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[Help] Another APCOA Parking Ticket Situation



tronnogull

Well-known member
May 17, 2010
580
There have been a few of these discussed here so I wondered if anyone would have any advice on this situation.

Mrs TG recently was away for a few days, starting her trip catching a train at Hassocks. I wasn't able to drop her off so she parked at Hassocks station. When I went to pick up her car later that day it had a parking ticket stuck to it. I checked with the Mrs who confirmed that she had paid for parking using the APCOA app and she sent me the APCOA email. And.......she had inadvertently paid for parking at Burgess Hill station and not Hassocks. The APCOA app itself geolocates where it is being used from and shows local areas. She had just clicked on the wrong location. Silly of course but probably not unusual for folks rushing to catch a train.

I appealed the ticket with a full explanation and today received their rejection of the appeal because ' she had paid for parking at the wrong location in breach of terms and conditions '. Technically that is correct of course but it seems rather harsh given that parking was actually paid for. This is a £100 fine, reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.....

Am I doomed to pay this fine and should simply do it quickly for the lower amount or, might there be hope with a further appeal ? Any sage advice or suggestions would be very welcome.
 






Cheggers

Active member
Jul 28, 2011
230
Bang! And the dirt is gone.
I don't have much to add, only to say I wish you the very best of luck. Appeal and keep on at them. I have had a similar problem a few times with Brighton and Hove City Council, who have been at best unhelpful, and at worse arrogant, rude, dismissive and obstructive. I had then used PayByPhone, but by phoning to pay for parking. It is better now with the app - although I have no idea what you would do if you don't use a mobile phone these days.
 


tronnogull

Well-known member
May 17, 2010
580
Appeal via POPLA ?

Yes, POPLA is the next part of the official APCOA process if you want to continue to appeal. But I have read online that folks are usually unsuccessful appealing with POPLA.
The Money saving expert ( MSE) forum has posts from folks who describe ways to fight parking tickets but it is pretty convoluted and seems to rely on waiting them out and not divulging who the driver was. Also, apparently some difference when on railway property. I'm wading through some of their stuff...
 


Springal

Well-known member
Feb 12, 2005
24,251
GOSBTS
Yes, POPLA is the next part of the official APCOA process if you want to continue to appeal. But I have read online that folks are usually unsuccessful appealing with POPLA.
The Money saving expert ( MSE) forum has posts from folks who describe ways to fight parking tickets but it is pretty convoluted and seems to rely on waiting them out and not divulging who the driver was. Also, apparently some difference when on railway property. I'm wading through some of their stuff...
If you’ve already admitted to APCOA that you chose the wrong station by mistake you might have reduced the amount of options you have to appeal using MSE methods.

I have been successful previously with Southern controlled car parks but using the MSE methods and ‘law’ around car park ownership
 




Billy the Fish

Technocrat
Oct 18, 2005
17,572
Haywards Heath
It might be too late to help you now but for any others:

On the APCOA website you can use a late pay function for most stations, it let's you pay 24hrs after you park. I've done it at haywards heath when I forgot to pay and found a ticket on the windscreen. It's not on the app and they don't advertise it very well.
 


Elbow750

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2020
482
I'm no expert but I think you are doomed to a fine, so I'd pay the £60 to prevent any escalation. But if you are up for a fight then I'd go for a small claims court judgement against them for the £60 as an unreasonable charge when you had paid for parking, albeit inadvertently at the wrong location. At the very least you should be awarded a return of the charge Mrs TG paid, and then damages of the remainder, upto the £60 fine, for them taking monies for services not rendered and refusing a refund.

I'd also talk to you MP, and of course write to the CEO and board members of the parking and Railway land ownership companies (if you can find them). There was stuff just before the election of Council Parking wardens giving a 10 minute grace period before issuing parking tickets, which fits the 'Natural Justice' principles, which the terms and conditions of the railway parking contractor do not. I wouldn't expect too much chance of winning in the small claims, not a response from the CEO's, but something needs to change and your MP might just be up for support. If everyone took these matters of fines where you have actually paid, but inadvertently breached the technicalities to an MP then they would see how fricken annoying and unfair it is, and do something to change the law.

Good luck and keep us up dated on what you do!.
 


sully

Dunscouting
Jul 7, 2003
7,891
Worthing
It's not a fine. It's an invoice. If nothing else, you can probably appeal against the magnitude of the charge considering you've actually paid to park the car and it can't be in both car parks at the same time.

The MSE folk are very helpful if you put your details in a thread on there and upload the notice you received (make sure you redact personal information).

There's also @Westdene Seagull and @LadySeagull on here who may offer some advice. Both have helped me in the past.
 




studio150

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2011
29,889
On the Border
I don't have much to add, only to say I wish you the very best of luck. Appeal and keep on at them. I have had a similar problem a few times with Brighton and Hove City Council, who have been at best unhelpful, and at worse arrogant, rude, dismissive and obstructive. I had then used PayByPhone, but by phoning to pay for parking. It is better now with the app - although I have no idea what you would do if you don't use a mobile phone these days.
You avoid Brighton and go elsewhere or use public transport.

I just don't understand why contactless payments can't be made when parking. I presume as soon as someone mentions an app, everyone just goes brilliant idea, even better if there is no signal, the app people get money, we get more money, it's a win.

Who needs to provide a good customer service, customers want apps.
 


tronnogull

Well-known member
May 17, 2010
580
I think I'm I'm in bad shape here. The POPLA website has some FAQs. One of them is regarding keying errors where the registration number is incorrect. POPLA say that if it is a 'minor' keying error of one digit then the fine should be waived but if it is ' major' where the whole reg number is wrong then the charge should be reduced by £20. It isn't clear if the £100 to £60 does it or if the £60 should become £40.

I have written to them to ask if getting the wrong location is minor, because it is just one click, or major because it is completely wrong. I'm not expecting a favorable response.......
 


Lindfield by the Pond

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2009
1,908
Lindfield (near the pond)




Publius Ovidius

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2003
46,382
at home
I have one I am appealing against.

had meet and greet parking at Heathrow t2 and followed the signs to the parking, and drove around and saw the Valet parking office which had the same colour signage as meet and greet ( same company) so wifey jumped out the car and they said we had come to the wrong place and needed to drive around again and follow the signs to short stay car park…which we did and parked. BUT we inadvertently drove through the drop off area and were snapped by the nazi parking company.

we got home to find a letter telling us we had used drop off ( we hadn’t) and as didn’t pay a fiver for the privilege of driving through, it was a £80 fine or £40 if paid in 14 days …we just got in this by 2 days

so I have appealed saying it was a genuine mistake and we’re trying to follow very vague instructions…must be hundreds of people caught by this!

we will see if I am successful.
 


Elbow750

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2020
482
I think I'm I'm in bad shape here. The POPLA website has some FAQs. One of them is regarding keying errors where the registration number is incorrect. POPLA say that if it is a 'minor' keying error of one digit then the fine should be waived but if it is ' major' where the whole reg number is wrong then the charge should be reduced by £20. It isn't clear if the £100 to £60 does it or if the £60 should become £40.

I have written to them to ask if getting the wrong location is minor, because it is just one click, or major because it is completely wrong. I'm not expecting a favorable response.......
The £100 to £60 should be for early settlement. Its a common ploy to make you think you're getting a discount, whereas they are really bullying you into paying because you fear the higher costif you delay. Any reduction for a minor error must be off the £60.
 


Since1982

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2006
1,544
Burgess Hill
In what sort of a world is this acceptable behaviour by the parking company. They have suffered no loss, it’s clearly a genuine mistake and sounds like it could happen to anyone. Everyone involved in this sort of sordid stitch up should be ashamed - parking company, regulator (is there one?), Network Rail. I despair of how businesses like this are able to scam honest people apparently with impunity.
 




Brightonfan1983

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2003
4,839
UK


Brightonfan1983

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2003
4,839
UK
Though having read the article, waiting it out didn't work for me. Jengers Mead, Billingshurst, and a ticket. I waited it out, ignored all correspondence. I can't remember how long it is before a ticket is null and void (it's a number of years), but I kid you not, less than a week before it was due to expire, I got a very real "you are due in court for a CCJ unless you pay the fine plus years of interest". Fair play to them, I had to hold my hands up!
 


trueblue

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2003
10,680
Hove
I have one I am appealing against.

had meet and greet parking at Heathrow t2 and followed the signs to the parking, and drove around and saw the Valet parking office which had the same colour signage as meet and greet ( same company) so wifey jumped out the car and they said we had come to the wrong place and needed to drive around again and follow the signs to short stay car park…which we did and parked. BUT we inadvertently drove through the drop off area and were snapped by the nazi parking company.

we got home to find a letter telling us we had used drop off ( we hadn’t) and as didn’t pay a fiver for the privilege of driving through, it was a £80 fine or £40 if paid in 14 days …we just got in this by 2 days

so I have appealed saying it was a genuine mistake and we’re trying to follow very vague instructions…must be hundreds of people caught by this!

we will see if I am successful.
For airport drop off charges, Money Saving Expert has some very clear guidance that suggests it’s pretty much impossible for the parking cowboys to make it stick as long as you don’t divulge who was driving. Four or five strong legal arguments against. Someone using our car (no idea who) recently dropped off at Gatwick and forgot to pay until 36 hours later so we’re expecting a £60 charge for a 1 minute stop… will be testing out the MSE approach!
 


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