A couple have been served with a £100 parking fine — after taking too long to eat at KFC.
Tony Long, 77, and wife Pauline, 75, met two friends they had not seen during the pandemic to catch up over some fried chicken.
But they overstayed the one-hour parking maximum by 34 minutes at Princess Alice Retail Park in Sutton Coldfield.
Mr Long, of Birmingham, said: ‘All we wanted to was meet with friends for the first time since the pandemic, and we get penalised.
‘We hadn’t had a meal with Roy and Lillian for quite some time, due to lockdown – Roy has lung problem too so we decided to meet in person.
‘Because Roy and Lillian live not far from that particular KFC, we decided to go there.
‘We arranged to meet. My wife and I got there a little bit earlier – probably around 12.30pm and parked in the car park and waited for them to arrive.
‘We noticed at that point, that the car park was not full and we were the only people that were eating inside the restaurant.
‘I never noticed any restrictions or time limits on parking, I always thought it was the same as the nearby Tesco – which is three hours free customer parking.
‘After finishing our meal, around an hour or so later, we went our separate ways. It would have been impossible to finish the meal and catch up in less than an hour.’
The two grandparents were fined £100 by Smart Parking, with the option to pay £60 within two weeks.
Ex-magistrate Mr Long appealed without success and has now vowed to boycott the fast food branch.
He added: ‘Often the small print is that small, you can’t see what is says – it is crafty the way they go about putting signage like that up.
‘I have had lots of support from people online, they too saying that they will never go to that KFC again.
‘It’s not just me, other people have been caught out too. We have tried to contact the KFC careline, but we have had no response.
‘If they want to lose money, by treating people like this, they are not going to last very long.
‘I used to visit that KFC every Thursday night with my daughter, but now I will just go to my regular chip shop instead.
‘My daughter is pretty disgusted – they too are going to boycott it.’
But KFC has now performed a U-turn and scrapped the £100 fine issued to the couple.
A spokesperson for the fast-food giant said: ‘To keep our car parks running smoothly, many of them do have limits in place – which is usually okay, as our fans don’t tend to stay with us quite as long as Anthony did.
‘Nonetheless, we’re really flattered that he chose us for his reunion with friends, so we’ve cancelled the ticket and our Care Squad are getting in touch to make things right.’
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