Monday, 30 September 2013

Parking Poker. Debt Recovery Plus try and pull out of the game.

The story so far...

The Prankster double dipped Leigh Delamere Services. CP Plus sent an NtK which was out of time so The Prankster appealed on this basis. CP Plus refused to accept this as an appeal even though they had for a previous case (and lost at POPLA when they withdrew). The Prankster complained to the BPA, who ruled that CP Plus could decide what was and was not an appeal. CP Plus referred the matter to Debt Recovery Plus who wrote to The Prankster twice. The Prankster wrote to CP Plus again, with some pictures of his car in a different car park, but CP Plus had no 'relationship' with that operator. Following the excellent advice of Mr Mustard, The Prankster complained to the Credit Services Agency about DRP's letters.

The story continues...

Complaining to the CSA was not straightforward. The Prankster sent in his complaint to the address on the web site but then got sent a form asking him to provide the same information all over again but this time in special boxes on the form. The Prankster should have read the instructions more carefully! Eventually, the 'proper' complaint got sent off.

I would like to raise a complaint regarding the activities of Debt Recovery Plus.
Fishing expedition
As you can see from the letters already sent to you, they are writing to me as the registered keeper to pursue a parking charge. The requirements of schedule 4 of POFA 2012 have not been met, (as confirmed by the letter (1) from CP Plus on 28 May) and so they can only pursue the driver for this charge.
As you can see from DRP’s letter of 12 July (3), they do not know who the driver is, stating:
“If you were not the driver of the vehicle…”I consider this breaches the following key requirement of your code of practice:
1x. Take reasonable steps to ensure the person being contacted is in fact the debtor
This is therefore a fishing expedition. As they have confirmed they do not know who the debtor is, they should cease collection efforts.
Premature collection efforts
In addition, the matter is still undergoing the appeals process of the car park operator, CP Plus, and therefore they should not be pursuing the debt until this process is complete. I still have not had a reply from CP Plus from my letter of 3 June (2).
The British Parking Association Code of Practice, to which CP Plus adheres, states:
22.6 When you receive a challenge about the issue of a parking charge, you must stop work on processing the charge immediately. You must not increase the charge until you have replied to the challenge.I consider this breaches code of practice 1a, which requires them to comply with all relevant regulations.
They should therefore cease collection activities until the appeals process in complete.
Not answering questions
In addition, I do not feel they have acted reasonably when answering my letter of 22 July (4). Their reply is enclosed (5)
1)      They have not provided a breakdown of how the charge of £120 is calculated, as asked
2)      They have not confirmed the creditor is MOTO, as asked
3)      They have not provided a copy of the correspondence from MOTO they refer to, as asked.
4)      In addition, they have come up with a totally fictitious reason as to why this correspondence cannot be supplied, because it was ‘computer generated’. I can confirm that I have received duplicate copies of correspondence from the same source in the past and so I know this to be fiction.
I feel that this is therefore in breach of your code of practice
1o Comply with all reasonable requests for information…
They should therefore provide this information without further attempts at obfuscation or, in the case of (4), blatant lies.
Legal Threats
In addition, they have threatened legal action. The car park operator, CP Plus filed no small claims in the period 01/10/2012 to 30/06/2013 and therefore I find this threat extremely unlikely, especially as the driver is not known and in law only the driver can be claimed against.
This is against your terms of practice
10.a Only state an intention to commence proceedings that are reasonably likely to be undertaken against…
They should therefore cease to threaten legal action on behalf of CP Plus in all future letters, not only to myself but also to all other motorists. This should continue until CP Plus change their established practice of never commencing legal proceedings.
Please inform me of the results of your enquiry.
Already sent:
1.       Letter from CP Plus confirming POFA does not reply (stet. Oops, should be 'apply')
2.       Letter to CP Plus confirming appeal reasons
3.       Letter from DRP
4.       Letter to DRP
5.     Second letter from DRP

This then got forwarded to DRP by the CSA, so that DRP could investigate. Sane people might question the rationale of having a company investigate a complaint about themselves, but we do not live in a sane world. At least the CSA does check the results of the investigation by DRP after 4 weeks.

After a while, The Prankster got a reply. DRP are obviously trying to edge themselves out of the game. They have mysteriously 'closed the account' and trust that this will make the complaint go away. Of course, not being especially competent, they have also confused the reference and ticket numbers with a simultaneous game of Parking Poker they are playing with the Prankster regarding a different ticket. (The Prankster has not complained about that one to the CSA yet). Out of nowhere, a recording of the vehicle entering and leaving the site on multiple occasions seems to have also appeared. Perhaps a lot of time and effort could have been saved if CP plus had come up with this recording at an earlier date.

The Prankster therefore replied asking them to carry on their investigations.

Dear Debt Recovery Plus,
Thank you for your letter of 23rd September. I admit to being a little confused. You use a reference of 338128 but a ticket number of TCO8413436 which does not belong to that reference, but to reference 395832. In the circumstances please could you clear up this confusion by explaining:
1)      Has case reference 338128 been closed by yourself?
2)      Has case reference 395832 been closed by yourself?
3)      Please explain why you have not previously contacted me to explain why the case(s) were closed
4)      Has parking charge TCO8413436 been cancelled by the parking operator?
5)      Has parking charge 0437130418008 been cancelled by the parking operator?
Your letter to me does not address the substance of my complaint, which was several fold;
a)      You wrote to me confirming both that POFA 2012 did not apply and that you did not know who the driver was. This is therefore a breach of (1.x)  of your code of conduct
b)      You wrote to me while the appeals process was still active with the operator, which is a breach of their code of conduct (22.6) and therefore also a breach of your code of conduct (1.a)
c)       You did not answer my questions, either ignoring them or answering with untruths. This is a breach of your code of conduct (1.o)
d)      You threatened legal action when it is known the operator never pursues cases to court and that as per point (a) legal action is even more unlikely. This is a breach of (10.a)
Please therefore pursue your investigations into these breaches of your code of conduct.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Would really like to know what the BPA are doing about this

    1. I'll take a stab in the dark...Sweet F*** All

  2. Why are they going to upset their Paymasters at the time a rival governing body is about to be launched?

    No members = no BPA = no jobs for BPA staff

  3. I Guess Debt Recovery Plus may have a few other concerns at the moment as Experian Risk Disk rates them as Moderate Risk with a suggested credit limit of £250.
    Could be because they appear to have lost money in the past two years, shame...

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