance with POFA, is what I should have said. Theyve ruled PE are compliant previously.

You need to reqord second bold para. You;ve just copied what I wrote and the wording isnt right for a first appeal.
A175
QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 11:08) *
Because NtD exist

POPLA wil not care about one relatively minor non compliance with POFA, is what I should have said. Theyve ruled PE are compliant previously.

You need to reqord second bold para. You;ve just copied what I wrote and the wording isnt right for a first appeal.


Yeah, re-read that and realised I'd screwed up he connection between the sentences, should have read:

The principal landowner’s website makes a clear offer of “Ample Free Parking”. Promissory Estoppel they cannot make that offer then change it when a customer arrives at the site. Hence your signs are estopped from enforcing any additional terms as the landowner has granted free parking, with no conditions.

Does that need changing still for a first appeal? More plain English, ie?:


The principal landowner’s website makes a clear offer of “Ample Free Parking”. They cannot make that offer then change it when a customer arrives at the site. Hence your signs cannot enforce any additional terms as the landowner has granted free parking, with no conditions.
nosferatu1001
No, not more plain english, just that "Promissory Estoppel they c..." doesnt make sense!

The principal of... means that the landowner cannot make that offer then change it...

Their signs cannot be estopped from anything. What you state is that there is no need to enter into a secondary contract forparking where you already have an offer of parking under no restrictions made. You being the driver, not "you"!
Essentially PE have nothing to offer you in exchange for abiding by their "contract" - they have no consideration i.e. thing of value, as you may already park.
A175
OK, so...

The principal landowner’s website makes a clear offer of “Ample Free Parking”. The principal of Promissory Estoppel means that the landowner cannot make that offer then change it when a customer arrives at the site. Hence there was no need for the driver to enter into a secondary contract for parking with Parking Eye when they already had an offer of parking under no restrictions made. Your company had no consideration to offer the driver in exchange for abiding by your claimed contract, and hence no contract was entered into.
Broadsman
QUOTE (A175 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 18:47) *
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 17:55) *
GSV's not good enough, IMHO.

Let's face it, it would be worth the trip to save £200 on two tickets!

Or, you could be very cheeky and ask the manager to take some and send them!!!! That would be fun!!! smile.gif


Now that would be fun... I've not yet broached the subject of the fine the driver's father also got with him yet... Thought it best to get one done and dusted at a time...

Annoyingly I drove past Lancaster on Saturday before I knew about the fine. No plans to head there in the next few days though.


QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 18:02) *
MSE newbies thread has example POPLA appeals. Dont blindly copy and paste, understand WHAT youre copying and why.


Cheers, will do!


Get onto it, the longer it's left without intervention the less likely they are to assist.

A175
QUOTE (Broadsman @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:11) *
Get onto it, the longer it's left without intervention the less likely they are to assist.


Already done - the manager has also instructed PE to cancel that one.

Just chased up with him and apparently PE will confirm the cancellation by letter... makes me a bit nervous about how long I may be waiting to hear from them, can't see them being in any hurry.
Umkomaas
QUOTE (A175 @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:15) *
QUOTE (Broadsman @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:11) *
Get onto it, the longer it's left without intervention the less likely they are to assist.


Already done - the manager has also instructed PE to cancel that one.

Just chased up with him and apparently PE will confirm the cancellation by letter... makes me a bit nervous about how long I may be waiting to hear from them, can't see them being in any hurry.

Despite their many other faults, PE are normally efficient at confirming cancellations in writing (many other PPCs don't bother, leaving motorists in limbo). Expect a letter in 7-10 days.

Well done on your persistence in getting the cancellation (and that for your friend).
Broadsman
QUOTE (Umkomaas @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 19:04) *
QUOTE (A175 @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:15) *
QUOTE (Broadsman @ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:11) *
Get onto it, the longer it's left without intervention the less likely they are to assist.


Already done - the manager has also instructed PE to cancel that one.

Just chased up with him and apparently PE will confirm the cancellation by letter... makes me a bit nervous about how long I may be waiting to hear from them, can't see them being in any hurry.

Despite their many other faults, PE are normally efficient at confirming cancellations in writing (many other PPCs don't bother, leaving motorists in limbo). Expect a letter in 7-10 days.

Well done on your persistence in getting the cancellation (and that for your friend).



Yep, although they are parasites, they were pretty quick with my letter of cancellation and they now both hang behind the door in my office awaiting 6 years and 1 day to tick by. smile.gif
Umkomaas
QUOTE
Yep, although they are parasites, they were pretty quick with my letter of cancellation and they now both hang behind the door in my office awaiting 6 years and 1 day to tick by. smile.gif

I can think of a more appropriate door to hang them behind ('behind' being the clue!) biggrin.gif
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2017 Invision Power Services, Inc.