Grandmother Heather Taw was given a £70 parking charge for using a supermarket in the morning – and then dropping her sister off there in the evening.
The 62-year-old visited Aldi on West Street, Fareham, on Thursday, December 17.
Mrs Taw, a care home chef, had popped in to the supermarket to go shopping in the morning and left around half an hour later.
She later pulled in to the car park to drop her sister off in the evening.
Unfortunately for Mrs Taw, the supermarket uses ParkingEye, an automatic camera system, to enforce its strict 90-minute parking limit. Even though Mrs Taw simply pulled in to the car park to drop her sister off and pulled out again a few minutes later, the camera clocked her number plate on her initial entry in the morning and on her last exit in the evening.
This meant the automatic system generated a £70 fine which Mrs Taw received on Christmas Eve.
Mrs Taw said: ‘It’s caused me a lot of stress. I’m a very honest person and this scared me. I am a natural worrier and this really set me off.’
When Mrs Taw went on to the ParkingEye website she found that the only way to contact the firm was via email. She sent five emails to explain but received no response.
When ParkingEye was contacted by The News, a spokesman claimed that the firm had already cancelled Mrs Taw’s charge after looking in to her case.
The spokesman said a letter was on its way to Mrs Taw.
A statement from the company said: ‘ParkingEye was engaged by Aldi at Fareham because its car park was suffering from parking abuse, meaning genuine customers couldn’t find parking spaces. However we operate a clear and fair appeals procedure for anyone who feels that there are mitigating circumstances in their case. Discretion will be used in the case of genuine customers.
‘In Mrs Taw’s case, she followed our appeals process and we can confirm that the charge has been cancelled.’
Mrs Taw, of Nashe Way, Fareham, said: ‘Why didn’t they just email me back? It would have saved me so much worry over Christmas.
‘Sounds like they have just cancelled the charge because I contacted the newspaper.
‘If I had been old and frail, the letter would have scared me into paying.
‘If nothing else, I’d like to let people know what’s going on down there.’