Director of parking company fined after using Southampton Council car parks to park vehicles
THE director of a company which provides cruise and airport parking has been fined for not keeping customers’ vehicles ‘safe and well protected’ after parking them in a council car park.
Alan Robert Naylor from Fareham, who is director of EZEPARKING Ltd, was fined £500 with the company also being fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs for breaches of consumer protection legislation.
Six customer vehicles were involved and on two instances staff employed by the company used Southampton City Council parking facilities to park three of their customer’s vehicles for a total of 11 days on both occasions.
CCTV captured footage of the vehicles being removed from the car parks in a ‘dangerous manner’ with the parking fees being evaded.
Customers were not made aware that their vehicles would be kept in a public council car park. The evaded parking fees were repaid eight months later, after these were pursued.
The council car parks have signage making the public aware that any vehicles and possessions are ‘left at the owners risk’ which contradicts the company’s pledge to keep vehicles ‘safe and well protected’.
During the hearing at Southampton Crown Court the company were also found guilty of ‘engaging in a commercial practice that was a misleading omission’. The omission related to lack of clarity in the terms and conditions over the movement of owners vehicles which was described as ‘not clear and obvious’.
Following the hearing councillor Steve Leggett said: ‘Southampton City Council takes the misuse of our parking assets seriously and will take appropriate enforcement action when needed. It’s essential we protect valuable parking spaces for fee paying customers.
‘Local consumers also need to know that we will offer them the protection they need and help to reinforce their rights when needed.
‘This conviction is a great result for both our parking services and legal teams and sends out a clear message to others who would look to break the law, ensuring companies operating in the city give customers the services they have paid for.’
Two of the victims have been awarded £100 compensation.