We were contacted with the following question.
parked briefly at 12:14 but left the car park soon after as I had a phone call and had to go elsewhere (a 2hr min round trip). I returned to the car park later in the day and did the shopping I needed. The second photo on my charge notice is taken at 18:08. So they are saying that I spent nearly 6 hours in that carpark and I know perfectly well that I didn't. I have never outstayed my welcome in that particular place anyway as I don't want the hassle of appealing.
Double Dip has been defined by the British Parking Association as "equipment failure". In their guide to ANPR which has mysteriously disappeared from their website - but we have a copy - it says:
Repeat users of a car park in a 24 hour period sometimes find that their first entry is paired with their last exit, resulting in an ‘overstay’. Operators are aware of this and are now checking all ANPR transactions to ensure that this does not occur.
Some ‘drive in/drive out’ motorists that have activated the system receive a ticket even though they have not parked. Reputable operators tend not to uphold tickets issued in this manner (unless advised differently by the Landowner/Landlord), but operators should also now be factoring in a small ‘grace period*’ to allow a driver time either to find a parking space (and to leave if there is not one) or make a decision whether the tariff is appropriate for their use or not. This ‘grace period is however at the discretion of the Landlord/Landowner and will also vary in duration, dependant on the size/layout/circumstances of the car park.
*The "grace" period mentioned above is now up to 10 minutes on entry and a mandatory 10 minutes when leaving a parking space.
But what makes a simple equipment failure as scam? Simply put it is so well known (up to 10%) and so frequent that it generates a lot of income for the parking contractors to the extent they will
a) deny the equipment is faulty despite having maintenccae records to show this and
b) fail to follow the British Parking Association's advice to "check all ANPR transactions to ensure that this does not occur."
If you suspect or even know there has been a "double dip" then challenge them asking them to check their records. The onus is on them to prove you were there for the period, not the other way around.