Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Car Park Dramas!

Breakfast this morning for the Teens was a giant crumpet!
We are a household of crumpet lovers, so these new giant ones just had to be tried...especially as there are currently buy one get one free!
Not knowing how long I was going to be out of the house for today, I put some pork shoulder steaks in the slow cooker, ready to be turned into BBQ pulled pork for tonight's dinner.
Grandma had a cancellation appointment for her endoscopy offered to her yesterday, which she jumped at, and as we all know, hospital appointments and procedures can take quite some time!
As it turned out, I only had to wait for just over an hour...all in a comfy leather sofa and Bargain Hunt on TV! I had taken my knitting as well, so all I needed was a cuppa to make me feel right at home!
The hospital has a new method for charging, and being fairly familiar with  the various ways of paying for parking, I wasn't too phased.
As we entered the grounds there were big signs saying "pay on exit." Easy enough I thought.
When we came out of the hospital however, all the machines were covered up.
Maybe it was still in the process of being sorted, I thought.
However, having got Grandma sat in the warmth of the car and getting over her ordeal, I decided to go on a walk around and check there weren't any machines uncovered.
It was just as well I did, out of sight from where we had parked was a machine.
I didn't have my specs on, but it all looked fairly easy...press the green button...yes...that's today's date, press the button again....type in my car reg...up comes the charge £1.50.
Did I want a receipt...no...well...maybe I will take one.
As I walked back to the car I happened to notice the charges said £1.50 for the first hour, £2.50 for up to two hours.
Hmm....we had been 90 minutes, well maybe there is a period of grace, for those picking up and dropping off etc.
I took Grandma home, got home and popped the kettle on.
It had been a few hours since I had had a drink and was looking forward to it.
I happened to glance at the car park ticket I had taken out of my pocket and noticed it said I had arrived at 1pm...which was the time we were actually leaving....hmm....time to put the specs on.
Things were clearly not right....it was showing my exit time as my entry time and according to the ticket I still had almost an hour left .....maybe I hadn't read the instructions right...should I have manually entered the time I arrived??
Well it hadn't made it clear, and there were signs everywhere saying "pay on exit" so who would actually take note of the minute they arrived, and surely that's what the car recognition cameras are there for...to catch you coming in and then going out?
In fear and dread of getting a whopping great penalty notice in the post in the coming weeks, I decided the only thing was to go back to the hospital...but I daren't drive into the grounds as that would surely register be yet again  with its vehicle recognition camera.
So, I abandoned my freshly poured out cuppa and walked back to the hospital.
The receptionists of course were unable to help me, but thankfully a car park warden was just leaving for lunch, so was able to listen to my story.
She was mystified as to why it was showing an exit of an hour hence, whilst clearly showing my car reg.
The receptionists got involved as well...being equally mystified about my situation.
Noone could answer why I had only been charged for an hour, but made a note of my car reg and assured me they would waiver any fine that would come up.
I now just have to hope that is the end of the story!
I shall be taking careful note next time and not just press the green button in such a blasé fashion!

1 comment:

  1. Loving the giant crumpet! However, having struggled with parking charges in Devon at the end of August - I agree - they can be an absolute mystery!