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Parking Eye Watchdog – What You Should Know 2022 Laws

parking-eye-watchdog

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

Have you seen the Watchdog Parking Eye scam? Did it leave you wondering whether a ticket you got was legit? Many motorists complain about Parking Charge Notices they get for a good reason. Moreover, it turns out that some private operators admit their latest technologies don’t always work!

I look at who Parking Eye is. How they operate private car parks for landowners and how they hand out and deal with Parking Charge Notices. Read on to find out more.

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

Who is Parking Eye?

Parking Eye is one of the largest operators in the UK that provides parking solutions for a range of businesses and private sectors. The operator uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology in many car parks they manage. Morrisons, The Range, and Aldi are just three of the operators’ customers.

Their income is a massive £25 million per annum from Parking Charge Notices alone!

But Parking Eye makes mistakes. Like charging one motorist for one 4½ stay in a service station car park. When in fact, the motorists came and went twice. Each time parking up for around 15 minutes and then leaving again.

What about the Parking Eye appeals process?

It seems Parking Eye’s appeals process is not so reliable either. Many appeals are rejected without good cause. Motorists have genuine reasons for challenging parking fines, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the operator.

You need to be stubborn, and you have to persevere when you challenge a fine issued by Parking Eye. Your case could last over a year, much like the motorist who was wrongly charged for a 4½ hour stay in a service station!

Evidence to support an appeal may not be enough!

Moreover, even when you have ample proof to support a claim, it may not be enough to win. There seems to be a disconnect between issuing Parking Charge Notices and the appeals team!

When you get a ticket from Parking Eye, I recommend you challenge it. Do NOT automatically pay the fine without establishing the following:

  • The parking fine was issued correctly
  • Parking Eye followed the Code of Practice and issued the ticket lawfully
  • The technology used was working perfectly and recording departures and arrivals accurately!

Automatic Number Plate Technology is flawed

The watchdog program investigated two cases where motorists were deemed to have overstayed in car parks. However, Parking Eye and POPLA, who had rejected the appeal, had to admit errors had been made

The errors were in the Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology that frequently mistakes the letter ‘o’ for the number ‘0’. Hence, arrivals and departures are not recorded correctly!

Adverse weather affects ANPR technology

The British Parking Association recognises that ANPR technology is not full proof. Even though it’s been around for around 15 years!

Weather conditions, dirty number plates and other things affect the technology. But as the BBC presenter pointed out, motorists should not have to prove they did not break the rules to get a Parking Charge Notice cancelled.

It should be down to the operator and the technology they use to get in right in the first place!

What happens when an appeal is rejected?

Parking Eye issues threatening letters and tells you they will take you to court and refer the debt to a collection agency. It is stressful when you get these letters, especially when the parking ticket is wrong!

The system, as it stands, puts the onus on the motorist to prove the ticket is wrong. Plus, once the operator rejects an appeal, they can start court proceedings. Unless you contact the independent appeals service POPLA.

It can take anything from 2 to 3 months for POPLA to review an appeal. This is months of stress over something you did not do! It does, however, stop any further action from being taken until POPLA comes to a decision.

POPLA can get it wrong too

As Watchdog and Which identified, POPLA can get it wrong too. Appeals are rejected when they should be upheld. Two cases were only upheld once Watchdog got involved. But what happens to the motorists who don’t have someone to fight in their corner?

New single Code of Practice in the pipeline

A new member’s bill is being presented to parliament recommending a single code of practice be implemented for both Parking Charge Notices and Penalty Charge Notices.

This is supposed to make it easier for motorists to appeal a fine. But the question remains: Why do motorists have to prove a Parking Charge Notice is incorrect?

Why can’t operators like Parking Eye use the data they collect to get it right? They have the information and the technology at their fingertips, not the motorist.

Parking Eye scam – what you should know

If you have wrongly issued a parking ticket, you have the right to appeal it. However, dealing with the Parking Eye appeal process can be a daunting experience in itself.

You must prove you are in the right if you want a Parking Charge Notice cancelled. And it is not just a question of providing enough proof. You need witnesses to support your side of the story to stand any chance of success.

It also helps when you have Watchdog on the case. According to the British Parking Association’s CEO, Parking Charge Notices are handed out according to the available information.

Question: So why do private parking companies get it so wrong?

Thanks for reading this post about the Watchdog Parking Eye scam and what you should know. My advice, always check a Parking Charge Notice because mistakes are made. Whether it’s human error or technological glitches!

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

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