"You was parked illegally!" Consumers take on clamping caper

20 January 2010

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:

Bitterwallet - the new PCN-UK Ltd website

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:

Bitterwallet - Cardiff Gumtree

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.

TOPICS:   Motoring

16 comments

  • Junkyard
    How do you know the Gumtree ad isn't genuine?
  • Alan
    Well he lives somewhere in Chorley we believe. His company had a mail-drop address in Bridgend. So we can safely assume both ads are fake I think. Even better someone has called the domain registrar of the new domain owner twice providing false security details to try and gain access. I think they want their domain back!
  • dacouch
    Please feel free to post your comments on the blog on www.pcn-uk.co.uk (As well as on bitterwallet of course!) The BW article missed the main MSE forum http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=2142685
  • TFEB
    stuff like this really cheers me up and reminds me there is humanity in the world still. lol Oh Ashford S Wood if you are reading you are officially a dick! certified 100% by me :)
  • Morph
    nice bit of people power.. hope the owner of the clamping business chokes.
  • raptorcigs
    SHOULD TRY IT WITH ASDA THE ROBBING BASTARDS
  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian. My friend (Bob), says that Gumtree NO LONGER TAKE ADVERTS FOR SEX (since 5th Jan)
  • oliverreed
    Don't park illegally, problem solved.
  • Jules
    Just called him to say 'hi' ask for money making tips. He's cut his phone off. Any other contact numbers??
  • Alan
    @Oliverreed - the problem is that you can LEGALLY park how you like in a private car park. And even if it was illegal, any business is expected to operate in an entirely legal manner. This business operated outside the law, in particular by sending people to doorsteps claiming to be a bailiff with a court order (this is illegal). Two wrongs don't make a right and no company should be allowed to operate outside the law. Either way the domain was revoked due to his illegal activity. @Jules there is an 0845 contact number on the page.
  • timmmers
    Proud of my fellow MSE members, I didn't know about this but it made my day. They do a nice line in debt collection agencies there too when those companies get out of order ..which is most of the time. t
  • Bob
    Posted by oliverreed: "Don’t park illegally, problem solved." You're confusing your criminal law with your civil law.
  • oliverreed
    @Bob & @Alan Ok. I did watch something on the tele box on the same subject, some guy owning the only car park in a town and ruling with an iron fist. The people they televised complaining about the fines over stayed the time they paid for and couldn't park for shit, they broke the rules that they agreed to by parking in and using the car park. On the other side of this it does piss people off when disabled spaces are taken by able bodied people, parent and toddler spaces taken by morons without kids, or simply some cnut taking up 2 spaces when a car park is rammed!
  • Anon
    @ Oliver Don't think PCN-UK were that considerate for disabled drivers: Q: I am a disabled badge holder can I park for free? A: Disabled Badge holders/Blue badge scheme does not apply to any private off street car parking. You are not entitled to free parking unless indicated on the signs displayed in the car park.
  • Ten B.
    [...] fight back against clamping caperists [...]
  • Allen
    @ Oliver You don't 'arf talk some bollox. knew right away you'd seem summit on the "tele box" 'cause you sure as shit don't know how to read!

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