This is clearly a case of mistaken identity, and by refusing to resolve the situation properly ParkingEye are in violation of the KADOE contract with the DVLA which requires debt collection best practices to be used.
- 7.5.3 A firm must not ignore or disregard a customer's claim that a debt has been settled or is disputed and must not continue to make demands for payment without providing clear justification and/or evidence as to why the customer's claim is not valid.
- 7.13.2 A firm must take reasonable steps to ensure that it maintains accurate and adequate data (including in respect of debt and repayment history) so as to avoid the risk that:(1) an ndividual who is not the true borrower or hirer is pursued for the repayment of a debt; and (2) the borrower or hirer is pursued
- A firm must endeavour to ensure that the information it passes on to its agent or to a debt collector or to a tracing agent (a person that carries on the activity in article 54 of the Exemption Order), whether for the firm's or another person’s business, or to any other person involved in recovering the debt or, where appropriate, to a credit reference agency is accurate and adequate so as to facilitate the tracing and identification of the true borrower or hirer.
- Before pursuing a customer for the repayment of a debt, a firm must take reasonable steps to verify the accuracy and adequacy of the available data so as to ensure that the true customer is pursued for the debt and that they are pursued for the correct amount.
- 7.14.1 (1) A firm must suspend any steps it takes or its agent takes in the recovery of a debt from a customer where the customer disputes the debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds.
- 7.14.2 Valid grounds for disputing a debt include that: (1) the individual being pursued for the debt is not the true borrower or hirer under the agreement in question;
- 7.14.3 Where a customer disputes a debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds, the firm must investigate the dispute and provide details of the debt to the customer in a timely manner.
- 7.14.4 Where there is a dispute as to the identity of the borrower or hirer or as to the amount of the debt, it is for the firm (and not the customer) to establish, as the case may be, that the customer is the correct person in relation to the debt or that the amount is the correct amount owed under the agreement.
- 7.14.5 A firm must provide a customer with information on the outcome of its investigations into a debt which the customer disputed on valid grounds.
- 7.14.6 Where a customer disputes a debt and the firm seeking to recover the debt is not the lender or the owner, the firm must: (1) pass the information provided by the customer to the lender or the owner; or [Note: paragraph 3.23h of DCG] (2) if the firm has authority from the lender or owner to investigate a dispute, it must notify the lender or owner of the outcome of the investigation.
ParkingEye did eventually cancel the charge, but begrudgingly and are disputing that they should be liable for any costs for their mistake. It seems like they are happy to issue huge charges for minor overstays, but unwilling to admit responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of tickets they issue in error each year. ParkingEye cancel 65 of tickets on appeal, and approximately half are cancelled by POPLA if a further appeal is made.
The Parking Prankster