TWO busy mums who received demands for up to £120 after shopping at Chester Retail Park have had the charges waived – thanks to The Chester Chronicle.
However, others may not be so lucky after parking enforcement company ParkingEye now claims there is a minimum spend.
Claire Claessen from Boughton spent more than three hours at the retail park and had receipts to prove she was a genuine shopper but had to pay £60 after her appeal was rejected.
She added: “I sent receipts off to prove I was a genuine shopper but they didn’t care.”
Matthew Whiteley of managing agent Savills said ParkingEye had been instructed to allow appeals from all genuine shoppers.
He added: “It is taken on a case by case basis. There is no fixed minimum spend but that shouldn’t mean you can park for free all day because you bought a coffee on the way out.”
Sue Sterio’s previously rejected appeal succeeded after she was featured in last week’s Chronicle.
Sue, from Mancot, said: “After being told my appeal had been rejected, I received a letter out of the blue saying I don’t have to pay – I think this was because it went in the paper.
“My advice to people who find themselves in my situation is to go as far as you can and don’t pay because this proves that they can waive the fee if they want to.”
Cher King-Magee paid £60 after her appeal was rejected but she also received a letter from ParkingEye – together with a cheque for £62.50.
“It’s great that I got my money back – but I still wouldn’t shop there,” she said. “I don’t trust them any more so I’d rather go to Broughton or into Chester.
“Yes, it’s tricky pushing a double buggy in a busy city centre but it’s a matter of principle.”
A spokesman for ParkingEye said that the two appeals were successful because they met the minimum spend criteria but refused to say how much people had to spend or comment on the unsuccessful appeal.
He added: “Two of the appeals were successful, one was unsuccessful and all motorists have been advised of the outcome of their appeal.
“ParkingEye operates an audited appeals process, as per the British Parking Association’s guidelines.”
Ian Callister of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “At present we are not aware of any ‘minimum spend’ condition being displayed at the car park.
“If this condition is not clearly displayed then we would doubt whether it is enforceable in a court of law.”