you visited this (see image on the left) website yet? It's the one you reach if
you click through the advert currently on the front page of Bexley council’s
website or go to the address
the street signs. If you do and keep your wits about you you will se that it
fails to identify anything about the company that operates it. No name, no
address, no company registration number. Nothing. If you were shopping on the
web you would avoid a site like that like the plague.
If you want to contact them they demand a mobile phone number, an email address and your car registration number, all compulsory. If you have only one or two or none, stuff you! Enquiries not welcome.
The only useful link is ‘Operators’ which brings up a brochure about the service and the name of another company, BemroseBoothMobile. No company ID on that either other than a phone number bearing the Beverley (Hull) area code. The provided web address (www.bemroseboothmobile.com) goes nowhere. It was off line last Thursday when I first tried it and it is off line today. If the alarm bells aren’t ringing by now, they should be. So where do you go from there when wearing a private eye’s hat?
You can Google it. You will see that a year ago BemroseBooth was on the verge of bankruptcy and it was in dispute with Marks & Spencer. But it seemed to survive.
Over to Companies House. Ah, I see, some parts of BemroseBooth are in liquidation, some not, the surviving components seem to have been farmed out everywhere. The director of the parking outfit is one Gary Wayne. Sounds like a cowboy. Google tells me a Gary Wayne exhibited at ParkEx, a parking company’s convention, in 2009, using the name Creative Car Park Ltd. Creative Car Parks have been labelled bad boys all over the web. From the Daily Mail to the Dunoon Observer and the Isle of Wight County Press the net is awash with criticism of the practices of this group of companies. Not good at all.
The Mail revealed that the company operated in a way outlawed by the Companies Act of 2007 and that company boss Gary Wayne went to inordinate lengths to protect his identity and when uncovered said he did it “to protect the identity and security of the senior administration of the company". The Mail claimed the company was a one man band.
The current web page of Creative Car Parks shows the close links between them and BemroseBooth and it owns up to the fact it operates BemroseBoothMobile; so the circle between the dodgy operator exposed by The Daily Mail and the dodgy operator who lies about Bexley council’s parking facilities is squared. Would you expect anything less of councillor Peter Craske than to enter into a contract with a company with such a distinguished history?
With acknowledgements to ex-blogger Olly Cromwell, in particular the Companies House details.