A summary of the thread is as follows.
A motorist rented a car from Hertz. Hertz are the registered keeper. The motorist is also the 'keeper', according to the POFA 2012 definitions.
“keeper” means the person by whom the vehicle is kept at the time the vehicle was parkedThe car was parked behind the keepers house overnight. A parking charge notice was stuck on the windscreen of a vehicle on 21 June. The vehicle keeper claimed that when the vehicle was parked there was no signage, and that the signage was introduced later. He claims to have spoken to the ticketing attendant who told him that the signage was present, but was on the floor, and has now been restored to its proper place. There is no photographic evidence to back this up.
The keeper then made a short appeal to ANPR denying all liability, but without supplying further reasons.
ANPR turned down the appeal on 6 July and issued a POPLA code. The keeper claims that this was hidden in the letter and not obvious. The Prankster has not seen a copy of the appeal rejection so do not know if this is true. However, he has seen similar letters from ANPR in the past.
The keeper appealed to POPLA on 27/7, and POPLA confirmed this on 31/7. (ANPR claim they were notified on 1/8)
On 5/8 ANPR requested registered keeper details from the DVLA. (Note; this differs from the date ANPR claim they contacted the DVLA, which was before the 1st August. Perhaps the motorist actually meant this was the date the DVLA replied.)
On 8/8 ANPR send a parking charge notice to Hertz, who paid it without challenge and are now claiming money back from the motorist plus £42 admin charge.
As the parking charge has now been paid, the motorist is in danger of POPLA cancelling the appeal. POPLA have recently had a secret policy change and have started to cancel all appeals where the charge has been paid.
Allowing this situation to continue therefore threatens the motorists ability to use POPLA because the parking company can simply go behind their backs to the hire company, who will pay up and add their own charges.
The Prankster considers the following breaches may have occurred and therefore should be investigated.
1) The POPLA code was hidden in the rejection letter and the instructions were not clear. This can easily be cleared up by the BPA Ltd on sight of the actual letter. This is a potential breach of the DVLA's KADOE Suspension Principles document, published on 31 Jan 2013, punishable by unlimited suspension until the situation is remedied.
2) The charge was pursued while the POPLA appeal was ongoing. The Prankster consider this is not in the spirit of the following two BPA Ltd code of practice directives
22.6 When you receive a challenge about the issue of a parking charge, you must stop work on processing the charge immediately.While these do not explicitly bar processing the charge during a POPLA appeal, they do seem to imply that this is not allowed. The Prankster recommends that the BPA Ltd clarify this with their next issue of the code of practice. Eg
22.20 If POPLA rejects the appeal you may continue to recover the parking charge.
When a case has been referred to POPLA, you must stop work on processing the charge until POPLA have finished with the case3) The DVLA details were requested when the keeper details were already known. The Prankster considers this is not in the spirit of the DVLA's KADOE Suspension Principles document, again punishable by an unlimited suspension until the situation is remedied.
Although the driver had made themselves known to the operator, the keeper has. The Prankster recommends that the DVLA clarify their stance in this situation.
The Prankster asked ANPR for their view of the case, to make sure they were not being misrepresented. Here is Trev's reply, edited only for confidentiality.
We knew nothing about this case until the 1st of this month when we received an invoice for cases to be heard. On the invoice we noted case number [popla ref] and according to our records this case did not exist. We of course made contact and enlightened them to the error of their ways. In the mean time we had already made a justifiable application to the DVLA.
Mr [motorist] implies that he is perhaps the registered keeper but possibly not the driver. On the 24/06/2013 Mr. [motorist] wrote: 'in regards to the invoice received with reference number P1345BH dated 21/06/2013 on my vehicle reg [reg]. I deny all liability to your company, If you reject this challenge then I require within 35 days a POPLA verification code' Nowhere does it indicate that he was the driver.
By his tone we have understandably presumed that we have ticketed a vehicle that is not driven by the registered keeper. We therefore felt at liberty to pursue the registered keeper who will then inform us of the driver at the time of the incident. We still do not know who the driver was. But as suspected we now know that Mr. [motorist] is NOT the registered keeper. We of course replied with a POPLA verification code ([popla ref]) and an application form template.
The actions taken by Hertz is of their concern but as perceived Mr. [motorist] is not, was not the registered keeper of the vehicle. Should Mr [motorist] case prove to be successful we will gladly reimburse Hertz.
Mr [motorist] who lives at [his house] was ticketed on the [college grounds] whose car park is located to the rear of his property.
The Prankster considers that there is reasonable cause for confusion here and that a sensible outcome would be something along the lines of the following.
- POPLA continue to rule on the case, and do not suspend it because the charge has been paid
- Hertz suspend charges until POPLA finish
- ANPR change their rejection letter, if necessary, to clearly give the POPLA code and explain how to appeal to POPLA. They remove all offers to do this on the motorist's behalf.
- If POPLA rule in the motorist's favour, ANPR reimburse Hertz as they have promised to do
- The BPA Ltd clarify the situation on pursuing charges while a POPLA case is ongoing
- The DVLA clarify the situation on requesting registered keeper details when the keeper (by POFA 2012 definitions) is known by the operator
The Prankster has seen emails suggesting that Peter Beasley from the BPA Ltd is currently investigating this incident, so awaits the outcome of investigations.
The Parking Prankster