Do you need help with a Parking Charge Notice from PCM UK Ltd? PCM UK Ltd are also known as Parking Control Management (UK) Ltd. They are currently members of the Independent Parking Committee having left the British Parking Association a little time ago.
PCM – contractual charge?
PCM have recently tried to make their parking charges an agreed sum rather a breach of contract. Take a look a this PCM parking sign. It says the following:
“This site is private land and is managed and operated by PCM (UK) Ltd. Parking is permitted for vehicles parked within the confines of a designated marked by; or, visiting vehicles parked fully within the ocnfines marked visitor (VP) bay and fully displaying a correct completed visitor scratch card, for up to 24 hours. By parking or remaining in the site otherwise and in accordance with the above you, the driver, are agreeing to the following contractual terms: You agree to pay consideration oin the form of a parking charge in the sum of $100 to be paid within 28 days of issue. This is reduced to $80 of paid within 14 days“.
What this is attempting to say is that if you fail to park according to the terms and conditions, then you agree to pay a contractual sum of $100. PCM (UK) Ltd are trying to say that they not claiming breach of contract (which is easy to beat on appeal). The problem that PCM have is that the parking sign itself is nonsensical – how can you agree to pay for something that is forbidden? If something is forbidden under the contract, and you do it, then it must be breach of contract.
In conjunction with this, we also need to take a look a PCM parking charge notice. It states that “photographic evidence relating to this breach can be viewed at ..”. By using the word “breach” it is clear they are claiming breach of contract (which is easy to beat). .
PCM (UK) Ltd – my story
Vickie Capper has Crohn’s Disease and was visiting Windsor Castle with family in November. She parked in the car park out side the castle which is managed by PCM (UK) Ltd. Whilst visting the castle, Ms Capper suffered an attack of abdominal pain, which the disease causes, which left her crumpled on the ground with her boyfriend rushing back to the car to get her morphine to ease the pain. When her boyfriend later returned to the car park to pick up the car to collect Ms Capper after the pain attack had subsided, a £60 parking fine had been issued by PCM (UK) Ltd for overstaying by a period of seven minutes.
Ms Capper appealed the parking charge notice but the appeal was rejected by PCM (UK) Ltd. Miss Capper said: “We didn’t decide to just take longer because we were having fun. We had a real emergency and were only seven minutes’ late. You would think that they would be more compassionate about this.” Crohns Disease is a bowel disease that causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss for which there is no cure. Miss Capper added: “It is a stress-related illness and the additional stress is not ideal.
At the time, Ms Capper wasn’t aware of the opporunity to appeal to the independent appeals services which provides much better success rates on appeals. Companies like PCM (UK) Ltd will always reject appeals, since each successful appeal costs the company money. Which is why the independent appeal body exists.
PCM (UK) Ltd – in the media
Councillors in Windsor recently voted to use ASBO’s following a barrage of complaints from tourists stung by large parking fines. The vote was unanimous. The vote allows the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to become the first local authority in Britain to use the ASBO’s to target clamping companies such as PCM (UK) Ltd. Since ASBO’s cannot be imposed on companies, the council is planning to impose them on individual staff members of PCM (UK) Ltd. The ASBO’s will ban the employee from clamping any vehicle within the town and if caught breaching their ASBO the employee will be found guilty of a criminal offence. Clamping companies such as PCM (UK) rake in almost £1billion a year from motorists parked on private land, often issuing fines of £500. It is estimated that One in every 17 drivers in the district has been hit by clampings. The motion in Windsor and Maidenhead was proposed by Tory councillor Phill Bicknell. Mr Bicknell said: ‘It has been claimed that some private clampers are ethical. But this is not our experience. They are all major money making rackets. These firms are making a fortune by clamping tourists with little or no real justification. Our reputation as a town and as a tourist destination is being damaged and we need to take corrective action. .
The effect of Clamping companies such as PCM on the tourist industry is marked. This trip adviser article titled “Great Place but take care of parking penalties” it warns fellow travellers about the pitfalls of visiting Windsor Castle and parking in the car park there managed by PCM. The entray says “The castle is absolutely worth visiting, but all visitors who arrive by car should be warned about the parking penalties”.