Sunday, 11 August 2013

Parking Poker with Debt Recovery Plus

The Parking Prankster has now received a second letter from Debt Recovery Plus.

After receiving the first letter, The Prankster wrote to Debt Recovery Plus denying the debt and also asking for clarification on several items. It seems The Terminator has been hauled off the case and been replaced by Ian Grantham, Collections Manager, who wrote this new long and detailed letter, answering many questions. It seems as if incompetence will always rise to the top because, as is common with the parking industry, none of these were questions which The Prankster had asked.

Debt Recovery Plus should probably name themselves Doubt Recovery Plus. They appear to be unaware who the creditor was. In the first letter they stated explicitly that the creditor and the client was MOTO. When The Prankster asked them to confirm this, they forgot to answer. Elsewhere in the letter they now say they are acting on behalf of a 'client' who is authorised by the 'landowner', but they do not appear to be willing to say who either the 'client' or 'landowner' is. The Prankster is left none the wiser.

In their first letter, Doubt Recovery Plus stated that MOTO had previously written to The Prankster. As this is not the case, The Prankster asked them to produce a copy of this letter. Doubt Recovery Plus did not comply, instead asking The Prankster to raise the matter with his postal service.

They also state The Prankster had requested a copy of the PCN which is not the case. They refer to this PCN as  'automatically generated by a computer and sent via post and therefore while there is a record of the date/time such was dispatched, [they are] unable to provide a copy of the original.' As CP Plus have no problem in producing copies of PCNs for POPLA appeals, The Prankster considers this PCN must have been issued by some other company, and is still none the wiser who the 'client' is.

Doubt Recovery Plus state that the site is subject to conditions stated on the signs and that 'the terms were breached because the vehicle was parked for longer than the time allowed on the site.' However, the signage, which the Prankster conveniently has a copy of, does not specify a maximum time for parking.

The Prankster asked Doubt Recovery Plus for a breakdown of the £120 they were asking for. Doubt Recovery Plus completely forgot to provide this in their answer.

They do however state that if the £120 is not paid the case will be 'passed to the legal department who will consider taking legal action.' The Prankster considers they will have a hard time in court if they do not want to divulge who their 'client' is and if they do not have a copy of the Parking Charge Notice.

As Doubt Recovery Plus stated that they were considering taking court action The Prankster asked them whether they had the authority to do this. Doubt Recovery Plus dodged the question, instead saying their client was acting on behalf of the landowner. Presumably therefore Doubt Recovery Plus do not have the authority to take court action. Presumably also, neither do their client. Perhaps their legal department will be 'spurred into immediate action' on learning this.

In their previous letter, Doubt Recovery Plus confirmed that they did not know the identity of the driver. The Prankster therefore asked whether they were pursuing him as keeper under POFA 2012 and they confirmed that they were not. The Prankster considers this could be a big stumbling block for them later on.

Finally, they did send The Prankster two rather large black and white photographs of his car. Presumably this was so The Prankster could frame and hang them on his wall. In any event, and not wishing to be seen as churlish, The Prankster send two different photographs of his car back to them, along with a letter which in true parking tradition completely fails to acknowledge any of their points raised. Hopefully this last letter from The Prankster will bring this round of parking poker to a close.

[The Prankster does not know too much about debt collectors. If any knowledgeable readers consider that Doubt Recovery Plus have committed any offences by not divulging the client, by not confirming the creditor, by refusing to provide a breakdown of the amount claimed or by threatening court action when they have no authority, please inform The Prankster by email and he will be happy to contact the appropriate official bodies.]

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Check if they are members of the Credit Services Association and then see if they have followed the Code of Practice of the CSA.

    1. They are, and there are multiple failures, including this one:

      "A DCA should not send letters referring to 'debt' or disclosing debt or financial details to an individual unless it is reasonably certain that they are the debtor in question."

      As they have admitted both that they do not know who the driver is, and that POFA 2012 does not apply, their letter appears to be a fishing trip.

      The Prankster feels a letter to the CSA coming on.

  2. Did you mean to include the letter?