Sheffield parking firm accused of 'bullying and underhand’ tactics over fine
A Sheffield parking firm has been accused of employing ‘bullying’ and ‘underhand’ tactics after the daughter of an elderly shopper was fined despite buying a ticket.
University lecturer Wendy Miller was hit with the £60 fine after parking at Berkeley Precinct car park on August 8 with her 79-year-old mum.
She didn’t initially buy a ticket as the pair intended only to visit Tesco briefly, taking advantage of the one hour’s free parking at the Ecclesall Road shopping centre.
However, when they came to leave the car park, Ms Miller’s diabetic mum felt ill so they decided to buy a ticket and go to Costa.
This ticket - bought at 1pm - would have allowed them to exit at 3pm, but they actually left at 2.14pm, comfortably within the maximum two-hour stay from when they first arrived at 12.32pm.
However, just under a month later, Ms Miller received a fine for £60, and now wants to alert other parkers at Berkeley Precinct of what she says are the company’s ‘unfair’ practices.
“If they expect people to buy a ticket on arrival, it does not make that clear,” she said.
“You cannot predict that circumstances may change to extend beyond an hour. We knew the maximum stay was two hours and made sure that we exited the car park before that.”
Ms Miller said that she ‘luckily’ kept her ticket and is now in the process of challenging the fine with the IPC, a trade body which represents parking companies.
“If it was a case of someone parking in a disabled bay without a badge, or someone parking and not paying at all or blocking an entrance then they may have a case,” she added.
“But someone actually buying a ticket in good faith, proving that the ticket was bought and still being rejected is purely unfair.”
A representative for Vehicle Control Services Ltd, who operate the Berkeley Precinct car park, said: “Whilst we acknowledge the mitigating circumstances described by Mrs Miller, no supporting evidence was supplied with her appeal. The signage clearly states that the parking tariff must be purchased on arrival for stays exceeding 1 hour.
"Mrs Miller could have sought advice on the day by calling our Helpline number. Mrs Miller has subsequently appealed to the Independent Appeals Service and we await their decision.”