27th April 2015
On December 9th 2014, Ian Thomson a pensioner from Perth, received a parking fine in an ASDA Supermarket car park that was managed by Smart Park. The PCN was issued for “parking in a disabled bay”. Mr Thomson complained to the store and explained that he was disabled and showed them his disabled parking permit. Asda staff agree to accept his appeal and cancel the fine. They even visited Mr Thomson at home on March 4 and told him they would cancel the charge.
However, Mr Thomson started receiving debt collection demands from Debt Recovery Plus Ltd on March 11th 2015 demanding payment of £120 and they threatened court proceedings is he didn’t pay. He ignored the letter from Debt Recovery Plus Ltd but then received a letter of demand from Zenith Collections on April 13, offering a discounted settlement offer of £80.
Mr Thomson said “This fiasco has caused me significant stress. They are harassing me. After ASDA cancelled the charge I thought that was it finished and then I started getting all these other letters through. I don’t know who these companies are. I thought this was going to go on forever until I gave in and paid up. I just wonder How many other people have received letters like this? I am a disabled war pensioner and I shouldn’t have to put up with this harassment.”
Mr Thomson said that ASAD have been pretty decent. ““Asda have been pretty decent. As soon as I wrote them a letter they came to my house to apologise and wrote to me saying the fine was cancelled”. “I intend raising an action for harassment against Smart Parking and to get an ASBO on them.”
A spokesman said that Mr Thomson had to register at the customer service desk if they think they are going to take longer to shop than the standard three hours available parking. Mr Thomson parked for over three hours, but he had didn’t registered his blue badge at the asda customer service desk, and so he received a parking charge notice.
What Mr Thomson didn’t realise is that Debt Recovery Plus Ltd and Zenith Collections are the one and same company. They use different trading names to try and fool consumers into thinking they are being chased by several different companies, when in fact, they are only being chased by one.