A dad was slapped with a £100 fine after visiting the same McDonald’s twice in one day.
Spencer Barclay, 52, visited the restaurant to grab an early morning coffee before work and then returned to collect a happy meal for his son in the evening, but was left stunned when he received a fine.
Spencer, from Benwell, Newcastle, says that after grabbing the coffee from the restaurant in Gateshead’s Metro Retail Park, he went to work at the nearby Metropolitan House where he left his car all day in their free car park.
He went back to the same McDonald’s at 5pm for his son’s meal, but was sent a parking fine from UKPC days later which said he had been parked up at the restaurant for eight hours and 43 minutes.
Spencer, who works as a soft wear consultant, told Chronicle Live : “It’s absolutely disgusting, it’s just blatantly designed to try and get money out of people – it’s extortion! This can clearly happen to anybody.
“I think they have got a camera that photographs you but the camera is a snap shot in time. It photographs you coming in and leaving and that’s fine but what if you visit twice? If you visit McDonald’s twice in a day you can get £100 fine – that can’t be right!
“How many other people have been unfairly treated for going for a happy meal?”
Spencer said that he arrived at the restaurant at 8.25am on Friday, June 24, bought a coffee for himself and sat in the car park for a few minutes while he drank some of it. He said that left the site and did not return until just after 5pm the same day when he went to collect a takeaway for his child.
Spencer received the UKPC parking fine, which had been sent out on June 29, in the post on Saturday, July 2. The cameras had captured images of his Ford Galaxy arriving at 8.25am and leaving at 5.09pm.
The letter says he will receive a 50 per cent “early pay discount” if he pays the fine within 14 days.
But after that, he will owe the full £100. Spencer said he has complained to the parking firm about the fine but has not received a response.
“It’s absolutely infuriating,” he added. “They have got the photograph of me in the morning and at night but nothing in between. I want to see the video evidence to show I was in that car park for the whole of the day.
“The first thing I said was ‘The information is wrong, I arrived at that time and I left at that time but you’ve got to be a complete moron if you park in that car park and walk to work where there’s a free car park’. I have said to them ‘take me to court’.
“My first thought was how can I prove it. We have got to put in a system that’s fair – this isn’t fair, it’s total extortion.”
A spokesperson for McDonald’s told Chronicle Live: “We are sorry to hear about this customer’s experience. The car park at our Metro Retail Park restaurant is run by a third party provider and we have made them aware of this issue. We understand that if the customer contacts the provider directly, their case will be considered under the appeals process.”