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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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hi I recently parked on an aldi car park in Bolton 12/08/2014

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hi I recently parked on an aldi car park in Bolton 12/08/2014 , 9 days later I received a letter through the post of a company called parking eye saying I was being charged £40 if I paid before the 30/08/2014 after that date it would be £70. on the 12/08/2014 I actually went into the store and got a receipt for the goods ,at no time was I aware that I had to punch my vehicle registration in or out to receive free parking. is it legal for this firm to pursue me for money . There are notices up to say customers of the store have up to 90 minutes . regards paul
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I recently parked on an aldi car park in Bolton 12/08/2014 I did a little shopping whilst there and thought nothing more about it until 9 days later when a parking fine for £40 arrived if I paid before 30/08/2014 after that date it would be £70 the firm is called parking eye and I was wondering if they have the right to charge people there are signs on the car park that give those shopping in store 90 minutes to shop and at no time was I aware that I had to punch my vehicle registration in staff didn't ask on way out at tills if I had parked

Yes, I've read the facts.
What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

is this public charge notice legal

This is a private land fine. They are not parking fines whatever they may look like. I realise that many of them mimic those issued by the council or the police but they do not have the same authority.
A private land firm is not an emanation of the state. It does not have the right to punish you for the manner of your parking any more than your neighbours do.
This is essentially an invoice arising from a civil dispute arising from an alleged agreement whereby you agree to park for a fee. They say that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or otherwise parking at variance with the contract. That is what is in dispute.
Private land fines used to be very easy to escape by refusing the details of the driver. They only have a contract with the driver. Unfortunately the Protection of Freedoms Act came into force in October 2012 and it makes the registered keeper liable for the penalty if he does not disclose the details of the driver within 28 days.
All that means is that the claim runs against the registered keeper. It just makes it easier to find the person against whom there should be enforcement.
The chances are high that they will not sue. Even though the law has recently changed in their favour and they were quite aggressive in the beginning, they do not sue in the majority of cases.
If they do sue then they would only have a claim for the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs. They will send you debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs. Do not be intimidated by that.
Even if they do go to court, they would still have to prove that the signs are adequate and clear. Quite often they are not.
They will send you some very nasty letters though. You will get debt collection letters making threats of legal action. They will probably get Graham Whyte solicitors to write to you as well. None of these are anything to worry about. It will not impact upon your credit history and it will not add to the costs.
Unless you actually get a court summons, none of these correspondences have any legal basis. If you do get a court summons then you can always part admit the claim and offer a small amount for their loss.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so in theory I should ignore this letter parking eye have sent me

If you are prepared to the run the risk of being sued.
The chances are very low but it could happen. They will send you some very nasty letters.
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