Author Topic: LBC from Gladstones - PCM  (Read 80 times)

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zunaster

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LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« on: March 27, 2024, 02:31:52 pm »
I received a PCN from CPM on May 10, 2023, at Charcot Road, London, for parking in a commercial loading area only. I parked for less than 2 minutes as I was dropping off someone. The location did not appear to be a commercial area. I was offered a discounted rate of £60, which I did not pay. Subsequently, I received five letters from Debt Recovery Plus (DRP), all of which I ignored. On February 15, 2024, a letter dated February 01, 2024, I received a Letter Before Claim (LBC) from Gladstones. I have received response to my Subject Access Request (SAR) from PCM on March 20, 2024 and  have not had any response from the Gladstones about the 30 days hold, the 30th day for them to get back to me would be 01 April 24.

I'm wondering about the probability of winning this case. Any guidance on what steps to take next would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.







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andy_foster

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2024, 03:38:32 pm »
The signs appears to be prohibitive - no offer of consideration is communicated to the class of people who are not driving commercial vehicles. The charge is for breach of ANY of the terms - so it is not making itself out to be an offer of the right to park for £100.

Without an offer, there cannot be a contract, and the driver cannot be bound by any promise he might have been deemed to have made by parking there.
The driver would appear to have been trespassing, but that is nothing to do with the PPC unless they happen to be the sole lawful occupier.
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zunaster

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2024, 04:10:26 pm »
Thank you Andy, the signage is incredibly perplexing.

Can you review the following draft of the email I intend to send to Gladstones?


To Whom It May Concern,

I'm writing concerning the recent PCN issued by CPM. Upon careful review, it's clear that the PCN was wrongly issued:

1. Ambiguous Signage: The parking signage is vague, offering no clear terms for non-commercial vehicle drivers. This ambiguity makes any alleged breach legally indefensible. Moreover, the signage fails to specify any consideration for parking, leaving drivers unaware of their obligations.

2. Contractual Deficiency: The PCN charges for breaching unspecified terms without offering a clear parking agreement. Without a solid offer, any alleged obligation on the driver is baseless. Additionally, the lack of clarity surrounding the terms of parking raises questions about the formation of a valid contractual agreement.

Given these points, I urge you to reassess the PCN's validity and conduct a thorough review. It's crucial that due process is followed and that any decision made is grounded in legal principles. Failure to address these concerns may result in further action being taken.

Please confirm receipt of this appeal and assure me it will be given proper consideration.

Sincerely,

andy_foster

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2024, 05:04:43 pm »
Gladstones Solicitors are run by the people who run the IPC. They know what's what and whet their members can seemingly get away with.

Most posters on here will tell you that an LBC absolutely must be responded to. I would say that that depends on the circumstances. If you have some defence that the PPC would not reasonably be expected to be aware of, and if the claim was otherwise meritorious, then arguably it would be unreasonable to waste everyone's time by letting them issue court proceedings before disclosing your defence. However, in this case, your defence is that their claim has no basis in law - something that a PPC whose sole business model is threatening to take people to court for breach of terms of parking, and their solicitors can be expected to know.

Whether there is any value in showing them that you are aware of the issue - in other words whether it will stop them issuing a claim regardless - is anyone's guess.
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DWMB2

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2024, 05:30:50 pm »
1. Ambiguous Signage: The parking signage is vague, offering no clear terms for non-commercial vehicle drivers.
I don't think it is vague. It's quite clear, and what it clearly doesn't do, is make an offer to those in non-commercial vehicles, aka yours.

leaving drivers unaware of their obligations
If there is no contract, there are no contractual obligations.

Most posters on here will tell you that an LBC absolutely must be responded to. [...] Whether there is any value in showing them that you are aware of the issue - in other words whether it will stop them issuing a claim regardless - is anyone's guess.
I largely agree with Andy on this. I tend to avoid telling people they absolutely must respond to LBC's unless the circumstances warrant it. I do however, as a general rule, take the stance that there are very few downsides to a well-written response to an LBC. At worst, they continue with their claim, which they would have done if you hadn't responded. At best, they realise you're well informed and decide it's not worth their time.

andy_foster

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2024, 08:22:33 pm »
I would suggest that if that is the only sign, then I would suggest that, using a standard lamp post for scale, that both it, and in particular the text, are too small to put the driver on notice of the restrictions before having had the opportunity to get out of the car and read it up close. Whilst this (and everything else) is irrelevant if no contract was formed, I would suggest that even if an offer had been communicated, the time that the OP has told us he was parked for would not have been long enough for such an offer to have been accepted by conduct.

Also, any particularly onerous terms in a consumer contract formed from a written offer have no effect unless they are prominently displayed.

N.B. Some judges, given the option, would feel more comfortable finding as fact that the signage was insufficiently conspicuous for acceptance to be deemed in that time, or that the onerous term (£100 for ANY breach) insufficiently prominent to have effect, than to say that all prohibitive signs that make no positive offer to the class of which D is a member are horsesh*t.
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b789

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2024, 10:34:20 pm »
Without seeing the back of the NtK, we can't be 100% sure, but having seen other NtKs from CPM, they fail to adhere to the requirements of PoFA. Whilst they claim to be able to hold the keeper liable, they have not strictly adhered to Schedule 4, paragraph 9(2)(e)(i) in that there is no invitation for the keeper to pay the charge.

I would advise not to reveal the identity of the driver. Whilst this is an IPC company, the only way this is going to be beaten is through a Plan D court claim.

I agree that responding to an LoC is not absolutely necessary, especially when dealing with these roboclaim solicitors. I would suggest that you only respond with a 30 day debt hold if you need more time to get your evidence together. Otherwise, there is no advantage wasting your time with Gladstone's.

Your defence to the claim, if/when it comes, will include no liability as the keeper and the signage which is terrible. There is no adequate notice of the charge for breaching the terms sit is in a tiny font and barely visible. (another breach of PoFA... 2(3)(b)(ii)) plus anything else that the other advise.


zunaster

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2024, 11:29:11 am »
Without seeing the back of the NtK, we can't be 100% sure, but having seen other NtKs from CPM, they fail to adhere to the requirements of PoFA. Whilst they claim to be able to hold the keeper liable, they have not strictly adhered to Schedule 4, paragraph 9(2)(e)(i) in that there is no invitation for the keeper to pay the charge.

I would advise not to reveal the identity of the driver. Whilst this is an IPC company, the only way this is going to be beaten is through a Plan D court claim.

I agree that responding to an LoC is not absolutely necessary, especially when dealing with these roboclaim solicitors. I would suggest that you only respond with a 30 day debt hold if you need more time to get your evidence together. Otherwise, there is no advantage wasting your time with Gladstone's.

Your defence to the claim, if/when it comes, will include no liability as the keeper and the signage which is terrible. There is no adequate notice of the charge for breaching the terms sit is in a tiny font and barely visible. (another breach of PoFA... 2(3)(b)(ii)) plus anything else that the other advise.



Attached is back of the NtK

The only communication I've forwarded to Gladstones was the response with a 30-day hold. However, I'm considering sending an email to Gladstones outlining the following reasons:

1. Non-compliance with the requirements of PoFA. There's a failure to strictly adhere to Schedule 4, paragraph 9(2)(e)(i) as there's no clear invitation for the keeper to pay the charge.
2. Inadequate signage, including:
   a) The only signage there has text size that is too small to adequately inform the driver of the restrictions without exiting the vehicle for a closer inspection. Thus, it wasn't conspicuous enough for acceptance to be assumed within that time frame.
   b) Onerous term of £100 for any breach was not sufficiently prominent to be enforced.
3. Duration of parking (less than 2 mins): The duration was not long enough for such an offer to be reasonably accepted through conduct.


Andy, b789, DWMB2, I'd appreciate your input on the aforementioned reasons. Rest assured, the identity of the driver will remain confidential.

Separate note: before discovering a message in my inbox inviting me to join this forum, I had already posted about this topic on pepipoo. However, I must admit, I felt somewhat neglected there: http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=153415
« Last Edit: April 05, 2024, 11:34:03 am by zunaster »

DWMB2

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2024, 11:47:54 am »
I would lead with the point around signage, as in my view it's a much stronger point than the PoFA one.

b789

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Re: LBC from Gladstones - PCM
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2024, 12:26:18 pm »
Personally, I would not bother responding until a claim is filed. In my experience, Gladstone’s are going to file a claim, no matter what you put to them. You are dealing with a roboclaim company with little to no human intervention and if there is, it is likely to be intellectually malnourished to the point of absurdity.

If/when a claim is filed, you will find the PoC woefully inadequate. It will be another defence point that you may be able to use the CEL v Chan appeal judgment as a preliminary matter to get the claim struck out before any hearing.

You’ve responded once to the LoC. Save your ammo for the defence.