Retiree threatened with bailiffs for losing £1 in ticket machine in Iceland

A pensioner has been struck with a found £170 despite putting her £1 in a car park when she went shopping in Iceland. Mary Jones, 72, didn’t get a ticket from the machine, but didn’t refuse her coin, and she says Iceland staff told her she wouldn’t be fined if she paid.

Mary said that after 40 minutes of shopping she returned to the car and drove home – only to receive a letter from Excel Parking fined £100. She said: “I got them on the phone and explained what had happened. All I got in response was that they said it wasn’t up to Iceland to say I could park there. I also explained that if they checked the money that had gone into the vending machine it wouldn’t count at least a pound if mine had gone in. The proof was there if they worked their accounts correctly.”

Ms Jones appealed the decision, but the claim was dismissed, DevonLive reports. Excel Parking wrote: “We cannot process your objection. The signs in the car park make it clear that a valid ticket must be purchased for all vehicles parking or entering the park, clearly indicating that the site is private property and a £100 charge will be made if vehicles leave the park parking. conditions displayed.

“Signs also state that when purchasing a ticket, the complete and correct registration number of the parked vehicle must be entered into the R&O ticket machine. The vehicle described above parked on site without payment of the vehicle parking fee and you became liable for the advertised charge.”

It adds: “We take note of your comment that you were unable to purchase a ticket because the machine was not working. In that case, if you should have looked for an alternative parking space or called the helpline. By failing to pay for the period of parking demand, you became liable for the assessment notice issued.

“Signs on the property clearly indicate a helpline phone number that is available to motorists who have problems or questions regarding their use of the car park. In this case, the driver should have called that helpline so that arrangements could be made or advice given about any problems.

“We take note of your comments regarding the provision of advice on how to park. Iceland personnel on site are not authorized to allow motorists to park in violation of the terms and conditions displayed in the car park. It is the driver’s own responsibility to ensure that he parks correctly. If you couldn’t park correctly, you had the option to call the helpline for advice or to find alternative parking.”

Devon Live has contacted Iceland and Excel Parking for comment, but has not yet received a response.

Mrs Jones said: “They were told what had happened that I was not trying to extort a pound from them, and now I have been told to pay £170 with the threat that if it is not paid the bailiffs will come.

“I’m just furious. Mike (Mary’s husband) is more concerned about them threatening bailiffs. They threaten legal proceedings, the potential consequences of having a CCJ, negatively impact your creditworthiness.

“They say it will allow for enforcement actions such as obtaining garnishments of income, placing a charge or restriction on property and applying an execution order that will lead to bailiffs. Where are you going? Am I just ignoring it? I am more concerned about my husband because he is not fit to be under this stress right now. I don’t want to pay it; I don’t think it’s right. It’s blackmail.

“This letter is just stupid really. The pound went in, they have the pound which I couldn’t claim back, which I would have if I had gotten a ticket anyway. At the time I thought I had better things to do than lose a pound in the machine and after talking to the Iceland staff they told me it was all right. Someone’s to blame, isn’t it?”

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