The Independent Parking Committee (IPC) has thumbed their nose at the Government by removing the right for the vehicle keeper to appeal a parking charge, even though the keeper can be held liable in law since October 2012.
Although the IPC appeals service is widely viewed as a kangaroo court on motorists forums, it does at least allow a small number of appeals through, presumably to show that the system is not completely biased against motorists (the IPC expect parking companies to win 80% of appeals, according to their code of practice).
Of the cases that motorists have won, the appeals service has often provided no reason (and have dismissed similar appeals), fueling the suspicion that these cases are chosen at random to meet an arbitrary target.
However, now even the 20% chance has been removed.
Recent Notice To Keepers (NTK) issued by parking companies have stated that the appeals process starts when a Notice to Driver is left on the windscreen, and lasts for 21 days.
As the NTK by law can only be delivered after 28 days for keeper liability to hold, the appeals process has already expired and so the keeper cannot appeal. The NTK makes this explicitly clear,
The British Parking Association has previously stamped down on this behaviour, but the IPC condone it. All NKTs must be pre-approved by the IPC and therefore this will have happened with their explicit permission.
Here is a typical NTK from Northern Parking Services.
The Prankster can confirm that Excel Parking and Vehicle Control Services also operate a similar scheme, amongst other companies.
Removing the right for keepers to appeal fuels sharp practice in the parking industry. A typical scan is known as ghost ticketing, where the operator places a ticket on the windscreen, photographs it, then removes it. This means that the discount rate of the ticket is not available, and now it also means that the keeper cannot appeal, removing a valuable safeguard.
The Prankster has received several reports of potential ghost ticketing from IPC companies, such as TESGB. Of course, by its very nature, this type of scam is difficult to prove and so it is possible the ticket was removed by a third party.
The Prankster asks the DVLA to consider whether they should consider removing ATA status from the IPC for routinely promoting bad practices and encouraging actions which allow fraud to increase.
If you have been a victim of ghost ticketing, please email The Prankster at firstname.lastname@example.org, with details of the date, the car park location, and the operator.
The Parking Prankster