From: John Craig
Further to the debate on parking charges up and down the city, I too was caught in Skegness, in a car park to the tune of £100 for allegedly overstaying my welcome by a few minutes.
This is the procedure. They send you a bill for £100 (£60 if you pay immediately). These are not parking fines, they are invoices. Only the local authority or the police are authorised to issue parking fines.
If you do not pay you will receive a sequence of threatening letters, each one warning you of dire consequences, that you will lose your credit rating or baillifs will appear on your doorstep and confiscate your property.
With each letter the charge will escalate, sometimes to more than £200. You may also receive unsettling phone calls from a man professing to be a solicitor, acting on behalf of the company. He is not a registered solicitor, he is a debt collector.
On no account should you pay these inflated, unrealistic amounts of money, even though they threaten you with court action.
They will not take you to court, they can’t afford to. The only court action that was brought was thrown out by the judge, deeming the charges to be unreasonable.
A friend of mine in her late 70s is being harassed on an almost daily basis by phone calls demanding money. She parked in Broomhill and paid for three hours but left after two.
On leaving the car park there was no indication that she had transgressed in any way. Two weeks later she received her first demand for £100. She had not kept her parking voucher. Why should she after two weeks?
My advice is do not shop where these car parks exist.
Why should you pay for the privilege of buying goods before you enter the shop? There are many supermarkets where such questionable practices do not exist and parking is free.
In my case, I ignored the invoices and after two weeks they ceased to come. I haven’t heard from them since.
Be brave and ignore them.