An Open Letter to Parking Eye

One of our readers asked if we would publish this on their behalf.

Dear Parking Eye

I’m a bit of a cinema buff. As a result, I’ve been racking my brains to think of a silver-screen cowboy who was also a fuckwit so that I could draw some comparison with your staff. I’ve failed. Possibly Stan Laurel in Way Out West, but that’s stretching a point and is disrespectful to memory of the late Mr Laurel.

On April 30th, 2014, as required by Her Majesty’s Minister for Transport, I took my car – often referred to as “Sweetie” or “Bitch”, depending on my mood – for her annual MOT test to the lovely people at Halfords, on the Commercial Road Industrial Estate in Ipswich.

Now, Sweetie (the car not you) is getting on a bit. She has dodgy suspension (like me), leaks a bit (also like me), and let’s not even talk about the state of the exhaust pipe… so, she needed to have some work done and was left at Halfords IN THEIR MARKED MOT BAY in the morning for collection that afternoon. As far as I am aware, the nice people from Halfords took her into the workshop, did the work, carried out the MOT and deposited her back IN THE MARKED MOT BAY for collection. She was collected at approximately 5pm and we both left, me almost £400 lighter of wallet.

Imagine my unbounded DELIGHT this morning to have discovered that, while she WAS PARKED IN A MARKED MOT BAY, one of your over-zealous cyber-goons had decided that being in A MARKED MOT BAY in some way breached some Mickey Mouse rule.

Several points need to be addressed:

1. Why are you continuing to try to illegally extort money out of people who have parked legally? Even if I were illegally parked, the law only allows you to charge for any legitimate loss of income (see below). I look forward to seeing in court the breakdown of how I incurred £100 worth of loss to the tile shop and the tool shop by being parked IN A MARKED MOT BAY of a completely separate industrial unit to whom I’d just handed over the best part of £400.

2. Your letter demands 100 of my hard-earned shiny pounds. I will not be handing this over for the following reasons:
• The amount being claimed is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss to your company or the landowner. Let me explain “pre-estimate of loss”: If, for example, if Topps Tiles on the same site felt that I was using a space outside their shop, thereby deterring a customer from buying a £15 tile, then an AUTHORISED agent might pass on to me a “pre-estimate of loss” of £15 on their behalf. Got it? Good!
• Your signage is completely at odds with the BPA Code of Practice and does not form even the most tenuous contract between motorist and yourself. Can we say “chancers”?
• You are not the landowner and do not have the authority to offer contracts to park. Actually, there are several occasions where you haven’t even had a contract with the landowner to do your dirty business on their property.
• (And this is a humdinger!) You are illegally using ANPR data for a purpose not registered with the Data Commissioner. If you don’t know what APNR is, Google it – I can’t be arsed to explain…
• Your illegal spy-cameras don’t look good in a mask and tricorn hat.

3. When recruiting your staff, is part of the selection process: “If you’re not actually congenitally stupid, would you be able to shut down higher brain functions between the hours of 9-5 at all? Failing that, would you be willing to undergo the full frontal lobotomy to enhance your chances of coming to work for Parking Eye?”

4. How moronic are you going to look when this goes to court – and it will – when I can produce my MOT documents, dated 30th April 2014, and a sworn statement from the manager of Halfords that I was parked legally outside his workshop in order for him to carry out his legitimate business? Unlike yours, which is about as legitimate and as moral as people trafficking.


Paul Couch