VCS v Ms M. 3QZ53955 25/01/2016 Claim discontinued. Costs awarded to motorist.
The Prankster was contacted by a motorist shortly before their court hearing. The motorist had received a claim from Vehicle Control Systems out of the blue for 6 parking tickets which they knew nothing about. This is not an isolated incident - The Prankster has helped with another such case in the past from Excel Parking, (another company in the Simon Renshaw-Smith stable) and this seems to be a typical modus operandi - file a court claim without providing any prior information.
The Prankster took a look at the claim, which was fatally flawed. Although VCS were making the claim, all the signage in the car park was in Excel's name. VCS have form for this kind of claim, and have previously filed claims for parking charges in car parks where they have no contract with motorists.
The motorist had covered the salient points in their defence, but Prankster was able to advise on further evidence to file and points to raise in a witness statement, and contacted the British Motorist Protection Association to see if a lay representative was available for the hearing. It turned out John Wilkie, who had a 15-2 record against parking companies, was. John Wilkie suggested some more points for the witness statement.
24 hours later VCS contacted the motorist to inform them they were discontinuing the claim.
The motorist had suffered substantial stress as a result of the claim, as well as monetary loss, so asked for the hearing to take place anyway as a costs hearing. VCS sent a lawyer to the costs hearing, and were unable to come to an agreement pre-hearing, so the hearing took place.
The motorist was awarded their costs of attending the hearing, together with costs for their lay representative and a proportion of their printing costs.
Mr Wilkie, who now has a 16-2 record against parking companies, also asked for the case to be referred to the Civil Judge as VCS have a history of filing claims for which they have no standing, then cancelling at the last minute.
VCS have a new litigation manager called Jake Burgess. Jake does not appear to be any more successful than his predecessors at filing credible evidence. Previously The Prankster caught out Joel Douglas filing a parking charge notice for a parking event in 2012 which has a format which Excel only started to use in 2014. In this claim, Jake Burgess filed evidence claiming to support his claim, but which actually seemed to suggest the car was in two different car parks at the same time.
It does seem from this that VCS's internal systems are not to be trusted and may well be issuing parking charges where none actually exist.
Jake Burgess also filed photographs of signage which he claimed were present at the time, but which were dated 2021 and in the middle of the night. It does seem that parking companies have a little trouble with their timestamps.
The Prankster suggests anyone with a court claim for Excel or VCS takes a close look at the evidence filed, and raises any points they disagree with on their witness statement.
Do you think parking companies should file claims for incidents which did not happen, and provide false evidence in court? If not, sign Barry Beavis's petition to get government to look at private parking.
The Parking Prankster