Monday, 14 October 2013

Parking Company ordered to pay motorist for invalid PCN

Anton Stanbrook was awarded £770.96 by the small claims court for a parking charge notice (PCN) which did not contain the correct information, according to this report by The Mirror.

The industry code of practice stated that PCNs must contain details on how to appeal the charge, and the PCN Anton was given failed to contain this information. He therefore sued the parking company, Vinci Park Services.

The parking company failed to turn up in court to defend themselves. This was hardly surprising. They also failed to respond the the initial court claim, and to an offer to settle out of court.

Presumably they have been reading old parking forum threads, where the advice was to ignore. Surely they know that the advice has now changed? In any case, the advice was never to ignore a court claim!

This is now the second case in a week where parking companies have had to pay motorists for breaking their own code of practice.

The Parking Prankster considers that most PCNs violate the requirements to contain details on how to appeal the charge. In early summer POPLA, the appeals service funded by the BPA Ltd, secretly changed the terms and conditions by which motorists could appeal. Previously a motorist could pay the charge and then appeal. POPLA unilaterally decided to change this without consultation and now all appeals are rejected if a motorist pays the charge.

Here is a typical PCN with instructions on how to appeal. This one is from ParkingEye.

As you can see, there is no mention that you cannot appeal to POPLA if you have already paid. The only way a motorist will find out about this secret condition is if they pay and then appeal to POPLA. At this point, they will find out because POPLA will turn down their appeal.

Perhaps there will therefore be more court challenges in the future.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

1 comment:

  1. The fact that they don't mention that you can't appeal once you've paid, is that enough to make the NTK non-compliant?