Nick Pradic, from Orpington, south-east London, was left flummoxed when a parking fine dropped through his letterbox a few days after going shopping with his daughter, and now fears other shoppers may have coughed up the cash
Image: Nick Pradic / SWNS)
An Aldi shopper was hit with a £100 fine even though he parked in a free car park.
Nick Pradic has blamed a dodgy sign for being slapped with the parking notice while he was shopping at the supermarket with his daughter.
The car park offers free parking for three hours for shoppers, but an apparent oversight on the sign means that it does not apply during the final hour that the store is open.
The sign reads that free parking is only available until 9pm – despite the store not closing until 10pm.
Aldi has since blamed a technology glitch for the error in dishing out the fines.
Nick had left the Orpington branch, in south London, at 9.15pm only to be left flummoxed when a £100 parking fine dropped through his letterbox a few days later.
Nick Pradic / SWNS)
When he went back to check the sign at the “customers only car park” it read three hours max stay, but only between the hours of 8am and 9pm Monday to Saturday.
The teacher said his heart sank when he saw the sign but he had never had an issue with parking before.
“I went back to check the sign and my heart sank because I thought I didn’t have a leg to stand on – the small print said parking only until nine,” he said.
“But I decided to argue the case anyway because how could you fine people if the store is still open?
“I went in and said ‘look, this is ridiculous’, and provided proof we had been shopping in the store at the time.”
Nick has not heard anything since so he has assumed “it’s [the fine] been dealt with” but fears other customers may have coughed up to pay the fine.
Nick Pradic / SWNS)
The dad said: “When we left the car park it was still pretty full, so I think a lot more people will have been fined.
“I haven’t been back to Aldi since Christmas, but as far as I know the sign is still up and nothing has been done to clarify the situation.
“So I think a lot of people would have been like us – received a letter in the post and been like what? They really need to amend this so more people don’t get caught out.”
Aldi has since issued a statement blaming a technology glitch for the rogue fines and encouraging those affected to come forward.
A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: “This charge was given in error due to an issue with the parking technology at our Sevenoaks Way store which has now been resolved.
“Anyone who feels they were issued a fine incorrectly at this store should contact Aldi’s customer services team directly.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.