Private Parking Solutions: Failure to Pay for Parking – WIN

SUMMARY

Private ticket.
WIN at Independent Appeals Service.

PARKING CHARGE NOTICE (PCN) DETAILS

Reason: Failure to pay for parking
Private Parking Company: Private Parking Solutions


SITUATION

The driver parked their car in a private car park where only mobile payment method was accepted. You may have heard of it, known as Justpark. 

As soon as the driver parked they went inside the building and stayed there for over 4 hours. 

However, they had forgotten to pay for that parking for the first 53 mins from the moment they parked. Everything thereafter was paid for (3+ hours of parking)

Yep you guessed it, the driver received a parking ticket affixed on their vehicle windscreen, within that period of 53 minutes.


The most important thing to keep in mind was to never reveal who the driver was during the whole process.  

FIRST APPEAL
The appeal was kept as simple as possible stating that, parking was paid for (which it was…technically) and provided the reference and screenshot from the mobile app. At the end of the appeal we signed a name.

It is recommended not to even sign a name, but we wanted to prove and test the fact that merely putting a name down does not matter, as long as you don’t mention in anyway who the driver was.

Private Parking Solutions tried a cheeky move. In a response to the email appeal sent, they replied saying, they cannot accept the appeal since we did not mention who the driver was. 

As soon as they sent this, it was clear they may not apply to the DVLA for the registered keeper details to hold them legally liable. So they will be relying on us to blurt it out. 

On the ticket that was affixed on the windscreen of the drivers vehicle, all it said in how to appeal was to send it to an email address and no mention of anything else.

You do not have to state who the driver was, it is their duty to prove who it was.

So we simply replied back; “The instructions on the notice to the driver have been followed and the appeal has been made in accordance with the notice” (simple!). 

After this response they accepted the appeal and replied with a rejection decision (as expected).  Why? Well according to the contractual signage, the vehicle was parked on the land for a period where parking was not paid for (which was true).

So the next step was the independent appeals process. Private Parking Solution’s Accredited Trade Association is the British Parking Association.

INDEPENDENT APPEALS SERVICE
Although we knew we would win due to Private Parking Solution not knowing who the driver is OR the registered keeper is, you still have to condition the mind of the adjudicator reading the case. At the end of the day they are human beings. 

What do you mean by conditioning we hear you think?

Well by that we mean, write a credible story as to why it took 53 minutes to pay for the parking. By credible story we don’t mean a life story of why you got delayed in your personal life, we mean facts! 

The credible story in summary goes as follows: 

4 hours worth of parking was paid for so the intention of the driver was always to pay for parking. 
Since it was a mobile payment only site, a considerable time was taken from downloading the app to making the payment. 
Chucked in a bit about grace periods and how signs had to be digested, parking had to be found ect. 

Within Private Parking Solution’s comments to our appeal resided nothing new and was the same old copy paste rubbish. Remember, the underlying facts is that they don’t know and cant prove who the driver or registered keeper is. So never get lured and lost into their story.

The easiest way to respond to comments is to quote exactly what they say and respond back to that. They will try their best to divert and focus on something other than your points made.  


RESULT

In the end the adjudicator found in our favour. We have copied and pasted their response below since we feel it is a great example of winning a case in a tribunal against a private enforcement authority on the basis of not admitting who the driver is. 

Even though a name was mentioned throughout the whole process for the purpose of correspondence. 

Below is the adjudicators findings:

“I acknowledge the reason the operator has issued the PCN. The burden of proof lies with the operator to demonstrate that it has issued the PCN correctly. I note the operator advises that it is not attempting to transfer the liability for the charge using the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and so in mind, the operator continues to hold the driver responsible. As such, I must first consider whether I am confident that I know who the driver is, based on the evidence received. After considering the evidence, I am unable to confirm that the appellant is in fact the driver. As such, I must allow the appeal on the basis that the operator has failed to demonstrate that the appellant is the driver and therefore liable for the charge. As I am allowing the appeal on this basis, I do not need to consider the other grounds of appeal raised by the appellant. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal”