A PENSIONER who was hit with a £170 fine for parking outside Iceland claims staff told her it would be fine when the machine wouldn't print her a ticket.
Mary Jones, 72, feels she's being "blackmailed" into paying the penalty after stopping at Barnstaple branch in North Devon for 40 minutes.
She and her husband, Mike, had travelled to the store from their home in Chulmleigh for a grocery run on January 18.
Mary headed to the ticket machine on her own because her husband is suffering mobility issues.
When she got there, she put in the money but says a ticket didn't print and it kept her £1.
She said: "I went and told him to keep an eye out in case the chappie came along.
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"I had a word in Iceland to explain what had happened, and that I did not have a ticket. The lady doubled checked and confirmed that should be ok.”
On February 2, Mary was left fuming when she received a ticket in the mail from Excel Parking for £100.
She gave them a call to explain what had happened and was told Iceland staff didn't have the authority to overrule the parking conditions.
Mary told Devon Live: "I also explained that if they checked the money that had gone into the machine, it would not tally by at least a pound with mine had gone in. The proof was there if they work their accounts correctly."
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She appealed the fine but her claim was rejected.
In a letter to her, Excel Parking said signage at the car park made it clear a valid ticket must be purchased.
It said: “We note your comment that you were unable to purchase a ticket because the machine was not working.
"In those circumstance if you should have sought alternative parking or phoned the helpline. By failing to make payment for the period of parking question, you became liable for the charge notice issued.
“We note your comments in respect of you being offered advice on how to park. Iceland staff on site are not authorised to allow motorists to park in contravention of the terms and conditions displayed at the car park.
"It is the motorist’s sole responsibility to ensure they park correctly. If you were unable to park correctly, you had the option to phone the helpline for advice or to find alternative parking.”
Mary has been left "very annoyed" by the whole saga – and now is fearful of what is going to happen next.
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She said: "I’ve been told to pay £170 with now the threat that if it's not paid, the bailiffs are coming."
The Sun has approached Excel Parking for additional comment.
Mary's experience comes as a single mum on Universal Credit claims she was "threatened" by a burly bailiff who demanded £400 from her over a parking dispute.
Jemma Martin, 31, branded the enforcement officer "disgraceful" after he "intimidated" her into handing over the cash – leaving her skint.
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