The number of appeals is currently between 1,600 and 2,000 a month; lets say 24,000 a year. This is slightly higher than the initial BPA Ltd forecast of 23,000, but not massively so. However, the number is increasing. The POPLA annual report shows that in February and March under 1,200 appeals were received.
POPLA estimate this will cost around £820,000 in 2013-2014, or around £34 per case. This is substantially lower than the costs per case when POPLA first started, which were running at over £100 per case. The Prankster assumes that POPLA have achieved this saving via 3 methods.
- Greater economy of scale. POPLA now have many more assessors than before and so the cost of shared resources, such as building rent, goes down
- Greater experience. As the experience of the assessors rises, they can deal with cases more quickly.
- Being less thorough. Evidence is emerging of assessors rushing through judgements without considering all the points raised.
Points 1 and 2 are good. Point 3 is not so good! The average case took 3 hours when POPLA first started. It looks as though each case is now being dispatched in around one hour. This is fine when an assessor can quickly dispatch a case because the parking company cannot justify the charge levels, but not so good when the case is more complicated.
These costs are of course estimates. The Prankster expects the number of appeals to rise as more and more people find out about the parking companies' big secret - if they are charging for a breach of contract, then the charge must be a true pre-estimate of loss. As the parking companies are all making huge profits, their charges are obviously too high and are breaking the BPA Ltd code of practice.
If you are appealing to POPLA and your parking charge is for breach of contract, you should always include the appeal text;
The charge is for breach of contract and therefore must be a true pre-estimate of loss. As the parking company makes a substantial profit each year on parking charges, this cannot be true and I therefore require the operator to provide a breakdown of their charges.
The Parking Prankster