As a member of PureGym on Dukes Walk, Samantha Bryant was told she could park for free in the Duke Walks car park if she collected a ticket from inside the gym to display in her car.
However, in the time it took her to leave her car, enter the building, climb the stairs, find a member of staff, and return to her vehicle, she found she had been hit with the parking fine.
Now Horndean resident Samantha is warning her fellow gym users so that others are not caught out.
She said: ‘I am just at my wits’ end. I had to leave my car to get a ticket from the gym. What else could I possibly have done?’
Samantha appealed to both PureGym and Excel Parking Services, which operates the Dukes Walk car park.
She said: ‘The parking authority said that even though I had a valid ticket it was not displayed at the correct time and so I am liable for a £100 fine.
‘I contacted PureGym to see if they could help as if there had been tickets readily available and accessible I would not have received the parking ticket.
‘The response from them was to say that the car park is externally owned and so they have no control. They also told me to “familiarise myself with car parking procedures to prevent further fines”.
‘They make it impossible to obey the parking authority procedures by not having accessible tickets.’
She added: ‘I am sure I won’t be the first or last to get caught out by this and the failure of both companies to honour each other's procedures only leaves the customer out of pocket.’
A representative for Excel Parking Services Ltd said: ‘The primary requirement to park at the Dukes Walk car park is for the requisite parking tariff of £1.00 to be purchased within 10 minutes of entry and, where purchase has been made from one of the onsite pay machines, for the ticket to be clearly displayed in the vehicle. This is clearly set out on the signage at the car park.
‘Whilst there is an informal arrangement for PureGym members to benefit from free parking, this only applies if a valid permit is obtained from the Gym and displayed in the vehicle windscreen within the 10 minute period.
As Ms Bryant exceeded the 10 minute period without purchasing the parking tariff or displaying a valid permit she was in breach of the terms and conditions for parking at the Dukes Walk car park.
‘Had she been in any doubt she could have simply paid £1.00 to cover her parking whilst she sorted a permit from the Gym, or contacted our Helpline number (advertised on the signage) and sought advice.
‘Although we declined her appeal, she was given the option to appeal to the IAS (Independent Appeals Service) but she decided to pay the parking charge.
‘However, as a gesture of goodwill, we have now cancelled the parking charge and making arrangements for a refund to be made to Ms Bryant.’