Complaints about parking charges more than doubled in the last year according to the latest figures released by consumer advice website, Resolver.
The research found that 2,748 people complained to Resolver about their parking fines in the last financial year. This was an increase of 111 per cent on the previous year (1,300).
However the latest findings do not fully depict the scale of charges of council land as individual councils are responsible for these fines.
People don’t realise they have a right to complain
With 1,405 parking fine complaints made from April 2017 alone, Resolver expects this trend to continue.
James Walker, founder of Resolver says, “We’ve seen a huge increase in complaints about private parking fees over the last few years at Resolver.
“Yet the vast majority of people we speak to still tell us that they didn’t realise they had any right to make a complaint, felt intimidated into paying up, or were just so angry about their experience they didn’t want to deal with it.”
He adds, “So if you feel that you’ve not been treated fairly due to a parking charge, don’t give up – it’s not hard to make a complaint.”
In total Resolver has received 5,663 complaints about private parking companies since the service began in September 2014.
Resolver’s private parking tips
1. Don’t stick your head in the sand. Private parking companies will increase their charges if you don’t pay up. Act quickly and tell them to suspend charges while you formally complain.
2. Don’t pay up straight away. But do tell the firm you’re going to appeal. It’s often harder (but not impossible) to get your cash back after you’ve paid. But don’t assume the firm has no right to charge you. Deal with the situation head on.
3. Gather evidence. The pay and display sign forms part of your contact with the parking firm. If it’s unclear, hidden, overgrown, vandalized, etc, you can argue you were misled. Take photos, write down everything you can remember, get witnesses if need be.
4. Give the human touch. We’ve seen shocking cases, from midwives at hospitals being ticketed while helping expectant mothers to people rushed in to hospital being charged for not being back to their cars in time. Parking firms aren’t charities. But explain why you weren’t able to pay in time or return to the car.
5. Tell the landowner. Parking companies are working for the landowner. If their contractor is being overbearing or intimidating, they need to know about it.