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Aldi Parking Warning

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by AdamJames, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I sometimes think I sound like an advertisement for Aldi, having started at least two threads on their stuff and made many posts elsewhere.

    Anyway they've annoyed the beheck out of me recently.

    A few days ago a letter arrived which basically showed 2 photos of my car registration plate, and a demand for £70. It was from a company called ParkingEye who manage the car parks for Aldi. If I didn't want to pay £70, the letter said, I'd have to provide evidence that I had not out-stayed their allowed time in the car park. And I'd need to do it in writing. In other words the burden of proof was on me, not them.

    I think they only have cameras which record plates as cars enter and leave. They don't seem to have a set-up which monitors the whole car park, so that they can e.g. verify hourly footage to check whether a car has actually remained there before sending off these demands which frankly felt a bit like blackmail - "Here are two incriminating photos - prove your innocence or pay up!"

    It was a bit confusing - I couldn't remember what I'd been doing 2 weeks ago when the photos were taken, and I certainly don't keep receipts from Aldi, but anyway my first thought was that I must have visited twice that day.

    Luckily for me, my bank statement verified that I had visited twice, and paid by card. Lucky, because I don't always pay by card and as I say I don't keep receipts.

    I thought to **** with this, I'm not going to spend time blurring out sensitive detail from my bank statement, printing it off, writing a letter, using an envelope and stamp and going to the post office just because they don't get the idea of innocent-till-proven-guilty, and just because their detection methods had failed.

    So instead I wrote a stiff email to Aldi, along with a screenshot of my bank statement. Eventually they replied that they were willing to get in touch with ParkingEye to cancel the charge based on the evidence I'd provided. No apology.

    Anyway I'm livid. Off to Lidl in a minute!

    So just a heads-up: always get, and keep receipts if you're parking in Aldi. You may depend on them to save you £70, or an appearance in court, or credit blacklisting.

    Grrrrrrr...
     
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  2. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Good for you. Far too much of this ***p going on. I don't mind giving them a miss too. I believe ParkingEye are noturious.
    Mr Giles Hurley Aldi CEO. [email protected].
    (I had to make a complaint recently about some extra protein in my vegetables. )
     
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    #2 dbr10, Jun 11, 2018 at 7:44 PM
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  3. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    You do not have to pay the parking eye "penalty" charges... they cannot enforce like traffic wardens. Providing you can put up with horrible letters for a while they will stop sending them eventually.. they are not enforceable...
     
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  4. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    They are charges not fines.
     
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  5. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I wondered about that. They have on the back of the ransom note a bit of small print in which they seem to anticipate that. They cite a case that sets a precedent for these sorts of charges being backed up in law. ParkingEye actually won a case.

    The problem I have is the idea of evidence. If a company can show two pictures of a car, one of it leaving hours after it entered, and the driver can't show bank statements or receipts, who is going to be believed?

    A lot of people have a lot of faith in technology.
     
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  6. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    More importantly than anything, after just getting back from Lidl, I can report that they are doing lots of varieties of posh nut butters from Meridian for a decent price. A lot of them are quite high carb because they have mixed them with e.g. honey, but there's quite a wide and interesting variety if anybody is into that sort of thing.
     
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  7. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    I know they arent fines, but couldnt think of the right word to use, so just wrote in penslty. Brain ache...☹️
     
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  8. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry! Interestingly I think that's the distinction that enabled them to win a court case. If they called them 'fines' then they couldn't get away with it as only councils etc can issue fines, but because they called them charges they managed to get a court to side with them. I hadn't been aware of that distinction until now.

    Anyway legal nonsense aside, I am properly done with Aldi. I pointed out how the failings of ParkingEye can easily make victims of their customers and it was only through sheer luck I escaped a whole ton of legal hassle.

    Their response seemed very grudging. If I was in a customer-facing role (sometimes I am actually) a customer would be getting a profuse apology from me in this situation. All I got was "We do regret any inconvenience caused on this recent occasion and will ensure that your comments are noted."

    I really think that they think it is trivial and are happy to carry on as they are. All it would take is a basic amount of due diligence and one more camera on the part of ParkingEye to resolve the problem, but nope, they are happy to put all the burden of evidence on the customer. If their technology fails, it's not a problem for them, it's a problem for us.

    Anyway, Lidl got £25 of my money last night and they'll be seeing a lot more of it.
     
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  9. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Love your thinking!!

    The parkingeye letters that arrive in post boxes are scarey and intimidating!! I got caught out.. and decades ago I did work for Trading Standards.. it was only the day after paying it that my brain clicked in and I realised I was a dimwit for paying!!
     
  10. PatsyB

    PatsyB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    why they do not charge for parking then this stops seems to me it is just silly to send out all these parking fines when can be avoided
     
  11. TTTE

    TTTE Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  12. TTTE

    TTTE Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    They recently tried to sue a barrister for overstaying by about 20 minutes in a motorway service station. He turned up at court, they didn't so the judge awarded him something like £1500. Read it here;

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/aug/26/parking-eye-takes-on-top-barrister-85-fine
     
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