KFC customers were shocked after they received £100 parking fines for waiting too long at a drive-through.
The unsuspecting chicken lovers did not realise they were queuing in a privately owned car park in Wirral, Merseyside, to buy their meals.
The parking charge notices were issued to people who waited longer than the 75 minutes permitted at the reopened takeaway in Rock Ferry.
This was despite long queues that left people with waiting times of more than two hours.
Even though none of the customers were in parking bays, they were automatically hit with fines because their registrations were caught on CCTV when they entered and left the KFC site.
The first people knew about it was when a letter landed on their doormat from private car park operator Civil Enforcement a few days later, ordering them to pay a £100 parking charge – reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.
Mum-of-two Hayley Abbott, who was waiting in the KFC queue for 90 minutes, said it was “the most expensive KFC I've ever had in my life”.
Abbot added: “There was a security guard bringing people into the car park and there was no mention of there being a time limit and a possible fine.
“Once you're in the queue, you can't get out of it. The cars were bumper to bumper.
“I was fuming when I got the parking ticket through the post a few days later. I was thinking, ‘this is the most expensive KFC I've ever had in my life.’”
Instead of paying the fine, Abbot challenged it – and her appeal was upheld.
Another victim of the fines, who gave her name as Alisha, said: “It wasn't my fault I was waiting in a queue.
“If KFC knew people were going to be fined, they shouldn't have let that many people in.”
There was also a strong response when news of the fines was posted on a Facebook group's page, with many others saying they had had the same experience and were refusing to pay.
After being inundated with complaints from angry customers, KFC said it had now cancelled the penalty notices.
A KFC spokesperson said: "It's great to be back and we're flattered by how much our Rock Ferry fans have missed us!
"Our longer than usual queues did result in a few unfair fines for the car park but we've put that right now by cancelling the charges."