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Words with the Manager: Our Car Parking Campaign
We have been featured in the press quite a lot lately talking about parking on private land such as supermarkets and the unfair and fastidious practices of some of the companies who administer the car parks.
Many stores and supermarkets provide parking for their customers and have been finding that other people are using their car parks and shopping elsewhere. This is causing genuine customers to complain that they have nowhere to park and possibly shopping elsewhere. In view of this many now employ private contractors to administer the car parks on their behalf.
Often these private companies are quite aggressive with their enforcement and this is where we get involved with people who feel that they are being unfairly treated.
I parked in a well-known supermarket and was shopping in the store when my father collapsed. The store staff were great and when he did not immediately recover they called an ambulance. The paramedics got him into the ambulance and stabilised him and although he was admitted to hospital he was released the following day.
Some weeks later I got a ticket from the parking company as I had overstayed the allowed time and asking for a £40 fee. I had genuinely been shopping in the store and felt that I had a good reason for overstaying the time, I had not gone shopping elsewhere.
I wrote an appeal and enclosed a copy of my bank statement which showed a debit card transaction for the date in question but they were not satisfied and kept asking for more information. I asked them to speak to the store as the incident would have been recorded in the accident book.
They did not do this and kept writing. In the end I wrote to the customer services and asked them to intercede which they did and the parking ticket was cancelled. The incident was distressing and I have never been back to the store.
We have written to the local branch of a national company to tell them that their reputation is being damaged by harsh enforcement of parking rules, one elder client locked his keys in his car and the company refused to cancel the ticket. They have not responded.
If you have been issued a ticket and think it is unfair then you should appeal and if necessary contact the company head office as they need to know that the company acting on their behalf are being very strict.
If on the other hand, like me at Asda in Worcester, you did not read the signs to say that the parking rules had changed and I had over stayed then you will, like me, have to pay up.
Here is a link on when you should appeal a ticket: