Monday, 11 April 2016

Wright Hassall begin to hear stayed POPLA cases

Fresh from their spanking in court on Friday, where their client NGPM was found to have no authority to issue tickets, Wright Hassall have now started to process the stayed POPLA cases.

Today, letters arrived in respect of some if not all of the stayed cases.

Wright Hassall seem to already have prejudged the cases, stating that the Supreme Court 'confirmed that a PCN is necessary to endure proper use of a car park, and also to ensure that there is a commercial justification for the car park operator to manage the car park.'

The sentence of course not only does not make sense, but is a false interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment. The Supreme Court themselves were at pains to tweet that the judgment was only applicable to the 'use of  this particular car park & clear wording of the notices'.

There is a 7 day deadline to reply, starting from 7th April and expiring on Thursday 14th April. If you have not received your letter today The Prankster recommends you assume it has got lost in the post, and email your case to Wright Hassall anyway. It may well be that Wright Hassall are trying to pull a fast one, and get cases pushed through during the Easter holiday season when people are away and will not have a chance to reply. The Prankster cannot understand why after waiting more than a year, motorists suddenly have a 3 day deadline to reply to a letter.

The Prankster recommends the following:

1) Email your full original case to Wright Hassall and ask that all appeal points be considered, not just those pertaining to GPEOL

2) If you have not received an evidence pack from the operator point this out to  Wright Hassall.

I have not received an evidence pack from the operator. I therefore assume the operator has decided not to contest the case. As the operator has not provided any evidence that the alleged event occurred, or explained how a contact was formed, or if the charge is contractual, for breach of contract or trespass, or that the signage was adequate to form a contract by performance, or that in line with the Beavis judgment, the wording was clear and the charge brought prominently to the motorists notice, I submit there is no case to answer to. This would be in line with previous POPLA decisions where the operator submitted no evidence.

'The Assessor’s reasons are as set out.
The Operator should now cancel the parking charge notice forthwith. 
Reasons for the Assessor’s Determination
It is the Appellant’s case that the parking charge notice was issued incorrectly.
The Operator has not produced a copy of the parking charge notice, nor any evidence to show a breach of the conditions of parking occurred, nor any evidence that shows what the conditions of parking, in fact, were.
Accordingly I have no option but to allow the appeal. 
XXXX Assessor''

As a belts and braces I would also recommend raising a complaint with the BPA that you have not received an evidence pack from the operator. The email address is

3) If you have received an evidence pack, but it just treats Beavis as a silver bullet without attempting to justify the charge, then you should point this out to Wright Hassall if the case is not to do with an overstay at a free car park.

The Operator has not attempted to relate their case to that of ParkingEye v Beavis, and to therefore justify their charge. It is their responsibility to make there case. As they have not, there is therefore nothing for me to rebut. I content it is not the assessors job to make the case on behalf of the operator.

The Supreme Court made it perfectly clear that the judgment was not a silver bullet which justifies all parking charges. On Nov 4th they tweeted that the judgment was taking in account use of  this particular car park & clear wording of the notices'.

4) If you disagree that signage was sufficient, point this out.

It is clear that signage plays a big part in the Beavisand that the basis the contract is not unfair is due to the 'clear and plentiful' signage.

Here are a few of the references to signage from the judgment:

Para 100: “The charge is prominently displayed in large letters at the entrance to the car park and at frequent intervals within it” and “They must regard the risk of having to pay £85 for overstaying as an acceptable price for the convenience of parking there.”

Para 108: “But although the terms, like all standard contracts, were presented to motorists on a take it or leave it basis, they could not have been briefer, simpler or more prominently proclaimed. If you park here and stay more than two hours, you will pay £85”

Para 199: “What matters is that a charge of the order of £85 (reducible on prompt payment) is an understandable ingredient of a scheme serving legitimate interests. Customers using the car park agree to the scheme by doing so.”

Para 205: “The requirement of good faith in this context is one of fair and open dealing. Openness requires that the terms should be expressed fully, clearly and legibly, containing no concealed pitfalls or traps. Appropriate prominence should be given to terms which might operate disadvantageously to the customer.”

Para 287: In so far as the criterion of unconscionableness allows the court to address considerations other than the size of the penalty in relation to the protected interest, the fact that motorists entering the car park were given ample warning of both the time limit of their licence and the amount of the charge also supports the view that the parking charge was not unconscionable.

The signage in this location is clearly deficient compared to the signage in the Beavis case. This brings both the penalty issue back in play, and also the unfair contract terms argument.

I therefore content that when the signage is taken into consideration, the charge is both a penalty and an unfair contract term.

5) If you have receoved an evidence pack, then you should email in a rebuttal.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. If we send it on a Thursday it'll arrive after the weekend so only 3 days to do anything. Absolute scum.

    Given none seemed to surface before Monday it's highly likely they weren't even posted on Thursday either !

    Driving up standards my arse.

  2. So I am wondering if the speedy appellants get their evidence in on time, will Messers Right Hassle then pass this on to the operators via snail mail whilst holding them to the same strict 7 day deadline from the date on the letter?

  3. I think a complaint to ISPA and the BPA about the very tight deadline (given the holiday period for some) should be in order....

  4. Major point missing in all of this - the Principal can cancel at any time. Perhaps you should remind people that Beavis showed these to be "secondary" contracts - ParkingEye had no rights over the land - and that the holder of the primary contract can confirm or otherwise whether a legitimate purpose existed for the supposed secondary contract.

    In the same way the PPC's claimed it was GPEOL when it was not, they should be put to strict proof of the legitimate purpose of being there.

  5. PE's printers must be working overtime to produce all those evidence packs and get them out to the appellants in time for them to respond..........this is a blatant attempt to bypass the correct mechanism and is dreadful.

  6. Surely a firm of solicitors doesn't call themselves "Right Hassle" which is what it amounts to. I took this as some sort of scam, so will many others.
    Does anyone know anything about what's going on with
    Private Parking Appeals Limited
    272 Bath Street
    G2 4JR

    I paid them in Feb 15 to deal with this appeal which they were doing up until the landmark case. Having sent about 4 emails to them and got no answers, i eventually saw on their site that they were continuing to deal with ongoing appeals just not taking any new ones on.
    Yet my emails had stated the POPLA appeal code in the subject line but still no replies. Is anyone getting any response from them????

    1. Email info@privateparkingappeals with name and POPLA code...
      ...and they promise someone will be in touch

    2. Is it possible this was Appeal Parking

    3. Thanks so much.
      I had literally just seen your reply when an email came in from the Head of Operations.
      I don't know how you did that but I cannot thank you enough ... and so quickly too.
      I fully appreciate the chaos they must have been facing and would have accepted a tardy reply or an automated reply explaining their position, but to have several emails ignored was very upsetting and stressful.
      I'm sorry I don't understand your second meassage.
      ie. Is it possible this was Appeal Parking

    4. 1. The Prankster moves in mysterious ways.

      2. Appeal Parking Tickets was the name of another appeal service which ceased trading some time ago.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Wright Hassall state that they "are not instructed to act on behalf of either party". Does this mean that they will not be handling POPLA cases for parking firms they represent in court? I am sure I have seen them representing a few claims for Premier Park Ltd this year, which I suspect are ongoing...

    1. There's a definite conflict of interest there.
      I think it would be good for someone to draw up a list of the PMC's they have already represented as either a debt collector or in legal proceedings so that their ongoing involvement with a PMC for any further court action can be shown to be duplicitous.
      In any case, their denial of an appeal at this stage isn't a compelling reason for making a payment anyway.

  8. So if a contractal charge its not a penalty, but where the operator has stated the pcn is for a breach of contract and represents liquidated damages does gpeol still apply?

  9. How can Wright Hassall be appointed by the BPA to deal with appeals? They are solicitors who act for parking companies - they are not independent at all!! The whole process is a sham. Is it still the case that POPLA decisions are unenforceable? If so, shouldn't we all be saying "sue me" and let the parking companies take their claims to the county court if they think they have a case.

  10. Perhaps The Law Society should know that Wright Hassall are undertaking a quasi-judicial role when they clearly have a conflict of interest which they should recognise would prevent them from doing so.

  11. Just to let you know I've asked the BPA to explain how Wright Hassall could be appointed as "an independent appeals body" when they have vested interests. I got a snotty reply saying it was all above board so I've reported Wright Hassall to the Solicitors Regulation Authority as they have the clearest conflict of interest. If others have pending appeals and are affected by this, please also complain to BPA ( and the SRA ( It's far more likely these bodies will act if they receive numerous complaints.

    1. Any person who has an appeal against a company that WH have been assisting in debt chasing or legal action MUST make it know. There can be little excuse for such conflict or interest. Dunno if anyone has the time for it, but a list of WH's principals could be put together for this for use in such cases.

  12. Tried to email today and keep getting delivery failure not even 7days pure scum

    1. Mine went in OK and is ready to be ignored. Check that you correctly spelt
      You only need an s, l, or dot missing and it will fail. I'm not convinced it matters whether it's in or not. We can but try :(

  13. Did you receive any response from WH, even an auto-reply to say that they had received your email?
    I send my reply in, but have heard nothing - I believe "Old POPLA" used to send an auto-reply confirmation.
    I have asked them to send me the "evidence they have before them" within 7 days of my email........

    1. Nope, Messers Right Hassle are living up to their name and will probably pretend no one has sent anything in. I'm expecting a kangaroo court type of deal whatever happens.

      When you eventually get around to dealing with new POPLA (Ombudsman Services version) in future cases, you will find that they won't acknowledge receipt either to emailed rebuttal evidence.

  14. I telephoned the Retailer (Aldi) where I got my PCN in Feb 2015 that was in the GPEOL cases and told them about my letter from Wright Hassall and that I believed it was a 'conflict of interest'. I shopped at the store, had a receipt and overstayed unknowingly.

    Aldi didn't seem comfortable or aware Wright Hassall had in effect replaced POPLA. Aldi asked me to cancel my appeal and they would cancel the PCN subject to the appeal not having taken place.

    I had a phone call from Aldi yesterday confirming they had told Parking Eye to cancel my PCN. RESULT!