Don’t pay “Parking Charges”

The post originally located here has been removed due to a threat of legal action from lawyers acting on behalf of the “people” mentioned in it. More details, in a moment, but in the meantime I heartily recommend you visit one of the four mirrors listed below to view the document as it was published. These sites either have their own legal teams or their hosts (unlike mine) deemed the take-down order to be complete nonsense and ignored it:

OK, the whys and wherefores.

The issue I had was with [company name removed so I don’t risk allegedly defaming them]. Their lawyers are M Law. I am hosted on a One&One server.

According to M Law I defamed [company name removed so I don’t risk allegedly defaming them] in the post. They complained to One&One who, due to the fact that “as an ISP Provider, we have legal obligations in accordance with the Godfrey v Demon Internet Limited 1999 case law to ensure that all the defamatory posts have been removed, or litigation will be pursued against us not yourself.”

Do note that the major point here is “defamatory posts”. The post was not defamatory. At most it was allegedly defamatory. No judge had looked at the case, someone had simply complained that I had not put [company name removed so I don’t risk allegedly defaming them] in a good light.

I will not make further comment about [company name removed so I don’t risk allegedly defaming them]. I will not make any statement about them. What I will say is that whatever I do say would be in the public interest as they are a company who many members of the public deal with regularly. The public is allowed to complain about poor service, or quality of goods. If they didn’t then every single reviewing website or publication would be impossible to publish. BBC‘s Watchdog and Which? magazine could not function.

This is what I believe would be the result had the alleged defamation claim been taken to court. Instead, both organisations seem to have jumped the gun and proclaimed me guilty without a trial.

However, it seems that One&One don’t grasp this and neither do M Law.

Further, I don’t want to lose my entire blog which was the threat laid against me if I didn’t remove the post by midday on 25th October 2010.

All of the above is stated fact, at least as far as I have been able to ascertain from the limited information supplied to me by both the solicitors involved and my web host, despite several requests for more detailed information.

I have not defamed anyone with any of the above text. I leave it to the reader to make their own judgement, research as they require and – for instance – do a Google for the relevant companies. I’m sure the evidence will be enough for you to make your own judgements.

It has been suggested by more than one quarter that, in fact, by making a claim that I was (without due process) guilty of defamation, I myself have been libelled. This is something I am investigating. After all, if a newspaper reports someone as a thief, for instance, before the case has gone to trial and a verdict found then the alleged offender can sue.

Incidentally, prior to the takedown order my blog post had been read approximately 40 times.

As of the post being replaced with this explanation, it had 427 hits. Plus the MSE mirror was over 280. And Shelli’s blog hits had trebled.

Several statements spring to mind, but the two choicest are:




So that’s why I can’t mention Parking Eye on here any more.


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Ryanair talk fecking bollocks again

Lyingair - talking crap once again

I pinged this on Twitter and facebook, but it really deserves a proper little rant on here. Ryanair (Lyingair has never been a more apt pseudonym) have popped a story on their news page. Go have a read – it’s laughable:


There are several things wrong with this story. First up is the mis-spelling of “pipped”, but I’ll let that slip although it does enforce Lyingair’s overall slipshod impression.

The main thing is that the story is factually incorrect. Hell, it’s bollocks. Dublin airport is not to be renamed “Jedward Airport”. Just because Ryanair pushed it as their little comedy entry does not mean it’s going to happen. Of course, expect a lot of whinging from Michael O’Leary when it doesn’t happen.

I also find it profoundly ironic that the names for the airport were all picked for reasons along the lines of “prices go up faster than Jedward’s hair”. This from an airline that sells tickets for a penny. Plus checking-in fee. Plus luggage fee. Plus booking fee. Plus tax. Plus the cost of getting to the remote airport that’s nowhere near the advertised destination.

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Over 25? Student? You can still get a railcard!

Young Persons Railcard
Not just for young persons

Can’t believe I only just found this out – after booking some rail tickets. Although they may be canned with the upcoming strikes. CHecking for rail passes in England gives the option of 16-25, Family & Friends, Senior, Disabled and Network (SE/London). Checking in Scotland gave me the same options with Network replaced with Highland.

No obvious option for the mature student, which I thought a little unfair. After all, a 23 year old could be a graduate on £40k. I’m 36 and on £4k, all of which I have to pay back.

But, lo! Dig into the “Are you eligible?” section at the 16-25 Railcard web page and it includes mature students! As long as you’re attending 15+ hours a week for 20+ weeks per year, you qualify for the card. You require an ISIC (international student ID) card or a signature/stamp from the college and one passport-style photo. The pass can then be obtained from any manned railway station. You cannot apply online if you’re a mature student.

As it happens, this would only have saved me a smidgen over £6 on my London trip which doesn’t offset the £26 fee a great deal but these things mount up quickly over a year. It would definitely encourage me to use the train more.

Another point to note is that if you get the card on the last day of uni, it is still valid for the following 12 months – the same as if you get one on the day before you turn 26. So if you get a card partway through your final year and get your £26-worth, then just fork out for another one the day you leave!

So, bad advertising? Or a deliberate attempt to hide the fact that some people could be saving money? Either way, spread the word!

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National Express – adding insult to injury

National Express SC13 FN07BYW
"Flight delayed, sir? £5, please."

[note – issue resolved in a very positive manner. Details here]

I had some fun and games getting down to Norwich on Friday (which will be detailed on another blog shortly), mainly due to French air traffic controllers being complete arses. Please, if you happen to know where one of these ignorant sods lives, please let down all of his tyres and see how he likes being delayed.

National Express assed to my misery somewhat by “fining” me for being on a delayed flight… and then allowed people who hadn’t changed their tickets onto the later coach for free. That isn’t on. Hence the following letter. Let’s see what I get back.

I booked a return from Stansted Airport to Norwich online a couple of days before travel. Unfortunately due to French air traffic controllers, my plane from Glasgow was delayed by three hours. I called your helpline who told me it was £5 to change my ticket to a later bus which I duly paid by debit card.

However, when I got to Stansted I found that several other people had fallen foul of the same delay and were boarding the bus happily without a changed ticket.

Given that this delay was due to matters outside of our control I felt that this was a nice gesture by your driver. However, I feel aggrieved at being charged £5 as I went through the “correct” channels. After a long delay (with no food due to EasyJet never being adequately informative about when the plane was actually going to turn up) this really added insult to an injurious evening.

Incidentally, your call centre staff and website also mistakenly listed my arrival time in Norwich as 02:40 when the bus arrived at 02:00 – which seems correct judging by the timings of earlier schedules. As a result, I ended up waiting in the freezing cold of the bus station for ages to be collected by a friend who’d expected me to turn up 40 minutes later.

I’m going easy on them as, in fairness, my ticket change and fee were within the sale conditions. I just feel “punished” for going through the correct motions to change the ticket when those who didn’t/couldn’t were given a freebie.

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