Friday, 24 February 2017

ParkingEye scam fails - one car in, a different car out

ParkingEye's attempt to scam a driver out of £70 failed when the driver spotted that she had been charged not for the time her car was parked, but the time between her car entering the car park, and a different car exiting.

As any competent person can see, her car's numberplate ends with a 'K' while the other plate ends with an 'X'.

The full story is detailed in the Liverpool Echo

This is the second time this driver has been issued a bogus charge by ParkingEye, clearly showing their technology is not fit for purpose.

ParkingEye boast that each parking charge undergoes 19 checks before it is issued. No doubt they will now have to add a 20th check - that the car is the same for both entry and exit.

Prankster Note

Parking companies like to maintain the fiction that ANPR is an infallible technology, when the reality is that it is anything but. In this case the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software has misread the X as a K.

The government have realised ANPR is not up to scratch, and banned the use of ANPR for council car parks, but have not yet taken this one step further to regulate the use in private car parks.

There are responsible ways which car park operators can use ANPR. For instance, the Marlborough Hill car park in Bristol shows that given the right technology a car park can be run harmoniously with a minimum of charges issued. However, operators like ParkingEye do not use technology like this - presumably because it would hurt their profits too much.

According to ParkingEye sources, they operate their cameras at efficiencies anywhere down to 70%, which means that 3 of every 10 cars entering or leaving are incorrectly detected. This is measured by comparing the vehicles apparently entering against the vehicles apparently leaving. The Prankster believes this is unfair and that either government or the industry should set higher minimum operating standards.

It is likely that the driver, Diane Kinvig, now has a valid data protection claim against ParkingEye. They have used her data in a way which is clearly not fair or lawful, which violates data principle 1.

A valid claim would appear to be in the range £250-£600 per incorrect parking charge issued, or £500-£1200.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Cancellation of an illegal demand for money is not an adequate response. Compensation should be payable as a matter of routine.

  2. Agreed. But being a synic I'd just say that they would then refuse every appeal no matter how obvious the mistake is.

    1. There could be a sliding scale. £60 if initial appeal upheld. £100 if POPLA appeal conceded. £250 if POPLA appeal succeeds.

  3. If this was me, I wouldn't ef about, wait for the N1 and counterclaim. I dont agree that £250 is sufficient damages. I would claim damages LIMITED to 1k and ask for the senior CJ to hear the case set guidance for his circuit. Its all under SC procedure so little chance of costs.

    One can only hope that Wilkie LJ does this at some point soon.

    A complaint upheld by the ICO would seem to be a good start but boy are they slow.

  4. I'm already looking at several possible cases where the PPC and the DCA are likely to be liable for £750 EACH, together with a surcharge under the rule in Rookes v Barnard for punitive or Exemplary damages.

  5. The fallability of the PE ANPR system is plain to see.
    The First picture is clealry an entry photo taken from the front, so either the ANPR missed the exit (bad) or it has logged two exits (the real one and this erroneous one) and decided to ignore the real one and use the second as an excuse to issue a penalty (much worse). So which one is it Parking Lie?