Tuesday, 5 August 2014

ParkingEye dodgy practices exposed

Following the articles in the Daily Mail, The Parking Prankster can expose the dodgy practices used by one of the UK's largest parking firms, ParkingEye. Company size is not guarantee of good practice, honesty or integrity, and ParkingEye are one of the worst offenders, with an unparalleled reputation for dishonesty, bullying tactics and operating sites in such a way to milk motorists for all they can.

ParkingEye have previously threatened to sue The Prankster for defamation for damage to their reputation. However, they crept away with their tail between their legs when The Prankster pointed out that all his facts were true, and that in any case they had no reputation worth speaking of. Since then they have refused to reply to The Prankster's communications.

The Prankster has identified the following bad practices and dodgy tactics used by ParkingEye.

  • Providing false information to judges, including the Beavis case
  • Charging motorists for POPLA, which the government has stated must be free to motorists
  • Using the Protection of Freedom Act to pursue keepers to court when they knew the land was not covered by the Act.
  • Charging motorists over £1 million in solicitor fees which were not actually incurred, making their court filings one of the most profitable part of the business
  • Providing landowner witness statements to court without the knowledge or permission of the witness by using photocopied witness statements
  • Providing landowner witness statements to court and POPLA containing information ParkingEye knew was not within the knowledge of the witness
  • Providing contracts to judges, including HHJ Moloney, which had pertinent information redacted 
  • Sending motorists false information to make them think they have no chance in appealing the ticket to POPLA 
  • Providing outdated and misleading information on their web site
  • Not even bothering to defend large numbers of POPLA cases, causing motorists time and expense for cases ParkingEye knew they would not win anyway
  • Providing false information to POPLA in order to win cases
  • Pursuing through the court system even though they knew the motorist was neither the keeper or driver and was therefore not liable
  • Pursuing cases when motorists break down, are injured or suffer medical emergencies
  • Pursuing cases against mothers who overstayed due to breastfeeding
  • Pursuing cases against disabled motorists who need more time to shop
  • Pursuing cases against elderly motorists who need more time to shop
  • Installing sites without cameras on all entrances and exits, and then pursuing motorists for overstays if they left via an unmonitored route
  • Installing sites where the cameras do not record all entrances and exits of vehicles, and then pursuing motorists for overstays when two visits were made
  • Pursuing motorists for very short overstays, well within an acceptable grace period
  • Shortening parking periods to the detriment of retailers to increase their income
  • Aggressively pursuing tickets against the wishes of retailers served by the car park
  • Using inappropriate and hard to use technology coupled with confusing signage to target hospitals to generate vast income to the detriment of patient
  • Failing to take reasonable steps to mitigate transgressions by motorists
  • Pursuing their own customers for huge penalty clauses when they try to get rid of them
  • Filing thousands of court cases without sending a letter before claim compliant with practice directions, or in some cases, without sending any letter before claim at all
  • Filing huge, complicated documents in court, in violation of the prime objectives of the courts in terms of proportionality to the sums involved. A typical filing will be over 50 pages with 30 or more case references.
  • Filing large numbers of documents after the filing deadline and without paying a fee
  • Complaining when motorists file after the filing deadline and asking the court to charge the motorists a fee
  • Refusing to reply to reasonable requests for information from motorists to allow them to defend their case
  • Filing false information in witness statements written by their employees including documents referred to by the witness statements
  • Filing deliberately misleading information in court documents, which while factually correct are not relevant, or are couched in terms to deliberately mislead
  • Ploughing on regardless with court cases, despite having lost all known similarly defended cases, causing defendants distress and expense.
  • Providing false information to and deliberately deceiving their own customers
  • Failing to properly quality check parking charge notices sent out
  • Pursuing cases where the landowner stated by ParkingEye in documents provided to court, was not the actual landowner and did not have the right to allow parking
  • Using signage to create entrapment zones in car parks, so that although coverage is sufficient in some areas, it is not in all
Obviously anyone considering using ParkingEye will need to think twice after reading that list. The Prankster is more than willing to meet with and provide his evidence to landowners thinking of using ParkingEye, where he will explain that a 'free' solution may actually end up costing millions of pounds in lost business (such as at B&Q).

The Prankster is strongly behind the need for controlled parking, and for landowners to operate parking as they wish. He can talk landowners through available solutions which work and are beneficial to landowners, motorists and parking operators.

The Prankster can also advise landowners wishing to get rid of ParkingEye of the most sensible strategies and viable alternatives.

The Prankster echoes the words of His Honour Judge Hegarty QC. ParkingEye like to quote HHJ Hegarty, but for some reason do not include this particular quote.

The case on deceit, therefore, in my judgment, turns on the wording of the third letter; and I have concluded that all the elements of the tort appear to be made out in relation to that letter

As Sir Robin Jacob put it, in the appeal  
The Judge found ParkingEye was guilty of the tort of deceit on those occasions when the third letter was sent on its behalf. ParkingEye does not challenge this decision.

The Judge also made no finding of dishonesty against ParkingEye at [489] though that must be understood in a limited sense since he did find that its executive knew the third letter contained falsehoods, which is to say the least not exactly honest

ParkingEye may claim to have changed since that court case. The Prankster is minded to agree - they have changed for the worse.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. On point 4 out of interest. Is this referring to the smaller amount added for Rachel Ledsons time? As in my case the court refused the representatives costs on the day. The fact that this adds up to way more than their in-house legal representatives salary bill & expenses?

  2. Having dealt with numerous POPLA appeals and County Court Claims on behalf of motorists, I can provide independent corroboration, with evidence, of most of the Prankster's list of bullet points.

    No doubt Hill Dickinson will be using their professional expertise to remind ParkingEye that anything written which can be shown to be true, cannot be the subject of a claim for damages for libel or defamation. Not to mention the small matter of the Prankster living outside the jurisdiction of the English courts.

    Perhaps the board of Capita plc would like to explain to their shareholders why someone thought it was a good idea to squander £57m on this shower of liars, cheats, and bully boys.

    1. Did ParkingEye shaft Capita?? Judge for yourselves.

      You will note that in 2012 the turnover for PE was £13.9 million and in 2013 £14.3 million.

      However the forecast turnover for 2014 in the Prospectus for the take over as given by Capita says:

      P a r k i n g E y e i s f o r e c a s t i n g a n o p e r a t i n g p r o f i t o f £ 8 . 1 m i l l i o n o n t u r n o v e r o f £
      2 5 . 8 m i l l i o n i n i t s f i n a n c i a l y e a r t o 3 1 A u g u s t 2 0 1 4 .

      No doubt this is why Capita paid £54.8 million for ParkingEye

      This is fantastic increase based on the 14.3 million turnover as in the 2013 accounts and an operating profit of £1.6 million.

      i.e in the one year to August 2014 PE will have to increase their profit 5 times i.e from £1.6m to £8.1m and their turnover from £14.3m to £25.8m.

      We shall see when PE's 2014 accounts are published.

      Certainly if I were a shareholder in Capita I would asking questions about any due diligence that Capita supposedly did.

  3. Speaking of liars, cheats and bully boys (and weasels as well, I shouldn't wonder), Mark Anfield of Parking(sh)Eye(sters) has gotten himself onto the Council of Representatives at the BPA Ltd. He is now in a position to investigate public complaints and decide whether or not to award himself sanction points. That should improve the situation a little.

  4. I take it you won't be going on the Christmas do Mr P ?

  5. Interesting that ParkingEye is owned by Capita. I've just completed an onling Equality and Diversity course which was created by Capita, and one of the first screens shows a statement by Vic Gysin, Capita's Joint Chief Operating Officer which says "Capita's committment to equality and diversity starts with our values - these all relate to how we should respect our customers and colleagues..........".

    A bit further on in the course "Capita is committed to the principles of equal opportunities". Really?
    Funny then, how they seem to go out of their way to harrass elderly and disabled drivers, and seem to see them as an easy target.