I was fined £60 while paying for parking by a “predatory” company

A PREDATORY parking company fined a driver £60 for leaving his car while paying for a ticket.

James Murphy got out of his vehicle for 11 minutes as he tried to find a spot near Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester – but was slapped with a penalty charge weeks later.

James Murphy has been fined £60 by a'predatory' parking company

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James Murphy has been fined £60 by a ‘predatory’ parking companyPhoto credit: MEN Media

The 37-year-old attempted to pull into the designated hospital parking lot to attend an important appointment to receive treatment for his Crohn’s disease.

But the parking lot was packed so he ended up in the neighboring Floats Road lot.

James, who had no cash, tried paying by phone, app and contactless but each time the payment was declined so he returned to the hospital and eventually found a place.

But James has since been fined £60 for the 11 minutes he spent on Floats Road trying to buy a ticket.

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He said MEN: “I’m amazed they think they can get away with it.”

James called the hospital to say he was going to be late and explained that he was having trouble parking.

But terrified that he would miss his appointment, James frantically called the number displayed on the side of the machines.

He said he gave them “all the details” which seemed fine, but then they said an error had occurred.

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After a second failed attempt, he then downloaded an app, only to have it crash too.

“I was just like, ‘oh I don’t have time for this, I’m going to go,’ so after about 11 minutes I left and turned the corner,” James said.

Vehicle Control Services, which operates the car park, has since claimed that the outcome “could have been different” if James had called their hotline.

But James, who visits the hospital about 10 times every three months, said he didn’t want to spend any longer on the phone for fear of missing his important appointment.

Luckily he made it on time, but weeks later he received a letter asking him to pay £60 for his short time in the car park.

And although he tried to challenge it with evidence, which he tried to pay for and then parked around the corner, James was told his appeal had failed.

He can continue to challenge the charges but if he is denied it would skyrocket up to £100.

“predatory behavior”

James said: “I think that’s predatory behavior and they expect me to just pay up, which isn’t going to happen.

“I will fight it in court if I have to fight it in court.

“I’m basically going to embarrass them because I think it’s absolutely disgraceful. It’s disgusting behavior, shocking.”

A Vehicle Control Services Ltd representative said: “The Floats Road Car Park in Wythenshawe is operated by cameras for automatic number plate recognition.

“Our on-site signs clearly state that once a vehicle has entered, there is a maximum of 10 minutes to purchase or pay for a valid ticket.”

“After reviewing Mr. Murphy’s Connect Cashless account, we were able to confirm that it was his bank that had declined the transaction, most likely due to the new 3D Secure transaction requirements (an additional security protocol) being implemented by banks at the time were introduced.

“Had Mr. Murphy called our hotline number when he had difficulties, as stated on our signs, the outcome could have been different.

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“It is not unreasonable that Mr Murphy would consider bringing cash, knowing he had a pre-scheduled appointment at a hospital and needed to use metered parking close by.

“This incident may serve to educate readers (motorists) on the importance of contacting an operator helpline if they are having trouble purchasing the parking rate.”

https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8714271/parking-fine-paying-predatory-company/ I was fined £60 while paying for parking by a “predatory” company

Fry Electronics Team

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