"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - FP
'm well aware that I need to tread carefully to avoid offending the moderators and I apologise if I have got it wrong.

I was upset (actually, more than upset) yesterday to receive through the post a Parking Charge Notice from a company employed by B & Q to manage one of its car parks, alleging my car was parked for 50 minutes over the allowed two hours of free parking. The company concerned is not unknown to the media for its sharp practice, failure to follow guidelines etc.

I got the Notice as the registered keeper of the vehicle, my name and address supplied by DVLA, an issue that has been well debated on this forum and elsewhere. Leaving this and the odious reputation of the company on side for the moment, I decided to concentrate on the validity of the PCN.

Research on this matter turned up a number of points. The demand for money hinges on an implied contract the parking management company claim was entered into by the vehicle being left in the car park. However, any such contract could only have been entered into by the driver of the car. As the keeper, I am not bound to reveal who this was – remember, we are dealing with a private company here, not the police or the local authority.

The company has not always clearly displayed properly worded notices and this may also affect the validity of the implied contract.

There is also the matter of the amount claimed – in my case, £125 for the 50 minutes it is alleged I am being charged for, or £75 for prompt payment. Not a reasonable amount, one might say.

Some advice I have seen suggests ignoring the notice, on the basis that the company will not want to see their case examined in court – which presumably would be the small claims court, as this is a civil matter.

However, the matter is now resolved, for me at least, though I wonder how many other motorists have meekly paid up, as indeed I first thought of doing. By chance I came upon a B & Q helpline dedicated to this issue. I phoned it, gave the details of the PCN and made further, carefully phrased remarks including some of the issues above, the effect on B & Q's reputation and so on. I was phoned back and the charge was waived on the basis that “we don’t want to lose customers – but don’t do it again.” The number is 0845 6024946 – mods, I hope there is no problem with putting this.

I hope my experience will give others in a similar position the means to challenge unreasonable parking charges on private land. I’m happy to give more info by e-mail.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Gromit {P}
I would be sorely tempted to post any store that took the "don't do it again" line a copy of the next big receipt I got from their competitor with a letter to the tune of "as you can see from the enclosed receipt, I've taken your kind advice to heart and 'won't do it again'. As I'm not parking outside your store, I won't be shopping inside it either."

There's always someone else only too willing to accept your custom who doesn't employ heavy-handed subcontractors...
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - bell boy
it must be one heck of a big superstore to take 2 hours 50 minutes to do your shopping there? maybe other customes did indeed shop 'at a competitor' as there was no where to park ?
i have this problem everyday with a 'i will be only 5 minutes mate' when i explain it only takes 2 minutes to clamp they move ,lost customer? dont care dont like their attitude.........
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Aprilia
B&Q near me (smallish market town) has a major problem with people parking in their car park and then walking down the street into town centre to do their shopping. They now have plenty of warning signs up and 'max 2 hours' policy. I assume these penalties are to act as a deterent to people who take advantage.
I guess if you were shopping in the store and tied up for a long time (e.g. designing & buying a kitchen) then a photocopy of the receipt would get you off the hook.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - The Lawman
If the OP was in teh store for all this time then he has my sympathy.

If he was off shopping somewhere else he has no sympathy at all.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Altea Ego
If the OP was in teh store for all this time
then he has my sympathy.
If he was off shopping somewhere else he has no sympathy
at all.


If this is the case then its not

"unreasonable parking charges on private land."

but

"unreasonable parking on private land"
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - FP
I take on board entirely the issues about unauthorised parking. In my case, I did indeed visit the store and then went elsewhere. There was no suggestion by the store that I should not have done that, merely that they allowed two hours' free parking and then started to charge. I don't have a problem with that, though I do object to the methods and practices of the company employed by B & Q and I don't think the charges involved are reasonable.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - BazzaBear {P}
though I do object to the methods and practices
of the company employed by B & Q and I don't
think the charges involved are reasonable.


What exactly of their methods and practices did you take exception to? I can see you poitn about the size of the charge, although I suppose it's deliberately high in order to dissuade people from over-staying.
In your first post, the way you worded that there had, in the past, been a lack of signage implied that the signage was fine when you parked there, so it seems that you were well aware of the risk.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Stuartli
One problem is, at least where I live, is that many people who work in the vicinity of supermarkets use their car parks FOC whilst at their place of employment.

Quite understandbly the outlets concerned eventually take exception to this abuse of car parking intended for legitimate customers, so the trend is more and more to car park management companies being assigned to regularly patrol the car parks concerned; initially warnings are issued and persistent offenders are eventually given a fine.

I'm not suggesting in any way that this is what ChrisPeugeot did, only that it could well be part of the reason for the management company being taken on by B and Q.

Of course revenue rather than customer goodwill is probably more in the eyes of such management companies..:-)


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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Altea Ego
So how long was your car parked in the B&Q car park? Was it two hours and 50 minutes?
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Altea Ego
Perhaps it would not be unreasonable to park on your drive while I go shopping then?
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - FP
Yes.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - FP
TVM - it would indeed not be unreasonable for you to park on my drive while you went shopping, provided you paid me a reasonable charge for so doing.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - The Lawman
There is no obligation on B&Q to charge you a "reasonable amount"

They are not operating a pay and display car park. I have no problem with them charging a nice high penalty fee.

I am curious though how in these days of data protection etc they were able to get details of your address from your reg no. I thought only the police could do that.



"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Stuartli
>>I am curious though how in these days of data protection etc they were able to get details of your address from your reg no. I thought only the police could do that.>>

Providing it is for a reasonable purpose it is possible to acquire such details from the DVLA for the modest sum of around £2.50.

There have been campaigns by the Daily Mail for example to try and stop this practice being so readily available.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - BazzaBear {P}
TVM - it would indeed not be unreasonable for you to
park on my drive while you went shopping, provided you paid
me a reasonable charge for so doing.

But B&Q charged you nothing for your parking. What they tried to do was to fine you for breaching the terms and conditions of them allowing you to use 'their driveway'.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - FP
This is the nub of the problem. I was served with a "Parking CHARGE Notice". Legally, they cannot "fine" me. A court of law can impose a fine and/or damages, not a private individual or firm. I suppose an action for trespass would be a possibility - but how seriously would a court take this?

Some of what I perceive as unfairness here could be avoided if the notice in the car park had actually said something along the lines of "Exceeding the free two hours' parking time will incur a charge of £125 per hour", but I bet an organisation like B & Q would not want something displayed that seems so unreasonable.

By the way, there are stories of people being charged by this parking management company £125 for being only two minutes over their allotted time. Does that seem reasonable?
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Altea Ego
You didnt park there for two hours and two minutes tho. You over parked by nearly an hour.

B&Q cant fine you for your inconsiderate parking, so they impose a hefty parking charge. Its a pity they couldnt make it stick.

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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - DP
This cost my local B&Q a £2,600 kitchen order (fine was £60). I threatened to cancel the order I'd placed that morning, they called my bluff, I went ahead and cancelled it after stopping the deposit cheque. No hard feelings - if £60 to their "parking agent" is more valuable to them than the £3k+ worth of business I took elsewhere (extra materials, tools etc came to another £500), they're obviously succeeding nicely in this presently tough retail climate. Good luck to them.


"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - bell boy
Ive just looked and they are doing very nicely thank you ,but will pass on your kind message dp at the next shareholders bash
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - FP
Nice to see TVM really getting his teeth into this one, eh? ;-)
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Statistical outlier
Yep, nice relaxed Friday afternoon banter. Lovely.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Altea Ego
I love grappling with "outraged of tunbridge" ;)
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - stevied
I have to say that my gut instinct is four letter word B & Q, but that is (so I am told) because I am immature and ant-authoritarian. If you didn't have to pay in every car park in the land, and through the nose as well, then people wouldn't try and park on other car parks. (It used to be free. What did they do with the extra money? The same question can be asked of a lot of things I suppose).

I am not condoning "naughty parking" just saying it's hard to feel sorry for the shareholders of B & Q, particularly when they pay their staff a pittance for the most part.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Altea Ego
Lets get to the root of this.

Local councils now object to large superstores during planning, and always cut down the parking spaces as some kind of tick in the box to the green lobby. Most councils are now "anti car"

B&Q in turn have to maximise floor space to selling and good value ot consumers. You dont make money per sq foot of car park.

Therefore, these days, car parking is tight. And expensive. Its not therefore unreasonable that B&Q wishes to make sure that the car parking resource is used for customer of B&Q and not the customers consuming galactico mocha in starcrutch.

The root cause then is councils trying to prove they have green credentails (however false) and consumers who demand the cheapest prices.
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Stuartli
>>The root cause then is councils trying to prove they have green credentails (however false) and consumers who demand the cheapest prices. >>

Our local B and Q is right opposite the local council's public tip and recycling centre..:-)
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Lud
I am not condoning "naughty parking"


I have always condoned naughty parking, and greatly admire the sideways-on-a-corner-and-pedestrian-crossing style that used to be the norm in Paris before that fine round burg got an anti-car mayor to copy us.

One has to question whether B&Q get any of the parking'charges'. More likely they reached agreement with the parking villains to discourage overstaying in the manner described. The money goes to the villains and not even TVM could claim to sympathise with them, surely? .

Come on TVM, let's grapple.

- Faintly Amused of Kensington
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - FP
Actually, I thought I handled this one very well - calmly and objectively. How smug is that?

On a more serious note, you ought to read what this parking company has got up to in the past - and still does, for all I know. Unclear or obscure signs moved, extra signs put up after the alleged offence, failure to observe guidelines, attempts to secure payments when no offence has been committed, and the nasty story of the OAP who drove into B & Q in the morning, bought something, then took it back later in the day to exchange it and - guess what? - was charged for the period of time between his FIRST arrival at the car park and his SECOND departure - several hours (minus two, presumably).

TVM may think I should have been made to pay. I'm not paying to these guys. I have no argument with B & Q. It's just a pity they have gone down the route they have.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Aprilia
and the nasty story of the OAP who drove into B
& Q in the morning, bought something, then took it back
later in the day to exchange it and


Presumably both the OAP and the store have a record of purchase and exchange - that would be enough to get him off the hook surely?
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - DP
Ive just looked and they are doing very nicely thank you
,but will pass on your kind message dp at the next
shareholders bash


Jolly decent of you, thank you ;-)

DP
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Round The Bend
Chris, you tried to be clever and were caught out. Cough up!
_______
IanS
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - FP
Not a fair comment! Yes, I knew only two hours were allowed free. I lost track of the time - I can't even confirm the alleged times of my arrival and departure - they could well be correct. Had other things on my mind. Returned to the vehicle, assuming I was OK, drove off. Thought no more of it.

I was surprised to receive the PCN, to say the least.

I'm not trying to be clever. I'm prepared to pay B & Q, say, £5 for my careless infringement of their parking rules. I'm not prepared to pay the parking management firm (I really have to make a big effort not to put who they are) a.k.a. Scum of the Earth £125.

Someone's making big money out of this. B & Q? I don't think so.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Hamsafar
They cannot fine you, they can try to levy a penalty for breach of contract, but they would have to prove that you broke the contract (which they can't practicably), and that your breach cost them £125, which it clearly didn't.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - wemyss
Mention is made of private land...I read an article somewhere in the last week or two where Councils are planning to make parking charges on out of town shopping centres to get people back into town shopping. Reading that I presumed that they must actually own the land where these large stores are.
In my local town there is a smallish out of town which incorporates Tesco, Focus, Asda and two or three more.
The car park is not specifically laid out to signify whose section of the car park you are parked.
Personally if I was in a position as Chris described I would ignore any demand through the post and lets see where they go from there.
Nobody keeps receipts for small purchases so a defence if it went to court that you had returned in that time space day would I believe win the day. You dont get a parking ticket when you go in so they would have to presumably produce evidence that you had been there over the time limit constantly over this period.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - drbe
>> Nobody keeps receipts for small purchases so a defence if it
went to court that you had returned in that time
space day would I believe win the day. You dont
get a parking ticket when you go in so they would
have to presumably produce evidence that you had been there over
the time limit constantly over this period.


But he has already said that he was there for the full 2 hours 50 minutes.

Are you saying he should tell lies?
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - wemyss
What I said was that they would have to produce evidence to prove he had been there over two hours constantly.
So yes I would tell a lie and say I wasnt unless they had provided proof to the contrary.
Havent we all told a lie at one time or another ?. And if it denied these money grabbing thieves I would have no regrets.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Bill Payer
Ive just looked and they are doing very nicely thank you
,but will pass on your kind message dp at the next
shareholders bash

I don't know where you looked but B&Q is having a torrid time. They're closing some stores and downsizing others.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - jc2
I remember years ago in Rouen trying to get a coach round a corner where some idiot had parked right on the point of a corner.No problem,the passengers got off,lifted the car and found it fitted perfectly between two concrete bollards,with about 1/2" to spare at each end.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Xileno {P}
There are tougher times ahead. DIY stores are one of the first indicators.
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - bell boy
Rose tinted glasses young bill ;-)
"Parking Charge Notice" - private land - Micky
Post your experiences on PePiPoo. Send B&Q an invoice for your time and expenses. Most parking "restrictions" are invalid and rely on bullying to achieve payment. If it happens again, don't bother replying to the letter.

"But don't do it again" !!!! .... laughable.



 

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