A PENSIONER has issued a warning after winning his battle with a multi-national car parking firm over a trip to Preston’s Asda store.
Keith Prowse, 71, went to Fulwood Asda to do some shopping on March, 26 and returned later to get some petrol and pick up a prescription.
But to his horror he received a letter from Smart Parking Ltd two weeks later demanding £70 and accusing him of overstaying the supermarket car park’s three-hour parking limit by an hour.
He said: “It makes you not want to go to Asda twice in a day for fear of a fine. It is absolutely appalling.”
The fine has been overturned and Smart Parking said the reason for the letter was a security camera which misread Keith’s numberplate.
A Smart Parking spokesperson said: “Due to the placement of the registration fittings, the C in Mr Prowse’s vehicle registration plate was read as a G.
“Asda contacted us about this case and we have now cancelled Mr Prowse’s charge.
“Smart Parking abides by the British Parking Association Code of Conduct, and we operate a clear and fair appeals procedure, so we do encourage motorists to contact us if there are mitigating circumstances in their cases.”
But Keith said: “The machine has read my number plate four times.
“Where are the other two images? How can this ‘glitch’ happen just twice – if it is being misread why isn’t it always being misread?”
Fortunately for Keith he kept all of his receipts and could prove he had driven back to his house in Fulwood.
He said: “The CCTV image shows me entering the car park at 10.03am which I did and then the exit picture shows me leaving at 13:54 which I didn’t. After shopping I left at 10.30 and my phone records show I was at home at 10.53 because I made a call to my wife.
“I’d urge other shoppers to keep their receipts and a record just in case this happens again.”