Trading Standards brokers agreement between parking firm and customers

Posted on: 8 November 2016

Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service (DSTSS) has successfully negotiated an agreement between a carpark firm and the recipients of Parking Charge Notices (PCNs).

DSTSS had received complaints from users of Keaton Road carpark in Ivybridge, managed by Premier Parking Solutions Ltd (PPS).

Customers had received Parking Charge Notices for displaying parking tickets which were in breach of the carpark’s terms and conditions because they displayed an incorrect vehicle registration number.

As part of the agreement, genuine customer errors will result in an offer from PPS to pay a much lower administration charge or if they have already paid the PCN, reimbursement minus an administration charge.

This reflects the company’s view that there had been a clear breach of their terms and conditions of parking and will only apply to those complainants who had logged previously their complaint with Trading Standards

In addition the company has adjusted their ticket machines, signs and ticketing procedures to help minimise any future errors.

The changes will make the carpark machine easier to use, make it clearer when terms and conditions are breached and clarify what to do if there is a problem.

Councillor Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with Cllr Roger CroadResponsibility for Trading Standards and the local member for Ivybridge,  said:

“The company’s approach during this process has been constructive.  Trading Standards and PPS agree that these matters involve some national issues, including some complex case law, that is not relevant just to PPS and we will continue to explore changes at a national level.

“The company have agreed that in the case of those complaints listed by Trading Standards, where genuine customer errors have led to a breach of the terms and conditions, an offer will be made where-by the recipient of the charge can pay a reduced fee in lieu of full payment of the parking charge notice.

“Likewise if a customer in the same circumstances has already paid the PCN then that customer would be reimbursed minus an administration charge.

“The company have informed us that they will now communicate those offers to the relevant complainants.

“In the future, the same principles will continue to be applied to Ivybridge and any other car parks managed by PPS with the same operating procedures.”

The acceptance of any offer made by the company is optional on the consumer’s part, and does not affect the individuals right  to contest a parking charge in the civil courts should they choose to do so.

Councillor Croad added: “We believe that the company has made a reasonable offer and made improvements designed to help avoid this sort of incident in the future. I am very pleased that those consumers who contacted me at the time and whose parking charge was clearly the result of genuine error will now have an alternative to civil court action.”

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