For the past two week’s we’ve been reporting on the parking debacle at Clarkston Toll where operators Smart Parking have come under fire.
This week The Extra has uncovered an interesting little scheme employed by the company.
And it goes like this. Should you fail to pay the first penalty charge notice for £140, the next letter will make you an ‘offer’ that if payment is made the so-called penalty will reduce to £80.
And on and on it goes with offer after offer until Smart Parking realise you’re not going to pay.
That’s when they call in the big boys - their debt collectors.
This is where it gets even more interesting. We have copies of letters sent out by firms called Zenith Collections and Debt Recovery Plus Ltd, each with separate PO box addresses in Ashton Under Lyne and Dukinfield.
Both letters are designed to look as if they are being sent out from two separate companies, the format and style of content differ as do the telephone numbers.
However, following investigation of these companies we can confirm that they both share an identical company registration number - 6774150, a registered office address of 78 York Street, London, and, rather strikingly, also have the same VAT registration number: 977956045 in addition to the same telephone number dialling code of 0208 which dictates that it is a London number and not Dukinfield or Ashton under Lyne.
To all intents and purposes they appear to be one and the same, despite a rather blatant attempt at appearing to be different operational organisations.
We asked the company for an explanation but at the time of going to press no response had been received.
We also asked Smart Parking for their comments on this matter who referred us to Debt Recovery Plus Ltd.
We then asked them if the debts had been sold on or whether they retained control of them.
A spokesman said: “We cannot comment on matters which involve elements of commercial confidentiality between us and third parties.”