Readers’ emails: A non-sticky mess

From: Jane

i received a parking ticket last July i appealed it as due to the heat of the sun it had make the sticky become hot curl up and drop off. I took my case to POPLA last September and i lost where they said they agreed that i had paid and yes due to heat on a very hot day the ticket had fallen down. (i mean what more can you do!) but under the rules i wasn’t displaying a valid ticket i was attending a funeral at the time. I didnt pay ANPR and now 8 months after the POPLA ruling i receive a letter from a debt collector requesting a payment of £175. Dont know what to do i have thrown all of my paperwork away so i nothing now to defend myself. Any help would be gratefully received

I’m not sure there are many service providers that charge you for the poor quality of their product!

Unfortunately POPLA take a very black and white view of the world, rather than a fair and reasonable one; one which would take into account genuine mitigating circumstances like yours. That’s why on our POPLA advice page we always advise people to use legal arguments in addition to mitigating circumstances since the latter usually gets ignored.

The POPLA decision is not binding on you, only the parking company. For the parking company to enforce the charge, they would need to make a small claim against you, which would be heard in a county court (see guide here). Going to court will probably cost them far more than the cost they could recover from you. Some parking companies, such as ParkingEye, regularly do it, whereas others, like UK Parking Control, do not. Have a look on the internet forums to see if the parking company that issued the ticket does court. Note, the Debt Collection agency can’t take you to court – they will just write scary sounding letters. If you ignore them, then the parking company might then start pursuing you again.

So what to do now? Well, the £175 they’re demanding is in line with the upper levels of what a court would award if they took you to court and won. The court may award lower, or they might find in your favour, if the judge agreed with your mitigating circumstances. Certainly their would appear to be no obvious benefit into paying now. An alternative might be to make an offer to settle for the original charge (presumably £100). If they then took you to court, they would seem very unreasonable which could count in your favour. The fact that you had paid for the ticket (and POPLA found that too) would be a strong defence if this were to go to court.

And lastly – NEVER THROW THE PAPERWORK AWAY. If the ticket did go to court, you may need to rely on that. The parking company will have copies of their documents which they would have to include with their claim anyway. POPLA may be able to supply their documents too. But the golden rule is that you should never throw this sort of paperwork away – it makes  your case of defending it harder.

1 Comment on “Readers’ emails: A non-sticky mess

  1. I contacted the so called debt agency and i dont believe for one minute they are a debt collection agencyi think its the same people, i dealt with a man who attitude was terrible he was really snotty and told me people like me blame everyone else and i should have just handled it and paid the original ticket.
    i was contacting them with a view to just offering the £100 to settle but after speaking with him forget it I will go to court. He told me he had been to the car park in question i mean why would a debt collector go looking at car parks.