Poundstretcher and Pet Hut in Margate has axed the 50p parking fee for its Addington Street site.
Parking operator for the bargain retailer, Smart Parking, had put in a system of charging customers 50p for up to 90 minutes parking. Anyone spending over £5 could have their 50p refunded.
But the parking meters have now been taken out after a request from Poundstretcher and the store has returned to its original system of 90 minutes free parking.
Penalty charges will still come into force for motorist overstaying the 90 minutes.
Delighted shopper Ken Wraight said all the machines have been removed. He added: “It’s a welcome return of free parking.”
A staff member confirmed the change back to free parking.
A store spokesman added: “We would like to say the reason we introduced the charge was to limit the fly tipping and pay for the cost of the removal of this.
“As a responsible retailer we are fully aware we have many residential properties neighbouring our site and our aim was to maintain the site so it was in keeping with the surrounding area. It was never our intention to profit from the charge.
“Now we have reversed this we hope our customers will be happy.”
Camera at entrance/exit gone too?
Imagine not as it is still a 90 minute maximum
Which is more than enough time to shop
No , There is still a 90 minute limit , which is more than enough time to shop
We would like to say the reason we introduced the charge was to limit the fly tipping and pay for the cost of the removal of this . As a responsible retailer we are fully aware we have many residential properties neighbouring our site . and our aim was to maintain the site so it was in keeping with the surrounding area . It was never our intention to profit from the charge . Now we have reversed this we hope our customers will be happy .
Thank you Lee. Are you speaking on behalf of the store or the parking operator please?
Hi Kathy , the store
What happens to an previous fine from smart parking? We appealed and they raised the charge
I feel a very concerted effort by everyone who was fined demanding a refund. Perhaps meeting and getting some press coverage.
I got a fine but don’t didn’t get until debt collectors contacted me. Never parking there again
Fly tipping??…. Yeah right! Profiting from unsuspecting loyal customers who hadn’t noticed the change more like! Poundstretcher weren’t interested when I approached them, and I had to pay a parking fine… Me and several other people who were honestly caught out! Well it won’t be happening again, as Poundstretcher has lost my custom for good. Goodbye Poundstretcher! I hope you choke on your share of the fine, because it’s the last profit you’ll make from me!
To clarify , we have made no money from any anyone who was issued a fine .it was never our intention for people to get fined , hence the reason we have reverted to 90 minutes free parking .
I think the damage is done Lee. Why should an innocent shopper, who didn’t notice the change, be made to feel like a common criminal, like I was. It was an extremely stressful experience which made me feel quite ill. Poundstretcher were simply not interested. I hope this is a lesson to other companies who think they can apply bully tactics, and get away with it. People have long memories with this sort of thing. Poundstretcher Margate obviously realised that they had alienated their customers and driven them away. I will not return ever.
Very grateful to Pounstretcher for listening and especially local Manager who shared our concerns. Yes there has been fly tipping which I and others reported both there and nearby but there was no excuse for hounding elderly and disabled people especially. There was a lot of distress caused and now I hope all will get full refunds and an apology.
It was also extremely stressful for the store manager, who had no control over the parking meters or the charges and did his best to try and get it sorted for his customers as soon as possible, the only people that profited were the company that installed the meters. The company that installed the meters who didnt put appropriate signs, meters that didnt work properly and then refused to answer their phones to anyone that tried to get hold of them to try and sort their tickets out (and this includes the store manager of poundstretcher themselves) need the wrath and also looking into on a proffessional level as that isnt the right way to run a business.
This needs to be clarified tgat poundstretcher as a company ‘hounded’ no one it was the company that installed the meters that issued the fines and not poundstretcher so please get the facts straight before condeming a company and its staff.
My dad got a charge but never received anything in the post and was also displaying a blue badge. The only thing he did get was a letter from their debt recovery company, he rang, explained and they gave him a 15% discount so he paid. Any idea how he can go about claiming this back?
Poundstretcher as a company, allowed Smart Parking to operate on their land, so are not without blame. I emailed Poundstretcher, and they said Smart Parking had been employed to control the traffic in the car park, so there was adequate space for their customers. Nothing was said about fly-tipping.
Agree and Pounstretcher could have checked SMART better. I googled them when residents first contacted me and found they had a bit of a reputation. Would be useful to know if anyone has had an automatic refund or is there a need to chase.
Disgusting situation , well done cllr Iris Johnston
RE: RE: Customer query
16 June 2017 at 17:38
I hope you are well.
Smart Parking were introduced to site
over a year ago due to fly parking,
preventing genuine shoppers from being
able to access the store.
Initially the provision was for a 90 minute
dwell time, based on ANPR camera’s,
however in mid-April this year, this was
updated to Pay and Display to keep in
line with all the local car parks in the
area, as we found that although our car
park was full, very few people were
actually in our store, they were simply
benefitting from 90 minutes free parking
in the town.
– this was my response from Poundstretcher Customer Services, when I challenged them about the need for Parking Charges. As you can see, NOTHING was said about fly-tipping. Poundstretcher clearly brought this company in, and it was to do with PARKING, and NOT fly-tipping.
I too have had the unfortunate notification that I stayed in the car park for 21 minutes without purchasing a ticket – completely wrong and I followed the instructions to protest exactly taking a photograph of my ticket saying that it was proof. They responded with they are still going to uphold their claim and demanded £60 or after 2 weeks £100. I have had to take this to a mediator – this was two weeks ago. I rang POPLA who advised it can take up to three months to finalize. In the meantime, I spoke with the Manager and he said he would find my original shopping receipt as it would have my refund on it. The whole company Smartparking are bullies and attempting to fraudulently exhort money from innocent people!! I will obviously not pay a penny and shall advise them to take me to court!!