Thursday, 13 March 2014

Have you received a court claim from Civil Enforcement Limited for parking at the Co-op?

The Parking Prankster has heard that Civil Enforcement Limited have issued a rash of court claims for parking charges at car parks owned by the Co-op.

If you have one of these, you should defend the claim to avoid a default judgment, and meanwhile write to the Co-op, who are reportedly paying the charge on your behalf and cancelling the court claim.

Read this thread for more information

Here is a sample reply

Dear XXXXXThank you for contacting XXXXX regarding the correspondence you have received relating to a parking charge; he has requested that I respond on his behalf.

Firstly, may I apologise for any concern this has caused you, I do appreciate this type of correspondence can be upsetting, and regret that you have received it as a consequence of using a car park at one of our Stores. 

Is the PCN for this charge the reference listed in your original email - XXXXXX. Please be assured that I have made arrangements for this charge to be paid directly to the debt recovery agent who is acting on behalf of the Parking Management company not the Co-operative. This should take about 10 days to fully process and will ensure that the matter is resolved fully for you, however I would caution that they may send a further letter in the interim period, if this is the case please do let me know, and if I can be of any further assistance in relation to this matter, do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Yours sincerely

Customer Careline Team 

If you need to contact the Co-op, here are the contact details:
Phone: 0161 834 1212

Prankster's Comment

So, the Co-op is paying a company to enforce parking, and is then paying the same company more money not to enforce parking. No wonder the top guy just resigned!

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. The world of Co-Op has well and truly slipped into insanity

  2. I'm seriously worried about the Co-op. This is beyond mad.

  3. So the Co-op authorised CEL to issue fake charges to its customers, and presumably authorised CEL to take Co-op customers to court.

    The Co-op then pays its contractor CEL to stop it doing what it (presumably) instructed them to do!

    Am I missing something, or am I going parking mad?

  4. Think I'll open my own Bank of Zog Parking Inc. along these lines. 'Invoices' for anything, for everything, creatively written to all, hither and yon for unjustifiable amounts. A large % will pay on the nod. Ask myself to police myself, find I am without blemish, fine myself, ask myself to pay to not police myself, receive gumment bailout. Become pleasantly wealthy. Receive Nick Lester Award, formerly aka John Squires.Gong for Public Service..

    1. Can I help you to start this new and exciting business opportunity? We can then sell our company to Capita for fifty seven big ones.

  5. I have just today received a Small Claims summons issued by CEL in respect of a an alleged breach of contract at a Co-op car park on 10th March 2012 for parking 49 minutes over the allowed 2 hours free parking. They are claiming £130 plus £35 costs. This is the first notice I've ever had of any parking charge levied. I will of course be filing a Defence to the claim on the grounds that no prior notice of a claim for breach of contract has been received, and I will also be writing to the manager of the Co-op expressing my great concern at the heavy-handed approach of their parking contractors, and the fact that they have completely failed to give me any notice of this alleged fine. There's so much helpful info on the MSE threads, but it's a little daunting when coming face to face with this problem without any prior warning!!

    1. Just to let you know that the Co-op have agreed to pay the full £165 to CEL to have proceedings discontinued against me. I got the impression that they were unhappy with the way CEL were handling matters - they couldn't get any information out of them about what (if any) correspondence had been sent to me about this parking fine. With a bit of luck, the Co-op will be looking closely at their relationship with CEL and whether it's worthwhile continuing, given that they seem to be paying out a fair bit of money because of CEL's heavy-handed approach.

      Thanks again for your help with your blog!

    2. I'm going through same thing. Its been hard to deal with the school holidays. But I'm about to send in my defence paperwork and they asking about sorting via phone call with CEL. Should I? As never got notifications before court papers. They made mistake on my address and even when I corrected court they still sent to wrong address ( have received court stuff as postman knows me) I had contact from Deborah but after replying over a week ago nothing more. This is a massive stress and even scared to even park in there car park to do my shopping. thanks x

  6. Quernus who did you contact at the Coop? I'm in a similar situation myself and submitted a complaint over a week ago but as yet no reply


  7. Hi J, I first of all contacted the branch where I'd parked, but they directed me to the Customer Care Line (08000 686727). I called them, and they referred my complaint to the Parking Team. I spoke to a very helpful lass called Deborah, who was finally able to sort this out for me. Hope this helps, and good luck :)

    1. Quick update- I was contacted in the end by the customer care team offering to write a cheque to CEL to settle the matter on my behalf. Thanks for all your assistance. J.

    2. Great result, J - good to know that the Co-op are doing the right thing (even though I still don't think they should be paying CEL anything).

  8. Just been told by CEO of Co-op they WON'T settle summons with CEL and that I have to defend myself in court or pay charge of £168. The offence occurred in May 2010, i.e. before the law changed in favour of private parking companies in 2012.
    Is there any way I could LOSE this case in court if I dispute the existence of any contract and the unreasonableness of the dubious PCN?
    Also, am I right to state that PCN's could not be enforced in 2010 by any body other than the police or the local council?

    1. I've just got letter from court to say Its been struck out due to claimant not sending in final papers. To be honest the whole thing been nothing but a bully situ and extremely stressful. I'm glad I stuck to what was right. On the other hand the Co-op for using such bully parking company have lost a customer who spent and average of £120 per week. And friends now not parking and shopping there just incase.