Readers’ emails: Traced by a Credit Reference Agency

From: Richard
Subject: Plan of action

Brief Circs…12 months ago ..ticket for 18 minutes on Parking eye Car Park, I actually never left the car park as I had been trying to get a ticket via their phone number and had to give up after quarter of hour trying…When the ticket and threat campaign started I elected to go for “the completely ignore them” plan of action (A)…after a 6 month paper trail they appeared to lose interest. I even spotted a recorded delivery from them and refused to sign for it!
Now 12 months after the ticket..they are starting again..Their covering letter claims that “However it has come to our attention that you no longer at this address but reside at the above address. This new address has been supplied to ParkingEye by Credit Reference Agency…This is bollocks as I have lived at the same address for 9 years….What do think? Maintain plan A or break cover and lock horns…PS many thanks for putting all this info together…I have a good record of beating road parking tickets 10/12 but never liked these cowboys. Any adivice appreciated…Very Best Wishes

Hi Richard, yes we’ve recently heard about parking companies using credit reference agencies (such as Equifax) for tracing people, and it sounds like this is what’s happened in your case. Attached is the result of a Freedom of Information request about this practice –> FOIR3988 – Attachment

In terms of your case, I wouldn’t be surprised if they attempted a court claim against you. ParkingEye have been taking a lot of people to court over the past year – there are on average half a dozen cases a day around the country. If they did make a claim, then there is a reasonable chance of winning – the figures we’ve seen show they have won in about 60% of the cases. Given a lot of people haven’t a clue how to argue their case properly (or don’t even bother turning up), then if you do  your homework you would have a good chance.

However, does the letter offer you the chance to appeal to POPLA? If so, our recommendation would be to do that. You can win using the genuine pre-estimate of loss argument.

Best of luck, PC