Saturday, 27 February 2016

Independent Appeals Service suffers credibility blow as judge dismisses SIP case

This thread on pepipoo details a case where SIP took a motorist to court.

The case involved a situation where the motorist purchased two tickets to cover their parking because they suddenly realised they would need more time. The tickets were overlapping, and SIP argued that the expiry time ended with the time on the second ticket.

The motorist argued that they had purchased 4 hours and so should have 4 hours parking. In such a case like this, The Prankster believes the contract laid out by the signage would be key. Of course, any reasonable parking operator would also cancel the charge; no monies have been lost and no abuse has taken place.

It would also help if the signage was readable rather than being written in a tiny font 9ft high in the air. Additionally, as there is no signage by the pay machines themselves, it is not clear that any terms on the signage would in fact be enforceable.

The Independent Appeals Service rejected the motorists appeal, ruling that he had paid for two hours twice, rather than 4 hours, and that a contract was in place.

One year later a real judge ripped into SIP over the fact that the motorist had paid for enough parking time against their tariff board, all be it over two over lapping tickets.

The basis of the ruling was the different company names shown on the car park signage which conflicted with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in terms of giving clarity on t&c's.

There was a big debate over what constitutes a valid ticket given signage was vague on what this actually means. The judge stated "a valid ticket could be pink with spots if SIP wanted it too". (The Prankster agrees, as long as this is clearly stated on the signage. SIP cannot retrospectively try and redefine what a valid ticket it)

SIP attempted to use both the IAS appeal verdict and the ParkingEye v Beavis, but the judge rightly countered these arguments.

Prankster Note

This case also serves as a warning to any landowner considering using SIP; SIP are more than happy to target your legitimate customer base, driving them away to your rivals. SIPs own web site contains similar cases. Here is one where they pursued a motorist even though their machine stole her money without giving a ticket. Here is another where their machine did not work. Here is another - this case is slightly different in that...the machine did not work. In this case, the driver purchased a ticket but it slipped off the dashboard. In this case, the driver purchased a ticket but it slipped off the dashboard.

It does seem like SIP pursue genuine customers who have purchased ticket to park, and also use their machines being broken for extra income.

Finally, the IAS offer two services. In one, the motorist pays £15 and the IAS decision is binding on them. Given that there are no known cases where an IAS decision has been upheld by a real judge, The Prankster considers it would be madness for a motorist to consider using the IAS. The Prankster suggests using the Consumer Ombudsman instead.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. I find it useful to carry a sign with large red text saying"the ticket machine is currently out of order. Please feel to park anyway." Of course a photograph of it on a ticket machine should always be taken as supporting "evidence"

    1. Please feel to park anyway...yes please!!

  2. How does something that has no credibility suffer a credibility blow? The only Blow to the IAS credibility would be if it got some!

  3. I had a similar experience in a council car park (overlapping tickets). Common sense prevailed and the parking charge was cancelled. But I guess common sense and PPCs rarely appear in the same sentence!

  4. I see we've got a response to Barry's ePetition: "Shush, silly, there's no problem. But if there were, we've already solved it, and also we're going to solve it."