McDonald's customer says he was fined Rs 10k for 'eating his food too slowly', company responds
A diner at McDonald's was left gobsmacked after reviving two fines for 'eating too slowly'.
Shapour Meftah was at the Maccies outlet on Newmarket Road in Cambridge to meet his brother. They met and had their meals in the car park before driving away to their respective homes.
But several days after the visit, Meftah received two penalty notices through his letter box. He had been charged for exceeding his car park limit at the local restaurant. According to reports, the penalty fixed notices were issued by a private parking company. They added up to £100 for his two visits to the outlet on the evening of January 4 and January 6, 2023.
It was claimed that Meftah had exceeded the 90-minute time limit for the McDonald's customer car par, according to reports. The notices said that if he doesn't pay up the fine within a week, it could go up to £100 for each ticket.
"It was parking from hell - the most expensive McDonald's I've ever had. There's no sign inside McDonald's that says you have 90 minutes to sit down, eat and go. You don't want to rush your meal and we ordered quite a bit of food".
"There's no way you can get help from them. I tried talking to them and they said it was nothing to do with them. There's no way on earth they'll help you," he added.
Reacting to the claim by Meftah, a McDonald's spokesperson said it was up to the parking control company to issue penalty notices.
"We have parking restrictions in place at a number of our restaurants, with a time limit to ensure there is adequate parking for all of our customers." said the spokesperson.
"Ample signage regarding these restrictions is clearly displayed both as you drive into the car park and on various lampposts within it. If a customer believes they have been issued a ticket incorrectly, they should appeal it as per the parking control company guidelines," the spokesperson added.
Can Meftah appeal against the penalty?
Consumer advice website MoneySavingExpert states that 'private parking companies have no official right to fine' anyone. It advised everyone who gets parking tickets from private parking firms to wait and investigate before paying up.
"All they're doing is sending you a notice of what they deem to be a breach of contract. It isn't the ability of private companies to issue tickets in itself that's a problem though. It's the unstructured system which puts unnecessary power in potentially unscrupulous hands," the website states.