Elderly couple frustrated after parking fine for taking longer than an hour to eat KFC

·3-min read

A couple were left in a flap after being slapped with a £100 parking fine for taking longer than an hour to eat KFC with their friends - because they were CHATTING.

Tony Long, 77, and his wife Pauline, 75, had taken their life-long friends for the fried chicken lunch but overstayed in the car park by 34 minutes.

It was the first time the couple had met their married friends Roy and Lillian since the Covid lockdown but lost track of time while they were catching up.

Tony has now slammed Smart Parking for the fine - claiming it is "impossible" to have a meal in under an hour at the Princess Alice Retail Park in Sutton Coldfield, West Mids.

He said: "All we wanted to was meet with friends for the first time since the pandemic, and we get penalised.  

"We hadn't had a meal with Roy and Lillian for quite some time, due to lockdown - Roy has lung problem too so we decided to meet in-person. 

"Because Roy and Lillian live not far from that particular KFC, we decided to go there.  

"We arranged to meet. My wife and I got there a little bit earlier - probably around 12.30pm and parked in the car park and waited for them to arrive.  

"We noticed at that point, that the car park was not full and we were the only people that were eating inside the restaurant. 

"I never noticed any restrictions or time limits on parking, I always thought it was the same as the nearby Tesco - which is three hours free customer parking.  

"After finishing our meal, around an hour or so later, we went our separate ways. It would have been impossible to finish the meal and catch up in less than an hour."

Tony and Pauline, who have two grown-up children and five grandchildren and live in Kingstanding, Birmingham, visited the restaurant on September 10.

They spent £12.98 on two two-piece chicken meals with fries, baked beans and Cokes for the four of them to enjoy.

In a letter from the parking company, they were pictured arriving at 12.26pm and left at 2.10pm - 34 minutes longer than they were allowed.

The letter arrived on October 1 and gave them the option of paying £60 in two weeks or be hit with the full £100.

Tony, a former magistrate, appealed the decision but it was refused and has now vowed to boycott the restaurant chain for life.

He said: "I went back to have a look at the signage in the car park, and there are signs there for one hour time limit, but they are high up as you drive through. 

"Often the small print is that small, you can't see what is says - it is crafty the way they go about putting signage like that up.  

"I have had lots of support from people online, they too saying that they will never go to that KFC again.  

"It's not just me, other people have been caught out too. 

"We have tried to contact the KFC careline, but we have had no response. 

"If they want to lose money, by treating people like this, they are not going to last very long. 

"I used to visit that KFC every Thursday night with my daughter, but now I will just go to my regular chip shop instead.

"My daughter is pretty disgusted - they too are going to boycott it too." 

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