MOTORISTS who were told to cough up £200 in cash by clampers in Laindon fear they won’t get their money back after an Echo probe discovered how hard it was to track down the business.
Parking Control Services has caused controversy by clamping scores of drivers near Laindon rail station, just weeks before the practice is outlawed.
Many drivers hit by the hefty release fees want to appeal for their money back, amid claims the warning signs are not clearly displayed.
However, the company’s address, listed on invoices, leads to a London mailbox meaning there are no staff to receive the appeal letters or write back.
The Echo has also discovered the clamping firm is linked to a limited company now in liquidation, which has previously refused to pay motorists back.
Colin Spall, 36, of Southwell Link, Laindon, was clamped a week-and-a-half ago and has written to the mailbox address requesting an appeal.
He said: “I appealed because I didn’t even see the signs and don’t think it was fair, but there has been no acknowledgement.
“I am very doubtful if I will ever hear anything back, but thought I would try.”
Parking Control Services was the trading name for Magnaco Limited and used the same London mailbox address.
Magnaco run by Mario Ireland, 40, went into liquidation in July owing £88,000 to unsecured creditors.
According to the registry of county court judgements, there is still a total of £4,770 owed to 15 drivers who took their cases to court and won, but were never paid back. Three others totalling over £2,000 were paid back.
Yesterday the Echo revealed shop owners in the Station Gate parade were also angry at the clamping firm for driving their customers away.
Danielle Adams, owner of the Chippy, said: “I have had customers come in, place big orders and then refuse to come back because they have been clamped.”
Clamping and towing vehicles from private property will become illegal next month.
Ex-clamping boss: I sold my old website
THE Echo found Mario Ireland at a new parking enforcement firm called Parking Ticketing.
He denied any knowledge of Parking Control Services operating in Laindon and said the new firm did not do wheel clamping.
He also said he had no knowledge of anyone using his old trading name or website.
Motorists have been confused when accessing the website parkingcontrolservices.co.uk because it leads to the website of his new firm.
The website is displayed on the warning signs put up at Station Gate.
He also could not explain why the name Ram Singh was given as the name of the clamper on invoices given to motorists.
Mr Singh was previously a clamper for Parking Control Services.
Mr Ireland said he sold the old website domain name to the new company and that thousands of businesses used the mailbox address he previously used.
He added: “I can confirm neither myself or Parking Ticketing are involved in Parking Control Services or any other person or company appearing to be acting as Parking Control Services.”