A dad was furious when he returned from his Cornwall holiday to find a pricey parking fine waiting for him.
Adam Jordan and his family had been on a trip Fistral Beach in Newquay back in September where he used a car park operated by Initial Parking Limited, which has a camera system that read the number plates of parked cars.
To pay for parking at the car park, drivers must enter their number plates and then pay for the ticket, reports Cornwall Live.
The system however, relies on people putting in their number plates correctly, as Adam discovered.
He mistakenly got the last three digits of his number plate wrong, but had got the first four correct.
He soon realised his blunder but despite having proof he paid for parking he found a £100 fine when he got back home.
“I had all the proof to say I did park, pay, and did the right thing,” he said.
“So then to get a fine it does annoy you a bit. You would think they would see that a payment for a car that didn’t go through at the exact same time was received and I had all the proof.”
He admits he expected a PCN notice in the post but hoped things would be straightened out when he proved the honest mistake and showed the company he had in fact paid and kept his ticket as evidence.
“It’s a computer system not a human making an informed decision so I thought it would be a ten second claim and would be resolved,” he said.
“But it’s like all parking. This company are based in Birmingham, absolutely nothing to do with Cornwall, and they are just out to get money.”
He was then furious to see that his appeal has been rejected and he received a full letter explaining why the fine had been issued.
Adam added: “I’m not an idiot but I made a mistake and then realised I did it wrong. If it was a little old lady or something that had done it wrong she might not have even noticed it at all when keying it in wrong.
“The first four digits out of seven were right and it’s just silly really.
“Once you have pressed enter that is it, you have done it. There is not an option to go back and edit your number.”
Following an appeal process the company did recognise he had made an honest mistake and in line with new The British Parking Association’s (BPA) new code of conduct they reduced the fine, but did not waive it.
The new rule means that if a driver makes a “minor” keying error such as replacing a 1 with an l that leads to a charge being issued, the operator must cancel the charge at the first stage of appeal.
For “major” keying errors, such as entering only part of a registration number or entering the registration of a spouse’s car, operators are advised to cancel the ticket but will be able to apply a “modest” charge of £20 – which was issued in this case, and was then paid by Mr Jordan.
Mr Jordan, who runs a restaurant back home, said: “I thought it would be a simple response back to say no problem that was a mistake and it’s all been sorted.
“The money is neither here nor there but it has really riled me. I hadn’t been to Cornwall for 20 years and it brought back loads of great memories but now the only memory I’ve got is this stupid company that is ripping people off.
“For me it’s fine, I’m thick skinned, run a business and deal with crap every day but if it was my mum and dad they would be so upset by it all.
“I’m running a business at the minute and I’m having a hard time because of everything going on but I feel other companies, like this one, are actually out to get people and it’s not right.
“I made a payment, I can prove it and they know it and I know it.”
An Initial Parking spokesperson said: “On this occasion the motorist failed to input his correct registration into the terminal when paying for his parking. This created a Parking Charge Notice.
“However, due to his mitigating circumstances, which he highlighted via our appeals service, he was then offered an administrative fee, in line, with current BPA (British Parking Association) regulations. This was paid and we consider the matter closed.”