Taking Wheel Clamping Company to Court

My vehicle was clamped (by London Clamping Company (PO BOX 883, CR2 8YT) whilst parked at Walkers Place in Putney SW London on 20/01/2011 and I had already paid the clamping charge of £135.00 + card surcharge of  £5.00 under protest to have my car released. I believe the clamp was illegal and the fine is disproportionate, hence I am seeking information and possible assistance about the possibility of taking the wheel clamping company to court.

I have hard hard time to find out information about legal requirements and obligations of wheel clampers operating on private land. I once read somehwhere that this was supposed to get outlawed but could not find exact information whether this has now been implemented.

I wrote the below representations letter to the clamping company:

So far i understand that according to the Unfair Consumer Contract Regulations, parking fines on private land must not exceed the damages to the landowner during the period the motorist is parked there. In my case, the £140 charge I had to pay far exceeds the cost to the landowner of the car park considering that the car park in question was empty at the time when I parked there and as such my vehicle was not an obstruction hence clamp and removal would have been disproportionate. Furthermore, it did not inconvenience anyone either as the space around was empty from vehicles. The alleged contravention took place outside office hours at 7:49PM during a quick 10 minutes shopping trip to opposite Waitrose supermarket, and as such no loss of earning or amenity could be incurred.

The Business Names Act of 1985 provides that a receipt must include an address where documents may be served. The receipt served states a P.O Box, therefore not a legally permissible address.

I would also like to confirm the relationship of London Clamping Company to the owner of the land.

As I have been parking at that particular place many times before and never been issued PCN or been clamped, I completely believed it was permitted for me to be parking there.

On 25/01/2011 I received reply from Ms. T Green (Parking Enforcement Officer) with London Clamping Company highlighting:

-they will not be able to offer a refund

-they signed a contract with the landowners to provide services to their site.

-they are not limited company, the owner is a sole proprietor so they are not required to be registered at companies house. The PO Box provided is for staff safety issues

-they do not feel the release fee is dissproportionate and the length of time my vehicle parked there is irrelevant.

I am thinking of following defence points:

-no signs at the entrance to the private land; no gates; no warnings

-within the land: 3x signs put up by London Clamping Company not permanently attached to the wall or any other fixture but appear like if someone has just put them up there temporarily. Can be picked up and moved around.( I only found out this after close inspection of the site after my vehicle clamped)

-when the incident occured in evening hours: space poorly lit; unable to make out the signs in the distance even with very healthy eye-sight.The size of the signs, disproportionate against the size of the land

-other private vehicles parking on the land; create confussion over whether parking allowed or not.

-taking detailed measurements of the area and photographs to document the fact that innocent drivers are lured and fall victim to these companies. (why not put up gate? why not put up signs at the entrance? etc...) the landowners together with London Clamping Company benefit each other from this sitution, hence nobody willing to hurry up to notify drivers about wheel clamping 'mafia' operating in the area.

- finally, area not secured at all, hence can not be trespassing?

(I AM LOOKING FOR SOMEONE FOR ADVICE IN THIS INSTANCE AND POSSIBLY TO INSTRUCT A FIRM OR SOLICITOR TO TAKE THE MATTER ON MY BEHALF TO COURT. IF CASE WON I WOULD LIKE THE CLAMPING COMPANY TO PAY THE COURT COSTS, SOLICITOR COSTS, REFUND ME GBP140.00 + GBP5000.00 FOR WASTE OF MY TIME AND STRESS I EXPERIENCED HAVING TO DEAL WITH THIS MATTER.

MY EMAIL: MARIONMASAR@HUSHMAIL.COM

 

I can understand your

I can understand your frustration at this situation and do feel that not only might you feel morally agrieved but there would be a good claim against the Clamping Company.

You are most unlikely however to find yourself compensated for the stress of what you have been through so your claim would be limited to a court fee together with the cost so far paid to the Clamping company. The relatively small amount means that your case falls within the small claims limit of £5000 so you would have top pay your own legal fees and the Clamping Company will not have to pay your legal bill even if you win.

The strongest point that you make is that over the visibility of the signs which must be visible from all parking spots at all times to enable to Company to claim their fee.

There is a very good and practical page at www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/private-parking-tickets#dispute  which will point you in the right direction. The issue for you however is likely to boil down to how much time and effort you wish to put in to reclaiming the money as you are unlikely to find a solicitor who will deal with the matter without being paid.

 

Richard Paremain

Profile: Personal injury specialist solicitor with Sarginsons Law LLP. I have more than 20 years experience involving both minor injury and cases with injury of the utmost severity. This has ranged from the Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster to a pavement trip for a Mrs Gready.I have a special interest in compensation for the Victims of Crime through the Criminal Injuries scheme. 02476521081 rparemain@s-law.co.uk

representing myself???

Many thanks for your reply, in spite of feeling even more powerless now.

I could perhaps attempt to represent myself in small claims court to keep my costs down.

How much would I be looking for the court application + would there be any other fees to begin the claim?

Many thanks for the tips.

Victory against Wheel Clamping Company

I am pleased to announce that after taking wheel clamping company to county court I received refund cheque for GBP140.00 last week to settle the claim.

Well done Marionsan! 

Well done Marionsan! 

Profile: Independent (self-employed) legal professional: 25+ year work history incl. 10 years in child protection - seven years legal experience in non-molestation/occupation orders; housing law (tenant/landlord); mortgages; possession hearings and family proceedings. Advice is provided for the purpose of answering the questions posed, based on the information given.

I hope the forum was of help

I hope the forum was of help to you.

Profile: I joined Sarginsons from university as an articled clerk in 1970. I am now the managing partner and have wide experience in all aspects of the law normally dealt with in private practice. I believe that a modern high street practice must adapt to the hefty demands of clients and deliver it's services according to the clients wishes.

Hi Marion, That is great

Hi Marion,

That is great news, it shows that the courts can and do make the right decisions.

 

 

I am a Legal Advisor employed by Sarginsons Law and specialise in Civil Litigation matters. I deal with disputes between individuals and businesses including Landlord and Tenant issues, debt recovery and property disputes.

Telephone 02476553181

Profile: I specialise in the following areas: All types of civil litigation / dispute resolution including - Wills and Estate Disputes (Challenging Wills, Claims under the Inheritance Act), Property Disputes, Commerical Disputes, Debt Recovery, Residential Landlord and Tenant Disputes (including issuing Housing Act Notices (Section 21 and Section 8) and recovering property for Landlords) Website: www.sarginsonslaw.co.uk Firm: Sarginsons Law LLP

Hi and congratulations! I

Hi and congratulations! I also took them to court today and got judgment for £817! Trespass of my vehicle basically combined with extortion, payment of sums of money with no contract made in protest and under duress (there were no signs clear enough to be considered a tacit contract) with a claim for restitution for the clamp fee plus my time spent preparing and researching (I did them for my time at 9.75 per hour under the Litigant in Persons Act) plus interest. I also forced them to reveal their address. What address did you use for service incidentally? As sole traders (they are not a limited company) that Business Names Act does not apply. However, in conformity with the legal requirements of the Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction Parts 10.4 & 10.5, a defendant is required to supply a residential or business address for the personal service by hand of legal documents. A PO Box is deemed insufficient by the Courts for this purpose as you cannot ultimately take enforcement action against a PO Box :) They tried to give me their accountants address in West Wickham. I told them that still wasnt sufficient as it was not their regular business or home address of their proprietor TONY ADAMS. So I got their actual T/A address in Biggin Hill. The relevant excerpt of the CPR Practice Direction below are :-  10.4
Where the defendant is an individual, and the claim form does not contain an address at which he resides or carries on business, or contains an incorrect address, the defendant must provide such an address in the defence.
 10.5
Where the defendant’s address for service is not where he resides or carries on business, he must still provide the address required by paragraph 10.4.
 The worse case scenario is that they dont comply which can academically stall things, however what you then could do is apply by entering their PO Box number on the Claim Form and then when they receive their acknowledgement form, they are required to enter their proper address on that. At the Hearing, if they have still entered their PO Box address, you can then request for an Order by the Judge to get the Defendant to submit their proper residential or business address so that the Final Order has the right address for enforcement (bailiff) action if they then were to ignore the court order. I then did them for interest too at 8% per annum under the
County Courts Act 1984. I hope the attached helps, I just wish I had spotted this earlier as I could have got you a similar sum! Dom

PS I tried emailing you but it didnt work?

wish I knew earlier

woow...that's awesome. Everyday I am passing by this place in Putney and see one or two vehicles clamped there. It's their goldmine. I am guessing they are making GBP1000 - 2000 a day from clamping fines.

btw...I just received additional cheque for GBP25.00 from them for my Court costs.

Originally, I was going to sue them for GBP5000 - 8000.00 but did not know how to go about it from legal point of view. But the stress they caused me and wasted time in research was definitely around that figure.

 

A recent victim

Perhaps you could give me some assistance here seeing as you've clearly already been through the mill with these clamping types.

 

I hade a very similar experience to Marionsan on monday evening when returning from work at 2050 I parked in an empty car park (the same carpark opposite waitrose in Putney) and ran across to Marksand Spencers.  5 minutes later I returned to find my car clamped.  A group of about 10 kids (who were playing football in the empty car park) came over to tell me that the clamper had just left. 

I rang up and inevitably paid the £140 to have the clamp released by the clamper who told me that he was waiting in the carpark when I arrived (yet made no effort to advise me that he was there and that I couldn't park there). He tells me he waited about 4 mins which would make sense before applying the clamp.

I am interested that a couple of you had a very similar experience with some success at taking legal action- I'm no lawyer.

There are signs inthe car park but they are not clear and I would echo whoat marionsan said regarding no gates, no signs on the entry and the relevance of the fine to the crime.  After all it was 100% empty and past 8.30pm.

All advice would be kindly received as I feel these punters are vulnerabe.

Regards

Toby Dean

TCD

Profile: I am a NHS doctor

Advice please

Hi all,

I would appreciate it you could give me an idea of where to start from. I am quite confident from what I have read here that I also have a case against a private clamping company, but don't know how to organsise claiming compensation.

They clamped our car at 21:00 and towed it away around 23:00 and we only found out they had it the afternoon of the following day!
They could not be contacted and not the police or the city council knew of their existence!
We ended up being up all night and going to the police and I also missed the next day at work.

These people must be stopped, please give me any advice.

Profile: medical specialist

can we have some advice please.....

Hello,

Our car has been clamped yesterday by a company called Whites Car Solutions Ltd in Southampton. My boyfriend got there just when they were taking the pictures of the car. He parked the car, we admit, in a private area, but in such way that it didn't bothered any other car, it was actually between 2 poles, where there was no parking space.

The thing is, the guy at the clamping company asked him for gbp 190 for the release of the car. My boyfriend told him that he hasn't got the money with him, but that he can call me and get the money in about half an hour. At first the guy didn't accept, he only gave him 15 mins to get the money, being impossible for me to get there that fast. Meanwhile, my boyfriend called a friend, who had previous experience with clamping companies, and he started arguing with them, but with no result; the guy from the clamping company said that because my boyfriend's buddy started arguing, we will now have to pay gbp 490; he refused to wait for 5 more minutes in order for me to come with the previous sum. After all, it was not my boyfriend (who wanted to pay the initial sum) who argued with them.

We called the police, but I'm not sure why, the police told us that they cannot get involved.

I got there with the money, and the guy from the clamping company refused completely to take any sum from us and he called the truck in order to tow away the car.

 

They took the car, and after this we called the clamping company, and a guy there told us that now we have to pay gbp 690 just because "these are the rules".

 

We wanted to go and take the car on Monday, but Monday is a Bank Holiday, so now we have to pay extra for the car being stored there. Is this possible? can we fight against them? I mean, yesterday, when everything happened, it was a Public Holiday, being the Royal Wedding Day. If they won't allow us to come and the car in a Bank Holiday, why would they take it on a Public holiday day?

We don't really know what to do now. Can you please help us somehow? I'm not sure if there are any rules for this, but shouldn't they have allowed us a certain period of time to pay the inital sum?

Thank you!

Diana

can we have some advice please.....

Hello,

Our car has been clamped yesterday by a company called Whites Car Solutions Ltd in Southampton. My boyfriend got there just when they were taking the pictures of the car. He parked the car, we admit, in a private area, but in such way that it didn't bothered any other car, it was actually between 2 poles, where there was no parking space.

The thing is, the guy at the clamping company asked him for gbp 190 for the release of the car. My boyfriend told him that he hasn't got the money with him, but that he can call me and get the money in about half an hour. At first the guy didn't accept, he only gave him 15 mins to get the money, being impossible for me to get there that fast. Meanwhile, my boyfriend called a friend, who had previous experience with clamping companies, and he started arguing with them, but with no result; the guy from the clamping company said that because my boyfriend's buddy started arguing, we will now have to pay gbp 490; he refused to wait for 5 more minutes in order for me to come with the previous sum. After all, it was not my boyfriend (who wanted to pay the initial sum) who argued with them.

We called the police, but I'm not sure why, the police told us that they cannot get involved.

I got there with the money, and the guy from the clamping company refused completely to take any sum from us and he called the truck in order to tow away the car.

 

They took the car, and after this we called the clamping company, and a guy there told us that now we have to pay gbp 690 just because "these are the rules".

 

We wanted to go and take the car on Monday, but Monday is a Bank Holiday, so now we have to pay extra for the car being stored there. Is this possible? can we fight against them? I mean, yesterday, when everything happened, it was a Public Holiday, being the Royal Wedding Day. If they won't allow us to come and the car in a Bank Holiday, why would they take it on a Public holiday day?

We don't really know what to do now. Can you please help us somehow? I'm not sure if there are any rules for this, but shouldn't they have allowed us a certain period of time to pay the inital sum?

Thank you!

Diana

can we have some advice please.....

Hello,

Our car has been clamped yesterday by a company called Whites Car Solutions Ltd in Southampton. My boyfriend got there just when they were taking the pictures of the car. He parked the car, we admit, in a private area, but in such way that it didn't bothered any other car, it was actually between 2 poles, where there was no parking space.

The thing is, the guy at the clamping company asked him for gbp 190 for the release of the car. My boyfriend told him that he hasn't got the money with him, but that he can call me and get the money in about half an hour. At first the guy didn't accept, he only gave him 15 mins to get the money, being impossible for me to get there that fast. Meanwhile, my boyfriend called a friend, who had previous experience with clamping companies, and he started arguing with them, but with no result; the guy from the clamping company said that because my boyfriend's buddy started arguing, we will now have to pay gbp 490; he refused to wait for 5 more minutes in order for me to come with the previous sum. After all, it was not my boyfriend (who wanted to pay the initial sum) who argued with them.

We called the police, but I'm not sure why, the police told us that they cannot get involved.

I got there with the money, and the guy from the clamping company refused completely to take any sum from us and he called the truck in order to tow away the car.

 

They took the car, and after this we called the clamping company, and a guy there told us that now we have to pay gbp 690 just because "these are the rules".

 

We wanted to go and take the car on Monday, but Monday is a Bank Holiday, so now we have to pay extra for the car being stored there. Is this possible? can we fight against them? I mean, yesterday, when everything happened, it was a Public Holiday, being the Royal Wedding Day. If they won't allow us to come and the car in a Bank Holiday, why would they take it on a Public holiday day?

We don't really know what to do now. Can you please help us somehow? I'm not sure if there are any rules for this, but shouldn't they have allowed us a certain period of time to pay the inital sum?

Thank you!

Diana

Look here for further help on

Look here for further help on what to do, to check whether the company is licensed and to find out what they are supposed to do prior to clamping/removal: http://wheelclampers.co.uk/advice.html

You could pay them to get your car back, and then sue for the return of your money.  Unfortunately, whilst clamping on private land is going to be made illegal, the Bill containing that law is still going through the motions - I believe it's had a second reading and was committed to the Public Bill committee who will be considering it again next week, but it's still only at the HofC stage, so it'll be a while until it's passed.

 

Profile: Independent (self-employed) legal professional: 25+ year work history incl. 10 years in child protection - seven years legal experience in non-molestation/occupation orders; housing law (tenant/landlord); mortgages; possession hearings and family proceedings. Advice is provided for the purpose of answering the questions posed, based on the information given.

thanks a lot

Thank u 4 your advice. We will try to do that. But can I ask your opinon of what chances do we have to win? 

 

Thanks again

Given what you state, I'd say

Given what you state, I'd say you'd have a reasonable chance of succeeding, since it appears the clamping company have not only been unreasonable, but have almost certainly over-charged.

But that is just my opinion based on what you stated - the court will have access to both sides of the story. 

Quite a few people who challenge parking issues such as this (and tickets) are successful when they make a challenge.  I was successful in a challenge against a local authority - they simply backed down when I escalated my complaint as they had not been compliant with the law and were well aware that failing to adhere to the law meant they would not be able to use the law to punish someone else.  Courts take that into consideration.

Profile: Independent (self-employed) legal professional: 25+ year work history incl. 10 years in child protection - seven years legal experience in non-molestation/occupation orders; housing law (tenant/landlord); mortgages; possession hearings and family proceedings. Advice is provided for the purpose of answering the questions posed, based on the information given.

no solicitor

Yesterday, being saturday only one solicitors' company from Southampton was opened, so I spoke with them and they said they think I'm probably right but they do not deal whit that type of cases because the clamping company are too strong, but they advised me to try to go to another solicitors' company which may accept my case. In a scenario that no solicitor would accept to help me, what can I do? Because this legal clamping "mafia" can extort people with no future consequences. I am so angry, someone should make justice and stop these companies form extorting people once and forever. Thank you again 4 your help.  I will keep everyone here updated, maybe our experience with these "robbers" may benefit someone

The sum of money you are

The sum of money you are claiming falls under the small claims court - so it is perfectly possible for you to represent yourself.  The County Court is generally litigant in person friendly.

You can start a claim online using www.mcol.gov.uk (Money Claim Online).  You register, fill in the details requested, pay a fee and the forms are issued to the other side.  They may decide to defend it, or they may pay up. You won't know until you try.

 

Profile: Independent (self-employed) legal professional: 25+ year work history incl. 10 years in child protection - seven years legal experience in non-molestation/occupation orders; housing law (tenant/landlord); mortgages; possession hearings and family proceedings. Advice is provided for the purpose of answering the questions posed, based on the information given.

Hi, I am wondering if you can

Hi, I am wondering if you can give me some info on your case please.

I am wondering how much you got paid for tresspass alone,

 

Profile: Am I moving backwards or is everyone moving forwards?

..

Hi,

I am taking my car tomorrow and I  am thinking of suing them anyway.

If you are refering at the sum I have to pay, they asked for 700 pounds...which is just outrageous.

Do not forget that as a

Do not forget that as a litigant in person you may also be able to claim certain costs as outlined above.

Richard Paremain

Profile: Personal injury specialist solicitor with Sarginsons Law LLP. I have more than 20 years experience involving both minor injury and cases with injury of the utmost severity. This has ranged from the Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster to a pavement trip for a Mrs Gready.I have a special interest in compensation for the Victims of Crime through the Criminal Injuries scheme. 02476521081 rparemain@s-law.co.uk

I took my car today and they

I took my car today and they asked for 690 punds because they charged me for the week-end and bank holiday even if they didn't give me the chance to take it back in all this period. I told them that I would like to pay under protest and they said that I cannot do that and I will have to mention this in a future complaint. I went to see a few solicitors but they all said that they cannot take my case. So I wonder if anybody knows any solicitor that may help me.

I took my car today

Have a look at all the dialogue which has been generated on this topic and also on "Wheel Clamping".  You may have a claim which would be taken in the Small Claims Court - claim under £5000.  This system does not encourage litigants to be represented, and in effect, any cost you incur in instructing a Solicitor would have to be bourne by you, sso it might not be worth involving a Soliccitor, anyway.

I qualified in 1979 and by 1980 was specialising in criminal work and other areas of litigation I became a partner of Sarginsons in 1983. The firm converted to an LDP in April 2009 and is now Sarginson Law LLP.

Yes I know but I think it

Yes I know but I think it will be difficult for me to deal with them because I am sure that they have been in a court before and they know the legislation better than me and also they know what to speak in court better than me. I am sick of this system which just allows this gangsters to do whatever they want and no measure is taken against them. I think it will be better and easier as well for me to complain at The European Court of Justice and to report them that in this country you have no protection by the police, by the government or any other authority if you are just an inocent resident with no power and no money

You'd have to exhaust the

You'd have to exhaust the court system here before you'd get to the ECJ, and I sincerely doubt they'd be interested - largely because by the time it got there (which is doubtful anyway), the Freedom Bill, containing the law relating to outlawing certain types of clampers, will almost certainly have been passed and your case would therefore have no merit.

The fact is you do have recourse to justice, it's just that you have to actively seek it and follow it through for yourself.  You can start your claim as indicated above.  You do not need a solicitor in the County Court (as previously explained), and you will be absolutely fine representing yourself.  You can read and write sufficiently to post here, so there is clearly nothing wrong with your ability to communicate.  You can take a friend into court with you - but if you want them to speak on your behalf you would need to seek the permission of the judge (it's not likely to be reasonably refused).

You almost certainly have a case - so now it is up to you whether you sit there and fume about it, or whether you take action.

Good luck.

Profile: Independent (self-employed) legal professional: 25+ year work history incl. 10 years in child protection - seven years legal experience in non-molestation/occupation orders; housing law (tenant/landlord); mortgages; possession hearings and family proceedings. Advice is provided for the purpose of answering the questions posed, based on the information given.

My advise, ifyou havent

My advise, ifyou havent already removed your car you need to do so,

When signing the document to say car was ok, write not presented to me/not seen, and payed under protest, then sign it. your suppose to remove it out of storage at the earliest opertunity.

Getting a Solicitor on a No win no fee will be hard as they can only recover £80 as it will be going to small claims, go it alone and people on here will help you.

Profile: Am I moving backwards or is everyone moving forwards?

Thank you very much, you are

Thank you very much, you are giving me hope, because as I said the solicitors sent me to the citizen advice bureau, which sent me to The British Parking Association, the BPA sent me to the Trading Services Office from the council which told me to call the Consumer Direct helpline and they discouraged me by telling me that I am assuming a great risk if thinking of suing them. So basically no one can help me, moreover they are trying to discourage me. Can I ask to andybody which risks I would assume if I'm going to sue them? Thank you again for encouraging me not to give up

I took my car today but they

I took my car today but they refused to let me see the car first and also to write on the receipt "Paid under protest". They told me to write this in a complaint which I sent today.

I notice you say "within the

I notice you say "within the land: 3x signs put up by London Clamping Company not permanently attached to the wall or any other fixture but appear like if someone has just put them up there temporarily. Can be picked up and moved around. (I only found out this after close inspection of the site after my vehicle clamped)"

I would remove the sign and take a picture, but this is wrong, and I wouldnt want you to get into trouble.

Then issue court proceedings stating that the signs were not adiquatly visable. The way I see court may be wrong, however in small claims its a £80+court fees bet. You take someone to court and may loose about £150 or stand to gain £800.

Profile: Am I moving backwards or is everyone moving forwards?

Clamped in error

Can someone advice me please. My car was clamped and I had to pay £85,00 for the car to be unclamped. I appeal and the company sent me a cheque of £85,00 (refund) but I am thinking of claiming compensation as they clamped my car in error and they have confirmed this in writing. The compensation is for the inconvenience they have caused. Your   advice is much appreciated.

Profile: Can someone advice me please. My car was clamped and I had to pay £85,00 for the car to be unclamped. I appeal and the company sent me a cheque of £85,00 (refund) but I am thinking of claiming compensation as they clamped my car in error and they have confirmed this in writing. The compensation is for the inconvenience they have caused.

Clamping companies

Yesterday the company South East Clamping & Associates Ltd clamped my car. I live in a gated building that has a private car park, and on the side there is space for loading/unloading. They have a paid 0871 number you are meant to call everytime you want to pull in to load/unload. I'm a musician with a lot of heavy equipment, so need to do this very often. My fiancé let them know that we are residents of the building and that I am a musician and will need to load/unload 5 minutes at a time quite regularly, with the understanding that they kept the registration number on record. Yesterday the clamp guy was downstairs and just finished putting on the clamp as I came down with my double bass, and he said the office did not have my registration number. I called them myself and the lady Debbie said they do need keep the registration numbers, even if I live in that building, and that I'm meant to call every single day I pull in.

She then said I have to pay £350 cash or more if by card, to release the clamp and then can appeal if I send a letter and they receive it within 7 days. One sign reads that there is only £50 clamp release charge, and another sign says there is a £200 release charge. Either way, the figure of £350 does not add up (the office told me that it's £200 to clamp and another £150 to release, but the signs DEFINITELY do not reflect this). What advice do you have for appealing/taking further?

Any comments or replies greatly appreciated!

Profile: Musician- bassist

London Clamping Co

Well tonight my SCOOTER! was clamped by these cowboys at the same location in Putney,it wasnt even in a bay but was in an unmarked triangle by the gates opposite Waitrose.When i parked there it was Saturday at 4.00pm and the car park had three cars in it. Paid the £140.00 and when i got home googled them and came across this forum,will be taking them to court.

 

SCOOTER

Well tonight my SCOOTER! was clamped by these cowboys at the same location in Putney,it wasnt even in a bay but was in an unmarked triangle by the gates opposite Waitrose.When i parked there it was Saturday at 4.00pm and the car park had three cars in it. Paid the £140.00 and when i got home googled them and came across this forum,will be taking them to court.

taking car clampers to court

Hi all

It's been great reading all your comments and knowing I'm not alone!  I'm in court next wednesday against Secure-A-Space, based in Ipswich who operate in London. 

The private block of flats where I own a flat and live introduced permit parking.  To cut a long story short, I had to rent a space and permit off another owner at the site.  With only 48 hours notice they informed me that they would be renting their flat and of course the parking space to new tennants so I would need to find another space to rent (which I in fact managed a week later). 

In the meantime I desparately tried to contact the site managers to say I had been left without a space temporarily, hoped to resolve it soon but would have to park for the moment in a visitor space.  No reply from them or aything.  The on site concierge at our flats could not help - they said as I wasn't a visitor I'd not be allowed a visitor permit.  So with no help from anyone and having left several messages and sent an email to site management, I decided the best I could do was park in the visitor space with a large notice giving my contact details. 

Well as you can probably see coming, I got clamped and then they tried to tow me.  I had to pay £315.  They also allege I tried to move the car, hence the tow truck was necessary.  I did not try to move the car. 

Their photo evidence is taken from two different angles - one shot is from further back than the other, so is, in my opinion, inconclusive in showing the car has been moved.

At the time they did not respond to my letters demanding a refund, nor did they initially make me aware of their appeals system, which I subsequently went through.

As this got nowhere, I am taking them to court and the date set is next week.

Any advice on handling them in court (on my own without a solicitor) and whether you think I actually have a case would be much appreciated!

I am arguing that I had mitigating circumstances, received no help from the people whom I pay towards to run the site and that I had made every effort to avoid being clamped while I tried to find someone to rent a parking space from.

I own my flat on this site.

Clamping in Putney

Dear Marion,

 

I got clamped by London Clamping Company in the car park behind Halfords off Putney High Street today, and had to pay the odious little man £140 to get my car released. I found your post, and was delighted to see you had a successful outcome.

 

I am determined to get my money back as my car was there for less than ten minutes, and whats more the guy was right there, watched me park my car, waited for me to walk off and then clamped it!

 

Could you please give me some advice about how to persue this? I, like you, am a very persistent individual and am willing to do whatever I have to do to get the money back.

 

Thanks,

 

Charlie

Marion, Please get in touch

Marion,

Please get in touch with me on charlie_rotheram@hotmail.com, I have been done by the same company, in the same spot, and would like to take them to the county court. Please let me know how you went about doing this.

CR

Paying mortgage and clamped in front of my front door

Hi,

Do you get anywhere with this?

My car was clamped at 6am infront of my entrance door, reason given: i was not parked in an allocated spot. there are more than 20 flats and 4 allocated parking spaces.

I feel my space has been invaded and i want compensation and the clamping cost.

Are you able to share any info.

regards

Trying to get a reply from DCS wheel clampers Chester

Dear DMK,

I was clamped overnight in the car park that I am permitted to use as I am a resident 10mins after parking in a bay that was not my allocated bay (the clampers watched me park at 1945, leave, enter the apartment building then clamped me at 1955) - I parked in a commercial unit bay that is usually unoccupied with no markings to say that a separate permit is required on a dark rainy night where the one notice of clamping and penalties is not clearly visible.

The company that clamped me (DCS Birkenhead, 158-164 Price Street, CH41 3PR) have my car registration and address on their database - claimed they did not know who the car belonged to and woke up two of my neighbours (but not me!) to move cars around in the middle of the night and shouted at me in the morning for causing them so much trouble!

When I called the company up to unclamp me at 7am (I am a junior doctor and was on call the next morning) they refused to do so until I paid £300 cash - the notice says the release fee is £150 per day or part day thereof and I had been clamped for under 12hrs when I called them.

I paid under protest as I had to get to work (they refused to accept anything less than the full £300 and cash only) and appealed to the address on the receipt within 14 days (NB SIA license was valid) - no reply 4 weeks later, am thinking about taking them to small claims after reading the above posts ( not sure exactly how much I should claim for...) but am worried a) whether if I have no reply to my letter if their address is valid and b) if I win what are the chances of actually getting any money back and c) should I write them another letter telling them to settle otherwise I will start a proceeding against them...

Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

More on the lovely London Clamping Company....

Hi, I'm new to the board....

On Friday evening I had an interesting experience with the London Clamping Company Ltd, to say the least, and I was interested to see that I am not alone in thinking that their methods are, to say the least, not acceptable and frankly unfair.

I was clamped when I visited a friend in a gated development. I arrived after dark. I followed a car through the gate, parked and then went up to visit my friend, an elderly gentleman. When I returned to my car I discovered it had been clamped. At the time I parked I saw no signs about clamping, but to be fair I wasn’t looking for them, because I thought the courtyard was for the use of residents and their guests.

When I looked around, after being clamped, I noticed that there were some signs, but these were not illuminated and certainly not obvious. They hadn’t been illuminated by my headlamps either and in the position I had parked were not visible. Neither could they be seen as I got out of my car and walked towards the entrance of my friend’s block. There is no doubt in my mind that if the signs had been visible and illuminated I would not have parked there. In fact I could have parked in the road and in a way I wish I had!

So when I rang the LCC number I pointed out that the signs were not visible, but was told that they were (well, they would say that wouldn’t they) so I said I would pay the fine but was putting them on notice that I would be contesting them in court. To which they replied that they would see me in court and that they always win.

 

After about 20 minutes I went back to the courtyard to find the clamping van there and the clamper arguing with another driver, who had not been clamped. They were arguing about the signs and to my astonishment the clamper had not clamped the other driver and let him go. In normal circumstances, I might have been inclined to remonstrate over this, but I really wanted to get away as fast as possible so I just chipped in that the signs were neither visible nor illuminated. The clamper started arguing with me and I told him that I wasn’t interested in arguing with him, but that I would argue with his solicitor. (at which point you probably think I’m a supercilious git..). So I paid the £140 by credit card and was ready to go.

 

However, I did ask to see his licence and he held up a tag that was round his neck and said that he would give me a receipt with the licence number. I had previously taken a photo of his van and registration and when he held up the tag I said I’ll take a photo of that and held up my iphone. For some reason he did not want me to photograph his tag and began to push me around shouting that I could not take his photograph. He pushed me several times and tried to grab my phone and I told him that he was assaulting me and that I was calling the police at which point he continued pushing me and grabbed my hand and twisted my wrist, and I almost dropped the phone. I managed to get away and called the police who said they would send a patrol.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that this was an attempt to provoke me. Had I been a less measured and peaceful sort of person, my response to being pushed would have been to push back. If I had pushed back this would have given him the opportunity to say he felt under attack and needed to defend himself, and I would probably have ended up in hospital or even the mortuary! There were two of them and the courtyard was paved with cobblestones so you can imagine what would have happened if I had been knocked down and hit my head on the cobblestones. Fortunately I did not respond to the provocation.

 

The police arrived after just under an hour’s wait and throughout this time I stood in front of the gate in the freezing cold to prevent the clamper leaving. At one point the clamper came up to me to ask when the police were coming as he said had to release another clamped vehicle. I told him to back off  as he had already assaulted me .(If anyone was delayed in SE5 on Friday Jan 27th around 9.45 because the London Clamping Company didn’t turn up, my apologies, but in your submission to the court, you can state that it was because the clamper had assaulted another “customer”). Although it was nice to see the clamper immobilised – tables turned so to speak, and of course losing revenue by not being able to prey on other innocent victims for what turned out to be a 90 minute period.

 

When the police arrived, they interviewed both of us. They told me that the clamper claimed that he believed that I was not entitled to take his photograph and he felt threatened when I tried to do so. They pointed out to him that I was entitled to take his photo in a public place. It seems odd that when the clamper was taking photos of my car, the signs etc, he should not be aware of this. A professional company would have carried out training, so I am left wondering whether he had other reasons….particularly as the London Clamping Company website has a page where they offer a training service to other organisations.

 

The police were sympathetic and helpful. They said that they would be prepared to arrest him and this would involve my going down to the station to make a statement. However, they indicated that they thought the CPS would probably drop the charges. So I decided that with a CAD number and the details of the clamper, there were other avenues open to me.

 

Although I would very much like to have the fine refunded, (who wouldn’t) this is no longer the main issue for me. I just don’t find it acceptable that as a private, law-abiding citizen I should be threatened in this way by someone who is supposedly licenced to hold powers of authority. Especially since having paid a charge without argument, I am now a customer of this so-called service provider. So I have been considering the options and doing some research, and this is how I ended up here.

 

I was particularly interested in Marionsan’s comments in relation to the sole trader aspect. It may be that there has been a change in the London Clamping Company’s corporate status, but my credit card receipt says “The London Clamping Company Ltd”, while my receipt says London Clamping Company. So I did a short search online and came up with the following:

 

LONDON CLAMPING COMPANY LIMITED

Companies House status: Active

Company Information

Registration Date: 22/11/2002
Registration Number: 04598600
Type: Private Limited with share capital

Accounts filed on: 26/08/2011
For period to: 30/11/2010
Category: Dormant

Registered Address

266-268 WICKHAM ROAD,
SHIRLEY
CROYDON
CR0 8BJ

 

 

 

Activities

SIC classification code: 9999
SIC classification: DORMANT

 

Director Summary

 

Mr Tony William Adams has 5 company director or secretary appointments.

Short name - Tony Adams

Director ID : 908669379

 Address

Firefly

Westmore Road,

Tatsfield

Westerham

Kent

TN16 2BJ

           

Company Summary

Company Name                                                                              Company Status         

PARKING ENFORCEMENT UK LIMITED                             Active         

RHINO CHAIN LIMITED                                                         Active     

UK CLAMPS LIMITED                                                              Active  

LONDON CLAMPING COMPANY LIMITED                         Active         

THE PARKING ENFORCEMENT TRAINING SERVICE LIMITED  Dissolved          

 

So it seems as if this company is issuing receipts in the name of a limited company, which at the date of its last accounts was dormant. Since, according to its website it has been going since 1989 and according to the letter from Ms. T Green (Parking Enforcement Officer) they are not limited and Mr Tony Adams appears to be a sole trader. Of course they could have decided to activate the limited company, but I think I will have to point out to Companies House that this dormant company is in fact trading, since a receipt in the name of a limited company means that the company is trading. Marionsan, does your credit card receipt say Ltd Co?

 

Ok if you have got this far and are not too bored….

It seems that the London Clamping Company is licenced by the SIA, which seems to be quite a powerful independent organization.  I shall be asking them why they have given a licence to company which has assaulted me and how they monitor that company’s activities.

 

I am at present considering my options. I was clamped. I paid the fee. Then, I was assaulted by the contractor. Whether or not I was clamped correctly is hardly the point. When I was assaulted, I did not retaliate. If I had done so, I would probably be in hospital now. Instead I retreated and called the police. I consider that it is unacceptable, for a licencing authority to hand out a licence to a contractor who behaves in this manner. There is obviously no regulation.

 

I'm not sure against whom I have a claim. So far as I can see in the first instance it is against the freeholder of the land on which I was parked, and/or the managing agent who contracted with a contractor who assaulted me. In appointing that contractor, it is arguable that they may have been negligent in ensuring that the contractor was reputable. However, their defence is likely to be that they relied on the contractor's licenced status which leads back to the SIA and it will be interesting to discover what steps the SIA have taken to regulate their licencee.

 

So that’s quite a few people who are going to have to spend some time addressing this issue.

 

I’d welcome any comments or advice.

 

By the way, I know some boards do not like names being mentioned and I hope that I’m not in breach of board rules by giving the details of Tony Adams and his address. I’ve recently challenged Companies House about the availability of this info on the web, particular since dates of birth are also published. As this can assist identity theft, I think it is mad, but according to Companies House, when you become a director, you give up your rights to privacy under the Data Protection Act. A bad bit of legislation, but there you are. Anyway, I have not published his date of birth, although, Companies house say I, and anyone else, can! 

 

 

 

 

Profile: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" Martin Luther King "O wad some Power the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us!" Robert Burns

London Clamping Company

I'll keep this brief: My scooter was clamped behind Halfords/Opposite Waitrose in Putney by the LCC. I had to pay a £140 release fee. I wrote to them to for a refund and they responded with a rejection. I then applied to my local County Court ,paid the £25 registration fee and within 5 days the LCC emailed saying they'd refund my money. I also asked for my £25 on top of this and they agreed. This is the best route to go down.

Good luck

South East clamping and associates ltd

I read with interest about the legal battles against these firms above and well done to everybody who has managed to get a refund. My wife was clamped by this company for no reason and I took them to Basildon County Court. The judgement was found in my favour as I had the receipts needed. They had previosly ignored all the letters I had sent them. Since the court date I have recieved no payment and have also inccured baliffs charges who could not recover this money either. How can this opperation be legal and how can I recover my costs?

jay   riderjay@hotmail.co.uk

Newline parking ltd

My car was clamped at my sister's house on the 8th of August 2012,  i called them and asked them to come and unclapm me and was ready to pay. The guy i spoke to said he was going to call me back, after 2 hours, i called him again just to be told they haven't got someone to send to the address till the next day. Next day, the 9th of August which is today, i called them again and they said they haven't got anyone to send again. On their clamping notice says they will unclamp within 3 hours. I am stuck at my sister's house and I can't go back home. I told them i was going to report them to the police, for clamping without having staff to unclamp.

Is there any legal thing regarding unclampping hours and duration. Please help.

Regards

Elizbeth bisibaby@hotmail.com

Help pls

Hi, I'm minicab driver whilst I was asking directions to a mini cab in front and whilst I had passengers my vehicle was clamped even though I shouted out as they hadn't clamped the vehicle as yet. What can I do to reclam and complaint as I had to pay £200 ..."

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