"You was parked illegally!" Consumers take on clamping caper
Consumer-powered guerrilla warfare - that's what we're calling it here at Bitterwallet. Avid Bitterwallet reader The Couch has emailed about how MSE forum members are sticking it to the operators of an unloved private parking company.
The business is called PCN-UK Ltd and is operated by Ashford S Wood. According to the forum members on MSE, PCN-UK makes its money by issuing unenforceable parking tickets then threatening people who refuse to pay with bailiffs and court action.
MSE members began to draw attention to the business and pointed out the glaring legal errors in their procedures, and when one member turned to the forums for advice over the threat of court action, he received threatening messages from PCN-UK. If you want further examples of their incapacity for understanding the law or punctuation, read the company's signage, what happens if you choose not pay or the FAQs on their website. Our favourite quote is:
"People on internet forums are nobody’s who don’t have a life and like to get people into trouble by giving them incorrect advice... if you don’t want to pay that’s fine, but just expect more costs and home visits."
Them nobody's on the interwebz! To read those FAQs in full, you'll have to read the cached version of the page we linked to above - PCN-UK didn't renew their domain name (or had it revoked), and today a new site was launched in its place:
A Facebook group has been set up in the company's name, there are dubious Twitter accounts for both Woods and PCN-UK, while Wood's mobile number has inexplicably cropped up on several Gumtree ads, including this one offering a free Xbox and this one offering special man love:
All websites relating to Wood's other business interests seem to be inactive, too. According to forum members, Wood wasn't registered with the SIA (which he would need to be for the purposes of vehicle clamping) or the BPA. Regardless, the previous PCN-UK website displayed logos from both companies, as well as that of the ICO - which may or may not have had a hand in closing down the website.
Whether the company is still operating or will simply reappear under a new name seems unclear right now, but it's guaranteed PCN-UK Ltd and those involved won't enjoy a quiet life in the future, thanks to consumer determination, perseverance and liberal use of bottom humour.