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Thread: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice Pleas

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  1. #1
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    Default Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice Pleas

    Hi all,

    I recently received a ‘Parking Charge Notice’ from Premier Parking Solutions. I know these are just ‘invoices’ as they are not issued by the Local Authority or Police but wanted to resolve the issue anyhow. My appeal was rejected and now I have two questions.

    1. It states on the back of the ticket that appeals will be responded to within 14 days of receipt. I sent my appeal on 1st July 2014 and as of today had not received a response. I called this afternoon to chase and was told that a response was sent out on 10th July, which I have not received. I requested another copy be sent out today and also a copy via email so I could review the decision. They have rejected my appeal and stated that either £60 be paid within 14 days of their letter being ‘sent’ or £100 thereafter. As I have not actually received a response from them, will I still be liable for the full £100? How can I prove / they prove that the letter was sent / not received?

    2. My second question is about whether I have a case to take my appeal further to PoPLA and my chances of success.

    Below is my original letter sent to Premier Parking Solutions which states my reasons for appeal:


    “Dear Sirs,


    You issued me with a parking ticket on 01/07/2014 and although not on the Parking on Private Land Appeals list of grounds for appeal I believe the ticket was unfairly issued and I will not be paying your demand for payment for the following reason:

    The fee is completely disproportionate to the offence. According to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations, parking charges on private land must not exceed the cost to the landowner during the period the motorist is parked there. In my case, the £60 / £100 charge you are requesting far exceeds the cost to the landowner, charged at £1 per hour. My parking ticket expired at 16:19 and I was issued with a Parking Charge Notice at 16:41, 22 minutes after my parking ticket expired. Based on your fee of £60 / £100 you are charging me £163 / £272 per hour which is an unbelievable 16300% / 27200% increase compared to your standard charge which astronomically exceeds the cost to the landowner during the period I was parked there.

    The British Parking Approved Operators website states that you use ANPR technology in your car parks and I would kindly ask that you check your system database, where you will find that I departed from the car park at around 16:50, mere minutes after the Parking Charge Notice was issued. You will also find from your records that the car park was far from capacity and so my being there was not preventing any additional motorists from using the car park.

    I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that the parking cost is £1 per hour or £3.50 for 6 hours. You will see from my parking ticket (enclosed) that I actually paid £4 for 6 hours; an additional 50p which should in essence cover my parking (and costs to the landowner) for an additional 30 minutes. In line with the parking prices charged, I effectively paid for 6.5 hours and after reviewing your ANPR database, you will find that I departed from the car park within this timeframe and I would urge you to take this factor into account.

    I accept however, that I made an honest mistake in returning to my vehicle slightly later than due and gladly offer the sum of £6.00 (the charge for a full day parking) to cover any inconvenience to the landowner (cheque enclosed).

    If you choose not to accept my offer, please be aware that I will not enter into any correspondence and this will be the only letter you will receive from me until you respond to the specific points raised in my letter.”

    Premier Parking Solutions rejected my appeal stating that mitigating circumstances are not grounds for appeal and that by parking there in the first place, I was agreeing to the terms set out on the notice board. If pursuing my appeal through PoPLA, I would like some advice on whether the situation outlined above would come in line with one of PoPLA’s grounds for appeal:

    (The vehicle was not improperly parked: e.g. that the vehicle was not parked where stated on the parking charge notice; that you believe you were still within the time you paid for; that the voucher was clearly displayed or that the conditions were not properly signed) – Based on the fact I paid £4.00 instead of £3.50. Although the ticket only gave me 6 hours, it clearly states that I paid £4.00 which is 50p over the cost for the 6 hours the ticket gave me. Based on the charges of £1 per hour or £3.50 for 6, do I have grounds to argue that I ‘paid’ an additional 50p and was not allocated any additional time?

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    did they return your £6 cheque too?? :tinysmile_twink_t2:
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

    ~~~~~

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    I can be emailed if you need my help loading pictures/documents to your thread. My email address is kati@legalbeagles.info
    But please include a link to your thread so I know who you are.

    Specialist advice can be sought via our sister site JustBeagle

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Do you have a 10 digit popla code ?

    Chance 99.9% win if you follow http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/...-Appeal-Letter suitably ammended of course.

    http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/...pany-victories

    M1

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Who knows Kati! Hah! I haven't recieved the original response they claim to have sent... I also enclosed the parking ticket, but took a picture before sending - just incase!

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    I'd check to make sure it hasn't been cashed :lol:
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

    ~~~~~

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    I can be emailed if you need my help loading pictures/documents to your thread. My email address is kati@legalbeagles.info
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    Specialist advice can be sought via our sister site JustBeagle

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Thanks mystery1 - This looks great. Only one question, I'm assuming I need to delete some whole paragraphs if they do not apply? i.e. "There was no parking charge levied, the car park is “free”" - I wasn't sure if this was to be kept in if the conditions of my case were appropriate, or weather some form of breach on contract on their park meant that Parking was free?

    Thanks again,

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    As yours was paid then you'd take it out. ALso change all parking eye to premier etc. Make sure genuine pre estimate of loss is kept in

    M1

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Thanks M1 - I see there are a lot of thanks going out to you on here for this template! Rest assured that mine will be up here too shortly. I'm feeling smugishly confident!

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Hey M1 and others,

    I was copied into an email today from Premier PArking Sollutions to PoPLA who were submitting their evidence in response to my letter, using M1's template. It looks quite detailed and there are lots of different photos/docs.

    The main document is a case summary, which I've pasted below. It looks quite detailed although their examples of pre-estimate of loss seem greatly exadurated! £1.50 for printing? £3 for postage?

    Appologies if the format is a little skewed as it was copied from a PDF, but any thoughts on the below would be appreciated:

    Background
    This vehicle was issued a parking charge notice on 01-07-2014 at 16:41 because there was no valid pay and display ticket or permit clearly on display at our XXXXXXX car park, XXXXX, XXXXXXX.
    The complainant states that they were not parked improperly and not liable for parking charge.

    Appeals
    In their initial appeal the complainant stated that the charge was disproportionate, that the BPA states that we use ANPR technology and asked that we check our system database to show that he had left the car park around 16:50. The complainant stated that whilst the tariff was £3.50 for 6 hours he had actually paid £4.00. However, the complainant does state quite clearly that he made a mistake and was late returning to the vehicle.

    In our reply we confirmed that there was no valid ticket clearly on display to authorise parking, the ticket had expired by 22 minutes and so the PCN was issued correctly. We evidenced the complainant’s contravention with photographs. We explained that the charge was within the prescribed guidelines of the BPA, that the charge was in accordance with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. With regards to the claims that the PCNs are disproportionate, we consider the amount on the PCN as a reasonable charge and as part of a contractual agreement. This contractual agreement, which is accepted on parking is clearly indicated and worded as such on our signage.

    Nevertheless the complainant then appealed to POPLA stating that we have failed to follow the BPA Codes of Practice, we have no legal right to issue pcns or pursue them through the Courts. The complainant asks to see a copy of our contract with the Landowner. The complainant quotes VCS v HMRC 2013. The complainant also states that the charge is not a genuine pre-estimation of loss. The complainant states that BPA says we should allow a reasonable period to leave the private car park after the parking contract has ended, before we take reasonable enforcement action. The complainant states that our parking charges do not even equate to local council charges. The complainant states that if the pcn can be discounted by early payment, the charge is unreasonable to start with. The complainant also states that we are attempting to impersonate an official parking fine issued by the police or council wardens. The complainant says the charge is unfair in the terms of the Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. The complainant states that we haven’t shown them evidence that our ANPR comply with the BPA Codes of Practice.

    The complainant states that as they paid 50p over the tariff for 6 hours that entitled them to park for longer.

    I will firstly address the actual reason a PCN was issued.

    Conditions on Signage and Images

    Having no valid pay and display ticket clearly on display is contrary to the advertised terms and conditions at this site as displayed on signage at the entrance, on the tariff back boards and throughout the site, specifically at Paras 2, 3 on these signs. You can see this on the attached photographs in the "conditions on signage" folder. The onus is on the driver to ensure terms and conditions are met.

    In the images folder you will see that the ticket has expired by some 22 minutes which is a very generous grace period by anyone’s standard. The Tariff is quite clear, as can be seen in our "conditions on signage" folder, £3.50 for 6 hours and £6.00 for up to 24 hours. It is universally accepted that this means that between 6 hours and 24 hours – whether it be 6 and a half hours or 8 hours – the tariff would be £6.00, not a figure decided by the driver. The complainant does not dispute that their ticket had expired.

    Parking Charge Notice
    A copy of the PCN is enclosed. Given the evidence produced this PCN was issued correctly. Our attendants can only examine a vehicle in the condition it is left. Production of tickets after the event does not discharge the liability to park in accordance with the advertised terms and conditions at the time of parking.

    The complainant also states that as we do not appear to own this car park, they wish to see a contract with the Landowners that prove we have legal authority to issue and pursue charges:

    The complainant also says that they would like us to provide a copy of our contract with the Landowners. Obviously this contains highly confidential information and while we would be happy to provide POPLA with a copy of our contract we would not wish it to be put within the public domain. Therefore please see the Witness Statement in our "other evidence" folder showing we have full authorisation and legal standing to manage, control and enforce, as Principal, at this site by way of a contract with the landowner.

    The complainant quotes VCS v HMRC. This was superseded in July 2013 when VCS successfully appealed.

    The complainant then states that the PCN is not a genuine pre-estimation of loss. The fact that the car park was not full at the time of parking is irrelevant as no-one can tell when an influx of vehicles may happen. The complainant also states that if we are able to discount the charge by 40% for early payment, then it is unreasonable to begin with. Unfortunately we are bound by the BPA Codes of Practice which insists the discount is offered.

    What Parking Charge Notices Represent
    The Parking Charge Notices that we issue represent liquidated and ascertained damages. When a motorist parks in breach of the Terms and Conditions of Parking, we incur a loss because incorrect parking prevents the efficient management of the car park. The amount of the Parking Charge Notice represents a genuine pre-estimate of the additional expense incurred by us as a result of this.

    Exceeded the Appropriate Amount
    It will be seen that the charge of £100 reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days is within the prescribed guidelines issued by the British Parking Association, our governing body. The charge is in accordance with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The complainant has not offered any evidence as to why the charge exceeded the appropriate amount. Additionally this charge has not been paid either in whole or part.

    Pre estimation of Loss
    The genuine pre-estimation of loss set out below refers to costs that we estimated, at the time of issuing the PCN, may be incurred for this individual appeal only. These same headings have been applied previously to other POPLA appeals, each with their own specific costs, and have been approved by POPLA, for example POPLA Appeal 6860084019 and 6860154028:

    DVLA Fees / Processing Costs for this appeal £5.00
    Admin Expenses for this appeal: Stationery £1.00
    Postage £3.00
    Printing £1.50
    Loss of P&D Revenue for this appel
    Bearing in mind that at
    the time of issue (pre-estimation) the current parking term
    had not been paid for - £6.00

    Attendant and POPLA Appeals staff wages and salaries
    including Employers National Insurance Contributions for this appeal:
    Attendants (PCN recording and issuing) for this appeal £2.60
    Appeals Staff 1 hour (call handling / answering initial appeals to PP)
    for this appeal £9.51
    Management at 3 hours (quality control / evidence gathering
    / POPLA appeal writing (POPLA Case Summary) for this appeal £71.65
    Legal, Accounting and IT advice for this appeal £1.07
    Total Genuine Pre-estimation of Loss for this appeal. £101.33

    Background Information:
    It is often presumed by many motorists, including the complainant in this POPLA appeal that there are no costs (and therefore loss) incurred to the operator when issuing, administering and collecting the charges involved when issuing a PCN.

    There is a long and detailed process put in place to enforce parking T&Cs at a parking site, which if were not undertaken would lead to a loss of control of the car park, where vehicles park without consideration to others and/or block access routes etc, a loss of revenue where drivers did not or forgot to pay, or the failure to keep allocated bays (for example disabled parking bays) available for those in the most need of it. If the vehicles using our P&D car parks extended their stay by just 10 minutes without paying the associated tariff we would lose revenue in access of £100,000 pa which would not be sustainable to us as a company or an acceptable loss to our clients.

    Enforcement and the issue of PCNs is recognised as asset protection and as the principal or lease holder of the site it is incumbent on us and part of our contractual responsibility to manage the facility to the best of our ability in order to either generate the maximum amount of revenue possible for the land owner or lease holder or to keep our clients allocated parking clear of fly parkers and for the actual use of those who are entitled to park, be it an office allocated parking area, a retail park or a persons individual parking space or drive way.

    As previously alluded there are a number of costs incurred in the continuous enforcement process that are a necessity in making sure drivers adhere to the parking T&Cs advertised and the chasing up of any outstanding and unpaid PCNs. These include:

    Wages and Salaries including Employers NI Contributions - This is for the time it takes an attendant on the ground who patrols the car parks, having once identified a contravention, to initially issue and record the PCNs and document, photograph and make notes of the transgression. We currently employ 10 attendants. We estimate that on average an attendant spends 15 minutes recording and issuing a PCN. The back office staff who manually check the issue of a PCN, examine and answer an appeal, take telephone questions or queries with regards to the issue of a PCN and take phone payments for the PCN, we estimate that it takes between 1 and 1.5 hours for the appeals staff to take these calls per appeal, examine an appeal (which are often multiple) and compile the response to that appeal. It includes the cost of managers to examine and quality control an appeal reply, the compiling of a POPLA evidence pack, the writing of an appeal reply and the submission of the same and the answering of any further evidence submissions. It is estimated that three hours of managers time (two hours senior managers, 1 hour director level) are taken to check and approve the response to each appeal and examine and compile the POPLA evidence pack for submission as well as write any detailed appeal replies such as those to an MP. We have 10 dedicated car parking attendants and two dedicated appeals members of staff.

    Legal, Accounting and other Professional Advice, as from time to time we need to take advice and guidance from our appointed advisors to ensure an appeal is dealt with correctly.

    Print, Postage and Stationary costs are incurred for any responses to an appeal which often number in 2 and 3 replies and not just a single response.
     
    DVLA Fees / Processing Costs - These are fixed costs to us at present at £5 per DVLA search via our appointed DR company.
    Therefore contrary to the assumption of many motorists financial losses to the company are directly incurred as soon as a contravention to the terms of parking as advertised is made and a PCN is issued.
    With regards to justifying the amount of the PCN the considerable costs of dealing with an individual appeal demonstrate that there is a large cost (and therefore loss) to us as a company and we are therefore justified in the amount of PCNs to cover these not inconsiderable costs.
    At present we are limited by the British Parking Associations Codes of Practice and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 as to what the level of a PCN can be charged. We chose on a business case, mindful of the costs incurred above, to levy a PCN of £100 reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days. Often it is the case that we incur charges in excess of £100 but this additional cost has to be then subsidised from other parts of our business.

    It has been calculated in advance and is clearly set out on the notices and signage. As such it is accepted on parking and the driver cannot claim that there are any trading standard or unfair consumer regulation breaches as they have accepted the conditions on parking and as you will see below these charges have been held to be fair and reasonable.
    On accepting the parking conditions we argue that the complainant cannot now in effect renegotiate this. The charge of £100 reduced to £60 is as advertised and within BPA guidelines and in accordance with the protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

    Last October after significant pressure from Government and motoring/consumer organisations, the BPA reduced the maximum recommended charge for that a motorist should be expected to pay for a breach of the parking contract or for an act of trespass from £150 to 100. Despite the BPA being unable, due to prevailing OFT legislation, to fix prices at this level, the actions of the Association were welcomed by all stakeholders. In this instance the charge being levied is within (well within) the recommendations set out within Clause 19 of the BPA Code of Practice.

    This sum, and the calculations which have been made in setting it, has been approved and agreed by the landowner or his agent of the site. We are the primary at this site for car park management services.
    Parking Charges are fair and reasonable, and have been tested at the Court of Appeal. A charge of £75 was found by HHJ Hegarty QC in the case of Parking Eye v Somerfield Stores (2011) to be a reasonable charge, by which the motorist (when exceeding the specified time limit) would be contractually bound. See also Combined Parking Solutions v Dorrington (2012) and Combined Parking Solutions v Blackburn (2007). Further evidence, that parking charges cannot be viewed as penalties, can be found in Mayhook v National Car Parks and Fuller [2012], Combined Parking Solutions v Mr Stephen James Thomas [2008] and Combined Parking Solutions v De Brunner [2007]

    In the POPLA evidence pack we have provided clear evidence that by staying at the location, the motorist has accepted all of the prevailing terms & conditions of the parking contract including the charges for not complying with the advertised terms and conditions. There are a large number of signs at the parking location, both at the entrance and throughout the site which offers the parking contract to the motorist, and sets out the terms and conditions of the parking area on which the operator will rely, and on which the motorist has agreed to be bound by which will become payable if the terms and conditions of parking are not met.

    We would contend that it is too late now to indicate that they are unhappy with the parking charge – this should have been done at the time of accepting the ‘parking contract’ - if the motorist was unhappy with the contract terms, they should not have remained at the location. Our telephone number is on signage across the site should drivers have any questions or queries.

    We consider the amount on the PCN as a reasonable charge for liquidated damages in respect of a breach of the parking contract and contend that it is not a ‘penalty’ for a number of reasons.
    We have calculated this sum as a genuine pre-estimate of our losses as we incur significant costs in dealing with an appeal to ensure compliance to the stated terms & conditions and to follow up on any breaches of these identified as detailed above.

    A genuine pre estimation of loss is just that, a genuine attempt to estimate the costs (and therefore loss) incurred for each PCN issued given the significant costs incurred conducting an appeals process.
    The costs above for parking charge, number 1029648 in this instance was established after consideration of the loss which we incur on the ticket issued and these headings below are as per Mr Henry Michael Greenslade’s, POPLA Adjudicator, ruling on 18 November 2013, Point 43, against Parking Eye Ltd as to what constitutes genuine pre-estimation of loss.

    I quote Mr Greenslade’s determination of what constitutes a genuine pre-estimation of loss:
    "Each appeal will always turn of its own facts but both parties should be clear that a genuine pre-estimate of loss need not be a detailed estimate for each particular case.
    It is not the specific loss caused by the actual breach but may include loss incurred or loss that might reasonably be incurred. However, it cannot include sums that are really the general business costs of the Operator’s car park services operation."
    "DVLA and associated fees for obtaining keeper details: clerical costs there arising, including stationery and postage; legal and other professional advice; wages and salaries involved in that (which may be relatively substantial), together with national insurance and similar related sums; the fee lost by another vehicle not being able to park in the occupied space (where there is a fee); and even loss of revenue at the retail outlet for which the parking is provided, do if established, fall within a genuine pre-estimation of loss. This list is not exhaustive but strongly indicative of the kind of items that could amount to such a genuine pre-estimate".

    It can be seen from the detailed list of costs above, a lot more goes into the issue of a PCN than is detailed here.
    As stated above "A genuine pre estimation of loss is just that, a genuine attempt to estimate the costs incurred for each PCN issued"
    The complainant also states that our signage does not state how long a grace period we give. The BPA Codes of Practice the complainant quotes only says that we have to allow the driver a reasonable period to leave the private car park etc. It does not stipulate that we have to inform anyone how long a period we allow. In this case we have allowed 22 minutes grace period which, as I have already stated, is a very generous grace period.

    The complainant mentions ANPR technology and the fact the BPA website state that we use it. Unfortunately we omitted to mention the fact, in our reply to the complainant’s original appeal, that while we do use it at some of our car parks we do not use it at The Athenaeum.
    As the complainant was incorrect in the assumption that we used ANPR, their statement that we have no evidence of actual parking time is not the case. As can be seen in our "images" folder the complainant’s pay and display ticket had expired. Plus the fact the complainant admitted they were late returning to their vehicle.
    The fact that our charges do not even equate to local council charges is irrelevant. If the complainant did not like our charges they were free to park elsewhere.

    Our style of PCNS are at no time trying to impersonate the Police or Council Wardens. All our PCNS and signage have been approved and signed off by the BPA. As stated above in our background to Genuine Pre-estimation of Loss, the contract is accepted on parking and the driver cannot claim that there are any trading standard or unfair consumer regulation breaches as they have accepted the conditions on parking. Our signage is regularly inspected by the Office of Fair Trading and has all been given approval.

    The complainants arguments regarding compliance with the use of ANPR is irrelevant, as stated above we do not use ANPR at this car park.

    Other Evidence
    Witness statement as mentioned above.

    Registered Keepers Details
    With regards to registered keeper details this has not yet been applied for as the complainant has always indicated they were driving at the time. Should this change we will apply for registered keeper’s details accordingly.


    END


    In one of the folders in the email attachment, it shows the parking meter with a price tarriff that even states 0.50p up to 30 mins. Going back to my point that I actually paid £4.00 for 6 hours instead of the stated £3.50 is this sufficient evidence to argue this case further, and if so, do I argue this now or will PoPLA give me a chance to respond to Premier Parking?

    Thanks again all,

    TunX

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    I would send in further information to popla based on their reply. Remember to give the popla code etc

    enquiries@popla.org.uk

    the ticket had expired by 22 minutes
    In this case we have allowed 22 minutes grace period which, as I have already stated, is a very generous grace period.
    If they have allowed 22 minutes grace then no ticket should have been issued as you were only 22 minutes over. #oops



    Dears Sirs,

    Re:- xxxx

    I write in response to the operators pack and in support of my appeal which was previously entered.

    I note from the operators submission that "the ticket had expired by 22 minutes" but also that "In this case we have allowed 22 minutes grace period which, as I have already stated, is a very generous grace period." As the driver had, in fact, not exceeded the "generous grace period" no ticket should have been issued.

    The operator has missed that the VCS v HMRC case i quoted was the appeal court ruling.

    In reply to the issues of genuine pre estimate of loss theoperator states £6 was lost but fails to take in to account the £4 already paid. The operator charges for the attendant who was doing his job which was ruled by
    HIS HONOUR JUDGE CHARLES HARRIS QC in A Retailer v Ms B as wrong. The learned judge said

    "14. The claimant in the instant case has not established either that the staff in question were “significantly diverted from their usual activities” or that there was “any
    significant disruption to its business” which, in this type of case, may amount to the
    same thing. Nor was there any loss of revenue generation.
    15. The two security people, far from being diverted from their usual activities, were in
    fact actively engaged in them. They were doing just what the claimants paid for
    them to do. I do not think that it avails the claimants to say that because they were
    busy apprehending, they could not be patrolling or doing camera invigilation. It
    might just as well be observed that when they were patrolling they could not be
    looking at the security cameras anyway. They could not carry out all aspects of their
    job simultaneously in any event. The shop continued to trade undisturbed and there is
    no evidence that any non-security staff were involved with these defendants.
    16. So the claim in respect of staff time cannot, in my judgment, be established. I was
    not clear if, at the end of the case, the other two alleged heads of loss – administrative
    costs and security equipment costs – were still being sought. But, if so, these claims
    too cannot succeed. Neither can be shown to be attributable to the defendants’
    activities. The amounts spent by the claimant would have been identical had the
    defendants stayed at home or limited their shoplifting to other establishments.
    17. It follows that the claims must be dismissed but I do not want it to be thought by the
    claimant company that there is any lack of sympathy for its understandable desire to
    recoup, if it can, something from those who prey on it by shoplifting. It is, of course,
    no part of the purpose of this judgment to advise in this connection though it may be
    that some different approach akin to that used against motorists who park too long in
    excess of the contractual licence might work better.
    18. But, in the circumstances there must be judgment for the defendants. "

    Clearly this principle also applies to appeal staff because it's their job and they would have to be paid if nobody appealed as their job must be appeals and to do this they are not diverted from other duties and their supervisors who would always be responsible for making sure they are doing their job correctly and thus were also not diverted from their usual duties.

    Once again the cost of management cannot be said to be a diversion of their normal duties as this must be the job of the management of a parking management company. If manager and director check every single appeal then it is part of their core duties and in no way a loss caused by a breach Of course a ticket that is paid within 14 days is £60 and if £71 out of £100 is correct that makes £60 a penalty and if the initial discounted charge is a penalty i fail to see how it transform itself into a legally sound charge later down the line.

    I also fail to see why 1 person does the grunt work and it has to be checked by a manager and then double checked by a director every time. This looks and feels like bumping up the figures to meet the maximum charge catered for in the BPA code of practice.

    £5 for a search when the DVLA charge £2.50.

    The lead Popla adjudicator states "However, it cannot include sums that are really the general business costs of the Operator’s car park services operation."

    The charge is punitive and clearly not a genuine pre estimate of loss.

    Yours etc



    I think what is already in should win but you never know when a rookie appears on the scene so a rebuttal such as above is advised.

    M1

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Hi M1 and all,

    I was copied into another email today which was Premier Parking Solutions response to my response to their response to my initial appeal to PoPLA. Make sense?

    I responded with the following and their response is further below:

    I write in response to the operators pack sent to you today and in support of my appeal which was previously entered.

    1. I note from the operators submission that "…the ticket had expired by 22 minutes" but also that "In this case we have allowed 22 minutes grace period which, as I have already stated, is a very generous grace period." As I had, in fact, not exceeded the "generous grace period" no ticket should have been issued.

    2. The operator has missed that the VCS v HMRC case I quoted was the appeal court ruling.

    3. In response to the issues of genuine pre-estimate of loss, the operator states £6.00 was lost but fails to take in to account the £4.00 already paid. The operator charges for the attendant who was doing his job, which was ruled by HIS HONOUR JUDGE CHARLES HARRIS QC in A Retailer v Ms B as wrong. The learned judge said:

    "14. The claimant in the instant case has not established either that the staff in question were “significantly diverted from their usual activities” or that there was “any significant disruption to its business” which, in this type of case, may amount to the same thing. Nor was there any loss of revenue generation.

    15. The two security people, far from being diverted from their usual activities, were in fact actively engaged in them. They were doing just what the claimants paid for them to do. I do not think that it avails the claimants to say that because they were busy apprehending, they could not be patrolling or doing camera invigilation. It might just as well be observed that when they were patrolling they could not be looking at the security cameras anyway. They could not carry out all aspects of their job simultaneously in any event. The shop continued to trade undisturbed and there is no evidence that any non-security staff were involved with these defendants.

    16. So the claim in respect of staff time cannot, in my judgment, be established. I was not clear if, at the end of the case, the other two alleged heads of loss – administrative costs and security equipment costs – were still being sought. But, if so, these claims too cannot succeed. Neither can be shown to be attributable to the defendants’ activities. The amounts spent by the claimant would have been identical had the defendants stayed at home or limited their shoplifting to other establishments.

    17. It follows that the claims must be dismissed but I do not want it to be thought by the claimant company that there is any lack of sympathy for its understandable desire to recoup, if it can, something from those who prey on it by shoplifting. It is, of course, no part of the purpose of this judgment to advise in this connection though it may be that some different approach akin to that used against motorists who park too long in excess of the contractual license might work better.

    18. But, in the circumstances there must be judgment for the defendants."

    Clearly this principle also applies to appeal staff because it is their job and they would have to be paid even if nobody appealed as their job must be appeals and so to do this they are not diverted from other duties therefore their supervisors who would always be responsible for making sure they are doing their job correctly were also not diverted from their usual duties. The lead PoPLA adjudicator states "However, it cannot include sums that are really the general business costs of the Operator’s car park services operation.”

    4. Once again the cost of management cannot be said to be a diversion of their normal duties as this must be the job of the management of a parking management company. If a manager and director check every single appeal then it is part of their core duties and in no way a loss caused by a breach. Of course a ticket that is paid within 14 days is £60 and if £71.00 for ‘management’ out of £100 is correct that makes £60 a penalty and if the initial discounted charge is a penalty I fail to see how it transform itself into a legally sound charge later down the line.

    5. I also fail to see why one person does the bulk of the work and it has to be checked by a manager and then double checked by a director every time. This looks and feels like bumping up the figures to meet the maximum charge catered for in the BPA code of practice.

    6. They have also stated £5.00 for a search when the DVLA charge is £2.50.

    7. In photographs submitted by Premier Parking Solutions to you today, the pricing tariff clearly states £3.50 for up to 6 hours and 0.50p for up to 30 minutes, I would argue that as £4.00 was paid and is the sum stated to have been paid on my parking ticket, the additional 30 minutes that was paid for, was not applied to the allocated time on my ticket. In summary - An additional 0.50p was paid, and the due 30 minutes was not given. When examining the tariff listed, one would reasonably assume that if £3.50 is for 6 hours parking and 0.50p is for 30 minutes parking, that by paying £4.00, one should legally be entitled to 6 Hours and 30 minutes parking - there are no terms or conditions displayed on site that state that separate payments must be made, where if the same amount of money had been paid in a single transaction, less time would be allocated.

    I stand by my argument that I was not allocated the parking time I paid for in line with the on-site tariff, and that the charge is unfair, punitive and clearly not a genuine pre-estimate of loss.

    Yours sincerely,


    XXX


    Their response was as follows:
    Reply to additional evidence supplied by the complainant.
    1. The complainant states that they did not exceed the grace period. The period parking was paid for was exceeded by the complainant. A grace period is just that, given at the attendant’s discretion, and the attendant allowed the complainant 22 minutes to return to their vehicle before issuing a pcn.
    2. VCS v HMRC case quoted by the Complainant. I did not miss the fact that the case the complainant quoted was the appeal hearing. It was the appeal hearing held in March 2013 and VCS appealed again in July 2013 and won their appeal. It was this appeal I was referring to.
    3.
    (a) The complainant states that we failed to take into account the £4.00 they had already paid when we states our initial loss was £6.00. The £4.00 the complainant paid was for the period of parking of 6 hours. The complainant stayed in the parking bay over and above what had been paid for and this prevented another motorist to pay for parking for that space.
    (b) The complainant states that we have allowed for costs of the attendant and admin staff in our Genuine Pre-estimation of Loss. I copy our statement as part of our Genuine Pre-estimation of Loss:
    It is not the specific loss caused by the actual breach but may include loss incurred or loss that might reasonably be incurred. However, it cannot include sums that are really the general business costs of the Operator’s car park services operation."
    "DVLA and associated fees for obtaining keeper details: clerical costs there arising, including stationery and postage; legal and other professional advice; wages and salaries involved in that (which may be relatively substantial), together with national insurance and similar related sums; the fee lost by another vehicle not being able to park in the occupied space (where there is a fee); and even loss of revenue at the retail outlet for which the parking is provided, do if established, fall within a genuine pre-estimation of loss. This list is not exhaustive but strongly indicative of the kind of items that could amount to such a genuine pre-estimate".
    4. The complainant questions the Genuine Pre-estimation of Loss in so far as that we can give a 40% discount for prompt payment. There are two reasons for the discount we offer for prompt payment. The first being that the BPA Codes of Practice advocate this and as a member of the BPA we strictly adhere to their Codes of Practice. The second reason is that if payment is paid promptly then the loss flowing from the pcn is greatly reduced. At the time of issuing the PCN, the Genuine Pre-estimation of Loss takes into account the probably costs i.e. prompt payment is not likely to made in our experience. However it would be unfair not to allow for prompt payment when it is made hence the discount.
    5. We pride ourselves in our thoughtful analysis of any appeal that comes in hence our careful approach.
     
    6. The complainant states that the DVLA charge is £2.50 which is quite correct. However we use a third party (on our behalf) to obtain Keeper details and this obviously has a cost over and above the DVLA charge.
    7. The complainant states that our tariff is 50 pence for 30 minutes and £3.50 for up to 6 hours. The complainant has said it themselves, the tariff reads up to and not for. It is quite clear that the tariff is £3.50 for up to 6 hours and £6.00 for up to 24 hours. This was dealt with in our Case Summary and I quote
    "It is universally accepted that this means that between 6 hours and 24 hours – whether it be 6 and a half hours or 8 hours – the tariff would be £6.00, not a figure decided by the driver".
    I trust that the above covers the complainant’s additional evidence, although most of it has already been covered in our Case Summary.

    XXXX

    Any thoughts on whether I should respond again?? Is it worth getting technical and stating that the 22 min grace period they admit to have given me would mean that at 16:41 when the fine was issued (ticket expiry was 16:19) would technically mean I was still within the grace period by up to 60 seconds?

    Thanks again


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    In reply,

    Dears Sirs

    re:-

    I wish to further submit for consideration that the operator is unclear as to what they are claiming for. On one hand "With regards to the claims that the PCNs are disproportionate, we consider the amount on the PCN as a reasonable charge and as part of a contractual agreement. This contractual agreement, which is accepted on parking is clearly indicated and worded as such on our signage. " and on the other they have stated that the claim is for losses and a genuine pre estimate of loss.

    The intention of the Operator's charge prior to this parking event was not based on any genuine pre-estimate of loss, rather they intended it to be a tariff. They have massaged their POPLA evidence now to manufacture a 'loss' statement.

    An Operator must be able to say what its intentions actually were, and cannot rely on the charge being either a tariff, or a charge for damages, depending on which suits. To quote Assessor Chris Adamson from a POPLA decision about another coastal P&D car park run in this instance by PPS
    ''Reasons for the Assessor’s Determination -
    The Operator submits that the charge is not a sum sought as damages, rather it is ‘an excess charge not a breach or a sum for damages’. Accordingly the Operator submits that it need not reflect the loss caused by the breach. I am not minded to accept this submission.

    The charge must either be one for damages as submitted by the Appellant, or consideration - the price paid for parking - as submitted by the Operator. In order for the charge to be consideration, the parking charge must be paid in return for something, here permission to park without a valid ticket. In other words, the sign must permit the motorist to park without a ticket, provided he or she pay the charge. In this case, the wording of the sign states that a parking charge notice would be issued, "If you park in this car park contravening the terms and conditions listed below". Clearly, permission to park without a ticket is not granted, and so the parking charge cannot be a contractual price. Instead, it is clear that the charge is in fact a sum sought as damages, and therefore must be a genuine pre-estimate of the loss which may be caused by the parking breach.

    The Operator has submitted in the alternative that the sum, ‘if considered genuine pre-estimation of losses’ is based on a number heading related to direct loss. I do not accept this submission. Whether or not the charge represents a genuine pre-estimate of loss is to be ascertained by an objective assessment of the intentions of the parties at the time the contract was made. Accordingly, the Operator must be able to say what its intentions actually were, and cannot rely on the charge being either a tariff, or a charge for damages, depending on which suits...

    ...it seems clear from the Operator evidence that, whilst its intentions were actually to charge a tariff,the signage displayed did not indicate this. It has not demonstrated that anything was being offered in return. Instead the wording of the sign indicates damages, although it does not appear that the Operator’s intentions when setting the level of the charge were to compensate for the loss estimated.Accordingly, I must allow the appeal.''
    Chris Adamson, Assessor (February 2014).

    My case is similar, with a ridiculously massaged 'loss statement' suddenly produced to try to magically meet/exceed the amount of the PCN even though they say in fact, it is their 'belief that the charge is a contractually agreed sum'.



    - PPS have included staff wages and NI contributions which are all tax-deductible costs of running any business.

    - PPS have included POPLA related 'work' yet this cannot be considered to be applicable to each PCN as a 'genuine pre-estimate'. I understand that under 2% of cases ever get to POPLA stage so it is not appropriate to add the costs of replying to a POPLA appeal at all, to every PCN. This is the same situation as cases where Operators add 'debt collection' costs which POPLA already routinely dismiss on the basis that 'cases may never get to debt collection stage so this is not applicable'. And in fact, the DVLA have recently stated that the BPA has been reminded that Operators cannot recoup the costs of POPLA which must be industry-funded, having been promised at the outset by the DfT to be completely free for the motorist.

    The calculations of PPS are so obviously comparable that there has been no genuine pre-estimate of any loss which relates even to this car park, let alone specific to my parking event. The attempt in this Operator's statement to ask POPLA to consider 'either contractual fee or loss' is so reminiscent of PPS' earlier effort - which was thwarted by Chris Adamson in the case I have quoted POPLA's decision wording from above - that PPS's case against me must similarly fail.



    M1

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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Hey all!

    Just a quick post to say a massive thank you to M1 and anyone else who contributed! Got my PoPLA Appeal decision today, even after 3 additional LARGE letters from 'senior management' swatting away every point I tried to raise... They even claimed now that Senior Management had become so involved, it had cost them effectivly over £450 in dealing with the case!

    My appeal was allowed on the basis of no genuine pre-estime of losses. Premier Parking had argued that because senior managers had reviewed my case, this had cost them £81.00 (before all other letters after) and with postage and stationary costs, had totalled £103. PoPLA dismissed this saying that they can't count Senior Management checking the work that normal staff are being paid as usual to do, just to bump up the pre-estimate of loss. Kurching!

    With this in mind, I can't see how ANY private parking ticket can ever come out on top in PoPLA's eyes... Hurahhh!!


    Thanks agian M1, you the man!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Well done :tinysmile_twink_t2:

    K x
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

    ~~~~~

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    I can be emailed if you need my help loading pictures/documents to your thread. My email address is kati@legalbeagles.info
    But please include a link to your thread so I know who you are.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Hi M1 / Tunx,

    I've been hit with a similar charge from Premier Park
    and wonder if you might be able to help please? I tried searching the link posted at the top of this thread for the template letter, but it says it's been moved.

    Do you by any chance have a copy please?

    Many thanks,

    T

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Things have changed since 2014.

    Post up a thread and post up the PCN (sanitised), signs etc.

    M1
    ********************************Signature********* ************************

    Private messages are off as all help on this site is on board.

    Please note i am now pretty much without access/time to help 5 days a week. Others will hopefully help you.


    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

    I,I,I,I,I,I should be avoided unless you are Jim Diamond.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Parking Charge Notice - Premier Parking Solutions - Appealing to PoPLA - Advice P

    Thanks M1,

    I've posted up a new thread: http://legalbeagles.info/forums/show...-appeal-please

    I'm not sure how to add photos though - it just asks me for a URL rather than allowing me to select one from phone / laptop.

    T

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