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PCN at supercharger Kings Lynn despite reasonable efforts

Just received my first supercharger private parking ‘PCN’ after charging at Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The site was exactly the type that you’d expect this to happen, based at a hotel. I was highly suspicious about it, checked everything I could think of, and have still ended up with one.

Not impressed with this because:

- I already know the risks of supercharger PCNs having not experienced one, but read about them here. I was also on high alert because the site ‘felt’ like just the sort of place it might happen.

- I checked this forum for previous threads to remind myself how it all worked, and saw that ticket recipients are often accused of failing to read the supercharger information screen. Not going to be caught out that way, I know better than that now I’ve read the forum threads. So I double checked by reading the supercharger information screen. I even compared it to the Northampton site as I knew that one had PCNs. I could see the warning at Northampton, but nothing at this site. I wondered if the car and Tesla web directory might show different things so triple checked that too.

- The hotel was deserted with all the lights off. The entire car park contained not a single other car apart from one that had broken down. Some people exited through a hotel door near the superchargers that looked sort of like a main door, but when I went to try the door, it had locked behind them and it could not be opened and there was no buzzer or sign. Hotel seemed empty and dark.

- I checked all around the superchargers and the surrounding deserted car park for any explanatory signs. I asked my two passengers to also look, explaining about the PCN system in place at superchargers and that you have to look actively for instructions. We all looked. For most of the 25 minutes of charging. Around the entire car park. There were no signs. My non-Tesla owning passengers made fun of me for my ridiculous paranoia, saying that it was obvious to anyone that they wouldn’t have a charging station and then fine you for using it.

- There was a couple stopped with a breakdown in the car park, and a grounds maintenance type person looking like they were helping. I asked them and the maintenance person said they did look after the car park property, but had no idea about payments worked but did know that it was allowed, to use the supercharger.

Here we are ten days later, with a PCN for £100, covered in warnings on the back saying that this may go to court, that the popular believe that private parking tickets are overturnable is incorrect and quoting a court case, warning that I may receive a CCJ, my credit record may be affected, and I may receive a visit from bailiffs.

This system is unbelievably terrible. It isn’t just the sort of terrible where someone has failed to do something well enough. It is the worst sort of terrible where actual effort, time, money and ongoing work has been put into making the experience as poor as possible.

I cannot believe someone has gone to all the effort of:

- Erecting cameras and an AI system to detect vehicles entering and leaving and record their details.

- Sending these details to a third party company to research the vehicle and its keeper by making a formal request to DVLA.

- Finding out that the vehicle is a Tesla vehicle, that it entered the supercharger station and then left less than 30 minutes later, and even writing these details on the ‘PCN’ letter.
- Writing to the registered keeper to charge £100, including various irrelevant notes about bailiffs, credit reports and so on.

The system is so crap that even a driver who knows about these forums, specifically searches for previous threads, finds out where on the Tesla display the warning should appear, double checks the Northampton site for comparison, triple checks on the Tesla web listing as well as in-car, does a car park walk around specifically looking for explanatory signs, enrols two others to search for signs for most of the 25 minutes of charging, tries to gain access to a locked hotel door, and asks a member of staff in the grounds, still receives a fine.

Have rung hotel. Pleasant enough and they will undo it. So this isn’t a rant at the fine per se. It’s just the completely unnecessary effort required as a driver / charging user, by the hotel, and by the third party parking company. All the steps involved seem completely unnecessary. Why not just let drivers know what steps are necessary? Or, recognise that a Tesla entering the supercharger for less than half an hour and then departing, is pretty likely to be charging.
 

Billbrown1982

TM3 LR 2021 | Red | FSD
Dec 21, 2020
611
351
Basildon
I'm not really surprised because these "companies" that run the parking ticket systems are vultures and often have nothing to do with the hotels/pubs that are there.

Tbh you've been very lucky not having to fight the ticket through POPLA which , by the sounds of it you would have definitely won, but would have been even more hassle.

Make sure you keep a copy of all correspondence in case they U turn on you. Better safe than sorry.
 
Dare I say it, you almost need to put number plate covers on just before the entrance and take them off as you leave. lol.

Superchargers are pointless if you can't use them without getting fined.
We could do with a list making of places that people have been fined and how many times, so we have a quick checklist before planning a journey.
 
Just adding here for clarity - this site IS signposted in that at the entrance driveway, a few hundred metres before you reach the car park, a sign explains that the hotel’s car park is only for authorised users and than ANPR is in use. But, the sign does not explain what the authorisation process is, just that the car park enforces against unauthorised use.

To me, since the car park belongs to the hotel and is intended for visitors to it, I would expect for example staying at the hotel, or eating a meal there, to make a visitor ‘authorised’ to use the car park.

Since the supercharger is located inside the car park and is a part of the car park and clearly has been erected via a commercial deal with the hotel rather than someone showing up and putting it in one day while the hotel wasn’t looking, I would also expect accessing it for paid charging purposes to constitute ‘authorised’ use.

There are no signs inside the car park about how to ensure you are authorised to use the car park, nor any pay and display machines, nor any staff other than the one fellow who said supercharging is allowed, nor any unlocked premises.

The sign is the same generic type as they have at supermarket car parks or motorway service area car parks, where being ‘authorised’ normally means you are making normal use of the car park for its intended purpose ie doing a supermarket shopping run, or refuelling or buying a coffee at a motorway services.
 

Irata

Member
Oct 16, 2020
999
608
UK
Definitely send all you said to the hotel. Follow up a few days later if you haven't heard back, you may wish to then highlight that you belong to a very popular Tesla forum widely read on the internet, so many other owners are very keen to hear how the hotel responds.

These stories are bad publicity for everyone, superchargers are a USP for Tesla and that can become fragile with bad publicity.

I just wish Tesla didn't engage in these type of arrangements/locations. Charge locations can be great footfall for businesses, Tesla should capitalise on that.
 
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Playing devils advocate here as frustrating as this is - isn’t the main issue that the hotel was / is closed due to the current Covid situation and in “normal” times you would of wandered into the reception and typed your registration into an iPad / told the receptionist?

I fully agree that there’s no reason the system can’t ignore fines for Tesla’s under an hour in the first place, and I hate these private parking companies too but it seems the main issue is that the hotel was closed with no alternative means of registering your number plate.
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,211
1,264
Leamington
I'm not really surprised because these "companies" that run the parking ticket systems are vultures and often have nothing to do with the hotels/pubs that are there.

Tbh you've been very lucky not having to fight the ticket through POPLA which , by the sounds of it you would have definitely won, but would have been even more hassle.

Make sure you keep a copy of all correspondence in case they U turn on you. Better safe than sorry.
POPLA are pointless. It's a body setup, funded, and controlled by the parking vulture industry. You will not get a fair appeal.
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,211
1,264
Leamington
Playing devils advocate here as frustrating as this is - isn’t the main issue that the hotel was / is closed due to the current Covid situation and in “normal” times you would of wandered into the reception and typed your registration into an iPad / told the receptionist?

I fully agree that there’s no reason the system can’t ignore fines for Tesla’s under an hour in the first place, and I hate these private parking companies too but it seems the main issue is that the hotel was closed with no alternative means of registering your number plate.
Simple solution is for parking vultures to stop issuing tickets if the hotel is closed!
 
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The Hotel’s website has a contact page with a section for Tesla Supercharging with no mention of needing to register a car to use it.

Underneath the Supercharging section is a generic parking section where it says guests need to register their cars on a tablet in reception as parking is being monitored by a third party.

I might suggest to the hotel that perhaps they need a clearer website and possibly some signs near the chargers to make it clearer for the future that you need to register when charging. Other hotels with the same setup post specific signs near the chargers.
 
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This is the sign in the middle of the superchargers


14BABEDD-86AC-4330-AD7E-158808A6DB64.jpeg

A8C3C1A3-9575-4FA9-9D64-2E31F583F89B.jpeg
 

Zakalwe

Member
Oct 16, 2020
511
547
UK
POPLA are pointless. It's a body setup, funded, and controlled by the parking vulture industry. You will not get a fair appeal.
Not strictly true. I've beaten Parking Eye twice using POPLA appeals.

Go to the Money Saving Expert forum and follow the Newbies thread *exactly and to the letter* in the Parking sub forum. It's a bit of a process and the last one I won dragged on for nearly two years.
They got no money from me though.
 

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