Readers’ emails: A Blu day for a Radisson guest

From: Lisa
Subject: CCJ Parking Eye

I just want to share my story really as a warning I suppose.

In July 2013, I parked at the Radisson Blu Durham for a business meeting (free parking to delegates) and months later received a letter from Parking Eye demanding payment. I called the hotel and they told me not to worry and they would simply cancel the parking fine with Parking Eye.

In [redacted date] I receieved a threat of court action and had to submit an ‘acknowledgement of service’!  I again called the hotel who told me this was ”quite common” but not to worry as the fine had been cancelled in the interim.

Then I received, last week, a CCJ alert from Experian.  I have had to pay £80 to get the judgement set aside with an attached email from Radisson to prove that they submitted cancellation to Parking Eye on [redacted date] (this was later than I had been promised it was done but nonetheless it was confirmed) but judgement was passed on [redacted date], 2 weeks after it had been cancelled.

It should never ever have got to this stage – I was allowed free parking!!!! Might I still end up a) with a CCJ against my name and b) paying £165 in parking fine costs when I was exempt from parking in the first place?

I will let you know the outcome as a court finding not in my favour would surely set a precedent?

Hi Lisa,

It is just ridiculous how you have been treated – receiving a CCJ for an unfairly issued parking ticket, having been promised by the land owner that they would have it cancelled. What’s worse is that if you had challenged the ticket in court using a well prepared defence, you would more than likely have beaten Parking Eye. For example, could ParkingEye demonstrate they had standing to make the claim, could they demonstrate that the charge wasn’t penal, could they demonstrate actual loss caused by your parking? The latter, clearly not, the hotel has confirmed that you had permission to park, and the former points regularly defeat their claims in court.

The mistake that you made was to ignore the official court papers. Our advice is to never ignore court papers – there are lots of people in your position where parking companies successfully making claims by default because motorists do not understand the significance. However, we can understand how the information the hotel gave you would make you think the issue was settled. Surely the hotel should be able to control what its agents do? Radisson also need to consider whether they want their reputation to be tarnished in this way.

So, my advice to you would be as follows. Firstly, make as big a fuss with Radisson as possible. From what you have said, it would appear that their misinformation and lack of control over their agents have directly caused you to get into this mess. I would consider going to the local paper too – apply pressure to both Radisson and ParkingEye. I would ask Radission to refund you the costs you have incurred so far.

With respect to the CCJ, it would be worth getting some specialist advice here from the credit reference agencies and the Citizens Advice Bureau. The most important thing is to make sure that the CCJ does not remain on your file. It is my understanding that if you settle it within 28 days of judgement, it will not be registered against you. If it is settled after that point, then the fact it is settled is noted on your file. If it goes unsettled, then that is bad news – that would probably have a more significant impact on your credit record.

For anyone in a similar situation, here’s some pages from my site that may assist:

Best of luck with it.