Vehicle Control Services (VCS) v "Fackers". C0DP20Q4. Cardiff 8/2/2017
Mr "Fackers" found a yellow PCN ticket on his window in May 2015. There were no signs, pay and display machines or warnings of private property in any way, and he was also advised by the company that he was visiting that it would be fine to park where he did.
He therefore sent a letter to VCS to appeal the charge. H did not receive any reply. A year later he received a claim form from BW Legal for £236.46. The form was the usual roboclaim template which failed to comply with practice directions, failing to provide information required by Civil Procedure Rule 16.4 and Practice Direction 16, paragraphs 7.3 – 7.5, failing to provide these in further particulars as allowed by PD16 3.2(2), and failing to sign as required by PD22 paragraph 3.1. "BW Legal" is not an allowable signatory. However, BW Legal do not need to observe practice directions like the rest of us riff-raff due to their impeccable rating, so this was all fine.
In august 2016 BW Legal then forgot to carry on with the claim due to their important work elsewhere, no doubt responding to complaints from motorists and the Credit Services Association, so the case was stayed. Although it was not worth their while carrying on, they did anyway, paying to remove the stay.
In November a mediation call occurred. Mr Fackers began at £5 which gave BW Legal the hump and they threatened to not offer anything lower than their fee due to unreasonable demand of £5. Mr Fackers eventually went up as far as £80 but the lowest they would come down to was £150. The Prankster notes that BW Legal only get paid once VCS have taken their £100 cut, so will never go much lower that that.
The court ordered all papers to be filed by 22 December ready for an 8th February hearing.
On 20th December neither side had sent their papers. BW Legal, obviously wanting to scoot off for the office Christmas party, phoned with an offer to settle. They offered £196 but were happy to bring it down to £150 which was the price of the settlement in mediation.
Mr Fackers suggested he might settle for £125.
He also asked if they had sent the documents yet, and the guy at BW Legal said they don't need to; they are always ok with turning up on the day with them? The Prankster notes this is acceptable behaviour because of the time served in the industry.
Mr Fackers sent off his bundle.
The next day Mr Fackers received an email offering to settle for £140. You see the thing is, if BW Legal actually have to turn up in court, they lose tons of money, because they have to pay £150 - £200 for a solicitor to turn up and represent them. They don't get this back, even if they win.
Ironically they could offer to pay Mr Fackers £40, bung VCS their £100 and still come out on top if they avoided a court hearing.
But they didn't.
Mr Fackers said his lowest potential offer was £135. BW Legal called back to ay that was acceptable. Mr Fackers said he needed to think about it.
BW Legal's bundle turned up on 5th January 10 days after the deadline. They asked the court to strike out the defence due to his basic evidence and their impeccable rating, badges and time served in the industry. Much merriment was had in the Fackers household because the pictures it contained were of a different car park, the car park was in a different name (Excel Parking) and the contact was dated after the parking event.
Mr Fackers wrote asking the court to strike out the claim because the bundle was late, but the court refused.
The judge said he had never seen a defence case so well prepared and detailed. He had obviously missed the bit in BW Legals statement that the defence was basic. For some reason he had also not heard of BW Legals impeccable rating, badges and time served in the industry. The Prankster can scarcely believe it.
BW Legals case began to dissolve immediately due to most of their images having no dates and times and no conclusive references of the car. Their Solicitor tried to get a 2 week adjournment to find 'new images and evidence'. He spent 30 mins on the phone then tried to barter with Mr Feckers to accept an adjournment, which of course he didn't want to discuss away from the judge.
When asked in front of the judge why he didn't think it was fair to adjourn Mr Feckers replied that their defence was late by 7 days, their information was in any case falsified based on images from their defence, and that the court day was today and they'd had almost 2 years to prepare.
He then turned their whole witness statement back on them.
The big knock out punches were:
1. - On their 'contract' (which they called an Agreement between the landowner and VCS), the signed date was also over a year after the alleged offence.
2. - Their images were blatantly of the wrong location. Mr Feckers was allowed to use his iPAD to reference the distance on google maps using the street view feature.
The judge concluded by denying the adjournment, stating that Mr Feckers had made such a valid effort and detailed cross reference of their mistakes that he had rightfully won outright. He then dismissed the claim.
Mr Feckers forgot to ask for costs
The Prankster awards BW Legal a badge for gross incompetence, which they can add to their other badges.
The Prankster Prankster