Are debt collector’s letters a scare tactic?

Picture 28/9/15 Emma Mitchell.' Lambie Crescent, Newton Mearns. Pic of Vivienne McNab who is being hounded by debt collectors on behalf of Smart Parking
Picture 28/9/15 Emma Mitchell.' Lambie Crescent, Newton Mearns. Pic of Vivienne McNab who is being hounded by debt collectors on behalf of Smart Parking

Things are going from bad to worse with the parking debacle at Clarkston Toll as we reveal this week two readers are being hounded by debt collectors.

Vivienne McNab (71) told The Extra how she was “frightened and worried” after receiving the letters from DRP Ltd.

She said: “You really don’t need this sort of nonsense at my age. I’ve never been in debt in my life and I’m proud of that fact. I certainly won’t be returning to shop in Clarkston, which is a shame for the shopkeepers, who will lose out.”

Another reader, Linda Gunn, also contacted us after reading last week’s story to say she too is being chased by the same debt recovery company who are threatening to take her to court. She said: “I am a victim of the ‘Dick Turpin’ company. Just this week I have had a demand from a debt recovery firm threatening to take me to court over a £140 penalty charge notice.”

“I was only in their car park for a total of 17 minutes and because the machine kept rejecting the 10p piece I’ve been landed with this bill.

“I’ve had sleepless nights over this and now your article has brought to light other victims.

“I’m prepared to face these people in court.”

Kirsten Oswald MP commented: “I will be working with colleagues at both Westminster and Holyrood to end this practice, which can prove very stressful for those affected.”

A spokesman for the company said: “Unpaid debts are a problem faced by businesses in every industry. The parking industry is a tiny minority of these. When a business is owed money, there are only two choices – either write off the debt or pursue it.

“We do all we can to persuade customers to pay their bills. We send letters and reminder letters, we have payment deadlines and extended deadlines, we have a fair and robust appeals procedure.

“However, for the tiny minority of customers who refuse to engage with us or settle their debts, then as a last resort we may hand the matter on to a specialist agency. This is no different to hundreds of thousands of other businesses.”