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Poole Quay Car Park has been known notoriously by locals as being one of the smallest and hardest-to-navigate car parks in the area, but it seems payment issues might soon be added to this list of problems. This is certainly the case for Eleanor Spry, a resident of Upton, who was “wrongfully” issued with a £60 parking fine despite correctly purchasing a ticket, she claimed.
Eleanor said she took every measure to ensure that she correctly paid for the ticket and opted to purchase this digitally without the need for a printed ticket.
However, it was not until she checked her banking app to find that the name of payment was issued under Water Gardens Parking, a car park in Hemel Hempstead, and not for Poole Quay Car Park, which is operated by Britannia Parking.
The firm went on to issue Eleanor with a parking fine, claiming that she had not paid, despite her proof of payment.
It has left Eleanor annoyed and frustrated by the situation and she explained that the appeals process is particularly draining and time-consuming.
She told DorsetLive that the whole incident has been a “kick in the teeth”, especially after the trip to Poole Quay was meaningful for the family.
In a statement, Britannia Parking said it takes complaints about its services “seriously”.
It added the firm is a “responsible car park operator” and advised drivers to “take care” when typing in the site code if paying by phone.
Eleanor, a copywriter and graphics designer, had taken her foster family for a day trip to mark her last day with her foster son before his move to a new family.
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Yet, less than a week later, Eleanor was hit with a parking fine, with memories of her day trip with her family tarnished with the stress of appealing the fine.
She explained: “The reason we went was because we’re a foster family and our foster son was leaving for his next placement, which was a good thing.
“It’s a good thing for him, but it’s also big thing for us because this was our first fostering experience.
“So, we were just going out as a family to cheer ourselves up ahead of that happening, but it’s all been a kick in the teeth.”
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Eleanor has stood her ground and will appeal the fine after she claimed that she has correctly paid for her ticket and supplied all relevant evidence to appeal.
Despite regularly contacting Britannia Parking as well as the company that distributes the payment machines, she feels that her appeal is not being heard and says she is “stuck”.
She feels her situation is unique after taking to social media in the hopes that someone else might have experienced the same thing, only to find no one else had.
She explained: “I posted in a local group because there was someone in front of me and someone behind me, so if it was a machine glitch, it would have been more than just a single transaction, it would have been multiple transactions, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.”
Eleanor’s banking app shows the wrong name of the car park as the name of payment, however, the time and date of the payment is correct and in line with the ticket she purchased originally.
But because the name of payment differs from Britannia Parking, Eleanor claims that the parking company is unable to help with her inquiry.
She said: “Even in my appeal, I’ve said that I’ve made the payments, but the payments have gone somewhere else.
“They don’t seem to understand the situation themselves because they’ve told me they do not know this place and that they’re not affiliated with any local company.”
However, Eleanor made clear that she purchased the ticket from the machines inside the Britannia Parking car park on the premises.
She added that because everything was completed digitally, she finds herself in a “difficult position”. A spokesperson for Britannia Parking said that it “takes all concerns about our site very seriously”.
They said: “The Poole Quayside car park is a surface site operating on a pay-on-arrival system and is long-established in our portfolio of sites.
“Payment for parking can be made by card at the pay machines, or by using the pay by phone service and following instructions provided within the car park.
“Customers are advised to take care to ensure the correct site code is used when making payment using pay by phone.
“In the event that a customer receives a parking charge notice, full details of the appeals process are provided on the reverse.”
They added: “Britannia Parking is a responsible car park operator and manager of 30 years standing. We take all concerns about our sites very seriously.”
Additional reporting by Sarah Ping.
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