MCDONALD’S threatened a loyal customer with debt collectors if she did not pay a £150 fine after parking at a restaurant for more than 90 minutes.
Rebecca Pearson, from Hockley Heath, a law student who works part-time in Mothercare in Shirley, went for lunch at the fast food chain in Monkspath in April.
The shocked 20-year-old felt the fine was “unfair” and “totally unjustified”.
“To my horror I received a £50 fine from a parking company called MET on behalf of McDonald’s for a parking violation,” she said.
“The letter stated that I had exceeded the 90 minute free parking and I must pay the fine within 14 days or the fine will rise to £150 for ‘admin’ fees. If that fine is not paid, there is a further threat of debt collectors.
“Having visited the restaurant for more than 20 years, even having numerous birthday parties there, I was shocked to read that parking was restricted to an hour and a half. I was in there for just over two hours.
“The McDonald’s manager told my fiance that it was a measure to stop ‘boy racers’ loitering.”
Rebecca said that the fine was cancelled after she appealled to the manager, but she claims others have not had the penalty revoked.
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “In an effort to make sure there are always parking spaces available for our customers, we have parking restrictions in place at around 10 per cent of our restaurants.
“The restrictions were put in place because of problems ranging from people leaving their cars for several hours whilst they went on shopping trips, to others using our airport restaurants as free car parks whilst they went on holiday, to minicab drivers using our car parks as waiting bays between fares.
“We’re sorry to hear that Ms Pearson received a parking charge because it is never our intention for customers to receive them.”