Thursday, 30 August 2012
New Costly Plot.....
Last night I headed into our town centre to meet friends and have a meal in a lovely restaurant. Parking in town is expensive at the best of times, however there is a small car park near the restaurant that is free after 8pm so that's where I was heading.
Totally scuppered by gas main repairs which had closed some roads, reduced others to access only or made others part of a one way diversion! So having driven around all manor of routes and now being a bit late I was forced to use the NCP which has to be paid for 'At all times'.
So in a massive car park I left my car with only about half a dozen others. Alongside the ticket machine were notices of how to pay with your phone your credit card or even online but I wanted a ticket and the machine wouldn't take my money! There were two women chatting nearby so I called across to ask them if they knew how the machine worked and one of them came over to help. She said I had to put my registration number in before it would take money but as she didn't have her glasses on I would have to read the instructions.
It said - no need to display ticket as machine has all details
I believed it
It said - press orange button then key in last three letters of your registration number
It said - insert coins to the value of parking time required
I inserted £3.40 for 2 hours from 20:06 as that was all the change I had
It said - press green button for ticket
I did and it didn't!!!
Read through it all again and kept pressing green button but no bit of paper was ejected and the helpful woman had already left me, so I just headed off to meet my friends assuming the car park attendant who may or may not come round will be electronically connected to the ticket machine and all my details.
Some time later (ok more than 2 hours) I was escorted back to my car where my friends and I discovered the dreaded plastic bag stuck to my windscreen. I made light of it to my friends and sent them on their way. I was convinced I'd have to pay a fine as the attendant must have been round after my fee had run out, however, when I got home I read it and was first shocked to read it was £100 or £50 if paid within 14 days but then really pleased to read that my car was first sighted at 21:33 and the NCP Contravention Charge was issued at 21:44 so I was well within my paid for time!
Today I filled in their online appeal form.......fingers crossed eh?