Imagine organizing a 9th birthday party for your daughter at a local McDonald’s restaurant and inviting guests and finding out after you leave the party that you and your guests all received £100 ($161.00 cdn) parking ticket fines after parking in the McDonald’s parking lot. The mum, her daughter and guests apparently partied for two (2) hours in McDonald’s, but the McDonald’s parking lot had a 90-minute maxium parking limit. In total, the four £100 parking tickets totalled £400 ($644.00 CAD).
Guests at a girl’s ninth birthday party in McDonald’s were hit with an unexpected bill – after they received a £400 parking fine.
Five adults and nine children ate meals, ice-cream and doughnuts over two hours as they celebrated Madison Smith’s special day at McDonald’s, in Jardine Way, Chadderton. But 10 days later the four drivers received letters through the post saying they had to pay £100 parking charges for exceeding the car park’s 90-minute limit.
Madison’s mum Emma Caine, 32, of Kent Avenue, Chadderton, said: “I feel guilty because I invited people to a birthday party for my daughter and now they’ve got these letters. I didn’t even consider people would get a parking ticket for sitting in their restaurant and eating their food.
“If they want to charge why don’t they put a pay and display meter there?” Tracey Thomson, from Chadderton, brought her two daughters to the party and received one of the fines. The 39-year-old said: “I was devastated. I’m a single parent and I can’t afford a £100 parking fine. “I’m disgusted after spending a large amount of money in there – it’s a cheek. “I’m staying well clear of there now and they won’t be getting my custom again.”
Another driver, Emma’s sister Sarah Mills, 28, from Radcliffe, said: “I’m appalled that McDonald’s make out they are a family chain of restaurants but think its appropriate to charge adults with small families.” Madison’s grandmother Margaret Mills, 52, and Lisa Holton, 29, both from Chadderton, who brought three children, were also charged.
The amount would be halved if the fines were paid within 14 days of the notice letter they received on October 19. But when we contacted McDonald’s bosses apologised to the party and said they would cancel the charges.
Chadderton McDonald’s restaurant owner Gerald Thompson said: “I’d like to apologise unreservedly to the customers. “It is never our intention for genuine customers to be charged and while we make every effort to communicate and implement a fair parking policy it’s clear that it’s not always perfect, for which we are sorry. “We are working to resolve the issue.”