Have you received a very unwelcome letter in the post from Met Parking Services demanding a £50 payment because you had exceeded a time limit when parking at a McDonalds restaurant?
I got back from a trip abroad to find a very official looking letter complete with photos of our car which Met claimed had infringed the 75 minute parking limit at our local McDonalds.
“What are McDonalds doing fining their customers?”, plus a load of expletives was my first reaction. The next was to find out if the fine was legitimate and to get it cancelled.
I went straight to the manager at the McDonalds and demanded to know what was going on.
He had obviously dealt with quite a few complaints from furious customers and said that he would help get the charge cancelled.
Once he was convinced that I was a bona fide customer, he phoned Met parking customer services with my parking charge notice number and said that I would be phoning them also to challenge the charge.
Met parking cancelled the parking charge notice straight away once the McDonalds manager had spoken to them. When I rand a few minutes later, Met confirmed that the charge had been wiped off their system.
So if you get a Met parking charge when at McDonalds this is what to do – assuming that you are actually a boa fide customer and are not abusing their parking (which is what caused McDonalds to get Met Parking involved).
- Go and speak to the McDonalds Manager and explain that you are a regular customer and hadn’t seen the signs in the car park, or the kids were playing in the play area. It is important that you are honest, polite and reasonable and to show that you were not abusing their car park.
- If he agrees to help, the Manager can phone or email Met Parking to request that the charge be cancelled. It seems that Met Parking will take the Manager’s word and cancel it straight away as happened to me.
- If you know that you are going to stay at a McDonalds longer than the stated time limit then give your registration and make of car to the supervisor or Manager. They can go onto a Met Parking web site to register your registration number so that Met Parking do not charge you.
It seems that McDonalds have been forced to adopt these Draconian parking policies and do not like upsetting their bona fide customers, which is why the managers will help you out as long as you can show that you are a customer of theirs and are not tieing up one of their parking spaces whilst doing non McDonalds business.
The Manager at my local McDonalds must be applauded for the way in which he dealt with my complaint, however there is a lot information on the Internet about the scare tactics that Met Parking Services use.
Hopefully this information will help you if you find yourself in the same situation.
Added 27 August 2010
I heard this morning about two women who have received the threatening letters from MET Parking Services after visiting McDonalds. Apparently both had popped into the restaurant, on different occasions, and then returned an hour later to buy something else. That contravenes the McDonalds terms and conditions, apparently, (I guess that they don’t want repeat business from their customers!) and that triggered action by Met.
Sadly both ladies paid up the £50. It really makes me wonder how many other people are being intimidated by these “parking fines” and just paying up. Met must be making a fortune and I’m surprised that McDonalds is retaining its customers with the way in which it is treating them.