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BOYCOTTING SAINSBURYS-Unfair parking ticket and shoddy customer services from Sainsburys- store manager.

(131 Posts)
Lipstickgal Mon 04-Jul-11 15:24:07

i am feeling so angry. I will explain this as briefly as possible.
We have restrictions in our Sainsburys car park which is that you are allowed to park for two hours and not return within two hours. Fine.
I do my shop on Thurs, arrive just before 10am and leave 11am. I have my receipt to substantiate this.
I then drive to another supermarket of which I also have a receipt that shows I left there at 11.30am.
I go home, unpack and collect my son from Grammar sch at 1.15pm. It is a 20 min drive away. He then asks if he can pop in to get some stationary bits so I return to the carpark around 2pm after popping home.
Later I find I have been given ticket saying I have parked from 10.15 until 2.10.
Clearly this is not the case so I took myself down to Sainburys with the receipts and explained that I could collaborate my whereabouts and was out of the carpark longer than 2 hours. I am asked by the duty manager to return on Monday as he can't cancel the ticket but the store manager can at his discretion. So back I go this morning only to experience the worst customer service ever.
I was basically made to feel like a liar because he questioned my whereabouts for 10 mins, in an itinerary fashion, and then told me he didn't have the authority to overturn this ticket. He was surly and obnoxious. I rang customer careline when I got home to log a complaint and they told me that he could have recinded this ticket as it was indeed at his discretion. I am not a liar and feel very strongly about how I was mistreated. I said they should look on their CCTV if they wanted to see exactly when I came and left and they would find it to be as I said. I said if the matter wasn't resolved I and my immmediate family would never shop there again. At this point he turned and said that that was up to me!
The liar in this case was the Store Manager.
The person I spoke on the phone asked me what I wanted and I said an apology and the ticket recinded. She then said that 'I have apologised'! I was so shocked I just told her that I would be putting all my concerns in writing and took her name. They don't like that do they?She asked me why I wanted her name and I then had to explain that I still wasn't satisfied with the level of customer care etc. We spend about £6,000 a year in this shop.
WIBU in never shopping at Sainsburys again? I actually feel intimidated because this store manager made a real scene of the situation and belittled me. Anyone else experienced anything like this?

suzikettles Mon 04-Jul-11 15:28:48

Wow. I've seen the signs about the 2hr max and no return or whatever but I didn't realise they were ever enforced.

Have you done a "shocked and disappointed" letter to Head Office yet? I'd do that.

The manager is an arse.

Lipstickgal Mon 04-Jul-11 15:35:53

Yes I am going to write to both his district manager and the head office. I am getting angrier as the day goes on because of the injustice of how I was treated. I made a point of saying that the duty manager, who I saw on Friday, had good customer service skills and was polite and pleasant at all times. I have never had reason to complain before but this was so dreadfully disrepectful.

Sewmuchtodo Mon 04-Jul-11 15:36:58

I hope you are writing to their head office as I type!

This is terrible behaviour. Can I ask roughly where in the country you are? As if near us it would put me off sainsburys too.......says the woman who spent almost £200 there this morning!

HowlingBitch Mon 04-Jul-11 15:38:22

Go to they Daily Mail about it! (It's a rag I know but they love this kind of thing) Sainsburys would hate that.

How disgusting they would make you out to be a lair. What logical reason would you have to lie about something so small.

Lipstickgal Mon 04-Jul-11 15:38:23

Lincolnshire in the Fens.

flipthefrog Mon 04-Jul-11 15:40:52

you could get in contact with your local paper, we had similar in another shopping park near us, local rag ran the story as it had happened to lots of people!

i think it's a kind of a daft rule anyway. what if you need to go back if you've forgotton something or stay to eat in the cafe, it's a silly rule

drcrab Mon 04-Jul-11 15:42:02

I would do a shocked and disappointed letter to HQ, copy them, copy your local newspaper to shame them too. Oh and your MP.

I did that - we were at the newly opened out of town M&S and I really didn't know there was a limit as to how long we could stay (really). Cut long story short, I got sent a letter from the 'parking eye' saying that I'd overstayed. I fought it tooth and nail - my friend who was with me and was also 'found guilty' ended up paying it as she didn't want to get a 'bad mark' on her record. I refused. Turns out, if you google 'parking eye', you'll get a whole load of advice from people who'll generally tell you that you don't have to pay since it's a private company. Even if they threaten you with legal action, bailiffs etc.

I sent a shocked and disappointed letter to M&S and they responded apologising profusely etc and said that they'd take it up with the landlord/carpark people. And the manager said that he had 40 other letters to address (similar problem).

This happened in January this year. It's now July and they've (parking people, not M&S) not chased me up (other than sending threatening sounding letters). The last I heard, this particular M&S may be closing, as the footfall there isn't great (I suppose too many people were scared to 'overstay'!). I feel sorry for M&S (well, feel sorry for the fact that I will lose this M&S and will have to go into town for my 'dine in for £10'!!), but it's really their fault for having such draconian rules, and silly parking 'eye's.

bubblesincoffee Mon 04-Jul-11 15:43:29

You were treated badly, but it sounds like you are doing well in sticking up for yourself. It never works when you threaten not to shop there anymore, they don't care about stuff like that and they know it would be more inconvenient to you not to shop there, it makes no difference to them as they have plenty of other customers.

Why does it make a difference that your child is at grammar school?

drcrab Mon 04-Jul-11 15:44:01

the last threatening letter was sent in March - and then they've gone away...

Pendeen Mon 04-Jul-11 15:45:41

Unless the car park is managed by the council (on behalf of Sainsburys) you have not been issued with a parking ticket; its is only an invoice from a private company. They have no authority to issue parking tickets. However it is dressed up, it has no validity other than as an invoice.

If this is the case, throw it in the bin. Do not enter into any correspondence with the parking company, any debt collection company they use, or Sainsburys. Ignore all attempts from them to extort money pretending to be in any way oficial.

The only recourse they have is contract law and it is highly unlikely they will waste too much time chasing a small debt such as this.

ExpensivePants Mon 04-Jul-11 15:46:43

I've never understood the no return thing. Isn't it counterproductive? They're basically telling you to shop elsewhere if you want to do more shopping.

Don't pay it, I'd be bloody furious.

elphabadefiesgravity Mon 04-Jul-11 15:48:12


This happened to a work colleague on a nearby retail park only he was dropping his son off who worked in one of the stores at 10am and picked him up again at 5pm.

The ticket was cancelled becasue the lad's boss got involved.

This parking eye thing is awful and I do all I can to avoid going to this particular retail park now. Last October I went early Christmas shopping and spent the day there (including lunch at Frankie & Benny's). They have lost my custom.

MrsBethel Mon 04-Jul-11 15:49:03

If in doubt, write to the CEO. They won't read it, but their lackeys will, and they are so desperate to uphold the image of their CEO that they will generally do a terrific job for you.

Justin King
33 Holborn

Fleurdebleurgh Mon 04-Jul-11 15:49:56

"I wont be shopping here again!"

Meh, my wages will still be paid.

RoseC Mon 04-Jul-11 15:50:06

I once got caught by the parking limit in a city centre Sainsbury's soon after it changed. I thought (like the old system) it was free for two hours then graduated charges for shoppers, as with non-shoppers. Apparently it's graduated chargers for non-shoppers for two hours then everyone gets fined £50. I spent three hours there and the barrier wouldn't let me out.

It was only when I got upset as I didn't have £50 in my account that they said they'd let me off if I spent 'more'. I ended up spending over £20 extra on things I didn't need before they would validate my ticket. They made me feel like I was deliberately out to fleece them. Definitely call your local paper OP - I wish I'd made more of a fuss at the time but I was 19 and felt intimidated.

Lipstickgal Mon 04-Jul-11 15:51:20

Exactly HB. If I had done something wrong I would take it on the chin. However it really is the principle of the thing. I don't feel a valued customer in the least and felt aspersions were cast upon my character IYSWIM.

LindyHemming Mon 04-Jul-11 15:51:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pendeen Mon 04-Jul-11 15:51:25

Don't write to anyone.

Simply ignore it.

By writing you will give them evidence that you were the driver and that helps them not you.

musicposy Mon 04-Jul-11 15:56:18

If they won't recind it, write telling the parking company you are appealing and why.
You'll find they have no appeals process (except on paper to meet the law) they will send you a standard letter saying you were over the limit. Keep sending back your original letter demanding a proper appeal. Eventually they will put the price up and up and threaten you with bailiffs and court. This sounds scary but don't weaken. They will give up.
Similar happened to us a couple of years back. When they threatened with court I wrote back saying "good, take me to court, I'd love to tell a court how you have no appeals process/ target innocent customers etc etc" I never heard from them again.

However, that was at Burger King and I've never eaten there again either. I'd stop shopping at Sainsbury's on principle and tell all your friends and family why. Write and tell Sainsbury's this.

These places are so stupid, I avoid car parks with these signs now. They must lose so much trade. At Waitrose they have a ticket barrier with a real person inside. I shop there because I don't have to worry about a parking company just being out to make money from me.

musicposy Mon 04-Jul-11 15:57:27

Or just ignore it as Pendeen says. But don't weaken as they up the threats, this is the key.

Lipstickgal Mon 04-Jul-11 16:02:27

Thank-you for all you understanding replies and information. There are plenty of other supermarkets within easy reach and after this I'd drive out of my way if they weren't to avoid Sainsburys!

Bubblesincoffee- it makes absolutely no difference at all that my son is at a Grammar sch - it was just a statement of fact and reiterating the distance I have to go to collect as it isn't on our doorstep and so explains futher why I was not in the area etc. Why did you ask?

Insomnia11 Mon 04-Jul-11 16:03:24

Ours has a machine that records your numberplate as you go in, whether it records it when you leave I'm not sure. In order to enforce the ticket, THEY need to have proof that you were parked there all that time. You don't need to substantiate anything. If they have no proof tell them to take a running jump. It's probably a private parking company and not Sainsbury's doing this by the way.

ExpensivePants Mon 04-Jul-11 16:06:34

Bastards! I've just realised what those fucking machines are for now... The ones at the entrance that say Welcome to Sainsburys AB11CDE and at the exit Goodbye AB11CDE Thank you for calling.

And here was me thinking they were being nice and just a little bitm showy offy.

Disclaimer: Numberplates have been changed to protect the innocent!

Lipstickgal Mon 04-Jul-11 16:34:12

I still haven't had a call back either. They apparently logged the complaint against our Nectar account. It shouldn't be hard really should it?

I am seriously thinking about going to the local press. I am restricted as to when I can go to the supermarket as I have a child who is seriously Autistic/Epileptic so after school/evening hours are a no go. Life is stressful enough without this unwarrented nonsense.

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