31 March 2014

NSL - could be more helpful

There are 7 files on Mr Mustard's dining table, the ones on which some action is imminent. The above box contains his other live files. He has twice as many files as that for 2014 which are already in the closed box.

Thus you can see that he is fairly busy making challenges, representations and Appeals. Sometimes they work and NSL decide to throw in the towel. The pleasing part is that whatever Mr Mustard wrote has worked but the displeasing part is that sometimes Mr Mustard does not know that until he checks the balance on the council computer (which is off until 7 April whilst they change software supplier from Civica to ICES).

If Mr Mustard makes an informal challenge which NSL, on behalf of the council decide to accept, they should write and tell him every single time and not leave him wondering if his client has received a Notice to Owner that they haven't told him about (or worse that one has been sent which hasn't arrived). It would be polite and businesslike to write an email saying the PCN is at an end. This would do.

Dear Mr Mustard 

PCN AGxxxxxxxx has been cancelled.

best wishes

NSL on behalf of Barnet Council

and then some of his more elderly clients would be spared 6 months of worry. The thing is, Mr Mustard thinks, that as soon as there isn't any money in it for the council, NSL lose interest in the PCN and often can't be bothered after that to do a single thing.

Other situations in which PCN just disappear are when the formal representations have not been answered within 56 days. That is an automatic acceptance of them and cancellation of the PCN but how does Mr Mustard know that a Notice of Rejection has not gone astray? He doesn't, which is why NSL should write and say that the PCN is at an end.

If a Notice to Owner has not been issued within 6 months of the PCN that is an automatic cancellation (although PCN do sometimes still get chased - quite wrongly). (This sentence only relates to parking PCN served on the car windscreen or into the hands of the driver).

Sometimes, due to system error, nothing happens to a PCN. At the point of discovery of an oversight which cannot fairly or legally be recovered the motorist (or Mr Mustard) should be told that the PCN has been abandoned.

Mr Mustard thinks there is a severe shortage of polite good practice. It is also good practice to keep the PCN database tidy so that someone else does not come along and bring back to life a PCN which is actually finished but which hasn't been amended to a £nil value.

Please could we have some politeness so that there is certainty and transparency.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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