Thursday, 29 September 2016

PARKING EYE  v.  BIGOT-JOHNSON  (2016)   Case No.5

This time Bigot was incandescent with rage having received yet another PCN from the biggest money grabbing company known to man and motorist. This was for a second visit to the hospital car park in which he believed he had no duty whatsoever to purchase a ticket , having already paid for an all day ticket. So confident the judge would side with him Bigot had organised a champagne celebration party for after the trial. However, even best laid plans go can sadly astray , as the following extract from the trial's transcript reveals.

Counsel for the plaintiff ( CP ) : Bigot .....is it true you entered the hospital car park at     11.05 am but failed to purchase a ticket  for your three hour stay ?
B-J : Yes.....but why the hell should I. The fact is a purchased an all day ticket at 9.30 am. However ,  my wife needed her lap top which I had forgotten to bring me. So I returned home to collect it and re-entered the car park at 11.05 only to go back to the same bay I used earlier. Naturally , I believed my original all day ticket was still in force.
CP : Sorry to inform you that wasn't the case. You terminated that contract the moment you exited the car park at 10.15am. Therefore when you re-entered the car park 50 minutes later a new ticket was required..........a ticket you negligently or foolishly failed to buy
B-J : Listen muppet head...... you name me another business which asks a customer to pay twice for the same product or service ?
CP : I can't but car park companies are different. They operate on a vastly different business model, overloaded with terms and and conditions , which are drafted by skilled lawyers to be grossly in their favour, to the detriment of innocent and gullible motorists. The legally binding rules built into their contract are..... I'm afraid to say......legally watertight and horribly onerous.....so welcome to the world of freedom of contract. 
B-J : This £70 fine was both uncalled for and unconscionable. If the company had any morality.... or conscience....... it should only issue a PCN when attempting to recover the exact amount which relates to actual loss of income incurred , or when a deterrent fine is deemed absolutely necessary. However, any money raised from this source  should automatically be donated to a worthy charity, such as MIND which has to deal with hundreds of stressed out motorists, completely paranoid about overlooking and breaking parking rules.
Judge : Dream on Bigot.....dream on

  


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

MAJOR ALERT : BIDDING SYSTEMS OUT OF CONTROL........... ( Article by Carp )

In the minds of many,  bidding systems have become the play toy of smart-arse players deviously designed to be convoluted , destructive and overly complex. How and why governing bodies have permitted the use of such systems are questions yet to be answered. Are they afraid of offending those you put forward claims that they are fair and legitimate , thoroughly deserving of a licence. 
What was once a system card on a 1-sided piece of paper now run to a 4-5 page booklet with umpteen supplementary notes. Moreover auctions are peppered with " alerts " ,the explanations of which are often long and confusing ......not to mention the time consuming in the process. So when one alert is followed by another , and yet more , the auction ultimately descends into a farce. Opponents are never any wiser , and in no real position to implement counter-bids of their own. So the smart-arse bidders have gained a very significant but unfair advantage. They know what's going on but no one else at the table does. 
When will this madness stop allowing level playing fields to return in order to restore the integrity of the game.
I often come up against ultra aggressive players who bid on tram-tickets solely with the aim to disrupt their opponents casting doubt and uncertainty in their minds. Pre-empts even on 5 card suits. Weak two ( 2-suited ) openers usually in a 5-12 hcp range,  1C bids which might be a few as one in that suit. Light openers and super light openers non-vulnerable or in 3rd position. Psyches , semi-psyches and off-centre bids. Stepped responses and loads of enquiry bids. And not forgetting weak or strong , either-or bids to join the wonderfully ambiguous multi-2-diamonds  Most of them to be alerted , to accompany dozens of announced bids. No wonder the game has become a big turn off for those who try it out for the first time.
Every one should go onto the Bridgeblogging site to read Paul Cronin's September 21st where he shows genuine concern over opening bids which don't even satisfy the rule of 16. So why don't we all abandon system cards , allowing everyone to benefit from having secret coded bids instead.  

Friday, 23 September 2016

PARKING EYE v. BIGOT-JOHNSON 2016 ( Case no. 4 )

Yet again Bigot was refusing to pay a PCN which claimed he failed to enter the correct  vehicle licence plate number into the ticket machine in order to make the ticket valid. despite using up only one hour of his paid 4 hour stay. The company was adamant he was in breach of this exciting new condition and therefore the fine had to be paid. Bigot of course refused , happy to take his chance in court.

Counsel for the plaintiff : Please tell the court why you refused to pay the £70 PCN ?
B-J : This demand was ridiculous since I paid for 4 hours parking of which I only used up one. Indeed , I feel I was owed a refund but asking for one which be like pissing against a gale force wind. Moreover that freed up parking space was no doubt sold again earning the company another 3 hours ticket income. So how can it be commercially justified to extort another £70 from a hard up motorist like me ?
CP : You broke the rules......you entered an incorrect licence plate number
B-J : An innocent mechanical mistake caused by someone behind me in the queue bumping into me at a critical moment
CP : No excuses please.....you made a mistake and that renders you liable for the fine
B-J : My research has uncovered that Parking eye makes a substantial profit on ticket revenue after taking into account all their costs , which include the administration of issuing and chasing up tens of thousands of PCNs, obtaining details of drivers' addresses from the DVLA , and money spent on legal costs and expensive lawyers
CP : Your point ?
B-J : This means that the income from the 90% of motorists who are forced to pay up has enabled the company to get very rich ,  using the law courts to exploit a very lucrative and vast profit centre to the full. 
CP : That's what good business is all about
B-J : So these fines are not there as a means by which car parks can be successfully managed , ensuring that over-stayers do not clog up the spaces which other car park users are hoping to find.
CP : Good lord no......that argument was used to fool the supreme court judges.....you see , most times of the day car parks have lots of spaces available.....and like you mentioned earlier many motorists leave their bays long before their tickets expire.
B-J : So these PCNs are all about obtaining money by threats and coercion
CP : Indeed , there are .....and remember my client will hound you forever until it gets your £70

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

PARKING EYE v. BIGOT-JOHNSON 2016 ( Case No. 3 )

With regards to his ongoing battle with the most infamous private parking company of all time , Bigot-Johnson deliberated extended his stay by 5 minutes only to receive as expected another £70 PCN demand. As usual he refused to pay willing to take his chance in court for a third time. 

Counsel for the plaintiff : I put it to you Bigot that you have breached Parking Eye's terms and conditions by not having a valid ticket at the time you left the hospital car park. 
B-J : I only over-stayed by 5 minutes
CP : A clear breach of contract
B-J : But the demand for £70 is unfair , unreasonable and unjust . The £70 charge amounts to an extortionate sum which should be by all accounts an unenforceable penalty
CP : Not according to our Supreme Court who in a ruling against Beavis said the such charges are commercially justified 
B-J : Well these law lords got in all wrong
CP :  Oh please enlighten this court as to why ?
B-J : I notice that the company has a variable pricing tariff , which requires motorists to pay more if they wish to park for longer periods
CP : That is true
B-J : But in the case of over-stays there is the same flat, fixed penalty charge to cover this type of breach of contract irrespective of whether the wrongful act is petty and insignificant , or serious and severe.
CP :  Can't argue with that....
B-J : So take motorist A who overstays by 7 minutes only to receive a PCN.......this amounts to a fine of £10 for each minute involved. Motorist B who overstays by 70 minutes incurs a fine equivalent to £1 per minute , whereas motorist C who oversays by 4 hours 40 minutes , the charge per minute is a mere 25 pence. 
CP : Yes ...your maths is correct
B-J : This means that motorist A  who is only guilty of a minor transgression is penalised and punished far more than motorist C who was blatantly and flagrantly in breach of contract ......relatively speaking. Whilst his car occupied the bay for over 4 hours , the company of course...... assuming the car park was busy..... would indeed have missed out on 4-5 hours of additional income ..........which isn't the case with motorist A. The losses caused by these breaches were significantly different and the penalty charges should reflect this fact.
CP : Why ?
B-J : For reasonableness , fairness and justice to apply, proportionality becomes an essential requirement. Therefore, fixed penalties are unjust for lack of proportionality and the supreme court judges failed to address this issue. Siding with businesses who have no soul , heart or moral conscience beggars belief. Consumers need to be protected.
Judge : Or perhaps motorists should get back to their cars in plenty of time before the expiry times printed on their tickets......or better still be prepared to purchase an extra hour or so to allow for any possible problems or delays which might adversely affect their ability to make a prompt return . Might I suggest they set warning alarms on their watches and mobiles
B-J : Do I take it your honour you hate motorists ?
Judge : With pure unadulterated venom


   



Monday, 19 September 2016

PARKING EYE v. BIGOT-JOHNSON 2016  ( CASE No.2 )

For a second time this infamous money grabbing company issued a £70 PCN against Bigot-Johnson who for a second time refused to pay. Determined to crush and punish those who defy their threatening demands for money,  the company hired yet another crack lawyer to take on a doggedly determined Bigot . The following extract from the trial's transcript appears below.

Counsel for the plaintiff :  You cannot deny Bigot that your car was parked at a time when you had no valid ticket 
B-J : What.....I recall the 2 hour ticket purchased allowed me to park up to 4.30 pm.....and I left the car park at exactly 4.13pm
CP : Correct....... but the ticket was purchased at 2.30......and our cameras registered your entry into the car park at 2.05 pm. So for those 25 minutes of parking you  had no valid ticket
B-J : What.......it took me 5 minutes to find a vacant bay......then another 20 minutes to read your umpteenth version of revised terms and conditions in order to fully understand the basis of what contract I was entering into
CP: The rules are strict......a ticket has to cover the time period for which your car is parked up in a bay....and yours didn't
B-J : Hold on......but every motorist has to park up first before making his/her way to the ticket machine, which automatically means there will be a few minutes of unpaid parking which cannot be avoided
CP : Correct .....but that's the way the cookie crumbles
B-J : So that means everyone can be targeted and fined for unpaid parking
CP :  Without a doubt.....in fact Parking Eye have discovered this marvellous way of stitching up every motorist who comes into their car parks , such is the extent of their unending greed and hell bent desire to maximise profits 
B-J : You mean profiting by means of deception and extortion
CP : That's one way of putting it......but the company regards these practices as being commercially justified in a corporate world where consumer exploitation is legitimate and rife

Thursday, 8 September 2016

BIGOT-JOHNSON FINALLY CALLS IT A DAY.........

Sadly , this blog has completed its journey because in essence it was a story , which like any other story comes to an inevitable conclusion.
The motivation behind this blog was to expose ignorance and injustice , and the harrowing tale of two parties locked in a bitter legal dispute wasting huge sums of money on legal fees without resolution. Such stupidity , such insanity.
The story kicked off with the flying bridge mate incident which triggered an all out witch hunt by the club committee to get rid of the pilot member,  who had over the years been involved in other skirmishes with club officials. The disciplinary process that took place breached every known rule of natural justice , which the committee vehemently denied. The fact the accused never had an initial hearing was never considered to be a major issue , let alone the presence of blatant bias which bordered on blinkered lynch mob mentality.
With the club committee spurning the offer of early mediation to right the wrongs of the internal appeal debacle , the rocky road of expensive litigation was soon embarked upon. Six years on,  but a few weeks before the scheduled trial each side was now out of pocket to the tune of £130,000 plus. Then , out of the blue , a reality eventually sunk in that the judge was almost certainly going rule that each party would have to pay their own costs irrespective of the outcome. This of course made the trial a pointless and futile exercise as the recovery of costs had ultimately taken over from the question " had there been a wrongful expulsion ". Why therefore waste any more money ?
However , what really galled me was that the committee members were never at risk of being made personal liable for the legal fees , having secured the backing of nearly all the members to fight the action using club money. Needless to say the these members were never given the full facts at any time about the dispute, or the financial implications of proceeding to court ,  having to vote on resolutions in ignorance of the committee's inexplicable errors of judgement.
When at last the plaintiff's hands down offer was accepted by the committee, the new chairman declared that a line needed to be drawn, and that this sad and sorry affair should be confined to the history books and left alone. Nobody was held to account and certain individuals who were ultimately responsible for wasting and squandering club funds on a lost cause were allowed to remain on committee , never prepared to acknowledge or apologise for their failings. 
As a blogger I wanted to tell this story if only to warn all other bridge clubs to avoid making the same mistakes this club did over a 6 year period. Hindsight may be a wonderful thing but foresight is so much better........and far less costly.