Bosses at a popular discount store have defended their car parking restrictions - a week after a mum sparked public outrage when she revealed she received £150 in fines for parking for only minutes too long.
Jill Stenson was shocked when she received three fines, all related to the length of her stay at B&M Home Store, Church View, on separate occasions between October 28 and November 4.
The B&M store opened earlier this year in the building, which was formerly home to Tesco’s Doncaster town centre store. Signs in the car park advise shoppers they can park free for a maximum of two hours but Jill – who says she was shopping in the store when her car was in its car park – claims they are not prominent enough.
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“When B&M first opened, there wasn’t a limit on the parking and then they suddenly introduced one, but the sign is small.
“It should be big and in bold.
“On each occasion I was in the car park for around 135 minutes, but I didn’t purposefully go over the limit. I wasn’t even aware of it at first.”
“Staff have told me that people go and park there all day. I think they should be fined, but not innocent shoppers who are making genuine mistakes.
“They could have at least sent a warning before a fine. I feel like it’s a scam and they are purposefully trying to catch people out.”
If the mother-of-two pays each of the fines within 28 days she will have to pay £50 for each one but if not the amount almost doubles – rising to a total of £270.
“It’s going to be difficult to pay the fines, it will leave a hole in my Christmas budget, but I don’t have much choice. I’m upset, shocked and disgusted,” she said.
“People are struggling at this time of year anyway. It’s disgusting to do this right before Christmas when people are shopping there to try and save some money.
“I want to warn people to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else. I am very wary now when I am in the car park. My daughter is also very anxious. I will shop elsewhere.”
Jill, who is a regular B&M shopper, complained to staff in the store and was told the car park was managed by G24 Parking Solutions and they had no involvement with the fines.
A representative from the parking firm advised Jill to send her receipts to prove she was in the store at the time she was hit with the fines but is unsure how it will affect her case and is waiting to hear back from them.
Jill added: “Why don’t they just introduce a paid-for car park, where people pay for the amount of time they are there? Are they really making so much money by fining people that they would make less if they introduced a paid-for car park?”
A spokesman for B&M said: “Our town centre car park is available for two hours free parking, this being prominently stated on 20 signs around the property. Given its proximity to the town centre, it is managed by a third party and B&M do not have direct control over issue of fines.”
G24 declined comment and no comment.