‘It’s blackmail’ Furious pensioner is forced into paying £170 fine after parking row

Birmingham resident helps NHS staff with parking charges

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Despite putting a pound into the machine at an Iceland supermarket, the woman said it did not print out a ticket. Now Mary Jones, 72, faces paying out £170 for the row which happened despite store staff saying she could park there.

The car park was not in fact managed by Iceland, but by a company called Excel Parking.

Mrs Jones explained: “My husband stayed in the car because he’s not able to do any walking at the moment. I went to the machine to get a ticket out, put the money in and no ticket, nor my pound came out.

“I went and told him to keep an eye out in case the chappie came along. I had a word in Iceland to explain what had happened, and that I did not have a ticket.

“The lady double checked and confirmed that should be ok.”

After 40 minutes or so she returned to the car with her shopping and headed home.

However a few weeks later she was shocked to receive a letter from Excel Parking, addressed to her husband, with a fine of £100.

She said: “I was not impressed having thought that it was all sorted.

“I got hold of them on the telephone and explained what had happened. All I received in reply was them saying it was not down to Iceland to say I could park there.

“I also explained that if they checked the money that had gone into the machine, it would not tally by at least a pound with mine had gone in. The proof was there if they work their accounts correctly.”

Mrs Jones appealed the decision, but the claim was rejected, reported Devon Live. In its response to her, Excel Parking wrote: “We are unable to accept your appeal. The signs at the car park make it clear that a valid ticket must be purchased for all vehicles which park or enter the park, giving clear notice that the land is private property and that a charge of £100 will be levied if vehicles park outside the terms and conditions displayed.

“Signs also state that when a ticket is purchased, the full and accurate vehicle registration number of the vehicle parked must be entered into the P&D ticket machine.

“The above detailed vehicle parked without payment of the parking tariff for the vehicle on site and you became liable for the charge advertised.”

It adds: “We note your comment that you were unable to purchase a ticket because the machine was not working. In those circumstances you should have sought alternative parking or phoned the helpline.

“By failing to make payment for the period of parking question, you became liable for the charge notice issued.“

“Signs on site clearly display a helpline telephone number which is available to use by motorists who have any problems or queries in respect of their use of the car park. In this case, the driver should have called that helpline so that arrangements could be made, or advice given in respect of any problem they had.

“We note your comments in respect of you being offered advice on how to park. Iceland staff on site are not authorised to allow motorists to park in contravention of the terms and conditions displayed at the car park. It is the motorist’s sole responsibility to ensure they park correctly.

“If you were unable to park correctly, you had the option to phone the helpline for advice or to find alternative parking.”

Mrs Jones said: “I just cannot believe that in all honesty. They were told what had happened, that I wasn’t trying to con them out of a pound, and now I’ve been told to pay £170 with the threat that if it’s not paid, the bailiffs are coming.

“I’m just furious. Mike is more concerned with the fact that they’re threatening bailiffs.

“They threaten county court proceedings, the potential impacts of having a CCJ, a negative impact on your credit rating effect (sic) your current employment, although we’re retired anyway, so that’s immaterial.

“They say it will enable enforcement action to commence such as obtaining an attachment of earnings, placing a charge or restriction on property and applying a warrant of execution which will result in bailiffs. Where do you go? Do I just ignore it? I’m more concerned about my husband because he’s not fit at the moment to be under this stress. I don’t want to pay it; I don’t think it’s right. It’s blackmail.

“This letter is just stupid really. The pound went in, they’ve got the pound which I couldn’t claim back which I would have been able to if I’d got a ticket anyway. I thought at the time, I had better things to do than just losing a pound in the machine and after speaking to staff at Iceland they told me it was fine. Somebody is at fault aren’t they?”

Express.co.uk has contacted Excel Parking for comment.

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