Hemel man warns others after receiving 'ridiculous' parking fine at Tesco

Horizon have now cancelled the parking charge notice

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 12:09 pm

A man from Hemel Hempstead is warning others after receiving a 'ridiculous' parking fine for exceeding the maximum stay period at Tesco.

Tony received the parking fine notice from Horizon Parking Ltd on Friday, January 22, after visiting the supermarket at Jarman Park.

The letter says he stayed from 2pm on Friday, January 8, through to 1pm the next day (January 9).

Tony received the parking fine notice from Horizon Parking Ltd

He said: "I had gone to Tesco on the way home from work on the Friday lunchtime and forgot a couple of things so had to do a repeat trip the next day.

"From my address, which they obviously had since they sent me a letter, it would have been pretty clear that I would not have left a car at Jarman Park, made my way several miles home (with or without shopping) and returned the next day.

"It's a ridiculous fine, perhaps it's not their fault, just faulty software – but they are happy to send out a quite threatening letter demanding £70, reduced to £30 'if paid within 14 days of the days of the date of this letter'.

"I want to share my experience and raise awareness so if anyone else has to go through this, it might save them a bit of time.

"I filled out an online form to contest the charge, but would have to wait up to 45 days for an answer. I tried phoning the store and it's an automated phone system which pretty much said 'not our problem, contact the parking firm'.

"I then went to the store and the manager told me it was not their problem, but eventually they took my letter and said they would contact the company.

"No apology though, and no acknowledgement that if Tesco have subcontracted parking checks they might actually retain some responsibility for their customer experience.

"I want to make people aware of this issue so they don't have to experience this very frustrating situation.

"From my experience contacting Tesco by phone was pointless, but going to the store, the staff were helpful in the end, and it may have influenced Horizon to back off, or they might have cancelled it without Tesco helping."

Tony was contacted by Horizon this week, informing him that the Parking Charge Notice had now been cancelled and no further action would be taken.

He said: "I received an email from Horizon saying that after investigating they have cancelled the fine.

"It said there was an error with the technology, which resulted in the fine, they did also say that they are constantly trying to improve the system.

"I understand these things happen but I just want to save someone else the time if this happens to them."

Tesco say there have not been any other reports of parking charges issued incorrectly at the store

A Tesco spokesperson said: “In car parks where there is a high demand for spaces we place a time limit on parking so that we can make sure our customers are able to find a space.

"In this case, a parking charge notice was issued in error and we are sorry that this happened.”

The Hemel Gazette has contacted Horizon Parking for a comment on this story but is yet to receive a response.

The Gazette called Horizon Parking and was directed to the websiteas the customer service helpline was currently unavailable due to the coronavirus pandemic.