Author Topic: VCS Bristol Airport - Missed failed appeal email - £170 demand for payment  (Read 413 times)

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paulswhitt

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Hi,

Hope you can help as the registered keeper is being asked to pay £170 to Vehicle Solutions Limited following a 46) Stopping in a zone where stopping is not permitted.

The driver of the vehicle in question was dropping a passenger off at Bristol airport Hilton hotel on 26/10/23.

Having noticed a barrier to enter the car park, the driver turned around, spent 1 minute researching where to drop the passenger, then waited for people in the road to clear (which can be seen on the photo) and then pulled away. The car was captured on CCTV.

The registered keeper received a CN, NTK from Vehicle Control Services Ltd on 17/11/23

The registered keeper appealed the notice on 17/11/2023 on 2 accounts. (There is no copy of the exact wording of the appeal submitted as it was entered into the myparkingcharge.co.uk portal.)

1) The driver was not the registered keeper
2) the CN was received outside of the notice period

On 9/01/24 the registered keeper received a demand for payment letter

The keeper did not receive a response to the appeal and responded to the demand for payment with an email on 08/01/2024

The registered keeper received a response claiming that the response was sent and attaching the response (rejection) to the appeal dated 22/11/23.

All communications are here https://imgur.com/a/PyoXnjL
« Last Edit: January 10, 2024, 10:52:15 am by paulswhitt »

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The Rookie

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!/ This is an airport, as there are Byelaws in place the Keeper has no liability, only the unknown to them driver.
2/ As the keeper can state truthfully they were not the driver, that is very useful.
3/ The appeal time limit is wholly a construct of the industry, anyone can challenge an invoice as not being owed at any time (and certainly should, it's the 'reasonable' thing to do.
4/ Their appeal replies conveniently (for them, not for you) usually go into Spam folders and get auto deleted.  Almost like they do it by design.
5/ The addition of debt collection charges is an unjustified, and wholly ignorable, construct and never backed by courts (if it gets there).

I can't see the attachments (possibly due to my co. firewall) so can't add further.
There are motorists who have been scammed and those who are yet to be scammed!

DWMB2

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Quote
I can't see the attachments (possibly due to my co. firewall)
Nor can I.

There are some tips on uploading images in the 'read this first' thread at the top of the private parking forum. If you're struggling PM me.

paulswhitt

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Thanks both, I have re-uploaded, let me know if you can see the files now?

I have also attached an additional image that shows people in the road when the photo was taken
« Last Edit: January 10, 2024, 09:51:24 am by paulswhitt »

DWMB2

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Only one image is showing.

There is some upload space on this site but it's quite limited, so it's best to upload to a picture hosting site (such as https://imgur.com or similar) and post links
Note: you can use the "add image" icon to embed images in your post:

Please set an image width around 1500, anything more than that and it won't fit on the page.

paulswhitt

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Thanks again for your help and patience, here's the Imgur link

https://imgur.com/a/PyoXnjL


paulswhitt

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Hey guys, any advice on what my best course of action is? Is it a lost cause and I'm better off paying the fine?

H C Andersen

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You have told us you were not the driver.

We have told you that as keeper you do not have any liability neither are you under duty to inform the claimant of the driver's details.

Based on this, where do you put your faith and therefore your money?

If you believe they have the force of law behind them and that you as the keeper have liability and no defence then paying would be the smart move.

Otherwise don't.

It's always polite to respond the letters so I would.

Dear Sir,
Charge Notice (Notice to Keeper)No. ****** Dated 6 November 2023

I refer to the above and your Demand for Payment dated 3 January 2024. In your charge notice, you stated that the driver was liable for the charge. As I have informed you that I wasn't the driver, I do not see any value in debating with you the validity or otherwise of your assertion.  Your subsequent demand refers to 'your' account and liability and therefore I must assume that you are relying upon the following sentence in your Charge Notice:

'..we may pursue you (the keeper) on the assumption that you were the driver for any unpaid balance of the charge.'

I cannot comment on your assumption, indeed if you were an individual you would be free to hold this view. However, some might think this irresponsible and reprehensible for an Approved Operator acting with the authority of an Accredited Trade Association. I would simply observe that there is no legal basis for such an assumption and certainly no presumption.

We clearly have different views and I see no purpose in continuing to rehearse these with extended exchanges, I should therefore be grateful if you would 'commence legal proceedings' as soon as you are able so that the courts might determine whether you have a valid claim against me.

Yours...

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DWMB2

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As I have informed you that I wasn't the driver...
It's not clear that he has at this stage, as he does not have a copy of the initial appeal, which was made as keeper, but we don't know whether it made clear he was not the driver.

Either way, I agree that a letter along those lines, making clear you're not the driver, and that as such you have no liability, and it would be unreasonable for them to pursue you on the assumption that you were the driver, as you have confirmed to them that you are not.

paulswhitt

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Thanks both, I really appreciate your help. I was very careful in my appeal to declare I was not the driver. I will therefore use this letter template and continue the process. I'll keep you updated.
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Nosy Parker

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And remember - this isn't a "fine".  It's a demand for money that the keeper does not owe

paulswhitt

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Hi,

A quick update,

I received a final demand letter this morning 26/01/24. The letter was "posted" on 18/01/24 with a 7 day deadline to pay. I continue to be amazed how long it takes this company to get a letter to me from the apparent "posted" date. I couldn't have met this deadline even if I wanted to.

In this letter county court proceedings have been threatened.

Apparently, they will be seeking outstanding balance + court fees, solicitors fees and statutory interest.

Any idea how much could this end up costing?

Thanks again for your help

b789

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How long have they given you in this "letter" to pay? Is it 14 days or 30 days. Does the letter include the necessary forms (which you never fill in) as required under the Pre Action Protocols (PAP) for debt claims?

Why not post the letter with your personal details redacted and we can give you an opinion.

Have you had a response to the email you were advised to send to VCS by @H C Andersen?

Only low hanging fruit on the gullible tree pay VCS for a scam claim such as this. You need to fully get this into your head that no matter what VCS put in their NtK, they cannot hold the keeper liable for their allegation. They can only hold the driver liable. They have no idea who the driver is. Even if they had a high resolution image of the driver they still would not know who it is. There is no magical database with which they can compare images to in order to identify the driver. They are not allowed to use images for forensic purposes. They are not the police or any form of authority. They are a bunch of ex-clampers operating an unregulated private parking company, issuing speculative invoices for alleged breaches of contract under civil, not criminal law.

In other words, they are scammers operating on the principle that the majority of their victims are too ignorant of the law to figure out what to do and are likely to just pay up.

Should this proceed as far as a claim, you would win this in court. They know this but live in the hope that you will capitulate under the pressure of the threats about CCJs and bailiffs that they throw at you.

Whatever that letter says, you would never pay as much as that if it went to court and you lost. For a single PCN in the small claims track it would be in the region of £185-£200. Even if you were so unlucky as to lose the claim, you would never have a CCJ on your record if it was fully paid within 30 days of judgment. They are using the general publics lack of education on civil law to scare them into paying up with idle threats of CCJs etc. You are dealing with ex-clamper thugs trying to scam you.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2024, 03:48:53 pm by b789 »

paulswhitt

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Hi,

There are no forms, just the letter.

Here is the letter I sent to them further to H C Andersen's helpful advice:

https://imgur.com/a/VtbuxXc

This is the email I received back that does not address the point I made in the letter...

"You appealed on 17/11/23, and we replied on 22/11/23 rejecting your appeal, using the email address you used in your original appeal

A copy is attached below

In the auto-response we sent, you were advised to add us as a contact so our emails did not go to spam or are rejected

Our reply to your appeal advised we would accept £60 by 6/12/2023 or £100 by 20/12/23

It also stated “Failure to pay this charge within the stated times may result in Debt Recovery Action being taken and further costs up to an additional £70 being incurred

As neither payment was received we have continued with our action, and the charge now being £170

We have followed our processes correctly, and we are satisfied the charge was issued correctly, and so will not look to reduce or cancel it at this time."




Here is a link to the Final Demand letter I received from VCS

https://imgur.com/a/uqnTm43


They gave me 7 days to pay.. I received the letter on the 8th day..

Thanks again


b789

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Ignore the date you received any letter. A letter is "deemed" to have been delivered two working days after it is sent first class. You should keep any envelope that has a postmark on it. If they use a bulk delivery company with no postmark, unless they have a "proof of posting" certificate (free from any post office), then it is difficult to prove unless you can get a statement from your postman that they did indeed deliver it on any specific date.

It is not unknown for these scammers to claim they posted something but didn't actually do so and it is a failing that nothing has been enacted to force them to use proof of posting for correspondence that relies on dates for legal challenges. That is why email is a much better systems you have tracking date in the headers.

For example, you state above that VCS claim that they emailed you back on 22/11/2023. Are you claiming that you did not receive that email? If so, demand that they provide you with a copy of that email including all headers.

The letter you refer to that you received (Final demand) is nothing but more paper for lining the poop tray of a hamster. You should ignore anything other than a Letter of Claim from VCS or their solicitors or an actual claim form from the CNBC. If you need to familiarise yourself with what an actual letter of claim must include, please have a read of paragraph 3 of the PAP for debt claims that they must abide by:

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/debt-pap.pdf

If the letter doesn't include what it says in the PAP then it isn't a letter of claim and can be ignored.

You are at the stage where you must wait and see if they actually do issue an LoC or an actual claim. There is nothing you can do until then. Do not under any circumstances respond to any debt collector letters. Only a judge can decide whether you owe a debt to the scammers at VCS and according to the law (PoFA) you do not because you cannot be held liable as the keeper.