Thursday 2 March 2023

McDonald's defends use of cameras to fine customers who park too long: 'Set up for you to fail,' says dad who overstayed PlayPlace welcome

 A parking war is developing in the U.K. between McDonald's, parking lot companies, and citizens who want to relax in the restaurants with their children. Multiple reports of customer complaints have surfaced after a slew of fines have been handed out to motorists who have stayed at McDonald's for too long.

As reported by the Sun, customers in England are battling companies such as UK Parking Control, which owns parking lots outside McDonald's locations.

In Coventry, England, Marcus Ward was fined $60 for parking an extra 16 minutes over the 90-minute limit at a McDonald's "PlayPlace," the restaurant chain's soft-ground indoor playground, typically decked out with slides, ball pits, and climbing apparatuses.

"You have got a soft play at that McDonald's so you are going to be there for a lot longer than a normal McDonald's," Ward said.

"If you break down how long it takes a parent to get kids out of the car, change them, feed them, and soft play, it is definitely over an hour and a half," the man complained.

“I have lived in Coventry all my life and I never knew that car park had a time limit. ... Everything is almost set up for you to fail and be caught by this trap. It is unbelievable," he continued.

The fine has since increased to over $200, and Ward says he is "digging [his] heels in and standing by [his] principles."

A second man in Cambridge, England, where the McDonald's parking lot also has a 90-minute limit, says he was penalized for “eating his food too slowly," according to the U.K. outlet.

A man named Shapour Meftah says he received a $120 (£100) fine for staying past his welcome also.

"It was parking from hell — the most expensive McDonald's I've ever had," Meftah said.

"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," he explained.

McDonald's responded to questions by stating that the company has "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."

"Ample signage regarding these restrictions is clearly displayed both as you drive into the car park, on various lampposts within it and inside of the restaurant," a spokesperson said.

The restaurant's representative seemingly boasted about its use of cameras to track the length of customer stays, saying they've "been in place for some time, to ensure customers are within the 90-minute limits.”

No comments:

Post a Comment