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Parking Eye fine - Aldi in Walton. Should I pay?

(43 Posts)
Briony32 Thu 04-Sep-14 16:53:36

Just received a letter from Parking Eye. I overstayed the one and a half hours free parking at Aldi car park in Walton, by 10 mins! They have sent me photos of my car leaving and arriving so there isn't really any quibbling. I haven't any receipts from my shop there as it was several months ago (May) but at least one lift is frequently not working and it can take 10 mins to wait for the lift. Also, the entrance to the car park has been a building site for most of the year causing frequent blockges and queueing. It's £40 and will go up to £90 if I don't pay in 14 days. It's free parking for one and a half hours and I just overran. I think there is adquate signage.
I probably should just pay up but I think it's rather unfair as I was only 10 mins over. I've read snippets about private car parks not being able to enforce their fines - just council car parks are the ones to worry about.
Does anyone have direct experience of getting a fine from this particular car park recently, and can they tell me how they got on?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 04-Sep-14 17:01:38

Ok, its recent fines from Parking Eye you need to consider.

Either pay or fight it. Don't ignore. Parking eye are the one firm to take people to court,,not often but they do.

I would appeal. You're in the right and will win on appeal but you may have a fight and it depends how easily you crack.

If you fight it you need to write and tell them you dispute the unfair charge. List reasons you've given but also very importantly tell them that you dispute the amount as you consider it an unfair charge. Also put in the letter if they don't agree to withdraw the charge you would like a POPLA ref number as you will take it to POPLA.

They won't agree to withdraw it but you get your ref number. You then appeal to POPLA. Telling them that its an unfair charge. This is technically the only legal thing you can challenge it on. POPLA won't really care about roadworks,lifts, etc. bt you can add it in. Legally parking eye can only charge you for the amount of money lost. So how much money have they lost in a non pay and display car park? None. POPLA really should find in your favour. Check out money saving expert forum for more info.

Parking eye may send you lots of nasty letters, inc some purporting to be from Baliffs, solicitors, etc.

mrsminiverscharlady Thu 04-Sep-14 17:08:23

Just contact Aldi direct. I did and they just asked me to email them either a copy of my receipt for the day in question (which I didn't have), or a couple of receipts from other days or a copy of a bank statement showing I did shop in Aldi. They just wanted to know that I was a customer and not just using the car park and then they wrote the whole lot off.

Didyouevah Thu 04-Sep-14 17:25:16

Same here. I didn't have a copy of the receipt but looked online at my bank statement. Gave them exact figure and they could recall the transaction on that day. Sent stuff in to parking company. All fine smile

Briony32 Thu 04-Sep-14 21:46:09

Thanks for the advice guys. I'm not sure if I can cope with the stress of receiving nasty letters so may just pay the fine. But as the fine was back in May, I'm worried that I'll have a few more that I don't know about yet - could be opening up a can of worms!!! blush Oh dear, this has taught me to clock watch a bit more when I'm shopping. I thought that I was ok parking on the top deck.

I'm tempted to just contact Aldi direct, but am surprised that they are receptive to dealing with it when they employ Parking Eye to do it for them.
Does anyone else have any direct experience of parking in Aldi in Walton on Thames?

Grumpyoldblonde Fri 05-Sep-14 11:52:33

They are banking on you just paying, do more research about this company, I would send them a £2.00 coin in a letter telling them this should cover your overstay - they have sent you an invoice not a fine and you should read more online about the difference.

mrsminiverscharlady Fri 05-Sep-14 17:30:47

Please don't just pay the fine! The email address I used is aldicustomerservices@webershandwick.com. It's not in their interests to upset genuine customers so as long as you can show that you do use the store then there shouldn't be a problem.

Topseyt Fri 05-Sep-14 17:32:44

Don't just pay!! Challenge it. If you are a regular customer at Aldi then the chances are you spend a fair bit of money there one way or another. One would assume that they don't want bad publicity, would prefer to keep their regular customers and would like to continue poaching market share from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons etc.

Do contact Aldi directly. They do have a vested interest here. Also Parking Eye. It wasn't a pay and display car park, you were shopping there and should be able to prove it so you have a good chance of winning your case.

nothernexposure Fri 05-Sep-14 17:38:26

Google pepipoo, it's a website for legally fighting parking fines/driving offences etc. They've got a section on private parking tickets which is helpful. For what it's worth if this is the first time they've contacted you they're way over the time limit (from memory they need to contact you in writing within 14 days if they use an ANPR system or 56 days if they put a ticket on your windscreen). There are loads of threads on pepipoo with this information and how to write an appeal letter but what ever you do, don't just pay up.

plumnc Fri 05-Sep-14 17:42:27

Marking my place!

OP please keep us updated about how you get on

I was shopping in that particular Aldi this morning and realised I overstayed by 5-10 mins, so was wondering if that would get me in trouble. One lift out of action as usual.

I'll keep my receipt, I spent £90!

What kind of photos have they got op? - from a cctv/fixed camera sort of thing or from somebody with a camera (hoping some camera guy hasn't caught me out)shock?

Pickofthepops Fri 05-Sep-14 17:43:15

Don't pay it. They will let it go on evidence of shopping or less, I reckon, namely a calmly worded letter setting out as per your points here. Really. Don't pay it! Read money saving expert forum on this. I claimed unfair overstay charge from a different co and they backed off on the letter alone. Your case is extenuating but they are cowboys anyway.

EdwiniasRevenge Fri 05-Sep-14 17:56:38

Parking Eye can't fine you for parking on private property. You can only be fined by the police or coucil/parking warden for parking on public property.

They can charge you for their losses. Which is the cost of 10mins parking and admin costs of sending a letter - which in many cases is nothing as "2hrs free parking" in the first place.

I ignored mine. Had about 4 letters implying they would take me to court. Then nothing.

ignoring is the way to go rather than challenging.

just google "parking eye fine". Def research before paying.

<disclaimer - mine was a couple of years ago and I know the legislation has changed but only slightly I think>

LakeFlyPie Fri 05-Sep-14 19:22:04

Arrgh, the feckers have got me too for 16 mins overstay at Aldi (I shop there twice a week) in May!
They have traced my new address via a "Credit Reference Agency"

Do Aldi have any power to override the decision as it seems to be ParkingEye company rather than Aldi who are enforcing the parking charge notice.

Whilst I don't have a receipt from May's shopping I do have statements showing 2x weekly shops at their store.

Is this the best course of action?

An advice would be gratefully received.

TIA

mrsminiverscharlady Fri 05-Sep-14 20:41:30

Aldi can overrule Parking Eye. It was Parking Eye who contacted me and after I spoke to aldi I never heard from PE again.

Plumnc - I got a ticket from a 10 minute overstay sad

Briony32 Fri 05-Sep-14 21:28:54

Plumnc - it is a photo taken from the loading bay area so there must be a camera stuck on the wall there. I had seen the camera at the entrance/exit to the underground bit but not noticed others. They use numberplate recognition software and just calculate the difference between entrance and exit times - and spit out a fine (or "invoice") if you are over! I had thought it was a more basic system at one time, as they employ a warden at Christmas, but I think that is just to manage the traffic. It is a very busy car park, hence queues to find a space!

I have only just received my fine as I moved house in October and hadn't changed my address blush. Exactly the same circumstances as you LakeFly Pie!!! We must have exactly the same letter.

I think I will try to contact ALDI direct as people say, and see if I get anywhere. I shop there nearly every day and the lifts are an utter pain in that store, especially with 2 young children. But I hope to get a reply within 10 days or so so I can resolve this before the "invoice" doubles or more!
Grrrr, after reading up a bit Parking Eye do sound like utter cowboys. Thanks everyone for your input so far, but I think without totally up to date information (it appears the law has changed but I can't get my head round it all), I'm not brave enough to ignore completely.

Any more experiences?

Briony32 Fri 05-Sep-14 21:31:54

Thanks for the email address mrsminiverscharlady - glad to hear that Aldi can overrule Parking Eye.
Think my fine is still counted as recent VivaLaBeaver - due to change of address.

Rummikub Fri 05-Sep-14 21:38:49

Look on Martin Lewis money saving site. He has template letters you can send to these companies. Well worth doing. Worked for me, fine cancelled.

Polonium Fri 05-Sep-14 21:42:01

Wouldn't happen at Waitrose.

Polonium Fri 05-Sep-14 21:43:35

Sorry that wasn't very helpful.

Briony32 Fri 05-Sep-14 21:47:21

grin Polonium Yes, I think I should change alliance.

mrsminiverscharlady Fri 05-Sep-14 21:49:37

You say that polonium, but my local waitrose does actually fine you if you stay longer than 2 hours.

Good luck OP, sure it'll be fine.

NicolaLesley123 Fri 05-Sep-14 21:55:52

I have had a private parking ticket, ignored it, got letters from them (which look remarkably like council parking fines!) and their latest letters threatened Court action. I continued to ignore. They went away.

Read "moneysavingexpert.com" I live by his rules and he tells you not to pay.
Good luck - not that I think you need it.
I would never pay a private ticket
- ever.

NicolaLesley123 Fri 05-Sep-14 21:57:16

By the way Martin Lewis is the "moneysavingexpert" just in case you didn't know ... oh and they had photos of me too!!

Knackeredmum13 Fri 05-Sep-14 22:02:37

Just contact Aldi and they will get it cancelled. It happened to me in a retail park and I wasted weeks trying to appeal the proper way. I then contacted Matalan and showed them my receipt and they had Parking Eye cancel the fine within minutes.

thenightsky Fri 05-Sep-14 22:12:37

A few of my friends have had similar from Maccy D for overstaying by minutes. They have all ignored and received approx 5 to 7 letters from parking company, bailiffs, solicitors etc before it all goes quiet and they hear no more.

Check pistonheads.com for more info on their forums.

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