A DISCOUNT meal at Burger King left a bitter taste for two friends.
Lynda Wood and Avril Dunmore both took their cars to the diner in Square Road, Halifax.
The meal cost them £4.99 each – but they have now been slapped with parking fines of up to £150 apiece for staying longer than the permitted hour on Burger King’s car park. The two women say they were deep in conversation and used ice-cream tokens for a dessert, which meant they stayed longer than normal. After around an hour and a half, they each left in their cars.
Days later, enforcement notices from Civil Enforcement, of Liverpool, dropped through their letter boxes for parking contravention with details of their cars and the time they parked.
The company demanded £75 which would rise to £150 if not paid within 14 days – and if they wanted a copy of the evidence that would be an extra £10.
“I never even thought about the time,” said Mrs Wood, 63, of Skircoat Green, Halifax.
“We had tokens for ice cream so stayed longer than usual.
“I could not believe it when the letter arrived.”
The two women were aware of cameras but believed as Burger King customers they would be allowed to park.
Mrs Wood rang Mrs Dunmore, of Halifax, and the two have now decided to challenge the notices before paying.
Mrs Wood said: “I’m frightened about it and a friend is dealing with it for us.
“But I’ll definitely not be going there again. It seems an excessive amount.”
The women visited on August 3, arriving around 5.20pm and they left just after 7pm.
The internet has several complaints from drivers hit with financial penalties from CEL and many people claim to have ignored them.
Burger King at Square Road last year kicked out a car-clamping firm from its car park after drivers were landed with bills running into hundreds of pounds.
Clampers had been called in because Burger King said the car park was being used by shoppers who left no space for customers.
But after this latest incident, Burger King had little sympathy.
A spokesman said: “We always strive to provide customers with high levels of comfort and care.
“Restaurant facilities, including car parks, are provided for the use of Burger King customers only, and access to them is controlled in some restaurants at busy periods to ensure our customers are not kept waiting to use them.
“The car park at the Square Road, a franchise restaurant operating the Burger King brand under licence, offers a maximum of 60 minutes’ free parking to customers, which is clear on signs at the entrance to the car park.”