NCP complaints: Portsmouth couple’s stress after car park firm issues two £160 charges for city centre visits
A PORTSMOUTH couple who received two charges of £160 for using a car park in the city centre have spoken of their relief after the charges were dropped.
Gary Jeffery, and his wife Karen, from Paulsgrove, said they have undergone months of stress trying to sort out charges issued by car park operator NCP when they parked in the multi-storey car park in Crasswell Street last summer.
Their plight was made more confusing as they were using a hire car at the time, meaning documentation went to the garage, leading to delays and complications appealing the notices.
They got in touch with The News after reading about Joanne Etherington, of Hayling Island, who is also fighting a charge that she says was issued as the machine was faulty, and a seperate story about Southsea couple Allan and Sheila Birt, who were charged after an 11-minute stay in December when the machine would not accept their debit card.
Gary, 56, said: ‘It is just wrong. We have contacted them lots of times. It is rubbish, they just try to get out of it. They had all the information provided to them to show that I had paid, but they have still chased us. And passed it on to debt collectors. It’s been hell.
‘There has got to be a problem with their machines, or their system, or somewhere, it’s pathetic.
‘They have still not really given us any answers. The man at the garage would’ve just paid it, so would many others, but I said no way as it’s not right.’
Gary parked their hire car on two occasions – July 22 and July 8 – in Crasswell Street, and received two charges. He claims he sent NCP his bank statement, which shows two £1.20 debits on July 27 and July 13.
Despite this, the car park firm has continued to chase them.
After The News got in touch with NCP, it confirmed that it had already cancelled one charge, but said it had received no information on the second one. It has now cancelled the second charge.
A spokeswoman said: ‘On appeal the customer provided a bank statement showing a payment made for the correct car park but we had no payment made against the vehicle registration number, so we allowed the appeal as we believed that the customer had inputted an incorrect vehicle registration number.
‘So a parking charge notice was correctly issued at the time, but… we believe it to have been a customer error on vehicle registration input. We immediately cancelled the fine two days after they appealed and there was no further action.
‘The second fine was not appealed at all, we have had no information or data provided to us to explain why…. On the grounds of the information provided to us we have located a payment made at a different car park and as a result we will cancel any further action.
‘We are unable to help if a customer doesn’t contact us via our appeals system. As you can see from the first example that the appeals system works.'
The firm also denied any problems at the car park and said that it had checked its machines.
They added: ‘Finally we can confirm that we have checked again and there are no issues with any of the machines.’