CROSSTALK SCAM CARPARK GUIDE

"Guide To Scam Carpark Management And How To Deal with It."

Not Aware: Many people have been unfairly charged quite extortionate amounts of money by one or more of a growing number of carpark management companies operating up and down the country. Most people that have been issued so-called 'parking charge notices' were not aware at the time of the situation they were in.

Simply Not True: The basis that the carpark companies operate on is that they persuade you to think that if you use the 'private' carpark you are entering into a contract with them and are therefore agreeing to be bound by their advertised terms and conditions. They will then try and convince you that they now have the right to charge you an excessive sum of money for any breach of such terms and conditions, such as overstaying an allotted time. However, this is simply not true.

Charged Fraudulently: You, like many people, may be completely unaware of any terms and conditions for a number of reasons. If you are not aware of the terms and conditions, you can hardly decide to be in agreement with them, and hardly agree to be bound by them. Therefore, if you have been charged, you have been charged fraudulently.

To Agree Or Not To Agree? Even if you are aware of the terms and conditions, you still may not be in agreement with them and may still not want to agree to be bound by them, especially when they want you to, rather unfairly, handover a considerable sum of money, the equivalent of a week's food shopping for some people. These companies are something we can all do without. They are greedy and only there for one reason. To screw the public who are simply trying to go about their business.

Threats And Intimidation: Many of the tactics used by these companies to catch people out are dubious and deceitful. Signage is cleverly placed, cleverly laid out and cleverly worded with a view to catching people out. Such companies also rely heavily on threats and intimidation, not dissimilar to the old extortion rackets, as they try and frighten people into paying with threats of escalation of costs and legal proceedings.

Pay Up, Or Else! Even though they try and give you the impression they are acting within the law, they do not necessarily have a legal or lawful leg to stand on. it all comes down to the fact that they are assuming you are agreeing and willing to be in a contract with them and assuming you are agreeing and willing to be bound by their terms and conditions. They also assume that they can persuade you to think that you have to pay up, or else!

A Blatant Lie: They will try and mislead you into thinking that as you have used the carpark you are automatically in a contract with them and that they can now legally charge you for any breach of their terms and conditions and threaten you with the law. This is a blatant lie, and simply not true for a number of reasons.

  • You can only be subject to, or charged for a breach of terms and conditions if you agree to them and agree to be bound them.
  • Unless you agree or have agreed to be in a contract with any such company, you cannot lawfully be charged by them under 'contract law'.
  • Using a carpark that is there to serve a public retail / service facility that has ungated access does not immediately constitute anyone's agreement to entering into a contract with any such company.
  • Using a carpark that is there to serve a public retail / service facility that has ungated access does not immediately constitute anyone's agreement to be bound by any such terms and conditions, advertised or otherwise.

Unless you agree to be in a contract with such a carpark company, agree to their advertised terms and conditions and agree to be bound by them, you cannot lawfully be charged under 'contract law' for a so-called breach of their advertised terms and conditions, although they will try and convince you otherwise!

You may not be aware of any terms and conditions, if you have not seen signage, regardless of how adequate they maintain it is. You may be visually challenged, not read English, be preoccupied or simply inattentive. If you are not aware of the terms and conditions, you can hardly know if you agree with them or agree to be bound by them.

It is also true to say that you may not agree with them even if you are aware of them and therefore neither can you agree to be bound by any contract relating to those terms and conditions.

Ask yourself, do you agree with the terms and conditions? For most people the answer to this is no! Such terms and conditions range from unreasonable right through to completely unacceptable, depending on where you go. For the most part, they are certainly not agreeable.

Just a few of the points that make such terms and conditions unacceptable and disagreeable.

  • Excessive high charges for overstaying. Something that can easily be caused by unforeseen events.
  • Not enough time allocated to fit purpose, such as in major shopping centres or motorway service areas.
  • In many instances there is no option of a fair and reasonable charge for additional time.
  • Non-return within two hours. No good if you have forgotten something or need to change a faulty item.

If you do not agree, or do not wish to agree, to their terms and conditions, should you still use the carpark?

In some instances, such as on motorways, there is limited choice. Either way, the carpark is there to serve the public retail / service facility and should be used for the purpose it was provided for. This facility should not be seen as a means and opportunity for unscrupulous companies to operate a modern-day extortion racket.

If you park in such a carpark on a non-contractual basis, that is you do not agree to enter into a contract with the company or do not agree to their terms and conditions, you are effectively parking illegally on private land. That's fine. Don't worry about it. You're in a carpark and that's what it's there for.

The lawful position of the landowner, or carpark management company acting on behalf of the landowner, when dealing with an illegally parked or camped vehicle on their land can be found on the Ask The Police website. It is not what the carpark management companies would have you believe and does not mean you have to give them money.


How To Deal With A Parking Charge Notice

Parking illegally on private land is an issue that comes up when the travellers come to town. The land owner will have to apply to the courts to get a court order to have the travellers and vehicles moved on, or evicted from the site. Travellers do not enter into any contract with the landowner and they do not agree to be bound by any terms and conditions. If you get caught out by one on these companies, think traveller!

If you want to respond to a parking charge notice, send them a Crosstalk Notice Of Non-Contract to make it clear to them that you are not in a contract with them, not entering into a contract with them in agreement with them, not in agreement with their terms and conditions and not agreeing to be bound by their terms and conditions.