Marcus’ wife and children parked in the McDonald’s car park before heading inside to eat and use the soft play. A few days later, he was shocked to receive a £50 fine through the letterbox, despite not visiting the restaurant with his wife and children who had used the family car. The dad now feels like he has been “scammed”.
Marcus said the PCN from UK Parking Control stated that his wife and children had exceeded the limit 90-minute limit for the customer car park by around 10 minutes.
He hit back at the company saying that this was not enough time for his family to eat as well as use the soft play facility.
He told CoventryLive: “You have got a soft play at that McDonald’s so you are going to be there for a lot longer than a normal McDonald’s.
“If you break down how long it takes a parent to get kids out of the car, change them, feed them, and soft play, it is definitely over an hour and a half.”
Marcus said the lack of signage meant that his wife and children were completely unaware that they had to leave after a certain period. He said: “It is a hell of a lot of money for using a facility that has a car park.
“I have lived in Coventry all my life and never knew the car park had a time limit. Everything is almost set up for you to fail and be caught by this trap. It is unbelievable.”
Marcus has been fighting the parking fine since August last year. He claimed to have appealed the PCN days after receiving the letter but said he was silenced by UK Parking Control.
He said: “I contested it straight away rightly so for the reasons of two young kids, soft play, and an hour and a half is not that much time in the grand scheme of things and my wife used the facility.
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“It is not like she has parked up at that McDonald’s and gone over the road which is what that sort of system is in place for, but it is obvious to me that it is in place to scam people out of hard-earned cash.”
Now, Marcus has been told that he will have to fight the parking charge in court with the fine having reached £170.
He said: “If my wife parked there and went to another shop and come back, I would have paid the fine, but because I am so strongly against paying it morally, I am digging my heels in and standing by my principles.”
Marcus went on to say that he has become “fed-up” and described the situation as “shocking”. He added: “I am fed up now because every time I do get a letter through I get angry.
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“It puts me in a bit of a mood for the next couple of hours. I get wound up about it because it is fair and unjust.
“It is absolutely shocking. It is basically like getting mugged but somehow legally.”
Marcus wants to warn others about the time limit at the popular restaurant to prevent people from being “caught out by the trap”.
He said: “A lot of families go to that Walsgrave McDonald’s because of the soft play.
“I was not aware of this trap so I do not think most people are. It all seems a bit sly and underhand, they all put a sign-up but it will probably be tiny and you are not going to see it unless you are looking for it.”
A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “We have parking restrictions in place at a number of our restaurants, with a time limit to ensure there is adequate parking for all of our customers.
“Ample signage regarding these restrictions is clearly displayed both as you drive into the car park, on various lampposts within it and inside of the restaurant.
“We work with industry-approved contractors who use the cameras, which have been in place for some time, to ensure customers are within the 90-minute limits.”
UK Parking Control has been approached for comment.
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