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Waitrose shopper Ingrid Rock, who spent over £600 on Christmas shop in Lymington store, stunned to get £70 parking fine





A WOMAN who spent over £600 on her Christmas shop in Waitrose was stunned to receive a £70 parking fine weeks later for overstaying in the store’s car park.

Ingrid Rock spent three hours in the Lymington supermarket in Stanford Road on Christmas Eve, bagging a load of yellow sticker bargains on the day to fill her freezer as well as for the festivities.

But her cost-cutting move ended up backfiring when she got a parking ticket through the post stating she had to pay the whopping fine for being parked up longer than two hours.

Ingrid Rock was furious after spending £620 at Waitrose on Xmas shopping and got slapped with £70 parking fine
Ingrid Rock was furious after spending £620 at Waitrose on Xmas shopping and got slapped with £70 parking fine

An angry Ingrid, from Ashurst, said: “I know three hours sounds like a long time, but I spent half an hour looking for the turkey alone because they had moved them from where I was expecting to find them, and there were hardly any left anyway.

“To be honest I shopped like a demon on the day. I normally am more organised and would have done the Christmas shopping over several weeks.

Ingrid Rock spent £620 at Waitrose and was hit by a £70 parking fine
Ingrid Rock spent £620 at Waitrose and was hit by a £70 parking fine

“But I had been ill in the run-up to Christmas, in fact I tested positive for Covid on Boxing Day and, previous to that, had been away with my granddaughter so I ended up with just the Saturday and the Sunday, which was Christmas Eve, to do it all.

“I did do a huge shop and the trolley was full. There were also things reduced and as my freezer was empty, I thought it would be good to get some stuff to fill it with.

“The supermarket has a café, but I did not even get to have a coffee in there, I was in a bit of a panic worried that I was not going to get everything I needed.

A sign at the entrance of the shop warns shoppers they have two hours parking
A sign at the entrance of the shop warns shoppers they have two hours parking

“I arrived at 10.20am and left at 1.20pm.

“It was not all Xmas food; I was a bit shocked when the bill came to £620. But there was stuff for the rest of the month as well and I didn’t want to have to do any more shopping between Christmas and new year.”

Ingrid, who is in her 70s, said she had not noticed the parking signs in the car park of the shop and was astonished when, two weeks after her visit, she received a letter demanding £70, reduced to £45 if paid within 14 days.

She said: “To be honest I didn’t see the notices; I was too intent on getting in and getting the shopping done. I have been back since, most of them are not at eye level and some are hidden by trees.

“I was flabbergasted when the fine came, and angry too. I mean, to spend over £600 in store and then get fined for doing so is a bit rich!”

“I spent all my time in the store, I am not the kind of person to park my car and wander off down the town.”

Ingrid said she immediately phoned the supermarket to complain and was told by an assistant that head office would be in contact. But she says she has not heard from them since.

She said: “I have a My Waitrose card so the person I spoke to took the number and they could see on their computer all my details including the receipt for my Christmas shop. I think they were quite shocked by my predicament. They explained that Waitrose does not own the car park, but they said they would be contacting the parking operator.”

Ingrid says she does not intend to pay the fine, adding: “My husband, who only died six months ago, was a top London lawyer and he would have been furious about this and certainly would have wanted to fight it. It’s not just about me, what if it was a confused elderly person who was frightened into paying it rather than trying to take Waitrose to task?

It has put me off using Waitrose. I think it is so difficult these days to keep up with all the different rules when you go shopping. At some stores they want you to put in your registration number and all sorts.

“It can be very confusing.”

A Waitrose spokesperson said: “While the car park isn't managed by Waitrose, time limits are clearly displayed, and it's regularly used without any issues by our customers.

"We're sorry to hear that Ms Rock is unhappy, though. Given the circumstances, we're speaking with the car park agency on her behalf, and are arranging to get her fine reversed."



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