They have been in the news a lot this week so I thought I would relate my story. Parked in a Northampton General Hospital car park for an appointment with the Social Club Manager. My Mrs has parked there on many previous occassions with no problems. Finished our meeting, had our parking card validated for reduced fee (40p instead of 2 quid) by the Manager and left to find the Attendant in the process of issueing a ticket. We protested but were told the only option now was to appeal as he had printed the ticket. This guy was not a Traffic Warden, he is an employee of County Parking Enforcement Agency Ltd
We wrote a letter of appeal but the response was tough luck pay up.
My Mrs posted a cheque 1st class four days before the 14 day limit, along with 2 business letters and a letter to my old Dad in West Wales. She did not send it recorded delivery because she has an over active Thyroid gland which means she is not driving and the walk to the Post Office would have finished her off, which was one of the reasons why we parked where we did in the first place!
We recieved a letter from County Parking on 21st June saying that we now owed 80 pounds as no payment had been recieved within the time limit. I know for a fact the other letters posted at the same time arrived next day so I tried to ring the parking company to object. The only available phone number for them is an automated payment line. Checked Companies House and found their registered office which turns out to be in the same business centre as my virtual office!
I turned up and rang their bell (no sign on their door surprise surprise) spoke to a woman, who once she knew why I was there was not happy. I insisted on walking inside the office although initially she did not want to let me in. I gave her our reference number, she looked it up on the computer and guess what? Payment HAD been recieved and the notice had been closed!
Now, perhaps it was the Post being delayed as the woman had said, or, perhaps it was a case of a private company, using a P.O Box number, threatening me with Debt Collectors and County Court if I didn't stump up double the original fine! I wonder............