29 March 2018

Inbuilt delays work against you - do it now

Recently Mr Mustard had a couple of cases where everything hinged on the date that a certain action was taken. Many people think that the parking department is in Sheffield as that is where the PO Box is to be found but that is merely where the scanning machines are located.

To prove or otherwise his point Mr Mustard asked for the number of documents scanned on each day in December 17 & January 18. The numbers for the full weeks are reproduced above.

He has realised that there is a problem with nothing being scanned on a Saturday. That presents a problem if your deadline is the Saturday or Sunday. If post is not looked at on Saturdays you are potentially being deprived of 2 days of your allotted 14. To avoid that don't delay in dealing with a PCN, do it now. The other way to avoid delays is to make your representations on line using the council's system or to pay on line using your debit or credit card.

Mr Mustard has emailed the parking manager suggesting some changes, as follows:

For a recent case I needed to check that scanning was being done each day & it is, which is good, but it led me to think about deadlines.

There is a disparity in the Regulations between deadlines which are an exact number of calendar days and post only being processed in the working week, Monday to Friday. If you receive a PCN on your car on a Monday you have 14 days in which to pay at 50%, or to challenge informally and preserve the discount, which expires on a Sunday. I note that scanning does not take place on a Saturday. That means that items posted on a Friday, which could reach you on a Saturday and thus in time, become out of time on the Monday.

I am sure you are always looking for ways to improve the parking service & I would like to suggest that either processing the Saturday post on the day itself or keeping it separate on the Monday and processing it first and dating it as received on the Saturday would be fairer to the motorist.

I stress that you aren't doing anything outside of the Regulations, I just think that what I suggest would be an improved service for that section of society which is more reliant on the post & cheques which is generally the elderly.

Best regards

He will let you see the reply.

Looking at the figures themselves Mr Mustard notes that Monday isn't always the day when most documents are scanned which he finds surprising as he expects that what with it containing items posted on both Friday & Saturday it would usually be the heaviest day for post. He suspects that all documents are not scanned on the day of receipt in line with the contract.

There is a world of difference between the day a document is received and the day it is scanned. Just because a document was scanned on Wednesday 28 March does not prove that it was received by the council on that very date. Put the council to proof of when they received something and they won't be able to give a categorical answer unless they date stamp it & can prove that was the correct date on the stamp.

Remember, don't dilly dally as it could cost you money.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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