About to do something I rarely do online but here goes: RANT!!!!

Having one of those days, slept badly, Munchkin has been ill, took him on a playdate that ended up being miles away and got him home late, he refused to eat his dinner but would willingly eat Ritz crackers and then……..my car got clamped!!

Can you f+++++++ing believe it?

I live on a private estate in a nice part of London. Recently they introduced a scheme where the residents are required to have a permit to park their car within the grounds. So fair enough, we got the permit and duly stuck it to our windscreen. Job done.

If your car doesn’t have a permit it gets clamped and you are required to pay £120 to get it removed. There have been many complaints from residents within the estate over the past months about the desire for the clamping agency just to make as much money as possible and how unpleasant they are.

Jer is out this evening at a work do so I was bathing Munchkin on my own. Just as I was getting him out the doorbell rang, which is very unusual for that time of night. I scooped up Munchkin in a towel and answered it. It was my downstair’s neighbour telling me that my car was being clamped. I rushed to the window and saw some guy walking away having put the clamp on. I shouted down to him that I had a permit and that if he could wait 10 minutes I’d come down and show him. He drove off.

So, I did the only thing I could do which was get Munchkin ready for bed and pop him in his cot. I was super annoyed because I am sure he picked up on the fact that I was stressed and looked all worried which made me feel even worse!

Once that was done I went downstairs and actually the van came back. I opened my car and to my dismay, the plastic wallet which contains the permit and which is normally stuck to the windscreen had come off and was on the floor of the car. However, given that I mistakenly believe most people are reasonable I showed the guy the permit and said it had obviously just fallen off and that I wasn’t illegally parked. No dice. Bear in mind, that I had left Munchkin in the flat on his own (he was asleep but STILL!). The guy was not hearing any of it and said I would have to pay to get the clamp taken off because it was on now  and otherwise the car would be towed away and I’d have to pay £500.

I then called the number on the notice and was extremely calm and reasonable. The supervisor guy on the other end of the phone also refused to help and said that the only option was to pay and appeal later. (Note: I have heard of other people appealing and not hearing anything back). The guy even went as far as to say that maybe I had removed the permit from the window for some reason….

In the end, conscious of the fact that Munchkin was in the house alone and that I needed the car to get to work and a hospital appointment the next day (more on that later!) I had to pay the money…..£122.

To remove a clamp from MY car parked in MY driveway for which I have a permit.

Now, is it just me or is that C.R.A.Z.Y??????????????

I am so mad. Apologies for the rant though.

By the way, if anyone in the London area is reading this the company is called Ace Services, watch out.

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4 Responses to rant

  1. silenceandnoise says:

    WHat a joke!! I would obviously send an appeal AND a letter complaining about their very incompetent and unhelpful staff. I would also call them and try to talk to someone. I think at the end, it is not even about the money (which I think is a lot, especially in CAD), but about the fact that you had a permit and they refused to acknowledge that.
    I hope it gets sorted out soon!!

    • londonmum says:

      Agree, it’s not the money (although it’s a hell of a lot) but the principle of the thing that annoys me. We are certainly going to complain. More philosophical about the whole thing to do but still!

  2. Shelley says:

    This is feeling like weird de ja vu. Did you have a permit problem once before or am I hallucinating. And I think 122 pounds (no symbol on a US computer!) is outrageous particularly since you have the permit.

    Sorry to hear your day was so yucky!

    • londonmum says:

      You are right, the last time it was kind of our fault because we had displayed the wrong permit. They were even more unpleasant that time but I suspect that might have been because I swore at them!! Today is a much better day so thank you!

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