Of the cases on the day, the first was dismissed for lack of evidence, the second ANPR won and were awarded £27. Apparently Trevor and his lawyer then came out saying 'Right, who's next?' making out they had a big win. The third case had already offered to pay the ridiculously inflated charge but ANPR Ltd would not accept that. Apparently ANPR Ltd won this case too, but the court more than halved the charge. The next case involved a yound girl. This was dismissed but the reason is not known. The consumeractiongroup case was next. The judge ruled the tenancy agreement giving the right to park trumped ANPR's permit and the case was dismissed, with costs to the motorist.
The last case may have run out of time and may have been adjourned.
The consumeractiongroup case concerned a resident parking outside their own home. They had a permit but forgot to transfer it their new car they day they got it. The warden at the site is usually good with resident's cars but on this occasion as it was a new car he did not know the car was a resident's. The letting agents are also fairly lax with issuing permits which can be over a month late.
The motorist appealed to ANPR Ltd who refused to cancel it. They further appealed to POPLA but were late appealing.
ANPR followed up with an Expedion letter and then a court claim.for £390.
The motorist reported ANPR Ltd and their lawyer as being very unprofessional in court, including:
- They continually called me by wrong name
- Called the judge Your Honour a few times
- Tried to quote a similar case but couldn't remember the name of it so resorted to saying 'Oh you will know better than me' to the judge. (This was hilarious)
- Trev said I only started to argue about the permit system after the incident - this I found a very bizarre comment??
- Failed to listen to what the judge was telling them.
- Didn't supply me with any documents 14 days before the case as instructed by the judge
- Kept repeating same points over and over
- After my counter claim they made out they had tried the resolve the issue and I had become abusive and slammed the phone down on them. At this point I actually started laughing and asked the judge if I could give the real account of that conversation. They asked me for £210 the day before they had to pay the court fee. To which I responded no thank you. I will go to court instead.
The Prankster has seen similar letter chains in other ANPR Ltd cases. The amounts owed vary from letter to letter with no apparent connection to previous or subsequent letters.
In one case they claimed £390 as follows
100 admin costs in corresponding with the keeper
100 admin fees to prepare claim
23 legal consultancy
All of these appear to be made up figures, but it is especially worth noting that DVLA data costs £2.50, not £40, that the claim did not go to POPLA, and £100 seems a little steep for sending a template letter.
The Prankster also wonders what kind of legal advice you can get for £23, although other people have commented that ANPR Ltd appear to have been overcharged by £22.99
It is perhaps worthwhile following the costs through in a typical case. The charge started with a notice to driver at £100, discounted to £50. The driver then appealed, which was turned down with no POPLA code being issued. Later on, the keeper got a Notice to Keeper for £100. This is surprising as there is of course no keeper liability if ANPR know the name and address of the driver. The NTK asks for £100, which will further increase if not paid for £40 for DVLA costs/invoice production/correspondence, £70 for pre-action costs and £135 for a Judgement Enforcement Officer visit, per visit, per hour.
The DVLA charge is interesting, as the data has already been received from the DVLA - there is no need to contact them twice. Pre-action costs are not reclaimable in the small claim court. A high court enforcement officer can only be used for county court claims over £600. Their fees are explained here but appear to be either less than or more than £135.
At this point it is worth noting that the original £100 is broken down as follows by ANPR Ltd in POPLA cases.
It does seem that the DVLA fees are variable, sometimes costing £40 and sometimes £5 and that sometimes they are included in the initial charge, and sometimes not.
Charges then increased to £140 for contacting the DVLA a second time, and sending out a final demand, now using red ink, and of course, incurring all the huge costs associated with using that colour.
The next letter kept the costs at £140 but threatened to use a debt collection agency who would seek a court order.
The debt collection agency is Pat Crossley, who also works for ANPR Ltd. They sent a fake court claim, where the costs had morphed once again.
The £40 has now changed to Debt Recovery; contacting the DVLA, invoice production and correspondence to Administration of DVLA application, reminders AND Debt Recovery. Pre-litigation costs have decreased from £70 to £35 but this presumably due the the £35 court fee.
The actual claim jumped in an unknown way from £175 to £355.
This was broken down as follows ,which was where we started...
£100 admin costs in corresponding with the keeper
£100 admin fees to prepare claim
£23 legal consultancy
You may have noticed ANPR Ltd trying to pull a sneaky fast one, in that this comes to £390, and not £355. If the judge did not notice, they could then add on filing fee of £35 and hearing fee of £25.
Correspondence has jumped from £40 to £140 and has been split into two categories, and the admin fee to prepare a claim has jumped from £35 to £100. Neither are normally allowable costs in the small claims track. The setting of charges at £100 implies an invented figure, not a real one.
The POPLA fee was of course not incurred, and value of the legal consultancy seems designed to produce a round figure, adding up to £50 together with POPLA.
It is worth noting that as ANPR admit they applied for keeper details on day 28, they were one day early, and so keeper liability does not in any case apply...not that it ever would anyway in an ANPR Ltd case - they have neve been known to bother with producing a POFA 2012 compliant NTK.
The Parking Prankster