Sunday, 8 June 2014

A warning to potential customers of Park Direct UK Limited

Potential customers of Park Direct UK Limited should consider very carefully whether this is the kind of parking company they actually want to deal with.

A housing complex with parking problems found this to their cost recently. They needed parking control because their parking spaces were being abused by commuters and shoppers, but quickly found out what a toxic relationship they were in when complaints flooded in from residents. Apparently, the income from commuters and shoppers was not enough, so instead they resorted to ticketing late at night and also to ticketing spaces not covered by the contract.

The amateurishness of the operation is apparent from the fact they refused to cancel tickets on appeal for spaces not covered by the contract, but continued to issue even more tickets. When sending out appeal refusals they only sent information on appealing to POPLA online. Motorists without easy access to computers are therefore disadvantaged.

During the POPLA process they further compounded their errors only sending evidence packs to POPLA, and not to the motorist. It also appears they do not bother with their own email address, preferring to use one from AOL.

It also appears they do not bother with keeping to the POPLA timescale either, sending their evidence in one day late.

It is not clear why POPLA accepted this late evidence without any genuine reason for the operator as to the delay. POPLA do not allow appeals from motorists if they do not comply with the timescales. It may be that POPLA has decided it is time to abandon impartiality, and to make a fresh start, siding with the poor beleaguered parking companies.

The evidence pack was quite frankly, one of worst The Prankster has ever seen, consisting more of a series of unstructured ramblings than any serious attempt to put together structured evidence.  It did not even contain a copy of the charge notice, (although it is possible this was one of the zero byte files sent).

The appellant built their case mainly on the fact that the ticket was issued in an area where Park Direct was not contracted to operate, and also threw in that the charge was not a genuine pre-estimate of loss.

In reply the operator, rather bizarrely, asked for the appeal to be thrown out as they considered these reasons not to be valid reasons for appeal.
However, rather helpfully the operator also provided a photograph showing the areas where they could not ticket, and a photograph showing that car was indeed parked in an area where they had no authority to ticket.

The car was parked in the area marked with the left hand X. As you can see, the operators operative sneaked in at 22:31 at night to issue the charge.

They also provided a copy of their contract, but this was more of a joke than a real contract. It did not comply in the slightest with the requirements detailed in the BPA Ltd code of practice.

POPLA refused the appeal on the grounds that...(wait for it)...the charge was not a genuine pre-estimate of loss. This neatly sidesteps any problems they may have had with finding the operator was not authorised to issue tickets. This means they do not have to report the operator to the BPA Ltd, and the BPA Ltd do not have to issue 10 sanction points.

The whole operation seems a shambles from start to finish, and unsurprisingly their contract has already been terminated.

Prankster Note

Sadly although this resident got the unauthorised charge cancelled, and has two more in the POPLA pipeline, other residents paid up and still have not been refunded. The Prankster has heard that one young disabled lady, who is deaf and also pregnant received an invalid charge but paid up because she was worried and had nobody to turn to for advice.

The Prankster has now heard Park Direct consider the matter closed and have refused to refund her.

Potential customers of Park direct should take note of their behaviour when considering whether to award future contracts or continue with existing ones.

Happy Parking 

The parking Prankster


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I shudder to think what some of these monkeys would get up to if the BPA Ltd weren't around to keep up standards in the parking industry.

    1. Any pretense that the BPA has any one else's interest at heart other than their private parking company members is completly unfounded. I complained to the BPA about Park Direct Ltd, a company with in excess of 70 County Court Judgements against and a dire record of illegal and inapropriate enforcent. The company later changed their name to Park Direct UK and even though it's essentially the same company, same staff, same premises etc, it effectively gives them a clean slate. The BPA's "investigation" stated that they "Were satisfied that Park Direct UK were not breaching the code of practice" and so it's business as usual for Park Direct UK

  3. I hope the MPs who drew up the "Protection of Freedoms Act 2012", and then voted for it with a straight face, are proud of what they've achieved.

  4. Interesting that they refer to them as "tickets" as well, a phrase, we know that BPA actively discourages it's members from using. As we know, using the word ticket gives the impression of legitimacy to the whole practice, similar to parking tickets issued by The Police and Council appointed Traffic Wardens.