In March a motorist arrange to visit a friend in Holiday Inn. He was early so decided to pay for parking and wait in the bar. The signs advised paying online or by text.After trying and failing to get both methods to work he decided not to accept the car park terms and conditions (because the payment methods were not working) and so decided to park elsewhere and went to Starbucks.
10 days later he got a parking charge, so appealed.
ParkingEye refuse to accept the failure of their payment solutions as a valid reason not to pay, dismissed the motorists appeal and refused to cancel, despite instructions to do so from Holiday Inn.
We can expect more of this kind of behaviour from all parking companies if the Supreme Court rule in ParkingEye's favour.
The motorist attempted to use the PayByPhone system to both pay online and by text.
His phone bill clearly shows two attempts to pay by text.
The motorist also attempted to pay online. After 45 minutes of trying various ways but failing to pay, the motorist gave up and decided to park elsewhere. He arrived at 14:58 and left at 15:44.
He then had a coffee at Starbucks at which point he discovered he was previously in the wrong Holiday Inn. He then went to the correct Holiday Inn and spoke to reception about his previous problems in paying. They explained that they would in any case allow him free parking and entered his registration into the system. He then visited his friend.
10 days later he received a parking charge for the first parking event, so sent ParkingEye the evidence and expected them to cancel the charge. They did not.
He therefore appealed to POPLA on 20 March, who confirmed the hearing date as 24 June.
Despite this, and in breach of the British Parking Association code of practice, ParkingEye sent the motorist a Letter Before Claim on 15 June threatening court action.
On the 20 July the motorist contacted Holiday Inn who confirmed they had 'no issue with cancelling the fine which we would have done in the first instance had the guest contacted us directly and explained his situation'. Holiday Inn then contacted ParkingEye and instructed them to cancel the charge.
On the 5 August ParkingEye denied receiving any contact from Holiday Inn, and refused to cancel the charge. They did however confirm that the appeal was at the POPLA stage.
The Prankster considers that it beggars belief that a parking charge is even considered in this type of situation. This would be a clear incentive for parking companies to arrange for their systems not to work from time to time in order that they can up their profits by issuing parking charges.
The Prankster will report on the eventual outcome, once known.
The Parking Prankster