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Huge bill for overstaying pizza welcome

A family was left with a bad taste in their mouths after a parking company fined them £150 for taking 11 minutes too long at a pizza restaurant.

Matt Turner had taken his five-year-old daughter Rebecca to the Pizza Hut on Great Portwood Street, Stockport, for a birthday treat.

They parked in the Pizza Hut car park and spent just over two hours in the restaurant.

But when they left, Matt was amazed to find he and his girlfriend's sister had been fined 75 each - because they hadn't eaten their food within a two-hour time limit. Matt, a deputy head teacher, said: "It's a 200 pizza bill, in effect - it's staggering.

"Pizza Hut were extremely slow at serving their food, so we waited for ages.

"They took a while to bring the food out and by the time we waited for the bill, we had been there for just over two hours - two hours and 11 minutes to be precise.

"We were only in that long because they were slow. So if you take longer than two hours to eat a pizza, it costs you 75."

Car park owners Creative Car Parks say the rule exists to prevent unauthorised parking by non-customers, and that there are clear signs warning drivers of the limit.

But despite being a genuine customer, Matt still had his appeal rejected.

Matt, from Hyde, said: "I thought it was totally unjust.

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"I was absolutely gobsmacked and I feel very hard done by. It has put a real dampener on things and was a sour note on my daughter's fifth birthday.

"I think Pizza Hut as a whole needs to look at this situation. It's going to put one or two people off going there."

A spokesman for Pizza Hut said the two-hour restriction had been made without its knowledge.

She said: "We understand our customers' concerns about the time restrictions at the car park outside our Great Portwood Street restaurant. These restrictions were introduced by the car park owners and without any consultation.

"We would not want our customers to feel hurried while eating their meal.

"Our property management agents have raised the issue with the landlord and have requested the time limit be extended. We hope the matter will be resolved shortly."

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