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Offline Ewan Hoosami

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  • Veni, Vidi, $chunti. I came, I saw, I assisted.
Always plenty of this stuff around,

'I paid a £4 parking fee by text and got a £350 fine'

Paying for parking by text is on the increase, but this driver was threatened by bailiffs when one message failed to get through

Natalie Bynorth was not informed that her payment had failed, but the local authority refused to budge and sent debt collectors

A motorist let down by a pay-by-text parking ticket system was hounded for more than £350 after her £4.10 payment failed to go through.
Natalie Bynorth, a nurse, was left terrified by threats from bailiffs whose huge charges sent her original £25 fine spiralling to £362.   :o
“As someone who has never been in debt, the idea of bailiffs coming to my home was terrifying,” she said. “The whole experience was exhausting and incredibly stressful. I did nothing wrong, but nobody wanted to listen to reason.”
Ms Bynorth, 39, always pays for parking outside the hospital where she works by text. If the payments fail, she gets a text message from service operator MI Permit telling her to try again.
But when her £4.10 payment failed to go through on October 10 last year, no error message arrived.

Ms Bynorth, who lives in Cheltenham with her sons, Samuel, seven, and Sebastian, five, said: “Normally a failure can come through in one of two ways.
“The delivery of my text will fail, or I will receive a message from MI Permit informing me of the failure.
“On that day I received nothing – as far as I was aware it had gone through fine.”
However, Gloucestershire County Council refused her appeal against the resulting fine because a “valid ticket was not showing”.
When she contacted the council again to find out her next steps, she was told the matter had been sent to the courts because she had failed to make a formal appeal.
“I never received the ‘notice to owner’ form necessary to make a formal appeal, but I was told that nothing could be done  <Pinnochio> ,” Ms Bynorth said.

“Then I was contacted by the council’s debt collection agency, Newlyn, which threatened me with bailiffs if I did not pay the fine.”
She finally agreed to pay £157 at a rate of £10 a week “to make them go away”.
“Newlyn never sent me a payment plan,” Ms Bynorth said. “But I started paying anyway, making three monthly payments in total.
“Then, one day, I came home to a hand-delivered letter from bailiffs who visited to demand £362 because I had somehow broken my non-existent payment plan.”
Newlyn argued that it was “working under the instructions of our client Gloucestershire County Council”, which has now cancelled the fine and promised Ms Bynorth a full refund of the £75 she has paid so far.
Jim Daniels, parking manager at the council, said: “As we now have photos showing the parking date, we are able to cancel the fine.” (As our unreasonable behaviour has been featured in the press………..)
Appealing to the council is like playing chess with a pigeon. You might be a chess grand master but the pigeon will always knock all the pieces over, shit on the board and then strut around triumphantly.

Offline Overlord

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 <Swearyangry> <Swearyangry> <Swearyangry> Councils that act in this supercilious way need to be sued for damages, maybe then they will climb down from their high horses.


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