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SC9876
I would be so grateful for your advice re. the below.

I parked on North End Road in Golders Green (Barnet Council, London) on a Sunday.

The sign says that you must pay by phone, by either phoning up or by texting a number. (I have attached a photo of this).

I phoned up at 14:06, and on my phone there is a record of a 6 minute call - the line cut out at this point. I am 100% certain that I had not hung up and that the call was disconnected from the other end.

At 14:13 I received an automated text saying that "Your parking has not started as you did not confirm the transaction. If you wish to park now please call back and ensure you confirm the transaction. Thank you". (This text was presumably a reaction to the call being cut out while I was trying to make the payment).

I then thought I would try to pay by text instead, so I texted my location to the number supplied. However I received a text reply stating that "PayByPhone SMS parking on [number] is no longer supported. Use [website] or text [different number]".

I then thought I would try to use the pay by phone online service. I didn't remember my password so opted to reset it, and I received a text from them that said "PayByPhone password reset [web link]".

All 3 of the above texts from PayByPhone are on my phone under the same time of 14:13 (I can attach a screenshot of this on request) - they were all received within a few minutes of each other, however I am not sure why their exact times are not shown (does text messaging collate messages together that are sent within a certain time period?)

Due to my 4G being a bit intermittent in the area and wanting to get my parking sorted online ASAP, I then walked down towards the restaurant that I had planned to go to and was registering with the online service on my phone while the 4G connection was improving.

My PCN was issued at 14:20 and states that the officer observed my car from 14:16- 14:20 - so this was just after I left my car. (I have attached a photo of the PCN). All of the PCN details are correct.

Whilst trying to reset my password with PayByPhone for some reason I ended up being transferred to Parkmobile, so I have an email from them at 14:18 showing that I requested to reset my password.

Eventually I managed to pay online at 14:34 and I have an email receipt for this (unbeknown to me I had already received a ticket).

So...
Do I have a case here?

I can prove that I tried to pay by phoning up, by texting, and by using the online service, BEFORE the PCN was issued.

I feel very frustrated by the fact that I had tried so hard to pay - their phone service was disconnecting users and their text service was not working.

I had no choice but to then try to use the online service, but because this required an internet connection, I had to find an area where my 4G could connect - and as this was not working well right by my car, I had no choice but to leave the immediate area.

How can I request that they investigate the faults I found with their automated phone service (disconnecting users and not allowing them to complete payment)? It says on my phone records that the call lasted x minutes, but is there any way of proving that the call was actually disconnected from their side?

Thank you ever so much for any help that you can give me. Any ideas on how to word my representation would be very much appreciated - I haven't sent anything to them yet (Sunday 5th Nov is the 14 day deadline).
stamfordman
Quite a few councils are sympathetic to pay by phone issues. I would simplify/shorten your account and send it with evidence as an informal challenge, that you made every attempt you could to pay.

Do it online and keep copy of your challenge - run the wording by us first.

https://parkingservices.nsl.co.uk/barnet/notices

For future ref, set up the apps that these pay by phone providers have as they are easier to use quickly - always best to check all is in order before you set out (as I just did with a trip to Islington and a Ringgo session - nearly went out without the saved credit card but on Ringgo you still need too add the CCV code).
SC9876
QUOTE (stamfordman @ Mon, 30 Oct 2017 - 16:59) *
Quite a few councils are sympathetic to pay by phone issues. I would simplify/shorten your account and send it with evidence as an informal challenge, that you made every attempt you could to pay.

Do it online and keep copy of your challenge - run the wording by us first.

https://parkingservices.nsl.co.uk/barnet/notices

For future ref, set up the apps that these pay by phone providers have as they are easier to use quickly - always best to check all is in order before you set out (as I just did with a trip to Islington and a Ringgo session - nearly went out without the saved credit card but on Ringgo you still need too add the CCV code).


Thank you very much stamfordman for your reply. Below is my draft challenge (it could probably be simplified a lot further but I am struggling to do this at the minute!).

----
I am appealing my PCN, as I can prove that I tried to pay by phoning up, by texting, and by using the online service, all before the PCN was issued.

The reasons why my payment could not be processed were for reasons solely outside of my control:
1) Your automated phone system was not working properly as it disconnected me 6 minutes into the call, before my payment could be taken.
2) Your textphone number, as written on the sign, was not working/in use.
3) My last option was to pay using the online service, but as my 4G was not working well in the immediate vicinity of my car, I had to walk down the road in order to pay via this service.

I did eventually manage to pay using the online service - I have an email to prove that I requested a new password to log on before the PCN was issued, although as the process was so cumbersome, my payment was only actually accepted after the PCN was issued.

Further details:
The sign says that you must pay by phone, by either phoning up or by texting a number. BOTH of these options were not working at the time that I tried.

My initial phone call was at 14:06 and on my phone there is a record of a 6 minute call.
At 14:13 I received an automated text saying that "Your parking has not started as you did not confirm the transaction. If you wish to park now please call back and ensure you confirm the transaction" - this proves I was part way through payment when the call cut out.

I then tried to pay by text, and texted my location to the number supplied. However I received a text reply stating that "PayByPhone SMS parking on [number] is no longer supported. Use [website] or text [different number]".

I then discovered there was an online service for PayByPhone. I had to reset my password to log in, and I received a text stating "PayByPhone password reset [web link]" proving this.

All 3 of the above texts from PayByPhone are on my phone under the same time of 14:13 (before the PCN was issued) - they were all received within a few minutes of each other, and I am to understand that phone providers collate together text messages that are sent within a short time period.

Due to my 4G working only intermittently in the immediate area of my car, I had to walk down the road in order for the connection to improve so I could complete payment online.
I have an email from Parkmobile at 14:18 (I was automatically transferred to them when trying to pay online) proving that I requested to reset my password at that time.

My PCN was issued at 14:20, and therefore all of my above attempts were made before it was issued.

I would like you to please investigate why your automated phone service was disconnecting users part way through the call.
I would like you to update your signage as the information regarding pay by text is incorrect.
I ask that you cancel my PCN as I can prove that neither of your two payment systems (phone and text) as per the signage were working properly. I then had no choice but to leave my car and find an area of improved internet connection in order to pay via the online service. I would not have received this PCN if your systems were working properly.

Many thanks.
stamfordman
Well you may as well send what've you've done - they may well lose the will to live and cancel, but they should cancel anyway and if not I'm sure we can come up with successful appeal cases on these lines to take to the next stage.

I would change '4G' to 'mobile data'.

Make sure you attach the most relevant evidence if Barnet's site allows attachments.

Before you do though send a PM to Mr Mustard (he is on the forum a lot) as he's a Barnet expert and may well have some input.
DancingDad
Start it with something like....

I was attempting to make payment (via phone) from 14.06 when I parked.
Due to a series of issues (detailed below) I could not complete payment until 14.34
I was in the process of making payment at all time but was frustrated in my attempts by poor signal strengths, being disconnected, unable to connect to mobile data.
I attach phone records and texts detailing my efforts.
Etc Etc
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