Got home today to find a £75 parking charge letter waiting for me! It's from g24 and saying I parked for 600 minutes instead of the allowed 180 on a toysrus car park. Apparently I stayed from 06:51:22 - 16:52:42 and it has a picture of the van I was driving at those times entering and leaving the car park. I never actually parked but for the past month I've been collecting an apprentice from the same place and dropping them back after work I was probably on the car park 5 minutes in total. So it's obviously missed me exiting somehow.
Just after advice with how to deal with it if I'd parked I'd happily pay up but from what I gather these company's aren't always easy to deal with on top of the fact I can't prove my van wasn't there all day. Is it better to stick with the standard ignoring it?
Thanks for any help you can give!
The bad news is you will be dealing with a company operating on the very edge of the law, who will not care that you weren't parked there and will try and bully and intimidate you in to paying a penalty charge.
The good news is you can ignore them, their penalty charge has no basis in law.
Send them a letter saying that you don't owe anything since you didn't park there at all, you spent ten hours driving round in circles looking for the way out and they owe you £40 for the petrol you wasted because of their inadequate signage.
In reply to Wallm0nkey: Thanks alot all I had done a bit of research but hadn't found any situations the same as mine. The advice has backed up what I had read so far about contacting them not being the best idea. I wasn't a member on any other forums I had been reading on but UKC never fails to help, once again greatful of the advice!
In reply to Wallm0nkey: Don't contact them. Ignore all letters, you'll get several inreasingly threatening demands including one from a 'solicitor'. After about 3 months all communication will stop and you'll never hear from them again.
I agree with most of the above. It's always questionable whether to reply at all but I generally have given them 1 response as follows:
"Your penalty notice is invalid on the grounds that:
I did not park in your car park on the date of ....
I did not spend 600 minutes within the bounds of said carpark.
I entered the car park at time xx, I drove in a loop and exited at xx.
I then returned at time xx, I drove around in a loop and exited at xx.
The purpose of my entry/exit was pickup/drop off. This is not in contravention of your terms and conditions.
The evidence you have supplied fails to appropriately demonstrate any legal proof because you have not shown the intervening times when I exited and returned to the car park. Any legal proof in a small claims court would require you to show time calibrated images of every vehicle entering/exiting the car park during the intervening period. Assuming you have suitable data you will be able to review it and see my vehicle leaving/returning.
As a result of this information I will assume the Penalty Notice is rescinded and that this is the end of the matter. I do not expect to hear from your company again, except in the form of legal court summons to plead a case. I have co-operated with this information and therefore will consider any further direct contact to be harassment, which will be used in court. Any further direct contact will be discarded without reply.
In reply to Wallm0nkey: I've been in a similar situation, wrote a clear and logical response explaining the error of the evidence and the parking company responded equally politely accepting my explanation.
There really is no need to declare war
> (In reply to Wallm0nkey) Don't contact them. Ignore all letters, you'll get several inreasingly threatening demands including one from a 'solicitor'. After about 3 months all communication will stop and you'll never hear from them again.
Totally agree that this is the way to deal with this kind of "fine".
It is not a fine, fines can only be issued by the police or the local authority.
We had/have a parking regime at the Climbing Works that was put in place by our landlord. When our customers and our staff got these penalty charge notices issued we looked into them. They are not enforceable as they have never been enforced, they rely on "plaintiffs" bottling it as the threat level increases but they are never enforced.
DO NOT PAT ANYTHING. DO NOT CONTACT THEM. IGNORE EVERYTHING.
I have had letters from Joe Bloggs Solicitors Ltd on a regular basis, the clue here is that solicitors aren't Limited Companies.
Strictly speaking, since the change in the law that makes the registered keeper responsible for parking fines and costs incurred by parking (i.e. civil 'parking charge notices'), some of the parking companies HAVE taken people to court (and more than just a few test cases), and it is not impossible for them to win (although it may be that in many cases people are just not responding to court papers).
Therefore if you receive stamped court papers (unlikely), then you SHOULD respond to this, and defend your case. It is their responsibility to 'prove' that you owe them money though, and there are a variety of dubious legal arguments they use, most of which can easily be countered and some of which may be countered but I'm not sure its exactly clear yet.
However in your case it is obvious that they have no proof (and of course cannot have proof) that you were actually parked in the car park for those 10 hours, since you weren't, and even in the unlikely event that they do take you to court, you should win.
Personally, when I got a similar letter (after picking someone up from a car park, I responded once to explain why I disagreed with the charge, and made sure they had my current address, and now see no need to engage in any further correspondence unless they start court proceedings (this company does and has, but in my case they want £100 for 17 minutes parking so I am probably not a very good case). Not responding at all is probably a better way for the easily distressed by scary letters though.
> Unless of course they had a "no return on the same day" rule.
I don't think that would make any difference. They're not entitled to impose a fine for breaking some arbitrary rule, or levy an unreasonable charge. It's pretty obvious that trying to charge the OP 75 quid for briefly visiting the car park twice is unreasonable.
In reply to rideti.me: Just updating big thanks to the advice from here the fine is now waived! I used your template rideti.me had a reply today saying no further action is required. I nearly ignored but it was bothering me a little as I hadn't done anything wrong as such.