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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Waitrose Car Park Clock Reprise

Not many folk would get emotional about a car park clock which is rarely accurate. I am one   of the few. The emotion stems from the fact that it is a Waitrose car park clock  - you would have thought that given the high quality of their summer puddings and the credit balance of their bank account, they could do better - and their efforts to correct the situation being puerile. It is also a car park clock which could lead to customers being deceived about the true time they parked their cars and, hence, how long they have left before being stung for a charge they would prefer to avoid. Here is the latest chapter of The Story of Car Park That Cannot Tell The Time.

16 September 2017
From: Stephen Gold
To: Waitrose Customer Service 

I’m back. I’m back.
 Oh dear, Oh dear.

Despite the very worthy sentiments expressed in the message immediately below (see   messages at http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/nonsense) the wretched car park machine at your Richmond, Surrey store is wonky yet again. Today it was ten minutes slow. And I have now realised that yesterday it was also ten minutes slow and, worse still, I was deceived to my detriment by the wrong time on my ticket - just as I have been telling you for ages that the slow clock will trick customers. Because I thought I had only about 15 minutes left in the car park before I became liable for a £25 car park charge, I had to forfeit using a voucher for a £6 discount on a £60 spend. My shopping partner was on her way to the store with my My Waitrose card which I had to produce in order to redeem the voucher,. But she was running late and I could not run the risk of waiting for her. In the event, she appeared just after I had paid. If I had been aware of the fact that I had another ten minutes — and relied on a recall of my pre-car park arrival movements and the time at whichI had in fact clocked in there rather than the time shown on the ticket — then I would not have been so anxious and would have been able to utilise the voucher.

Now I am not making a claim for the £6 and I am not making a claim for the value of ten minutes’ worth of car parking time. What I am doing is to registering my dismay that Waitrose, with all of its resources, is unable to achieve the running of a car park for which it prospectively charges its customers without potentially deceiving those customers  about the time at which they entered it. How much longer do you need to get your act together?

I am
Stephen Gold
Your Disgusted Customer 

From: Stephen Gold

24/09/2017 23:41
Is anybody there?
I am
Stephen Gold

From Waitrose Customer Service
To Stephen Gold
25 September 2017

Thank you for your further email.
I’m sorry you have found the time to be running slowly again.
We’ve spoken with James again, who has told us that we hope to have new machines installed at the end of this year. 
Unfortunately, until then the branch do have to continue to reset this manually. I’m sorry there has been some occasions when you’ve found the time to be slow.
The branch will do their best to monitor this, but until we have new machines installed this may still happen on occasion.
I’m sorry this has caused you so much disappointment and thank you for taking the time to let us know.

Kind regards 
Waitrose Customer Care

The machine was seven minutes slow yesterday afternoon.