Fury as Sheffield firm Excel Parking demands £170 from driver - amid confusion as to why
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Excel Parking sent increasingly threatening letters to Louise Povey after she parked at Berkeley Precinct on Ecclesall Road - but it was unclear what she had allegedly done wrong.
Louise thought it was for not paying and sent proof she had. But when the firm failed to respond - and sent a letter warning of court action - she turned to The Star.
We contacted Excel Parking, but after a few emails the firm stopped responding. So we contacted industry regulator the IPC and the DVLA, which holds the names and addresses parking firms depend on. The company then dropped its demands.
Louise, of Greenhill Main Road, Greenhill, said: “The letters are intimidating. It was horrible, I was at my wits’ end. This is not the way to go about it.”
Excel Parking later explained it had attempted to charge Louise for not paying quickly enough - although no timescale is stated on signs.
A representative said: “In order to park in excess of the free one-hour period the parking tariff has to be purchased on arrival and this is prominently stated, in red, on the terms and condition sign. A reasonable period is given for motorists to purchase the tariff and given that the Berkeley Centre is a relatively small car park, we consider that 10 minutes is more than sufficient. In Ms Povey's case, she took more than 50 per cent longer to complete the purchase. As we have already stated, the difficulties she allegedly experienced when purchasing the tariff were not brought to our attention by her either on the day (via our helpline number) or in her first appeal.”
Louise says she sent evidence to Excel - seen by The Star - that she attempted to pay by text within four minutes of arriving. After three tries to ‘verify her account’ over 16 minutes, payment of £1.30 went through. The firm insisted it responded to her appeal but it may have gone into her junk or spam mail and it only sends one email.
Excel also said it received 'very limited information' and if it had known about her difficulties with the verification process it would have cancelled the charge.