Collier Row pensioner fined for 'leaving car overnight' in Rainham Tesco
PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:06 08 June 2015
A retired firefighter has been charged £100 for leaving his van at Tesco overnight when he actually drove it home and returned the next morning.
Paul Flack, 69, of Hamlet Road, Collier Row, visited his friends in the cafe at Tesco Extra in Bridge Road, Rainham, on a Tuesday morning at the end of April and then again the following day.
However, more than a month later he received a fine from the supermarket telling him he had breached the three-hour limit by leaving his van overnight.
“I think I would remember if I left my van in Tesco,” he said. “I live in Collier Row – where would I have slept?
“I was there both days as now I’ve retired but I do other things like help my son and I’ve got friends in Rainham and we meet in the cafe there a lot.”
When Mr Flack contested the fine Tesco sent him photo evidence of his arrival on Tuesday morning and leaving on Wednesday.
“It’s either a mistake or they’re trying to squeeze money out of people,” he added.
He says that if, after an appeal Tesco asks him to pay up, he will refuse.
“I rang the parking company’s phone number a dozen times and never got through so gave up and wrote to them,” Mr Flack explained.
His appeal is due to take place on Thursday, June 25 however, since the Recorder contacted Tesco, Mr Flack has been assured he will not be fined.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We will be contacting the customer and providing him with a full refund.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
The parking restrictions are operated by an independent company called Parking Collection Service which fines those overstaying in the car park at Tesco in Rainham.
Eight days before Mr Flack allegedly stayed overnight, Sandra Coward of Clacton-on-Sea was told she had left her car behind for 13 hours despite being in the store for 15 minutes.
She said: “They emailed me two photos of my car one of which was going in the car park at 6.50am and leaving the car park at 7.41pm.
“I told them there was a mistake with their cameras as I could prove my car was parked in the Ford Plant at 7.15am but they did not want to know.”
Parking Collection Service has not responded to the Recorder’s request for a comment.