A pub landlord in Netherfield has managed to overturn a ‘ridiculous’ £160 parking charge after battling a car park firm.
David Murphy, landlord of It’s Inn The Bank, on Victoria Road, received a letter on January 28 notifying him of an initial £100 fine.
Excel Parking services had claimed this was because he had stayed at the East Point Retail Park in Nottingham for eight hours which was more than the allotted time.
As a caterer Murphy goes to Aldi at the retail park up to four times a day, with him claiming that the car park’s APNR system had missed him leaving in-between multiple visits.
Excel Parking denied his appeal a week later stating the time limits were visible on signs, but Murphy argued that he was not there for the time they claimed.
He was then sent a letter that said any further wait or appeal would raise the fine to £160 and warned that he may be taken to County court.
He said: “I wrote them a letter saying I would definitely go to court with them, and I would want a day’s pay for going to court.
“My wife wanted to pay this bill but I wasn’t prepared to. I wanted my day in court.
“It was ludicrous, they stated that I went in at eight in the morning and then sat in their car park all day.”
Murphy said that previously he had willingly paid various parking fines picked up while catering but refused to pay for something he believed was down to a flaw in the system.
“If somebody who isn’t working or can’t work appeals and gets one of the bullying and aggressive letters it could tip people over the edge.
A later letter from Excel Parking had dismissed discussing the issue further and told Mr Murphy he was in the debt recovery phase.
This has left him unable to provide evidence such as receipts from his trips to Aldi and with worries about this debt.
Mr Murphy said: “The last thing I wanted was bailiffs turning up to my house, but I wasn’t going to pay a fine for something I hadn’t done.
“It’s obviously a flaw in the system and it’s like I was sending letters to robots there’s no customer service, I don’t believe they even checked the system.”
The demands of Excel Parking according to Murphy were especially frustrating at the time because of the crippling affect that lockdown had had on his livelihood.
“The first lockdown was the most stressful period of my life.
“When your business has been closed for most of a year, we’re watching every penny we have.
“We also run a catering company and we had 120 jobs cancelled within three months.”
The pub landlord was irritated that this trouble had come at a time where his business was preparing to reopen.
He said: “This has taken up four or five days of my time so far not sleeping properly, thinking that I could be opening the pub and trying to recover and there might a bailiff coming to my door.
“It’s been a really terrible time; we couldn’t open because we’ve only got two benches outside and now there’s the trepidation of opening again.
“And on top of that I had a robot sending me letters about car parking for something I haven’t done.”
Excel Parking Services has a registered office is in Sheffield.
When Gedling Eye got in contact this week about Mr Murphy’s plight, the firm kindly agreed to waive the charge and also make a donation to charity.
A representative for Excel Parking Services Ltd said: “After a thorough review of Mr Murphy’s parking charge we have found that there was an administrative oversight when dealing with his appeal as we should have cancelled the parking charge at that time.
“When we first responded to Mr Murphy’s appeal, he was given the option to have his case reviewed by the Independent Appeals Service (the IAS) although he did not seek this option.
“As well as conveying our sincere apologies to Mr Murphy we will also donate the value of the parking charge (£100) to a charity of his choice, as gesture of goodwill. We will also be contacting Mr Murphy to confirm.”
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