What are your rights when you’ve paid for parking but you still get a ticket?
Stephen Jones from Solihull contacted me this week about a parking ticket he has been disputing under circumstances that are sounding all too familiar, as lots of people have contacted me over the past six months about the same issue.
Parking ticket issues
Stephen was shocked to find a parking ticket on his windscreen at a private car park after paying for his bay – and he’s far from alone. So what can you do about it?
Stephen parked his car in the town within a ‘pay and display’ area. He didn’t have any change so he used the telephone payment service via his mobile phone, which was advertised on the side of the pay meter.
During the call, he gave the location he was parked at, his number plate and payment information and then went about his day. However, two hours later he returned to his car to find a parking ticket stuck to his windscreen. Naturally, Stephen telephoned the company to ask why he had received a ticket. He was told that the number plate he had given over the telephone did not match the number plate of his vehicle that had received the ticket. It transpired that he had got the last two letters the wrong way around.
Stephen appealed the ticket and was shocked when he was informed that the independent adjudicator had found against him, stating “the onus was on Mr Jones to ensure that the details he gave about his vehicle were correct”.
I’ve heard similar stories from other readers
Sally from Kent had forgotten to change her vehicle details on her telephone payment account, Graham from Oxford entered the wrong location code and Fran from Kettering accidentally paid for the following day. They all received a parking ticket.
So, should you have to pay a parking fine when you genuinely paid for a ticket but typed an error by mistake?
In my opinion no and here’s why:
- The land owner/council are not out of pocket as payment for the ticket was made;
- The obligation (under most terms and conditions of parking I have seen) is to pay a certain amount for a specified time – there is often no requirement to get all of the information correct when you pay remotely or a penalty for failing to do so.
If they want to impose a penalty in these circumstances the operator should make this clear on the side of the parking meter and on an automated message when you call to purchase your ticket. Hopefully, someone will take the fight to court sometime soon.
Dean Dunham – Sunday Mirror
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