Pay by phone cost me parking ticket

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It’s not often I feel compelled to write a letter of complaint but Horsham District Council offers a pay by phone service and I’ve had the recent misfortune to discover that unless you are fully familiar with how this system operates you can end up with a parking ticket! As I did.

The park by phone system relies on the driver/parker to contact the number provided. This is an automated system and I thought it was easy to follow. I did everything I was asked over the phone. The line was not great but I thought I’d actioned everything as requested.

Apparently not.

There is no record of me using this system according to HDC and I’ve been issued with a parking ticket for contravening the parking regulations.

Perhaps my frustration is evident. I was unaware that I had failed.

The pay by phone system relies on the user to be sure it has worked but if you’ve seen the sign in Piries Place car park the instructions are clear but scant.

My complaint is that the system is flawed.

If no response comes back from the automated system how do you know if payment has been successful (until you see a bank statement)? There is no one to contact if you need to speak to a person if you cannot access the automated system.

As the council is offering this service it seems to be in a ‘win win’ situation, as it fines the driver if it perceives the car owner has failed to pay by phone. This smacks of extortion.

I was also reliably informed by the council offices staff that the Horsham parking attendants Blackberries don’t work in Piries Place car park as they have blackspot troubles in that area.

In the run up to Christmas I wouldn’t recommend using this pay by phone system for paying parking charges if people are unfamiliar with the process because they may end up, like me, with a parking ticket for £25!

Has anyone else in Horsham had a poor experience using this pay by phone? I’d love to know.


Cleve Way, Billingshurst