Private parking enforcement is always a contentious issue, and this recent news report certainly makes fascinating reading. Parking Eye are one of the bigger private parking companies, but in this case they have had a court victory which could cause them difficulties in future.
It seems to stem from a disagreement over how agggressively they were enforcing parking at a number of Somerfield stores, with Somerfield perhaps realising how unwise it can be to antagonise your paying customers. They attempted to terminate their contract with Parking Eye, who promptly took them to court for damages and lost earnings. They eventually won to the tune of £350,000 but there were a number of comments in the judgement that they might not be too happy with. For example, the ‘semi-literate’ letters sent to motorists were found to contain serious errors and falsehoods:
“The Judge not only found that the third letter contained falsehoods but that those falsehoods were deliberately made by the relevant ParkingEye executive, albeit without dishonesty. Hence the Judge found ParkingEye was guilty of the tort of deceit on those occasions when the third letter was sent on its behalf. ParkingEye does not challenge this decision.”
So while Parking Eye have scored a victory in terms of their contract being terminated, many other brands who use them may now be reading the judgement to ensure that their own contracts will hold up. It also gives motorists food for thought in terms of whether they choose to pay or even acknowledge a letter from Parking Eye in future.
The full judgement can be downloaded from a post on the Consumer Action Group Forums.