Interestingly, A Lauder (the signatory to the parking ticket appeal letter linked above) noted 'If you do find that a pay and display machine isn't working it doesn't mean that you can park without payment'. Well, clearly with the cancellation of the ticket, that's not the case! S/he goes on, 'the position is you are required to purchase a ticket from an alternative pay and display machine or move your vehicle to a different bay where the parking machine is working.'
Well, thanks for making your position clear, A Lauder! Now here's my position, repeated for clarity. I am happy to pay to park my car, and will always attempt to do so. That's my side of the bargain. Your side is to make sure I am able to pay, by emptying the machines, and not sending out traffic wardens to catch out those who are unable to pay due to your thumbs being stuck up your arse. If you fail on your side of the bargain, then that's your problem, not mine. I will not waste my time and fuel looking for an alternative space or machine if you think treating those who pay your wages with such contempt and arrogance is acceptable.
On the Confused.com thing, this was an easy one. I'll post how it's done step-by-step soon, but for simplicity, here's how it works - I have a £10 per year internet domain (e.g. mydomain.com) with a special 'catch-all' email address, where anything can be used before the @ to make an email address (so for example, the same inbox will receive email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com).
When I use online services, I always use the name of the company, then the @mydomain.com bit, so for Confused.com, the email I used when I did a search for cheaper car insurance was 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
Now, when they go ahead and sell your email address without your consent, chances are you'll never know because you can't tell where the senders of the spam in your inbox got your email address from. But if you use a unique email address for each online service you use, when they sell that address, it's easy to tell - so when I received a spam email from BT trying to sell me broadband, it came through addressed to 'email@example.com' - jackpot, they've sold my details! A brief complaint to the Information Commissioners Office resulted in them being found at fault and viola, £200 cheque in the post!