Couple fuming at ‘ridiculous’ parking charge

Sandra & David Hitchcock and parking notice. SUS-140828-095604001
Sandra & David Hitchcock and parking notice. SUS-140828-095604001

An Eastbourne couple have been left ‘fuming’ after receiving a parking charge from Lidl for the time between two separate visits to the store.

David and Sandra Hitchcock were shocked when they received a letter stating they must pay £90 for using the Seaside store’s car park for more than an hour on Tuesday, August 20, despite knowing they spent no longer than half-an-hour in the supermarket at one time.

On closer inspection of the letter, the couple realised they had been charged for the time between arriving on their first visit that day and leaving on the second visit – a total of almost five hours when actually, their car was parked on their drive for most of that time.

Mr Hitchcock said, “My wife and I visited the store in the morning, around 10.15, after an appointment at the hospital with her oncologist. We spent around 20-30 minutes in store before going home. I went back to the store at about 3pm in the afternoon with my grandson after an interview at the job centre and again, spent no longer than half an hour in the shop.

“We’ve been charged for parking at the store from 10.16am to 3.11pm when this is definitely not the case. We have witnesses to say our car was parked on the drive during the afternoon and there are different people in the car in each of the photos.

“My wife is absolutely furious. We made purchases both times we visited the store and we are very regular customers there, but this hassle has made us think twice about shopping at the store in the future.”

After contacting Lidl customer services, Mr Hitchcock was assured the parking charge would be dropped but he has yet to hear confirmation of this from Athena, the company that issued the parking charge. He added, “Even if the charge is wiped off, as it should be, we have not been offered any compensation for all our trouble.”

Lidl has been contacted for a comment but at the time of going to press, had not yet provided a response.