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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69364
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Just reading your reply on a parking fine. My elderly father

Customer Question

Just reading your reply on a parking fine. My elderly father has one which my brother and I told him not to pay.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Hello can you provide some more details please
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I spoke to my father on the phone so I haven't actually read the letter yet. The letter has come from a company called Debt Recovery Plus Ltd who appear to be working for a company called G24. My sister apparently who was driving my father's car some months ago overstayed in a Sainsbury car park.My brother and I advised him not to pay and so he ignored the earlier letter. We're aware from reading on the Internet of the differences between a penalty charge notice and the parking charge notice that these private companies send out. The latter apparently being no more than an invoice for a unsigned contract.I'm wondering if this is good advice seeing as there has been a recent court case on this matter and would like to know what to do to not pay?Would it be better to send a picture of the letter so you can see the wording?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Yes, you can do that.The law has changed on this point recently.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sorry about this Jo, I'll have to get this to you when I visit my father over the weekend. I'm currently working from home in a different town.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Ok. I will be on.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Jo, I've got the orignal letter from my Father but the question appears to be closed, how do I send you this so I can get an answer?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
You can still respond. It will not close from your side.you can email it to***@******.***
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Jo,Please see attached.I've got a bit more information from my Father.My Father parked in Homebase, not Sainsburys as I said, back on 23rd November.He can't believe that he was walking around Homebase for 2 hours just to pick up some candles and a few pot plants (please see till receipt) before he left. I'm wondering if he would have been been on his feet for so long as hes 84 and recently had a heart operation. Homebase has no cafe facilities and there are no shops close by.I drove down to the car park today and he also noticed a lot of signs (see attached) around the car park which he is adamant were not there. Also inside the shop there are a lot of signs reminding visitors of the 90 minute limit so clearly it has caught a lot of people out.My Father insists that he will not pay this and would gladly go to court.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Ok. That is a private land fine for certain.He might be right about the signs. They might not have been there. They do sometimes do that.Proceeding on the basis that they convince the court that those signs were there they do only grant 90 mins of free parking.It is not correct that they are unenforceable. It never really was actually. They always had a perfectly valid claim in law. What they had was a claim that was hard to enforce.The FOIA has made it slightly easier in that it makes the registered keeper liable if he doesn't name the driver within 28 days.Also, the recent case of Beavis has established that the sum of the fine is not unfair and void under UCTA.They are enforceable.They are not particularly cost effective to enforce which was why they didn't sue on the whole. They are more aggressive now basically because so few people are paying and they have lost confidence.The chances of being sued are still fairly low but it could happen.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Jo,I'll let my Father know and see if needs any clarification however I think your reply is pretty clear so thank you for that.I'm also thinking of contacting Homebase to put some pressure on G24. My Father has been a good customer of them for many years now so it would be rather short sighted of them to lose his custom. On that visit alone he spent almost £60!Thanks Justin
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
I wouldn't bother.If he is fighting this then he should be ignoring it. He is taking a chance they won't sue but generally speaking they are more likely to sue if he responds.

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