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psbbst
Hello all,

New poster and first post.

I've read all the stickies, including the sticky by LegalPete, and all the relevant threads so I won't wish to drag up all the previous advice etc. I have noted them down.

Quick rundown -

1. Yesterday evening I went for dinner with an old friend......parked in a retail park at 1827hrs, with payment machines which clearly states "2 hours free parking for customers"

2. When my friend arrived just after me, she rang me from the same car park saying she might be late as she's seen an attendent going round issuing tickets, and she was going to park somewhere else. I said that there was 2 hours free parking so she ditched her car in the same car park. This was 1830hrs.

3. After dinner I returned to my car and there was a 'official' looking yellow-black thing stuck to my windscreen, inside with a 'ticket' from Local Parking Security Ltd (has a Company No. and a VAT No.; address is a PO Box in Stratford upon Avon). The amazing thing was that the ticket was issued at 1831 hrs. So the attendent must have seen me arrive and slapped a ticket on my car within 4 mins.

4. So I'm going to sit this out - not going to contact them, not going to respond etc. I am going to just file all correspondance that I receive, not contact them, not engage in any exchange with them and just ignore them. If I remember correctly, they have to prove it was me who was driving the car, and they have to prove that I was NOT a customer in the retail park.

5. Allegedly I will receive threateninng letters and even solicitors letters but these should stop after they realise that they can't legally make me pay.

6. I know my council operates a DPE (Decriminalised Parking Enforement) which authorises Local Authorities to issue parking fines for parking contraventions i.e. parking on double yellow lines, parking longer than permitted in permitted waiting zones etc. This is on issue of a PCN or penalty charge notice. But only the council can issue PCNs, and not private companies.

However my question relates to something on the 'contract' to park - about display of notices etc.

There are clear signs about paying and displaying, however there is also a clear notice on the machines (which I will obtain a photo of later today) of the 2 hours free parking for customers of the retail park. So issuing a 'excess charge notice' about 4 mins after my arrival does not give me the 2 hours free parking.

Is this legitimate grounds that they have broken the terms of their contract? I have no evidence that I was a patron as I went to one of the shops to change a battery, then went out of the retail park to obtain some cash from supermarket opposite, then returned to get some food in one of the fast food restaurants. I have not kept a receipt.

What do you think about the fact that they clearly display an offer of 2 hours free parking, but yet issued an 'excess charge notice' 4 mins after my arrival at the end of the day where most council car parks offer free parking anyway, and how this sits with the fact that I have no proof I was a patron apart from my word?

Any points of view appreciated!

smile.gif smile.gif
dave-o
You are giving it too much credibility. Just ignore the junk mail they send. It's not a real ticket, it's just a speculative invoice.

When dealing with "tickets" from private parking companies (PPCs) our advice is to ignore them. For more information about this recommendation and private parking companies, click this link.
ManxRed
Even without the free parking for 2 hours bit, they are issuing a ticket to you because they allege that you broke the contract.

For breach of contract they can only pursue you for actual losses to them caused by you parking there, which in a free car park, amounts to £0 (plus expenses of a few quid for DVLA fee to find out who the RK is plus some A4 paper and a stamp). £5 tops.

The moment they claim you owe them £50 (or whatever) then that would be deemed by a court to be an unfair penalty not reflective of their actual losses, and they have no case.

And if you think about it, they have no case on quite a few levels here, not just that one.

Keep ignoring, do not worry about it.
psbbst
Hi all,

Just bumping this a little - company is LPS (Local Parking Security based in Stratford-upon-Avon)

I have been ignoring them thus far. Have received 2 letters - I've only just returned from 4 weeks abroad.

First letter came whilst I was away - asking for driver of the vehicle, saying that the driver is responsible for the excess charge, please tell them who it was etc. If I wished to appeal etc. I filed it away, no contact was made.

Second letter came today - saying that the excess charge notice was not paid; unless payment is received within 14 days, then they will instruct their solicitors (Brethetons I assume, from doing some research on this board?) to commence County Court proceedings; this action will be taken with no further notice.

So from the above two letters, I already note some conflicting points.

Firstly they say that the driver is responsible, and next they say that if unpaid, they will take the me (registered keeper) to court - if they already admitted (1st letter) that it is not the registered keeper but the driver who is responsible, how can their solicitors take me (registered keeper) to court to claim for losses?....

....which in a "free parking for first 2 hours for customers of the retail park" does not amount to any loss.....

Comments please?

Thanks!
DBC
You are still taking this matter too seriously. Just ignore them, and they will eventually just give up on you.
bama
Its the standard spiel from them.

so give it the standard treatment !

and we know Brethertons, just because its say solicitor on the letter don't be taken in. The G.White letters say that !!
psbbst
Just bumping this a little.....so far nothing as the 14 day period has come and gone.

Just wondering if anyone knows more about Local Parking Security and whether they have ever brought anyone to court to claim for losses or sent debt collectors around legally etc?

Can debt collection agencies/personnel be told to go away if they ever show up?

Also, I just sold the car this week so its now got a new owner....what are the implications here for the new owner?

Thanks!

biggrin.gif
Alexis
No, they have never taken anyone to court.

A debt collector can turn up anywhere legally, in the same way anyone can knock on anybody else's door. Unless you live round the corner from them, they won't be turning up.

If you did live around the corner you can either tell them to go forth and multiply, or ask them in for a brew. They can't do anything.

They've paid £2.50 for your address and have no idea the car has been sold. The new owner won't hear from them.
psbbst
Hi again!

I was just reading this thread by Davey Weir

Davey Weir thread on this forum

I still assuming that Local Parking Security will send a series of letters (had 2 so far) etc.

What happens if I just hear no more but instead receive a claim against me like in that thread above?

I'm just trying to find out what my steps would be. You see in their first letter they said that the driver is liable, and I have had no contact with Local Parking Security; but if they put in a claim against me, then surely they are going against what they said they can't do, which is issue a claim against the registered keeper.

Also, the car is now sold so might the new owner get served documentation pertaining to a claim? He doesn't know anything about it and I've not mentioned anything.

So I appreciate some pointers on what to do in the event that the solicitors letters and the debt collection letters never materialise anymore, but I get a claim form filed against me instead.

Thanks!

PS: Isn't it plausible that those private parking companies have been reading this board and they know all the advice that you all give, and are now seeking new ways of obtaining what they believe is owed to them?
Mortimer
Psbbst, there is something wrong with that link. The certificate is not from a known certifying authority, suggesting that the link may not go where it purports to. I.e. it could be a link to a compromised website or malware site.

I am guessing it was meant to link to another thread in Pepipoo, but it doesn't.
psbbst
QUOTE (Mortimer @ Sat, 21 Aug 2010 - 14:05) *
Psbbst, there is something wrong with that link. The certificate is not from a known certifying authority, suggesting that the link may not go where it purports to. I.e. it could be a link to a compromised website or malware site.

I am guessing it was meant to link to another thread in Pepipoo, but it doesn't.



Ooops sorry - I've edited and corrected it now - it links to a thread on this forum!

Hope someone can advise on what I should be thinking of doing should LPS issue a claim against me and not follow the usual pattern of the solicitors letters and debt collection agency letters.

Ta!
Alexis
Anybody can issue a claim against anybody. If they want to claim against the keeper, when he wasn't driving, that's their problem and they've just thrown £30+costs down the drain.

Local Parking Security have never done court though remember.

They have bought your details for £2.50 and don't know the car has been sold. So they'll only continue to write to you, and then give up.

QUOTE
PS: Isn't it plausible that those private parking companies have been reading this board and they know all the advice that you all give, and are now seeking new ways of obtaining what they believe is owed to them?


The law has not changed. Which is why OPC, Minster Baywatch and Trethowans lose time and time again. And why UKCPS and UKPAO like to make claims and then not turn up on the day.
psbbst
Ok thanks Alexis.

From the thread started by Davey Weir, in my position I have not contacted LPS and just filed the letters. As yet they don't know who the driver was.

What is my course of action should I receive a claim against me in the future? Should I respond and say I will defend the claim in full? Is that the time to engage a solicitor?

My situation was simply that I was not allowed the 2 hours free parking as indicated. I went into a shop in the retail park to exchange a faulty battery, went across the road to the supermarket, withdrew cash, and then came back etc and then I was off. I don't have any receipts though so its my word against theirs (or their attendent who issued the ticket 4 mins after my arrival).

Ta!
Alexis
If hell froze over and they issued a claim, contact me and I'll sort your defence happy.gif
quickboy
QUOTE (psbbst @ Sat, 21 Aug 2010 - 19:32) *
went across the road to the supermarket

That would appear to be what they are basing their "speculative invoice" on. They will claim you have breached the contract by leaving the car park.

Do absolutely NOTHING. Their letters are all standard blurb. A few more and they will give up.
psbbst
Ok thanks Alexis and quickboy!

As I'm new I'm not too familiar with LPS's modus operandi and whether they will just stop at letters, or like OPC seem to be taking most/all parties to court or like in the davey weir post, where the company just issues a claim.

Can I please count on some support if I receive a claim against me or if court papers are served against me? Also how do I know they are actual, legal court papers as I'd read some are false (ie no stamp?). Can I ring the court up to ask?

Thanks!

The Rookie
Read the recent trethowans and OPC threads, you'll get plenty of support should LPS try they hand for the first time.

Simon
Alexis
They won't issue a claim.
dave-o
...and if they did, they would lose.
psbbst
Ok thank you all.

I'll just sit tight and wait it out and hope that LPS don't 'do a OPC' or 'just issue a claim'

Ta!

Fingers crossed - at the moment I've not replied to anything - just filed the 2 letters away - I'm expecting a few more then....namely one ultimatum, one solicitors, one debt collection agency etc, yes?

Thanks!
bama
about that. keep them altogether as a flock.

if you forget where you put them just ask yourself "What did I do with those flockers ?"
psbbst
Update!

This morning I had a letter from Geoffrey Parker Bourne Solicitors or "gpb" - they have a website and I can't find any links to LPS. www.gpbsolicitors.co.uk

Usual blub....letter headed paper, a ref no.; other blub saying their clients have not heard from me nor received payment, and have instructed gpb to consider instigation of legal proceedings to recover £65.00

Goes on to say "in order to avoid legal action please call us now on xxxx to pay by debit or credit card..."

The letter is signed with a printed signature, then the name of the firm Geoffrey Parker Bourne, then underneath in small print "(LPS)" - wtf!!!

Anyway, a quick Google threw up this....

Moneysavingexpert forum thread

Consumer Action Group Forum on gpb

Post number 6 is interesting....which leads me to think - why am I calling a solicitor's to pay a debt? I don't owe the solicitors firm anything, nor has any legal proceedings been instigated by them where I would owe their firm money?

Another link more recent

Whocallsme thread

and lastly this one

Solicitorsfromhell

The letter from gpb gives an sra no. 513117, and their address is 11 Elm Court, Arden Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6PA

Should I continue to file away and ignore?

Thanks all! Appreciate any reply especially by alexis, bama et al!!
dave-o
I would recommend a full complaint to the SRA, and follow it up.
psbbst
QUOTE (dave-o @ Fri, 27 Aug 2010 - 14:47) *
I would recommend a full complaint to the SRA, and follow it up.


Thanks dave-o!

Yes but what do I complain about to the SRA? Harassment? As all they've done is issue me with a threatening letter requesting I pay THEM!!!
dave-o
Points (and i welcome others' opinions on them):

-Actually a debt collector, but claiming to be a solicitor
-Chasing an unsubstantiated debt
-Threatening court action with no intention of carrying it through
-Stating that they will be bringing the claim when actually only the original party would be able to do so (not that they would either)

There is plenty of stuff on the net about these chancers, as you have found, so perhaps your complaint will add to a weight of evidence.
psbbst
QUOTE (dave-o @ Fri, 27 Aug 2010 - 14:53) *
Points (and i welcome others' opinions on them):

-Actually a debt collector, but claiming to be a solicitor
-Chasing an unsubstantiated debt
-Threatening court action with no intention of carrying it through
-Stating that they will be bringing the claim when actually only the original party would be able to do so (not that they would either)

There is plenty of stuff on the net about these chancers, as you have found, so perhaps your complaint will add to a weight of evidence.


Ah yes I see....

I will consider the above carefully - however, so far I have not broken silence - LPS know didley-squat about me, just my address. Same for gpb I'm guessing.

If I write to the SRA, won't I break my cover? Won't the SRA be obligated to inform gpb that a complaint has been made by "so-and-so" from "a-and-b"

Then they know I'm 'live' so to speak and might just stick it out longer and prolong this charade??

But it does seem like this debt collector-whoever they are (probably LPS themselves, since there is a "(LPS)" printed under the printed signature at the foot of the letter), are using gpb headed paper to legitimise their scare tactics - just like the thread I posted above? Surely gpb would be in the shits for this if I complained? Should I play ding-dong with them just know or just hold out until they go away, then wait a month, then write to SRA?
dave-o
No, you can request that they do not inform them of your details.
psbbst
I've just done a bit of Googling on the telephone number stated (01789 404782) in the gpb-headed letter for me to call to pay by credit/debit card - they use the words 'call us', which misleads the addressee to believe that the phone number is actually gpb solicitors

The above number does not match up to gpb's telephone number on their website which is 01789 261131. The fax numbers do not match up either.

This leads me to believe that its a debt collection agency (no doubt its some guy/lady working for LPS themselves) masquerading as a solicitors company.

I'm sure the SRA would love to know why gpb solicitors is allowing a debt collection agency to use their headed paper to extract money from people this way!!
bama
tell the SRA and give them the chance.
psbbst
Quick update!

Another letter from Geoffrey Parker Bourne today....

This time the letterhead is not in colour like it was last time.....letter signed with a printed font different from the last letter, along with a printed name of the company, with what appears to be a new acronym in brackets below that was different from before - "(LBANEW)" - still trying to figure out what that stands for. The last time it was "(LPS)" obviously standing for Local Parking Security, the alleged client and creditor.

Letter says "Account in Arrears - Final Chance to pay" - then gives a balance of £65.00

We have been instructed by our clients etc....blah blah blah.....balance must be received in our office within 7 days.....blah blah....failure to do so may result in a County Court Claim issued without warning....blah blah....if court action commence the balance will be increased by court fees of £15, solicitors costs of £50 and your total due will be £130....contact us now by calling xxxx to pay in full by debit or credit card...blah blah

Again the phone number given does not match the company's phone number on their website. So its likely to be an employee of LPS again using solicitors headed paper to pass off their debt collector as bona-fide solicitors to extract payment from me.

Again, not going to enter into any correspondance with them and just file it - any idea what I should expect next? Another solicitor's letter, this time printed in red ink to denote final demand? Or am I likely to see court papers without the offical seal/stamp? Do you think LPS will go that far?

Thanks!

biggrin.gif
dave-o
You won't see court papers, that's not how the bluff works.

Did you report them to the SRA? Follow it up, maybe? Let them know you are still being harrassed? There is plenty of ammo here; you do not have an "account", more bogus legal threats, contact details errors etc.

These low lifes are trying to pressure you. Luckily you know that it's all a big bluff. However, you should try to cause them as much hassle as you can. There are plenty of people out there who will be taken in by this, so it's important to get these chancers shut down.
ManxRed
QUOTE (psbbst @ Wed, 15 Sep 2010 - 18:37) *
County Court Claim .................

...solicitors costs of £50...


If you want any evidence that the person who wrote that letter was making it up as they went along then there's your proof.

You cannot claim legal costs in the County Court.
Fredd
QUOTE (ManxRed @ Thu, 16 Sep 2010 - 10:52) *
You cannot claim legal costs in the County Court in the circumstances that would apply here.

ManxRed
Oops. Thanks Fredd.

Yes, I mean to qualify that by saying in this case (i.e. they are claiming under £5k = Small Claims)
psbbst
Thanks Dave-O and ManxRed

I've not yet written to the SRA as I wanted this to die down a little, rather that rattle their cages - but I'm actually also itching to get back at them a little but am concerned that any pipsqueak out of me will be used against me - at present, there has been total silence on my side.

I'll have a stab at drafting something this weekend to send to the SRA....

Something along the lines of:

Receiving 2 letters, feeling harassed, noting that it appears to be debt collectors who are alledgedly being allowed to use an SRA-registered solicitors headed paper to extract money from members of the public, phone numbers on letters not matching to the solicitors public website, letters not signed but printed with changeable font, inaccurate content intended at intimidating the employee eg 'county court claims' for an amount of £65 etc

Anything else to add fuel to the fire for the SRA? biggrin.gif
dave-o
QUOTE (psbbst @ Thu, 16 Sep 2010 - 13:47) *
am concerned that any pipsqueak out of me will be used against me - at present, there has been total silence on my side.



1) They have no power to do anything so who cares.
2) The SRA will not tell them your name or details.

As far as the complaint goes, i'd make it something along these lines:

-Their letters threatening court are designed to intimidate, and left you very worried. Sleepless nights etc.
-After recieving legal advice, it became clear that there was no lawful debt, and these threats of court were nothing more than harrassment. You have been in contact with focus groups and found that many people have received threatening letters from this company, but the threats have been empty and only designed to intimidate.
-List the specific issues that are either harrassing or unlawful or against the SRA COP.
-Request that the officer assigned to this complaint keep you updated with its progress.
Mortimer
Perhaps it is worth pointing out for future reference that the reason why the "Ahead Only" blue sign was used, is because that junction has "No Left Turn" AND "No Right Turn" restrictions. No left turn 'perhaps' because of the sharpness of the turn, we can only speculate, no right turn, because that direction is against traffic flow in a one way street. So rather that put two red prohibition signs up, the council have elected to use one blue order sign. To me and most others I think the meaning is clear, although I admit it would have been helpful of them to have put up a sign showing you how to go in the direction, something like this...
psbbst
Oh and one more thing folks....

I never noticed it before but in the original LPS letters, they stated that I owed £50.

Then when the Geoffrey Parker Bourne letters arrived, the amount owed had miraculously increased to £65.00!! laugh.gif laugh.gif

Is this some kind of threshold minimum figure where Fred on the next desk made up so that it could get through and be accepted on small claims court or county court claims?

Thanks!

dave-o
QUOTE (psbbst @ Fri, 17 Sep 2010 - 12:05) *
Is this some kind of threshold minimum figure where Fred on the next desk made up so that it could get through and be accepted on small claims court or county court claims?



It's an automated mail scheme, so it's probably a typo or other administrative cock-up.
Alexis
The figures are spurious and made up. They can go and down in any letter because they are plucked out of the air.
southpaw82
"LBANEW" probably means "Letter Before Action NEW" (as opposed to OLD).
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