31 May 2019

And Then Everything’s Fine...

A parking fine that is and this is a cautionary tale for those as dumb as wot I be.

A few weeks ago we were out and about in the car when we found ourselves close to a pub we’ve visited dozens of times as they do a rather good lunch. Fortuitously, it was lunchtime so I hauled into the carpark. We entered the establishment, found a table, ordered nosebag, ate and being replete and rested, left the pub. I quickly re-entered and paid the bill then left again, climbed in the car and drove home.

A couple of weeks later I was in receipt of a missive, complete with photos of my car registration, from a car parking outfit stating I’d parked at named hostelry and neglected to pay for parking and thus had been awarded an eighty five pound fine reduced to fifty dabs if I paid within ten days. Suddenly that lunch wasn’t such an enjoyable bargain.

Hah! Scam thought I. We’ve been there dozens of times and there were no parking fees. Okay, phone the pub. Guess wot; owing to folk parking to visit the nearby shops and not using the tavern, a couple of months back they’d farmed out management of the carpark to a private enterprise and ensured me there were signs to that effect at the entrance to the parking area and on the door into the pub. Did I see them? No. Been there many times so was I looking for parking signage? No. And how should I have paid if I’d seen said signage? By smartphone of course. You ever tried that? I did once a long time ago and got lost in the convoluted instructions. It may have improved but I’ve never been tempted to try again.

A little research seemed to indicate a few ways to avoid payment but I’m not actually body fit for too much stress so paid-up as fifty is thirty five better than eighty five and as a small protest, I requested a hard coy of the receipt of payment via hard mail. May as well cause them a bit of work for the fee. Anyhoo, this has resulted in me now suffering from ACPP – Acute Car-Park Paranoia.

I can handle they parks where you punch a button, get a ticket and pay on the way out but I can no longer enter they big carparks such as at big out of town shopping complexes, eateries and such and even supermarkets, without searching out a sign – usually way up a poll and needing binoculars to read.

Trust me, there are some beauties out there and the best I’ve spotted to date is at a frequently visited huge out of town retail park. This carpark offers one and a half hours free in big print but examining the small print you find there’s no way to buy more time should it be needed but with yet smaller print stating there’s a charge of one hundred pounds per hour, or part thereof, if you stay over that free time. Lord knows how much is being ripped by these outfits.

Quote;  Tommy Cooper.

“You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said 'Parking Fine.'”


Ripper said...

Mac, I've been meaning to comment but been so busy, and besides I didn't think you would be wanting that, given the situation. I just wanted to wish you a speedy recovery. Stay well buddy and keep typing.

As for the parking fine, no stress, just ignore - its a bit like the TV licence (haven't had one since 2006) - they demand money with menaces yet have no authority. In law (and I've read up on this a lot, my daughter is a senior staff nurse and has hundreds of these things from the hospital car park) you are only liable for the parking fee as you would have paid it for the amount of time spent parked up, so if the charge was £1 per hour and you spent 1.5 hours enjoying your meal, then you only owe them £2. Good luck taking you to court for that amount.

Of course if it happens to be a council run car park then there's no way out other than to pay, but a private company, nah.

Mac said...

Thank you for your wishes - appreciated.
Parking fine? Yes, I understand all you say. I didn’t delve into the legality of the claims too deeply and as I said, didn’t want to face any unnecessary stress{?}at this time.
As for these carpark ‘management’ outfits, I’m sure their ‘business model’ is based on x% of fines been paid by the unwary public - me being a perfect example...