Complaint after complaint floods into the DVLA about ParkingEye...yet nothing ever seems to happen.
The Prankster has heard of significant numbers of complaints where ParkingEye tried pursuing the registered keeper, yet for various reasons had not fulfilled the criteria of POFA 2012. The DVLA have so far brushed these off as accidents or errors, but how many 'accidents' can you let one company get away with before something is done?
Deliberately pursing a register keeper when there are not grounds is a potential banning offence and the DVLA has in the past contacted the BPA to make them aware of this and to ask them to let all members know.
Other possible offences committed by ParkingEye include operating a car park without landowner permission, as recent court cases testify to, and charging amounts which are not a genuine pre-estimate of loss, which tens upon tens of POPLA verdicts testify to. At least some of these have been reported to the DVLA.
Complaints are also rolling into POPLA. This post on pepipoo details how the POPLA operators receive more complaints about ParkingEye than any other operator. Shady tricks used include refusing to give out a POPLA code and giving out invalid POPLA codes. No doubt at some point POPLA will report this to the BPA and the DVLA. Refusal to allow access to POPLA is against the BPA code of practice.
Complaints are also rolling into the British Parking Association. However, we should not expect the BPA to take action. As Ms Ritchie reported in parliament: "If the operator is approved and controlled by the British Parking Association, there is a more formal appeal mechanism, but it must be recognised that the BPA is not an independent body; it represents the parking industry."
The BPA recently published a risk register showing that it would be in financial trouble if ParkingEye was to leave it for rival ATA the IPC, and may have to cut staffing levels.
The Prankster warns against readers assuming that ParkingEye has some kind of mystic protection within the DVLA. There is no justification for this, and in any case, DVLA officials are canny enough to know that anyone can make an FoI request to them see how many complaints have been about ParkingEye. This means that any irregular actions would be subject to public and parliamentary scrutiny and heads will roll if any funny business was discovered. Therefore, this kind of protection will not occur.
No, the obvious answer is that there have not been quite enough complaints about ParkingEye yet to reach the tipping point. When that occurs, the DVLA will no doubt be spurred into immediate action.
The Parking Prankster
To report a concern to the DVLA, about ParkingEye or any other parking operator, use email@example.com. The DVLA are especially interested in cases where operators pursue the keeper when they should not, but are also interested where the charge is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss (which is currently all charges by ParkingEye, according to POPLA), where the landowner has not given written permission to operator, where the operator refuses to give a POPLA code and other breaches of the BPA code of practice.
To enquire how many complaints the DVLA have received about ParkingEye, the email address to use is co-incidentally also firstname.lastname@example.org