Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Call to Action - Why are POPLA hiding the real reasons to appeal

The Parking Prankster noticed this thread on moneysavingexpert. The original poster, suzewuze, clearly believes she cannot appeal to POPLA, despite the urgings and exhortations of the resident experts. She has been convinced by this statement on the POPLA site.

The irony is, suzewuze has a perfectly valid reason for appealing, which is essentially 'the signage is not up to scratch.' See here, for an example where The Prankster won at POPLA appealing only on this point. (It obviously did not help Highview Parking's case that they sent in a map of the wrong car-park. As Highview Parking's customer of the Month, March 2013 (self-appointed) The Prankster urges them to get their act together.)

However, suzewuze steadfastly refuses to believe she can appeal, which is hardly surprising given the only example reason:
I had sold the vehicle
Now, The Prankster knows that 'I am not liable for the parking charge' is a catch-all that can be used for any and all reasons. So does the Lead Adjudicator of POPLA. Here is his report detailed in the January 2013 minutes of the AOS


The Prankster considers that the explanation given, 'the aim is simply to focus the motorist's mind' is a load of baloney.  The Prankster thinks it is more likely that the parking industry do not want to let the motorist know the best reasons to get their appeal upheld.

At the time, The Prankster wrote you would need to be clairvoyant to realise you could appeal on any grounds. As suzewuze's confusion shows, The Prankster was obviously not far off the mark.

The Lead Adjudicator of POPLA, Henry Michael Greenslade, commented further in the POPLA annual report (bizarrely issued after only 6 months).

The Prankster considers this to be pure flim-flam. The only reason not to list too many suggestions is to pull the wool over motorists eyes and to try and make them unaware they can appeal. The Pranksters considers that a more apt way or rephrasing the above might be 'the list is deficient for the intended consequence of putting off a motorist with a genuine case'

Given his reluctance to take action, perhaps the 'Lead' in Lead Adjudicator should be pronounced to rhyme with 'bed' rather than 'bead'.

Given that most of the reported reasons appeals are upheld are for breaches of the British Parking Association Limited (BPA Ltd) Code of Practice, the Prankster thinks it's time this was addressed.

Call to Action
The Prankster would therefore like to issue his first Call to Action, and ask POPLA to clarify matters by adding a fifth condition to the website.

  • The Operator was in breach of the BPA ltd Code of Practice: eg they did not have a contract with the landowner; the charge is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss; the signage is inadequate; they did not complete the appeal and issue a POPLA code within 35 days.
The Prankster would also like the POPLA site to link to the BPA Ltd Code of Practice page and to inform motorists that if they are appealing on these grounds they should also make a complaint to the BPA Ltd via their web site.

The Prankster asks therefore that you do the following.

If you are a motorist who thought you could not appeal to POPLA, but now realise you can, please make London Councils, the people who run POPLA, aware of your views. You can complain that you have been misled here.

It would be better if you used your own words, but a sample complaint would run something like this.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am complaining about the wording used on the POPLA web site at

The 'grounds for appeal' section is misleading. It is clear that a large number of appeals are won because the Operator is flouting the British Parking Association Limited Code of Practice.

The appeals service is required to be impartial. I regard an appeals service which tries to hide away and obfuscate a large section of the possible grounds for appeal as clearly not impartial. Now that this matter has been drawn to your attention I trust that you will rectify matters with extreme urgency. The parking industry requires an impartial adjudication service; if your service is proven not to be impartial, the whole parking industry will come crashing down.

I request that the POPLA web site, the paper appeal copies sent to motorists, and all other documentation be updated within 7 days to bring this to motorist's attention. I request that the category 'breach of the BPA Ltd code of practice' be added, and that examples of the most common breaches are added.

  • The Operator was in breach of the BPA Ltd Code of Practice: eg they did not have a contract with the landowner; the charge is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss; the signage is inadequate; they did not complete the appeal and issue a POPLA code within 35 days.

Furthermore, in order that the motorist be aware of the possible breaches I request that links be given to the BPA Ltd Code of Practice page.

Furthermore, I request that where a breach of the code of practice has occurred, the page informs the motorist of the correct procedures to report this to the BPA Ltd.

Furthermore, where a breach of the code of practice is upheld as an appeal reason, I request that the POPLA adjudicator both reports in their adjudication how to take this further with the BPA Ltd, and also POPLA themselves report the matter to the BPA Ltd.

POPLA Appeals

In addition, until this matter has been rectified, The Prankster would like to make a further request to those people submitting POPLA appeals. Please add one more point to your appeal.

In order to satisfy keeper liability, the Operator must provide me access to an independent appeal body. I do not consider POPLA to be independent because the web site hides away a significant category of appeal criteria, namely that the Operator is in breach of the BPA Ltd code of practice. As a significant number of appeals are won on these grounds I consider that by not explicitly drawing this to the attention of motorists, the independence of POPLA is seriously compromised. As the Operator has not satisfied keeper liability, and has offered no proof as to who the driver is, I request my appeal be upheld.

1 comment:

  1. The final point should include reference to the discovered Parking Company workshops which POPLA run, which tell them how to best word their rejections to their own appeals and how to win at POPLA