Sunday, 18 March 2018


With so many private car parks operating AVPR systems there is no opportunity for the motorists to question , query, challenge or amend the terms and conditions imposed upon them. This form of automated contracting enables these mercenary companies the to exploit their unfettered bargaining power to the full. The severe bargaining inequality that currently exists has of course been relentlessly abused , so much so the whole situation has become increasingly inconscionable. Motorists have been screwed in their tens of thousand again and again.
In the USA these imposed agreements are known as Contracts of Adhesion. Motorists are stuck with them. They must accept their terms and conditions if they wish to park there. With street parking spaces not available as an option , motorists have no choice but to park in the one and only site available. In such circumstances the weaker party finds him /herself with Hobson's choice , which is having no choice at all. So how do the private parking companies go about abusing their extreme bargaining power to such unforgiving extremes ?
  • dressing up the PCNs to look like proper fines ( suggesting criminal liability )
  • never coming clean about the fact that a PCN is either a speculative invoice and/or claim for liquuidated damages 
  • parking charges are never about recovery of actual losses cause by alleged breaches; they are purely penal and punitive in nature designed to earn the these money grabbing companies vast profits
  • every dirty trick imaginable is repeatedly put into practice to snare and entrap unsuspecting motorists into making mistakes , by which breach of contract is then alleged 
  • PCNs are issued even though the alleged/technical breach causes no  actual loss whatsoever to the company
  • no matter how serious or petty the alleged breach is  , the same excessively high fixed sum parking charge is applied
  • in cases where a there is 5 minute overstay as opposed to a 5 hour overstay the parking charge does not reflect the fact that one motorist is far less guilty than the other
  • even when motorists are faced with the this take-it-or-leave-it choice , only to choose the latter , they will still receive a PCN having entered and left the car park without paying any tariff
  • parking companies know full well that the motorist hasn't the will or the financial muscle to challenge an illegal PCN in court , and so it is easy for them to bully the motorist into paying up 
  • even when County Court judgements go in favour of motorists these evil companies will still continue to issue the same kind of PCNs , knowing that these court decisions do not set binding precedents
  • no excuses or mitigating circumstances are accepted , even when the motorist has a genuine , honest and innocent reason for his/her transgression
  • cancellation of a PCN is an absolute no-no 
  • appeals can only be made to non-independant bodies , who are closely associated with or in cahoots with the private parking companies 
  • difficult questions and/or requests for further information by motorists contesting PCNs have and always will be be completely ignored

Indeed , despite all the worthy aims of consumer law and safe-guarded princilples of contract law , private parking companies ride roughshod over hard-pressed motorists. Corporate power in this despicable industry has crushed the opportunity for the individual to negotiate fairer terms. Why the law has not recognised the need for "unconscionability " to be a complete defence beggars belief. Certain terms should by rights be declared void in order to bring about a fairer balance of bargaining power. Motorists if asked whether their assent is willingly given , the answer would be a resounding " no". They are always hit by the unfair surprise of a £100 parking charge when the breach has caused no actual loss to the company. They are often astounded by the lack of notice , or the number of important terms which are deliberately misleading...... or which so often appear in small print.                Motorists should be entitled by law to enter privately managed car parks with reasonable expectations , but what should these be ? Well , firstly not to have the parking rules applied in the strictest way. There will always be circumstances which warrant a far more lenient approach , especially when the transgressions involve minor or innocent mistakes ,  made by motorists who are genuine and honest. When a person receives a £100 parking charge in circumstances which seem grossly unfair , it comes as a shock to one's conscience. It 's perceived as unjust.......and rightly so.
Moreover , it is totally wrong for motorists to have to wait for... and fight for..... justice in the courts. Private parking companies  should from the outset treat customers with goodwill, consideration and respect. But hey....that would be like asking the Devil Incarnate to adopt Christian and altruistic values. Fat bloody chance ! 

So welcome to the hellish and nightmarish world of private parking companies. 

No comments: