28 June 2018

NCP can be nice

far too complicated
Mr Mustard has the good fortune to meet some lovely and interesting people when he is fighting parking tickets (PCNs). One of them turned out to have worked at Bletchley Park on the bombe decoding machine and Mr Mustard realised, upon meeting her, that 5 years ago he had visited Bletchley Park and he had stood in front of the very same lady who was demonstrating and explaining how the machine worked. Her brain is still incredibly sharp despite her 90+ years.

She emailed Mr Mustard recently:

I can’t contact NCP after long try, so can you help me please.  Today, after a  stressful struggle with this unknown “facility” and ill explained ticket machine,  I incorrectly entered the car reg. as AB123 HXM  but should be AD12 HXM  - this due to dark basement and elderly person’s shaking hand! I did not find this out until I returned home. Though I put in more money than I needed I will get PCN if I can’t make contact. Also I tried to enter earlier but I drove out by mistake so I might even be charged for doing this!

Time left 16.29 parked in disabled bay.

Mr Mustard had tracked down the boss of NCP tube station car parks previously and although he declined Mr Mustard's invitation to meet he did at least sort out previous problems and so Mr Mustard emailed him and asked him to intervene. Within hours he had done so and very nicely too

Thank you for forwarding this to me. I have sent this to our notice processing team manager to make sure that no notice is issued.  Please do feel free to give the lady my direct contact number should you wish, as a direct contact here at NCP should she have any problems in the future.

I will send a further note as soon as I hear back from the team.

This is exactly how things should be. Mr Mustard must tell the lady that she doesn't need to give NCP money to park, she can get pretty close to the Spires by parking on yellow lines and displaying her badge or by using the council car park in Stapylton Rd for free or by parking in a residents bay but a pound to a penny she knows and made a positive choice to be where she was.

Her follow up message in response to the good news was this:

Thanks for the good news. If you meet the boss, you may wish to tell him the machines are “Unfair to Pensioners”!

The Spires ticket machine I used is in a low lit basement. When I arrived there were two other elderly OAP’s - a lady struggling and a gent trying to help her, unsuccessfully, as there were NO instructions  as to where to dial the hours required – this in Card Payment. The man was OK as he had coins. He tried to help us but couldn’t understand it. I managed to stop a car and got change for £5 to get a Cash Pay ticket.

I’d like the boss to know that the direction arrows on the ground sent me to an enclosed outdoor parking area, and more arrows sent me out of the car park altogether and I had to start again, getting lost in a one way street system!  What a struggle.

Best regards,

Dinosaur still driving.

Mr Mustard hasn't tried the machine as he only lives 100m away but it does look very involved and it shouldn't be harder to fathom out than a Bletchley Park decoding machine

NCP's decision was morally the correct one as they had lost nothing, parking having been paid for by a blue badge holder. They also saved themselves the time & bother of dealing with Mr Mustard's challenges & the cost of the adjudication. He would have arranged representation in any County Court case (as rare as hen's teeth by NCP) as he thought that any judge worth their salt would chuck the case out when an esteemed member of society had made a tiny error plus the publicity for NCP would have been awful.

Two good news stories in one week, what is the world coming to? Back to normal now though for Mr Mustard who is about off to berate Westminster for sending one PCN out of 3 for a car which had been sold, to the bailiff, who collected £483 when the council had cancelled the other 2 PCNs and knew the third one was not due from the person they were chasing.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard 

p.s. NCP might want to think about reducing their prices as the car park basement was almost empty this afternoon & the ground floor was pretty clear of cars as well. One fluorescent tube is flashing annoyingly, don't the staff notice such things?

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